The Shanghai government is petitioning the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) to waive restrictions for private equity (PE) firms that register in the Pudong financial district, the Wall Street Journal reported. Fang Xinghai, director general of Shanghai’s financial services office, said foreign PE firms were interested in setting up renminbi-denominated funds, but found their ambitions cramped by foreign currency regulations. Shanghai would like foreign PE firms that raise the bulk of their capital within China to be treated by SAFE as domestic operators, Fang explained. He also pointed to lower taxes and relaxed investment rules as examples of other measures that could nurture PE in Shanghai. Separately, GP Capital – a joint venture fund owned by Shanghai International Group and China International Capital Corp – said it plans to target investments in domestic financial firms. GP Capital hopes to secure initial funding of US$1.17 billion.
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