The China Insurance Regulatory Commission and People's Bank of China jointly announced that insurers will be allowed to invest up to 80% of their foreign currency reserves overseas. A total of US$7 billion in foreign exchange held by the insurers can be invested abroad effective immediately. Approved investments for the insurers include deposits at well-rated overseas banks, well-rated government and corporate bonds and money-market accounts. Analysts expected funds to be invested in Hong Kong and US treasury bonds. They said that the move was an initial step towards currency convertibility.