China announces timetable for full financial sector opening in 2020

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China announced a firm timetable for opening its futures, brokerage and mutual fund sectors fully to foreign investors next year, the latest step to deregulate the country’s giant financial industry.

The announcement by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to scrap foreign ownership restrictions in these sectors comes amid on-going top-level Sino-U.S. trade talks in Washington.

Earlier this year, China vowed to scrap ownership limits for foreign investors in its financial sector in 2020, but has not given a specific timetable.

CSRC told a press conference in Beijing that ownership limits in futures companies will be scrapped January. 1, 2020.

Limits on foreign ownership of securities firms will be removed on Dec. 1, 2020, while such limits will be scrapped for mutual fund companies on April 1, 2020.

China has stepped up efforts to open its financial sector amid a festering trade war with the United States, with increased access to its financial sector among a host of demands from Washington.

Reporting by Xiaochong Zhang in Beijing, Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai; Editing by Kevin Liffey