China's government has stepped up efforts to lift confidence in the country's flagging stock markets by buying more shares in the four biggest commercial banks, stock exchange statements showed on Monday.
Central Huijin Investment, which holds Beijing's investments in state-owned financial firms, spent about 363 million yuan ($59.2 million) buying bank shares on June 13, Reuters calculations based on stock exchange filings showed.
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This is the third time Huijin has been known to be buying shares in the secondary market since June 13, when China's stock market skidded to six-month lows after data showed the world's second-biggest economy was cooling faster than expected.
Despite China's promise to allow free markets to play a bigger role in its economy, Beijing regularly intervenes in the equity market during sell-offs by ordering Huijin or other state pension funds and insurers to invest millions or billions of yuan in shares.
In its latest intervention, Huijin, a unit of China's $500 billion sovereign wealth fund (CIC), scooped up shares in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), Bank of China (BoC), China Construction Bank (CCB) and Agricultural Bank of China (ABC).