Rules set for foreign access to China futures

Updated 2018-05-07 09:46:02

CSRC says both sides must contribute people and management experience

The Chinese government is setting a threshold for overseas investors who are eyeing the domestic futures market, which comes at a time when it is actively opening up the sector.

At least one-third of the senior executives at overseas-invested futures companies in China must hold Chinese nationality, according to a new regulation drafted by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on Friday.

The CSRC is currently seeking public opinion on the regulation.

Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, said that the government wants to make sure that both sides contribute people and experience when overseas capital invests in domestic futures companies, instead of establishing "shell companies" on the mainland that are actually controlled by overseas capital.

"Domestic futures companies lag behind in management experience in general, and one important aim of introducing overseas capital is that they can bring in advanced concepts about futures management, such as risk control," Dong told the Global Times on Sunday.

The CSRC also listed some conditions for the offshore shareholders of overseas-invested futures companies.

For example, those shareholders must be financial institutions with good international reputations and business performances.

"In general policy, China wants overseas capital to enter the domestic futures market, but that does not mean that all levels of investors are welcomed," Dong noted.

According to Dong, without requirements for company qualification, unqualified investors might also fall into the mix, which the regulator does not want to see.

The CSRC noted that the new regulation aims to introduce qualified overseas financial institutions to the mainland to invest in futures companies in an "orderly" manner.

The CSRC's spokesman Chang Depeng noted that as overseas capital is allowed to hold stakes in domestic futures companies, overseas-invested futures companies might diverge from domestically owned futures firms in terms of business characteristics, adding that the current government management regulations might not be able to adapt to such divergence.

The pace of opening-up for the domestic futures market is still slow compared with spot goods, said Dong.

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