By Sumeet Chatterjee and Shu ZhangHONG KONG/BEIJING (Reuters) – China will accept applications early next year from foreign insurers seeking to take control of their local joint ventures and is even weighing giving them full ownership earlier than flagged, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.The regulator is expected to publish its final guidelines as soon as the first quarter of 2019 and would begin taking applications from interested foreign insurers soon after that, they saidBritain’s Prudential Plc <PRU.L> and Canada’s Sun Life Financial Inc <SLF.TO> are among insurers who expressed interest in recent months in owning more of their China operations. And Hong Kong-based FWD Group, owned by tycoon Richard Li, is also in the process of obtaining regulatory approval for a majority-owned China insurance joint venture, according to a separate person with knowledge of the matter.China has set an agenda to open up its financial sector and has already taken steps this year to relax foreign ownerships in securities ventures. Beijing said in November last year that for insurance ventures it would first raise the foreign ownership cap to 51 percent from 50 percent. It has also pledged to remove the limit completely in three years. But… Read full this story
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