Foreign-owned banks will be allowed to set up subsidiaries and branches in Shanghai soon

Updated 2018-05-14 15:28:05

Officials in Shanghai announced detailed guidelines on Sunday related to six areas, including banking, securities, insurance and financial markets, for further opening-up measures in the municipality's financial sector.

Under the new guidelines, foreign-owned banks will be allowed to set up subsidiaries and branches in Shanghai. And commercial banks will be able to establish financial asset investment and wealth management firms without foreign shareholding caps, according to a statement on the Shanghai government's official WeChat account.

In the securities sector, foreign investors are allowed to set up foreign-owned securities, investment funds and futures companies in Shanghai, with business operations in brokerage and consulting services.

Furthermore, the business scope of foreign insurance companies will be expanded to areas such as insurance agencies and assessment services. Shanghai regulators also support foreign investors to set up foreign-controlled life insurance companies.

In terms of the financial market, foreign investors will be allowed to participate in the Shanghai securities market. And overseas innovative companies are encouraged to issue Chinese Depositary Receipts to be listed in the A-share market.

Shanghai officials are also making efforts to open up the Shanghai-London Stock Connect within this year, while also further expanding the volume of Panda bonds.

Other measures with regard to further financial opening-up also include promoting the free trade account to pilot free trade zones in the Yangtze River Delta region, facilitating the internationalization of the yuan as well as relaxing restrictions on the market entrance of bank-card clearing institutions and non-bank payment institutions.

Those measures are in line with Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech at the Boao Forum for Asia on April 10 in Boao, South China's Hainan Province, where he announced several important policies related to the country's further opening-up.

The guidelines also echo the financial opening-up measures announced by Yi Gang, governor of the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, on April 11, according to the WeChat statement.

Shanghai has been a pioneer in China's financial opening-up, the statement noted. In 2017, foreign financial institutions accounted for about 30 percent of the municipality's total registered financial institutions.

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