Business

China opens up finance sector to foreign investment

BEIJING China lifted some restrictions on foreign investment in the financial sector on Saturday as it fights slowing growth at home and a trade war with the United States.

China will remove shareholding limits on foreign ownership of securities, insurance and fund management firms in 2020, a year earlier than 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 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.

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

In November, Beijing made an exception for two European insurers, allowing Germany's Allianz to launch a 100 per cent foreign-owned subsidiary, and France's Axa to take control of its joint venture. - AFP

BUSINESS & FINANCE