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Monday, Sep 21, 2020

China to open up finance sector to more foreign investment in 2020, one year earlier than planned

China to open up finance sector to more foreign investment in 2020, one year earlier than planned

Shareholding limits on foreign ownership of securities, insurance and fund management firms will be removed in 2020. Foreign investors will also be encouraged to set up wealth management firms, currency brokerages and pension management companies

China lifted some restrictions on foreign investment in the financial sector on Saturday, as the world’s second largest economy fights slowing growth at home and a damaging trade war with the US.

China will remove shareholding limits on foreign ownership of securities, insurance and fund management firms in 2020, one year earlier than originally planned, the Financial Stability and Development Committee said in a statement posted by the central bank on Saturday.

Foreign investors will also be encouraged to set up wealth management firms, currency brokerages and pension management companies, the statement said.

Additional measures include scrapping entry barriers for foreign insurance companies, such as a requirement of 30 years of business operations, and cancelling a 25 per cent equity cap on foreign ownership of insurance asset management firms.

Foreign-owned credit rating agencies will also be allowed to evaluate a greater number of bond and debt types, the statement said.

Saturday’s announcement followed a Friday meeting chaired by economic tsar Liu He in which policymakers focused on tackling financial risk and financial contagion, and pledged new steps to support growth, according to a State Council statement.

Beijing has long promised to further open up its economy to foreign business participation and investment but has generally dragged its feet in implementing the moves.

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