China boosts financial opening, as Standard Chartered, JPMorgan win approval
Published: Jan 20, 2023 06:22 PM
A view of Shanghai Photo: VCG

A view of Shanghai Photo: VCG

China has continued to boost financial opening-up for foreign firms, as the country's top securities regulator approved applications for US-based JPMorgan and UK-based Standard Chartered to expand businesses in the Chinese market.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has approved Standard Chartered to set up a wholly-owned securities business in China covering services such as brokerage and underwriting, with Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) investing 1.05 billion yuan ($155 million), CSRC said in a notice on Thursday.

"We are very pleased to receive the in-principle approval from the CSRC to set up a securities firm in Beijing, which will further enhance Standard Chartered's already very strong position in China's onshore capital markets. Seizing China opportunities is a strategic priority to Standard Chartered," Standard Chartered (Hong Kong) told the Global Times on Friday.

On the same day, JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings was approved to take full ownership of China International Fund Management Co, in which it holds a 49 percent stake, per another notice from the CSRC. After the completion of the change process, the number of wholly foreign-owned public fund management firms will be increased to six.

"The strategic goal for JPMorgan Asset Management Holdings is to boost business in China significantly and become the leading foreign asset management firm in the market, while aspiring to be the confident choice for global investors to invest in China," Dan Watkins, the firm's Asia Pacific chief executive officer, said in a post of the company's WeChat account.

Experts highlighted the importance of the Chinese market for global investors amid the nation's continuous opening-up, which boosted their confidence in China's stable market.

Overseas institutions are eyeing more opportunities in China and aiming to further expand in the market, Dong Shaopeng, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Friday, adding that China has also been stepping up efforts for helping overseas institutions.

China scrapped the restrictions on the foreign equity cap for overseas investors in 2020, which offered more potential for global investors to enter the world's second-largest economy, Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute of the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said on Friday.

Dong Dengxin told the Global Times that the Chinese market has way more room for investors to grow in comparison with the US, unveiling a huge potential for financial institutions to expand their businesses and clients.

More overseas institutions have set up wholly-owned units in China, while some joint ventures have become wholly foreign-owned through the buy-back of shares by major foreign shareholders, according to Dong Shaopeng.

He added that overseas investors can coordinate resources more conveniently and are welcomed and protected as long as they comply with corresponding Chinese regulations.

Meanwhile, more overseas institutions have deepened their connections with the Chinese market through bond issuance. The Deutsche Bank successfully issued its Panda bonds in the Chinese interbank market on Wednesday, raising a total of 1 billion yuan ($148 million) via three-year senior notes, the company said.

In 2022, the actualized foreign investment nationwide reached $189.13 billion, a year-on-year increase of 8 percent, data from China's Ministry of Commerce revealed on Wednesday.