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By William Bi
     BEIJING (MNI) - China has agreed to allow greater foreign ownership in
financial entities as part of the trade deal reached during U.S. President
Donald Trump's visit to Beijing.
     Overseas investors can now boost their shareholdings up to 51%, from the
previous 49% cap, in securities businesses, investment funds and futures
brokerages, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said at a press conference on
Friday. The limits will be scrapped altogether after three years, he said.
     Zhu gave no official timeline for when the changes would take effect,
telling reporters after the press conference that the specific details will be
worked out by relevant agencies. 
     Regulators are also removing curbs on foreign investment in Chinese banks
and asset management companies, so they will be subject to the same shareholding
limits as domestic entities, Zhu said. Restrictions on investments in insurance
companies will also be eased, then removed, in five years, he said.
     China will gradually cut tariffs on imported vehicles, starting with
"special-purpose" vehicles -- a category that includes vans, trucks and
commercial vehicles -- as well as on new-energy vehicles, Zhu said.
     The government will also scrap value-added taxes on the imports of
so-called distillers' grains, a byproduct of corn-based ethanol used as an
ingredient in livestock feed, Zhu said. China, the biggest buyer of U.S.
distillers' grains, had been locked in a trade dispute with the U.S. over the
matter.
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 10 8532 5998; email: william.bi@mni-news.com
--MNI BEIJING Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email: john.carter@mni-news.com
--MNI Beijing Bureau; +86 (10) 8532-5998; email: vince.morkri@marketnews.com
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