Li Keqiang, premier of China's state council, pledged Tuesday to bring forward the lifting of foreign ownership limits on mainland financial services firms to 2020.
"We will move up the lifting of foreign ownership caps in securities, futures and life insurance from 2021 to 2020, one year ahead of schedule," said Mr. Li, in a speech at a meeting of the World Economic Forum in the mainland city of Dalian.
Analysts said Mr. Li's pledge extends to foreign investment in fund management companies on the mainland. Usually, in the Chinese way of expression, "securities industry" covers both securities firms and mutual fund companies, noted Ivan Shi, research director with Z-Ben Advisors, a Shanghai-based consultancy on financial industry opportunities in China.
Against the backdrop of U.S.-Chinese trade tensions this year, Mr. Li said that shortened schedule for removing ownership limits, which were recently raised to 51% from 49%, showed "China's commitment to opening up and generating more opportunities" in these related areas.
The pace of opening up, he said, "will only be accelerated."