The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) approved up to five new applicants for the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme last month, the highest monthly approval number of the year, state media reported. In the past three months, the CSRC has approved 10 new QFIIs, a sharp increase from the six approved in the first six months of the year. To date, the combined QFII quota stands at more than US$8 billion. "It is high time for A-shares to be linked into a worldwide investment portfolio through the introduction of more QFIIs," said Zhao Jianxing, an analyst with China Merchants Securities. In August the CSRC lowered the time threshold for long-term investors as well as reducing both the capital lock-up periods and the total assets required to qualify for a QFII quota.