China announces long-awaited steps to open up financial services sector

China announces major steps to give foreign companies more control in financial services joint ventures in a news briefing on Friday.

The country will lift the ceiling on foreign ownership in joint-ventures involved in securities and fund management to 51% and the cap will be removed three years after, said Vice Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao. 

In addition, China will lift the foreign ownership cap to 51 percent for life insurance firms after three years and remove the cap after five years, Zhu said, adding that regulators are drafting the details which will be released soon.

These latest steps announced are the biggest since 2007 when foreign banks were given green light to set up locally incorporated operations in the country.