China eases restrictions on foreign ownership of securities ventures

BEIJING China's securities regulator has released new guidelines for foreign investment in Chinese security joint ventures in which it eased some restrictions and launched an application process for more foreign ownership.

Final regulations have been officially released for immediate implementation, the regulator announced on its website on Saturday.

During the review, restrictions limiting single foreign investors to a 30 per cent stake in securities ventures, either directly or via a partner, were removed, according to the state-backed China Securities newspaper.

The move is one part of China's pledge to ease foreign ownership curbs to allow major international banks to bolster their presence in the securities business - from underwriting to trading - in the world's second-largest economy.

Previously, Western banks could only own up to 49 per cent of their Chinese securities joint ventures. That lack of control and limited contribution to revenue have long been a source of frustration. - REUTERS