The Chinese government is getting closer to allowing foreign companies to own domestic insurers, as early as next year.
At the beginning of 2019 China will accept applications from foreign insurers looking to take the majority ownership of local ventures.
In addition, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission is also considering allowing full ownership to foreign insurers in the future.
Prudential (UK) and Sun Life Financial (Canada) have already expressed their interest in buying a majority stake in Chinese insurers, as there is room for foreign expansion in the country.
Current Chinese legislation only allows foreign insurers to own 49% of local insurance companies.
The ownership limit is supposed to be lifted within three years.
“We have seen no signs of China looking to delay or put on hold its commitments to open up the financial sector despite the challenges on other fronts. If anything, they are looking to advance the process,” a top Chinese executive told Reuters.
Even Chinese-based companies have been advocating for the change in legislation to expand the Chinese insurance market within the region.