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China to Relax Curbs on Brokerages’ Expansion Under Draft Rules

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Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- China plans to relax restrictions on brokerages’ expansion as regulators seek to encourage securities companies to compete and diversify.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission will lift restrictions such as limits on the location and number of new branches that brokerages can open, it said in draft rules posted on its website on Jan. 31. Under the new rules, the regulator will no longer specify and restrict the businesses of new securities branches, it said.

Demand for financial services is growing in smaller cities nationwide as China’s economy expands, the regulator said. More than 60 percent of the country’s 2,003 counties do not have a securities outlet, it said. The relaxation of rules accommodates “internal and external changes” that brokerages face, the regulator said.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of the CSRC, has encouraged dividend payments, tightened rules on delisting companies and cut trading costs to boost the appeal of Asia’s third-largest stock market.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Aipeng Soo in Beijing at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at