China mulls new rules for financial markets

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Guo Shuqing, Chairman, China Construction Bank, speaks at The Next 30 Years of Reform plenary session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, China 27 September 2008. wikimedia/World Economic Forum

BEIJING (Xinhua) – China plans to unveil a slew of new measures to further open up its financial markets to improve the sector’s management and competitiveness, according to the country’s top banking and insurance regulator.

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A total of 12 new rules will be released soon on the basis of profound research and evaluation, said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, adding that China’s financial opening-up efforts have already drawn positive market reaction.

The upper shareholding limits for a single Chinese-funded bank and a single foreign-funded bank in a Chinese commercial bank will be abolished simultaneously, according to Mr Guo.

Asset requirement for foreign banks to set up foreign-funded legal person banks or branches as well as for foreign financial institutions to hold stakes in trust firms will also be removed.

The financial authorities will treat all domestic and overseas entities equally, while cooperation and competition will be carried out subject to the same rule, said Mr Guo.

The new rules will allow overseas financial institutions to hold stakes in foreign-funded insurance companies operating in China.

Restrictions on Chinese shareholders in a joint-venture bank will be eased, while the requirement that the sole or major Chinese shareholder should be financial institutions will be abolished.

“Further opening up the banking and insurance sectors is not only essential for the development of Chinese economy and finance but also is conducive to enriching market entities and stimulate market vitality,” Guo told Xinhua in a joint interview.

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