China puts out the welcome mat to foreign businesses

China just announced a key step in opening its markets to foreign investors

China will move to an open market for financial services, allowing worldwide financial firms to have more access into the country's economy, Zhu Guangyao, China's vice finance minister said today. Foreign banks will be allowed to hold majority stakes in joint ventures with Chinese securities companies and life insurers. With the rapid growth in financial assets in the last few years, there might be a slew of positive headlines carrying positive emphasis on their value, stated ANZ.

At 13:00 GMT the FxWirePro's Hourly Strength Index of Chinese yuan was highly bullish at 145.511, while the FxWirePro's Hourly Strength Index of US Dollar was highly bearish at -120.981.

In fact, the only concrete commitment in terms of timings in the statement related to insurance firms, stating that foreign investors will be free to take up to a 51% stake within three years, with the cap removed entirely within five.

According to reports from Reuters, Zhu said the time is right for China to announce major steps for the opening up of its financial sector.

The news was welcomed by overseas financial institutions with interests in the Chinese mainland market. China will also allow global firms to take majority stakes in other companies, such as insurers and fund managers.

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