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News Roundup: Feb. 13

Proposed Law May Change Foreign Investment in China
A new draft of a foreign investment law recently issued by China’s Ministry of Commerce could mean the most significant change to China’s foreign investment regime in the past 15 years, according to a bulletin from top Canadian law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. If implemented, the law would “fundamentally alter the way foreign investors access some of China’s most compelling investment opportunities, including through overseas initial public offerings (IPOs of many China-based technology companies.” The draft law will be open for comment until February 17.

Wealthy Chinese Investing in Vancouver Lifestyle
Vancouver has long been a place where wealthy mainland Chinese parked money in real estate, but this trend is undergoing a transformative shift, reports Reuters. Wealthy mainland investors are now turning towards buying wineries, hotels, and other lifestyle industry properties with an eye on return on investment.

How Chinese Have Moved Money Abroad Revealed
A recently revealed government program has allowed wealthy Chinese to move large amounts of currency abroad, reports Bloomberg. The trial program, which was uncovered by the state-run CCTV, some locations of the Bank of China in Guangdong, the program was first introduced in 2011 for overseas property purchases and emigration. “What it shows is the government has been trying to internationalize the renminbi for a lot longer than we thought,” Jim Antos, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Mizuho Securities Ltd., told Bloomberg by phone. “I’m rather encouraged by this news because this is the way they need to go.”

Canadians, Chinese Dominate Foreign Buys of US Homes
Canadians bought the highest number of homes of all foreigners in the U.S. last year, but homebuyers from China spent the most, reports Bloomberg. A weakened Canadian dollar meant a drop of 23 percent in home purchases by Canadians, though they represented the highest number of homes purchased by foreigners at 19 percent. But spending by Chinese buyers rose 72 percent from a year earlier, with their purchases accounting for 24 percent of overall spending on homes by international buyers.