The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (国家外汇管理局) of the People's Republic of China is an administration tasked with drafting rules and regulations governing foreign exchange market activities, and managing foreign exchange reserves, which in April 2008, was $1.756 trillion for the People's Bank of China. The current director is Hu Xiaolian.
With the burgeoning of China's reserves, and amidst increasing rivalry between state agencies, there signs of growing independence of and competition between the subsidiaries.
"The Hong Kong subsidiary is notably taking more risk in managing reserves," according to an informed source. The Financial Times reported on 4 January 2008 that the Hong Kong branch had bought stakes of less than 1 percent in both Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, respectively Australia's second and third-biggest lender by assets, over the preceding two months. The ANZ purchase has been confirmed by the bank. SAFE also invested in BP and Total in April 2008.
The Hong Kong office was set up just in June 1997, before the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong, and served an important role in defending the value of the Renminbi and Hong Kong dollar's peg to the US dollar against international speculators. It was a minor outpost for SAFE for several years, with only about $20bn in funds under management.