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[SHANGHAI] China is preparing to allow its multi-billion-dollar pension fund to invest in the stock market next year, an official said Tuesday, in a move to boost share prices after a more than 30 percent plunge since June.
As part of a rescue package to support the market, China's securities regulator announced in July that the government was drafting a plan to invest up to 30 percent of its pension fund in stocks.
"We will hurry to do the work and aim to carry out the plan in 2016," human resources and social security ministry spokesman Li Zhong told a news conference in Beijing, according to a transcript posted online.
The fund, to which workers must contribute and which was previously only allowed to invest in treasury bonds and bank deposits, had 3.5 trillion yuan in net assets at the end of 2014.
The earlier announcements helped prop up the stock market following the rout. On Tuesday, the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index edged up 0.14 percent to 3,434.34 points, but was still down more than 33 percent from the peak in June.