China to scrap business curbs on foreign banks, brokerages
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.