Qualified Foreign InstitutionalInvestors quotas may be expandedChinese regulators are mullingexpanding quotas for QualifiedForeign Institutional Investors,according to China SecuritiesJournal. This may mean a step tothe liberalization of Chinese stock and bond markets, whereforeigners have limited access.At the moment foreign investorsneed to get approval from thegovernment to work withcountry’s stocks. Yet, this maychange as China has been lookingfor ways to attract foreign capital.The country’s exports aredropping, and companies are alsowitnessing a decrease of industrialorders. Combined with theeconomic crisis in the Euro zone,all of this has led to a fall in directforeign investment. For instance,EU investments have dropped by33.2% to $906mln in the first twomonths of 2012. While the totalamount of foreign investment hasreached $17.7bln, which is 0.6%less than in 2011.Introduced in 2003 the QFIIprogram sets a general $30blnlimit on foreign investmentinstitutions. Since then, underQFII, the country’s authoritiesgave out 129 licenses worth$24.55bln. This includes nearly$3bln which has been approvedthis year.However, analysts say, theraising of the $30bln ceilingwon’t automatically solve theproblem, if the current licensingprocedures remain in force. Butthere has been some progress onthis matter as well. For instance,concerning investments madeusing the Chinese nationalcurrency – renminbi, primarilymeasured in yuans. The RenminbiQualified Foreign InstitutionalInvestors (RQFII) program allowsinvestors to channel off-shorerenminbi back into Chinesedomestic markets. Within itsframework, Hong-Kong fundshave been granted access toinvestment in China. Analystsexplain, the step was aimed atincreasing the use of the yuan ininternational trade deals andfighting the dependency on theU.S. dollar. According to theKommersant daily, economists atthe People’s University of Chinaare predict the Yuan will becomefreely convertible between 2016and 2020: “The Yuan’sinternationalization is already infull swing – we’ve seen 20-foldgrowth in 2011, compared to 2010(0.02% and 0.41% accordingly).So by 2020 these figures couldreach 20%”.Earlier, Chinese authorities havebeen stimulating investment fromthe country, curbing domesticinflation rates and to prevent thenation’s economy fromoverheating. Last year theamount of outgoing investmentreached $74.95bln, which is morethan twice that of the QFII.Inflation in China is expected toreach 3.3% in 2012– much lessthan the 5.4% in 2011. Furthersteps by the Chinese authorities toattract foreign investment aremuch expected.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.
PARIS (AP) – Al-Jazeera saidTuesday it will not air a video thatappears to show the attacks onsoldiers and a Jewish school insouthwestern France earlier thismonth from the killer's point of view, including the cries of hisvictims.• AP This undated screengrabfrom French TV station France 2shows Mohamed Merah, whopolice say killed threeparatroopers, three children and arabbi last week.APThis undated screengrab fromFrench TV station France 2 showsMohamed Merah, who police saykilled three paratroopers, threechildren and a rabbi last week.French President NicolasSarkozy, other French officialsand family members of thevictims had asked that it not bebroadcast.The footage was contained on aUSBkey sent with a letter to theParis office of the Qatar-basedtelevision company, ZiedTarrouche, the station's Parisbureau chief, said Tuesday on theFrench TV station BFM. Theletter, written in poor French withspelling and grammar errors,claimed the shootings werecarried out in the name of al-Qaeda.Police traced the attacks toMohamed Merah, a 23-year-oldFrenchman, who was killed lastweek after a more than 30-hourstandoff with police at hisapartment building. Merah hadclaimed to police that he had linksto al-Qaeda, traveled toAfghanistan, and receivedweapons training in the militant-riddled Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan. But authorities havequestioned some of Merah'sclaims.Prosecutors have said that Merahfilmed all of his attacks, whichbegan March 11 with the murderof a French soldier. Before thespree ended, two more soldiersand three Jewish children and arabbi were killed.By Eric Cabanis, AFP/GettyImagesFrance's Israeli scouts open amarch by people from all faiths onSunday in Toulouse, France,where three children and oneteacher were killed by self-proclaimed Islamist MohamedMerah."In accordance with Al Jazeera'sCode of Ethics, given the videodoes not add any information thatis not already in the publicdomain, its news channels will notbe broadcasting any of itscontents," the broadcaster said ina statement.The channel said the video wasreceived from an anonymoussource on Monday and that Al-Jazeera immediately gave it toFrench police.A French official close to theinvestigation said it was not sentby Merah. Speaking on conditionof anonymity because of thesensitivity of the case, he said thattechnical experts have concludedthat the video was sent onWednesday from near southernToulouse, the same day thatMerah was trapped in hisapartment by the predawn policeraid.Al-Jazeera said it had receivedmany requests by media to look atthe video, but that it would denyall of them.Tarrouche, the Paris bureau chief,said the images appear to havebeen taken from the point of viewof the killer, perhaps from acamera hung around his neck. Hesaid they were a bit shaky but of ahigh technical quality.The video had clearly beenmanipulated after the fact,according to Tarrouche, withreligious songs and recitations of Quranic verses laid over thefootage."You can hear gunshots at themoment of the killings. You canhear the voice of this person whohas committed theseassassinations. You can hear alsothe cries of the victims, and thevoices were distorted," Tarrouchesaid.In an address to police officersand judges earlier Tuesday,Sarkozy had asked that the imagesnot be broadcast."I ask the managers of alltelevision stations that might havethese images not to broadcastthem in any circumstances, out of respect for the victims — out of respect for the Republic," Sarkozysaid.Tarrouche said the Parisprosecutor, whose office isleading the investigation, had alsocalled to explain the consequencesof disseminating the images. ButTarrouche said the prosecutor saidhe would not prohibit the channelfrom "doing its work as journalists.""We are not a sensationalistchannel. We're not looking tobroadcast images withoutweighing the risks and theconsequences. That's why themanagement will decide todayafter meeting at headquarters inQatar," Tarrouche said.The decision not to broadcast theimages came a few hours later.Tarrouche said investigatorsspent Monday interviewingemployees at the Paris bureauabout the video. It was notimmediately clear when thefootage was received or who hadsent it.Al-Jazeera was frequently usedearly in the Iraq and Afghan warsas a conduit for militants,including Osama bin Laden, todistribute taped statements. As theIraq war progressed, many of these tapes included gruesomekillings and beheadings of Western or foreign hostages,although the station edited outsome of the grisliest scenes at themoment of death.The broadcasts drew outrage,especially from the Bushadministration. Over time, mostmilitant groups opted instead forposting such videos on their ownwebsites, where they were notsubject to outside editingstandards.A lawyer for the families of thevictims killed outside the Jewishschool, Patrick Klugman, warnedon Tuesday that there would belegal consequences for those whodisseminate the footage."Clearly, we'll go after themwherever they are, whatevermedia," he said on BFMtelevision.Meanwhile, Merah's father, whowas estranged from his son andlives in Algeria, has reportedlysaid he wants to file a complaintfor Mohamed's death. In hisaddress, Sarkozy expressedoutrage at that idea."It's with indignation that Ilearned that the father of theassassin of seven people —including three soldiers and threechildren — wanted to file alawsuit against France for thedeath of his son," Sarkozy said."Do we need to remind this manthat his son filmed his crimes and
WASHINGTON -- The SupremeCourt's conservative justicesseemed sharply critical onTuesday morning of therequirement that all Americanspurchase health insurance, theconstitutional question at thecenter of President Obama'shealth care overhaul.In the first hour of a two-hourhearing on Tuesday morning,most of the court's liberal justiceswere silent, but four conservativesexpressed reservations that themandate could significantly alterthe powers of the federalgovernment. So did JusticeAnthony Kennedy, often thecourt's swing vote.Kennedy said Tuesday that thelaw "changes the relationship of the federal government to theindividual in a very fundamentalway," and he pressed the Obamaadministration's lawyer, SolicitorGeneral Donald Verilli, on whythe insurance requirementwouldn't leave Congress withnearly limitless authority.The court's conservativespeppered Verilli with questionsabout whether Congress couldalso force Americans to buybroccoli, burial insurance, orcellular phones as part of commercial regulations down theroad. Verilli said lawmakerscouldn't do that, but the justicesseemed unconvinced. "Onceyou're into interstate commerceand can regulate it, pretty muchall bets are off," Chief JusticeJohn Roberts said.During the second half of the two-hour session, however, Kennedyand Roberts sharply questionedlawyers for the 26 states andbusiness consortium challengingthe law, leaving it unclear whichway the two justices are leaning.Kennedy said the uninsuredconstitute "an actuarial reality"that should be taken intoconsideration, even though theyare not actively involved incommerce. Near the end of thesession, he said health care andhealth insurance may be differentfrom other economic markets inthat "the young person who'suninsured" at least comes "close"to affecting the overall market.Roberts preceded most of hisinquiries by noting thegovernment's position that thehealth care market is uniquebecause those without insuranceraise costs for those with it, andthat almost everyone eventuallywill need health care services."Surely regulation includes thepower to promote," the chief justice said.Opponents of the law are likelyto need the votes of all of thecourt's conservatives to succeed inhaving the two-year-old overhauldeclared unconstitutional.The court's four more liberalmembers were largely silentduring the first hour of Tuesday'shearing, which continues witharguments by lawyers for themain parties challenging the law:26 states, a business coalition andprivate individuals.In an earlier post, our USATODAY colleague Richard Wolf outlined the legal issues behindtoday's argument:The Supreme Court todayconsiders the rule that is the keyto financing President Obama'shealth care plan -- and is also themain argument cited by the law'slegal opponents.It's the requirement that nearly allAmericans buy health insurance,or pay a fine.The "individual mandate" -- aphrase that never appears in the2,409-page health care statute --has been the law's mostcontroversial element ever sinceits passage on March 23, 2010.The reason for including themandate is simple: The law bansinsurers from discriminatingagainst people with pre-existingconditions or high medical costs,either by denying coverage orinflating premiums. For insurersto do that without raising rates oneveryone, they need more peoplebuying insurance.The argument in favor of themandate is equally clear: Millionsof Americans without insurance --including those who can't afford itand others who are relativelyhealthy but risk catastrophicillnesses or accidents for whichthey cannot pay -- pass their costson to the government, businessesand other Americans.The Obama administration arguesthe mandate is legal under theConstitution's commerce clause,which gives Congress the powerto regulate interstate commerce.They also say the penalty for non-compliance is a tax, allowedunder Congress' spending andtaxing authority.Opponents, however, say such amandate is unprecedented. Theymake a distinction betweeneconomic activity and inactivity;they say not buying healthinsurance isn't a form of commerce subject to federalregulation. If it is, they say, what'sto stop Congress from mandatingthat Americans eat broccoli or join a health club?The precedents go back centuries.The case most often cited is from1942, when the Supreme Courtruled Congress could fine afarmer for growing too muchwheat, even if it was for personalconsumption, because thataffected his participation ininterstate commerce.Some of the health care law'sdefenders even hearken back tothe Militia Act of 1792, in whichmen called to service wererequired to have weapons andammunition.This entry passed through theFull-Text RSSservice — if this isyour content and you're reading iton someone else's site, please readthe FAQ atfivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.FiveFiltersrecommends:Donate toWikileaks.