China has formally relaxed rules on inbound portfolio investment, raising the maximum sum a single institution may invest to $1 billion from $800 million, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said.

The new rules governing China's Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) programme also shorten the lock-up period for insurers and pension funds to three months from the one-year requirement that other investors must follow.

The changes, which came into effect on Sept. 29, are broadly in line with draft proposals released in early September. [ID:nPEK324660]

According to a statement on SAFE's website, the currency regulator had granted investment quotas totalling $15.72 billion to 78 investors by the end of September.

UBS (UBSN.VX) was the only investor to have used its full $800 million quota.

For a related table, please click on [ID:nPEK213607]

Separately, SAFE said actual capital inflows under the QFII programme had reached $14.50 billion at the end of August compared with a cumulative approved quota at the time of $15.32 billion. (Reporting by Zhou Xin and Alan Wheatley; editing by Simon Jessop)