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‘China’s Easing of Regulations Restricting Foreign Ownership of Financial Firms’

Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE)

Malcolm Riddell

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CHINADebate

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Nick Lardy & Tianlei Huang | PIIE

‘China’s Easing of Regulations Restricting Foreign Ownership of Financial Firms’‘China’s Easing of Regulations Restricting Foreign Ownership of Financial Firms’
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China’s Financial Opening Accelerates
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China’s Financial Opening Accelerates
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China’s Financial Opening Accelerates

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'Foreign firms have only a tiny slice of most segments of this market; they control less than 2 percent of banking assets, for example, and less than 6 percent of the insurance market.'

Read the 12-page report, 'China’s Financial Opening Accelerates'

'The best example of China’s deepening integration into global financial markets is the substantial increase in the role of US and other foreign financial institutions in China.'

  • 'This was made possible when Chinese market regulators, starting in 2017, gradually eased long-standing restrictions on foreign ownership, most of which were incorporated into the US–China Phase One agreement signed in January 2020.'

'Historically, foreign financial firms were largely restricted to operating in joint ventures with a minority ownership stake—meaning that in most cases, the Chinese partner had ultimate control over the enterprise.'

  • 'Thishas led to a substantial increase in the number of majority and wholly foreign-owned financial institutions operating in China, including many US institutions.'

'The attraction of the Chinese financial market for foreign firms is substantial and will only grow.'

  • 'The total assets of China’s financial sector at the end of the second quarter of 2020 stood at RMB340 trillion ($48 trillion).'

'Because of previous restrictions, foreign firms have only a tiny slice of most segments of this market; they control less than 2 percent of banking assets, for example, and less than 6 percent of the insurance market.'

  • 'Given the large size of China’s domestic financial industry, if foreign firms can increase their shares in these market sectors, they stand to generate large profits.'

'Doing so will be far from automatic, however, as Chinese financial institutions have built up strong positions in many of these markets.'

  • 'China’s regulators have allowed some US financial institutions to gain majority ownership of existing joint ventures and licensed other firms to access the Chinese market for the first time.'
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