Financial sector to open further in 2020: regulator agency
Published: Jan 12, 2020 09:03 PM

Guo Shuqing, Chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission

China will further open up its vast domestic financial industry to foreign investors, while firmly pushing forward previously announced opening measures in the banking, insurance and securities sectors, according to the country's top banking and insurance regulator.

A recent meeting of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) on the 2020 agenda stressed the need to fully carry out reforms for the financial sector and expand opening up, according to a statement released on Saturday.

"[China] will encourage overseas professional institutions with outstanding operations, advanced management and good track records to invest in the shares of Chinese banks and insurance companies," the statement said, adding that opening-up policies that have already been rolled out will be implemented quickly.

China has already announced measures to open up the financial sector to foreign investors, and 2020 will witness those policies come into play for the first time, said Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology.

"2020 will mark the first year of a new era in China's financial opening-up," Dong said, noting that the focus on financial opening in 2020 will be focused on market access, national treatment as well as foreign ownership in Chinese banks and insurance and securities companies.

In 2019, China announced 19 measures to open up the financial sector and approved 51 applications by foreign banks and insurance firms to prepare to or establish operations in the country, according to a CBIRC statement.

In October, the CBIRC announced that foreign financial institutions can establish foreign-invested banks and insurance companies in the country. Also in October, the China Securities Regulatory Commission announced a timetable for scrapping foreign ownership restrictions in the futures, brokerage and mutual fund sectors.