China allows foreign firms to own majority of joint ventures

Move is in preparation for removal of foreign ownership limits next year

China allows foreign firms to own majority of joint ventures

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) has now allowed foreign entities to own more than half of the shares in life insurance joint ventures.

According to a revised regulation by the CBIRC, the limit of foreign shares in joint-venture life insurance companies is now 51%. This move, according to a report by Xinhua, is in preparation for the scrapping of the foreign ownership limit next year. It is part of Beijing’s thrust to further open up China’s finance industries to foreign investment.

The new ruling also the removed the requirements for foreign insurance firms to have set up representative offices for two years in China and having been in insurance operations for at least 30 years before they enter the Chinese market.

This means that branches of foreign-invested insurance firms are now subject to the same set of regulations as fully Chinese-owned ones, the report said.

The CBIRC also pledged to improve its oversight and risk management capacity as the insurance sector opens up, in order to attract more foreign investment.

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