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Foreign investors eye opportunities in China's financial opening-up

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-11-10 15:42
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The Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum sign can be seen on Beijing streets. [Photo/VCG]

BEIJING - Foreign-invested financial institutions are fixing their gaze on the Chinese market as its dedication to promoting opening-up in the financial sector brings unmissable opportunities.

During the ongoing 2023 Financial Street Forum annual conference, which kicked off on Wednesday, heavyweight guests from home and abroad shared their observations and expectations on China's financial opening-up.

Cooperation between China and the Middle East region is fundamental to the development of the global economy, said Hazem Ben-Gacem, co-CEO of Investcorp, Middle East, during a parallel forum on development of cross-border investment between China and the Middle East.

The global manager of alternative investment products attaches great importance to the Chinese market, and has committed over $1 billion of capital in China, including a China pre-IPO technology fund. In its latest move to boost its portfolio, the company has bought a controlling stake in China-based Shandong Jianuo Electronics.

Hazem highlighted the opportunity that China, the world's second-largest economy with strong equity and bond markets, brings today. "We will certainly be discussing the Middle East in depth with our Chinese partners. The capital that flows between China and the Middle East can only serve to strengthen industries, globalizing companies in both regions," he said.

In recent years, China has been working to flesh out its pledge to expand the opening up of the financial sector and strengthen cross-border investment.

The country has rolled out over 50 measures to expand financial opening-up, including scrapping foreign ownership caps in the banking and insurance sectors, and slashing access thresholds for foreign investors.

At present, 30 globally systemically important banks all have branches in China, and nearly half of the 40 largest insurance companies in the world have entered the Chinese market.

Amid the country's financial opening-up endeavors, China Investment Corporation, a sovereign wealth fund, has set up several bilateral funds to facilitate the cooperation between global enterprises and the Chinese market.

Many of the companies invested by these funds see their global business layout improved, and their market share and revenue in China have also grown significantly, said Ju Weimin, vice-chairman, president and chief investment officer of China Investment Corporation.

"In recent years, more partners and invested enterprises have chosen to put down roots in China to enjoy the dividend of China's economic development, while also bringing more high-quality products and services to China," Ju said.

Lyu Yunhe, executive vice-president of ACWA Power, said the collaboration between China and the company is paramount to the success of the company.

The developer of power and desalination projects is managing around $76 billion worth of assets, of which about $40 billion worth has gained support from China, Lyu added.

"We are very proud to say that, as of now, all the projects we cooperated on with China are running on a healthy trajectory," he said.

The company is planning to work with China's financial institutions on issuing panda bonds, eyeing more opportunities brought by the internationalization of the renminbi.

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