(Yicai Global) Sept. 17 -- After months of groundwork, China's top securities regulator has officially opened up the country's stock markets to foreign individual investors, who are able to register for trading at local brokerages.
China Securities Regulatory Commission formally implemented the scheme on Sept. 15 which allows foreigners from the 62 countries and regions that have signed cooperative agreements with the regulator to open trading accounts, Xinhua News Agency-backed Securities Times reported. Would-be participants must also hold permanent residency in China or be employed at a company listed on one of the country's stock markets.
Local brokerages including Xiangcai Securities and Huatai Securities have already rubberstamped trading applications for clients from Japan and the US looking to take their chances on China's capital markets. Xiangcai's first registered foreign trader was a Japanese national who works in Shanghai's investment consulting sector and had long kept a close eye on the A-share market, the company's head of operations said.
Approval processes for foreigner investors are a bit more complex compared with those for Chinese nationals, staff at Xiangcai confirmed, adding that all documents and certificates require staff reviews to verify the applicant's identity. They must also submit employment and taxation certificates along with a business license from their place work, all of which require the company's official seal.
The Changsha-based financial institution also approved an application from a US national and long-term resident of Shanghai, who heads up the marketing department at an environmental technology firm. He previously had traded shares on markets in his home country and signed up to get involved in A-shares because he thinks that China has a promising future and it represents the most active economic entity worldwide.
The US national expressed optimism over the future of China's blue-chip companies and indicated that he would be interested in getting involved in bonds and currency funds one day.
Editor: William Clegg