China: Two more foreign financial institutions licenced

Shanghai – China has given the go-ahead for two more foreign financial institutions to set up local subsidiaries, the country’s banking and insurance regulator said in a notice on Sunday, bringing the total number of approvals to 12.

Germany’s Allianz Group (ALVG.DE) will be permitted to establish China’s first foreign insurance holding company, and Hong Kong’s Chiyu Bank has been approved to set up a branch in Shenzhen, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) said

The regulator said it would “steadily expand” the opening up of China’s financial sector, while at the same time improve its risk prevention and supervision capabilities.

Allianz chief executive Oliver Bate said in a statement that the move was a “significant milestone” and the group expected the holding company to be established in 2019.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in Shanghai earlier this month that China would work to broaden market access for foreign players while boosting imports and strengthening intellectual property rights.

The banking regulator said it has recently given the go-ahead for Taiwan’s Fubon Bank, ICBC-AXA Assurance Co., Ltd. and the Korean Reinsurance Co (003690.KS) to set up local units.

The regulator issued draft guidelines late last year to help promote foreign investment in the financial sector, cutting red tape and creating a level playing field for foreign institutions to set up branches, raise debt and hire senior executives. (Reuters)