China denies Mark Mobius claims its government is restricting capital flows

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Mark Mobius, executive chairman of Templeton Asset Management’s Emerging Markets Group

Dario Pignatelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Chinese authorities have denied claims by billionaire investor Mark Mobius, who said he cannot send money out of China due to government restrictions on capital flows.

When asked in an interview with Fox Business last week if he has reduced his exposure to China, Mobius said, “the government is restricting the flow of money out of the country. “

He warned investors of “all kinds of obstacles” imposed by the government.

“I’m personally affected because I have an account with HSBC in Shanghai,” he told Fox Business. “I can’t withdraw my money.”

Officials at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) told CNBC in a statement that it is a matter of “basic process and control requirements within the bank that handles a particular business.” ” They did not give a name HSBC.

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“We have noticed that relevant market participants have doubts about the bank’s handling of their personal money businesses,” SAFE said in its statement. “There is no change in the country’s policy regarding payment. ​cross-border money.”

HSBC did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

SAFE said they will continue to guide and urge commercial banks to optimize cross-border financial services and improve their service levels.

Peter Alexander, managing director of Z-Ben, a Shanghai-based investment management consulting firm, said he had not encountered problems in cross-border capital flows out of China.

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“I spent this morning talking to a dozen clients and they all confirmed to me that there are no issues in the operation of cross-border capital flows,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post. “Business as usual.”

He said that what Mobius is facing is probably a process that “anyone looking at overseas movements” will go through. He said his business “has never had a single issue” of wiring money in and out of China.

“As for Mobius, well the issue raised is with his personal bank account,” Alexander wrote. He pointed out that Mobius is “far from alone in his frustration” as others have experienced his same issues.

– CNBC’s Iris Wang contributed to this report.

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