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China approves new rules for asset management sector; to set up financial court

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China approves new rules for asset management sector; to set up financial court

China's top officials approved new rules for the asset management sector and plans for the establishment of a financial court in Shanghai, Xinhua News Agency reported March 28.

The measures were passed at the first meeting of the Central Committee for Deepening Overall Reform, which is responsible for driving political and economic reform in China. The measures are in line with the stance of the country's leadership that preventing financial risks is the top priority for China in the next three years.

Details regarding the new asset management regulations were not made public, Reuters said March 29.

The Chinese central bank issued draft rules for the sector in November 2017, which sought to close regulatory loopholes that allowed for regulatory arbitrage and increased indebtedness. Under the draft rules, financial institutions will not be allowed to bypass regulations by using asset management products to invest in the credit assets of commercial banks, among other proposals.

Further, the committee resolved to set up a financial court in Shanghai, Xinhua reported.

Under the plan, the financial court will be set up by merging tribunals that cover financial offenses and finance-related civil cases in Shanghai's courts, the South China Morning Post reported, citing two judges with the city's intermediate courts. The plan was in the works for about two years and was part of a push to develop Shanghai as a global financial center, the judges added.

The news coincides with the beginning of the trial of former Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. Chairman Wu Xiaohui on March 28. Wu has been accused of "fraudulent fundraising" and "embezzlement."

Additionally, the committee approved plans to open up pilot free-trade zones in Guangdong, Tianjin and Fujian, as well as to strengthen rules over nonfinancial companies' investment into financial institutions, according to the Xinhua report.