China further opens financial market to foreign investors

By Chen Qingqing and Song Lin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/20 18:51:51

China ramped up efforts to further open up its financial market by allowing foreign capital access to more financial services such as the bond market, insurance, asset management and pension funds. 

The People's Bank of China (PBC), the country's central bank, unveiled 11 measures to further open up the financial market to foreign firms, including allowing foreign credit agencies to rate all types of bonds in the inter-bank bond market and the exchange bond market, according to a statement published on the website of PBC on Saturday.

Foreign institutions are allowed to have a type A bond settlement agent license, a move to facilitate foreign institutions to invest in the inter-bank bond market. 

The central bank also encouraged foreign institutions to set up or invest in money management companies of Chinese commercial banks and allow them to set up or purchase stake in pension fund companies. 

The bank also scrapped limits in the share-holding ratio for foreign investors, who used to hold below 25 percent. 

On the stake-holding ratio limit for securities, asset management and future firms, foreign firms will no longer see restrictions by 2020. 

"China's further financial openness comes from its need to develop," Dong Shaopeng, an adviser for the China Securities Regulatory Commission, told the Global Times on Saturday.

As the world's second-largest economy keeps growing, China needs a more diversified market structure, and only by reducing the entry restrictions on foreign-invested institutions canthe country attract more foreign players, Dong said.

In addition, Chinese firms' outbound development needs to further develop financing services as well, he noted.

China's securities watchdog also announced the promotion of the procedure to make regulations on the administration of foreign-invested insurance companies, according to its  announcement.

The opening-up of China's banking and insurance sectors "is not swayed by external factors," Dong Ximiao, senior researcher at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Saturday.

The measures unveiled on Saturday not only reflect China's determination to further open up its financial market, but also its detailed plans to accelerate a full-scale opening-up, analysts said. 

"Allowing foreign financial institutions to conduct credit rating business in the inter-bank market in China is a new step," Dong told the Global Times on Saturday.

It is a detailed measure to expand and deepen China's financial openness, he said, and the progress will keep accelerating.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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