China encourages insurance funds to invest in PPP projects

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-05 16:33:41|Editor: An
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BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- The central government will encourage insurance funds to invest in public-private-partnership (PPP) projects to boost the economy, the country's top insurance watchdog announced Friday.

Insurance funds can finance PPP enterprises under their infrastructure investment plans by means of debt, equity or a combination of the two, according to a statement released by China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC).

CIRC will speed up approvals for financing PPP projects related to programs such as the Belt and Road Initiative, development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River economic belt and the Xiongan New Area, and poverty-alleviation projects.

The central government is looking to PPP, a collaborative investment model between government and private companies, as a way to fund infrastructure projects amid concerns over high local government debt.

Last year, the number of signed PPP projects and total investment more than quadrupled from 2015, with private enterprises participating in more regions and sectors than ever before.

The strong momentum continued into the first quarter of 2017, which saw 28 percent more PPP projects inked year on year.