UPDATE: China to give foreign firms more access to its financial sector
By Peng Qinqin, Wu Hongyuran and Dong Tongjian
Foreign companies will be allowed to own up to 51% of a joint venture, with that cap then phased out over three years
Beijing (Caixin Online (https://www.caixinglobal.com/)) -- China on Friday laid down a blueprint for creating a more level playing field for foreign firms in the country's sprawling financial sector.
Foreign companies will be allowed to own up to 51% of any joint venture in the securities, funds and futures industries, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao was cited by the state-owned Xinhua News Agency as saying.
The report did not say from when the new limit will be effective, but added that whenever it comes into force, the 51% cap will be phased out in the following three years. Zhu was cited as saying that this blueprint was agreed upon by China and the U.S. during Trump's visit that ended Friday.
As part of the package, foreign investors will also be allowed to own up to 51% of shares in joint ventures in life insurance in three years. The cap will then be removed after another five years.
Caixin also learned that China will consider waiving the requirement that says foreign-owned banks must have been operating for a minimum number of years before launching yuan businesses, and removing the restriction that at least one of the Chinese shareholders of a joint-venture securities firm should have a brokerage license.
Multiple sources close to China's financial regulators told Caixin that detailed measures to widen foreign investors' access to China's financial market will be jointly rolled out by nine government entities including the People's Bank of China, the regulators overseeing the securities, banking, and insurance sectors, and China's top economic planner the National Development and Reform Commission.