Shanghai China has raised its quota for stock investments by foreign institutional investors, in a step toward easing controls on its tightly regulated domestic share markets. The China Securities Regulatory Commission announced yesterday that it was more than doubling the current quota, by $50 billion (Dh183.5 billion), to $80 billion. Regulators have struggled to stir up interest among investors in the local currency denominated, or \"A-share\" market, which has languished for years after hitting a peak in 2007. The qualified foreign institutional investors programme is the only legal way for foreign investors to buy shares in the mainstream yuan-denominated market. The regulator said the decision to increase the quota is meant to \"promote opening of the domestic stock market, expand overseas investment channels for the yuan and to meet the needs of foreign investors on the domestic stock market.\" The news buoyed Chinese shares, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumping 1.7 per cent to 2,302.24. \"The announcement sends a clear and positive message to international investors that the central government is encouraging further opening up of China\'s capital markets,\" Jing Ulrich, JP Morgan\'s chairwoman for China equities, said in a comment on the policy change. Still, foreign investment remains a tiny percentage of total investment in Chinese shares. The original quota was about one per cent of total investment.