International

China’s Bank Regulator Makes Foreign Investments Easier

In an effort to bring more investments to the financial sector, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has overhauled rules to make things easier for foreign investors.

According to a report in Reuters, citing a statement made by state media agency Xinhua, the CBRC overhauled regulations for foreign banks, eliminating the steps a foreign investor must take in overseas wealth management products and portfolio investment funds. With the changes, foreign banks are only required to report what services they are offering to government officials instead of getting government approval before launching them.

The Chinese government has also streamlined the procedures and application documents for foreign-funded banks to invest in domestic banks. Back in December, the CBRC issued draft measures to ease the barrier for foreign lenders in China. The new rules that were revealed over the weekend appear to be the confirmation of those measures, noted Reuters.

The CBRC’s statement comes just a few days after the government took the rare step of seizing Anbang Insurance. As reported by CNN, the Commission announced that it has taken over Anbang Insurance for a one-year period, and that the company’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui, has been removed from his position. Xiaohui was charged and prosecuted for what the government agency called “economic crimes,” including fraudulent fundraising. The regulator said the government moved to wrest control because the company was engaged in “illegal management and operation activities” that may impair its ability to stay in business, although more details were not provided.

The move on the part of the Chinese government is aimed at reducing the amount of corporate debt in the country. The government, under President Xi Jinping, has been embracing policies designed to reduce the debt-fueled component of the country’s economic growth.

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