China to scrap busi­ness curbs on for­eign banks, bro­ker­ages

The Korea Times - - WORLD BUSINESS -

BEI­JING (Reuters) — China will re­move busi­ness re­stric­tions on for­eign banks, bro­ker­ages and fund man­age­ment firms, a cabi­net meet­ing chaired by Premier Li Ke­qiang said on Wed­nes­day, state tele­vi­sion re­ported.

But the move, which comes nearly 18 years af­ter China joined the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WTO), could have lim­ited im­pact on the com­pet­i­tive land­scape of an in­dus­try dom­i­nated by China’s state firms.

China has stepped up ef­forts to open its fi­nan­cial sec­tor amid a fes­ter­ing trade war with the United States, with in­creased ac­cess to its fi­nan­cial sec­tor among a host of de­mands from Washington.

Last week, China an­nounced a firm timetable for open­ing its fu­tures, bro­ker­age and mu­tual fund sec­tors fully to for­eign in­vestors next year, as Bei­jing and Washington reached a ten­ta­tive deal to re­solve their trade dispute.

The cabi­net did not elab­o­rate on what ef­fect the re­moval of the curbs would have. On Tues­day, the cabi­net re­laxed man­age­ment rules for for­eign in­sur­ers and banks, giv­ing them eas­ier ac­cess to China, and wider busi­ness scope.

China will also sup­port lo­cal govern­ments’ ef­forts to at­tract more for­eign investment and al­low for­eign com­pa­nies to be more flex­i­ble in choos­ing how they bor­row funds from abroad, the cabi­net said.

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