Credit Suisse-Founder Joint Venture Approved before SED
The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has approved the establishment of a joint venture securities company between Founder Securities and Credit Suisse, making it the first joint venture securities firm to be approved since the revised Rules on the Establishment of Securities Companies with Foreign Equity Participation were issued at the end of last year. It is also the first approval given by CSRC since September, 2007, when it suspended granting foreign participation in the securities business.
ICBC/Fortis Muscles into China Insurance Business
It has emerged that the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), in partnership with China Insurance International Holdings Company (CIIH) and Fortis, a Belgium-based insurance and banking company, is planning to acquire Tai Ping Life, China's sixth largest life insurance company and a holder of a variety of insurance licenses. With little precedent to guide them, Chinese supervisors will use the arrangement as a pilot for the as yet untried cooperation between banks and insurance companies.
Shanghai's Financial Center Ambition at a Crossroad
Storied Shanghai, the focal point of China's industrial and commercial might, appears to have lost its way. So much of what is now happening in Shanghai is running away from its earlier goals. Its dreams have been to grow into a center of international finance, a money and services nexus to rival the other great financial hubs, a London or New York of the East. It's not happening. Financial firms who rushed into Shanghai 10 years ago are now escaping from the city, and industrial and commercial enterprises are moving out with them. Shanghai is not about to turn into a ghost metropolis, but change has to come if it is to regain its lost momentum.
A New Road Map to (Foreign?) Control of Chinese Banks
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) is now soliciting public comments on a new set of rules governing bank controlling shareholders, perhaps paving the road for foreign investors seeking to take control of Chinese banks.
China's Sub-Prime Losses See Daylight
China's losses in the ever-extending sub-prime ruckus are emerging. The Bank of China (BOC) announced yesterday that it has set aside another $1.295 billion to cover its sub-prime investments in the U.S, and $282 million for the change of its investments' fair value. Another big Chinese bank, The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has set aside $400 million for its sub-prime investment loss.
Chinese Banks Plan 2008 Jump into Insurance Business
After a recent stock-holding reform in China's financial industry, the country's major commercial banks are seeking entry into the insurance industry. Wu Dingfu, chairman of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), says that currently a number of banks have submitted applications to buy into insurance companies, and this year five or six large commercial banks would like to become pilot banks to be allowed such investment.
Major Chinese Banks to Meet First Slowdown Challenge
The US subprime crisis and China's tightened monetary policy has increased credit risks to Chinese commercial banks. In 2007, both the bad loan ratio and bad loan balance of commercial banks rebounded. For the state-owned banks, at the end of the fourth quarter the bad loan ratio rose to 8.05%, increasing by 0.22% over the previous quarter; the bad loan balance rose to 1.11 trillion yuan.
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