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Chinese regulator says change in foreign bank ownership limit unlikely before March

Chinese regulator says change in foreign bank ownership limit unlikely before March

A Chinese regulator says Beijing is unlikely to decide on a U.S. request to raise limits on foreign ownership in banks and securities companies before its legislature meets in March, a news report said Tuesday.
Raising foreign ownership caps would require a change in Chinese law, Dow Jones Newswires quoted Cai Esheng, vice Chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, as saying at a financial conference in Beijing.
CBRC employees referred questions to the agency's press office where phone calls were not answered.
Washington is lobbying Beijing to ease restrictions that limit total foreign ownership of a mainland Chinese bank to 25 percent, with no single foreign investor allowed to hold more than 20 percent.
Major foreign banks are eager to expand in a Chinese banking industry that is expected to grow rapidly as demand for commercial lending and consumer services such as credit cards rises.
U.S. and European banks have paid billions of dollars for minority stakes in Chinese lenders. Some foreign institutions have been approved to set up local subsidiaries in a step toward doing business directly with Chinese customers.
But business groups complain that Beijing appears to be trying to guarantee the dominance of Chinese companies in banking, securities and other financial industries by limiting foreign investment.
Cai also said a corporate overhaul of China Development Bank, a major state-owned lender, would begin soon and include a capital injection from the government, according to Dow Jones.
China Development Bank is one of three major "policy banks" that finance highways and other development projects. The government plans to turn it into a commercial lender. It requires additional capital after the banking regulator ruled this year that it must meet the same capital adequacy requirements as commercial banks.


Updated : 2021-07-25 02:02 GMT+08:00