(Yicai Global) May 14 -- Shanghai has announced plans for six pilot reforms in a bid to further develop the city into an international financial center.
China's eastern financial hub aims to ease restrictions on foreign banks, asset managers, credit card issuers, insurers and other non-bank payment institutions so that they can set up branches without shareholding caps, the city's financial services office said in a statement. Shanghai aims to allow more foreign investment firms to start securities-related businesses for trading stocks and futures, it added.
The reforms are in line with a pledge made last month by Yi Gang, the country's new central bank governor, to allow overseas firms to compete on an equal footing with domestic companies in the financial sector.
Securities reforms will comprise three schemes. The first will expand the scale of the China Depositary Receipts scheme, which is designed to enable non-mainland-listed Chinese tech firms to issue additional shares in the mainland. The second will allow more offshore investment firms to issue China's yuan-denominated Panda bonds to finance debt. The third involves opening the Shanghai-London Stock Connect later this year, the country's first overseas cross-border investment channel.
Shanghai will also lift investment limits for the more than 70,000 free trade accounts enabling funds to move freely between the economic zones and offshore entities. The municipality will build free trade ports in the Yangshan Deep Water Port and at Pudong International Airport in an effort to facilitate trade and investment, Mayor Ying Yong said in January.
Editors: Emmi Laine, William Clegg