China In-Focus — China Approves ICBC-Goldman Joint Venture; New rules to regulate private investment in pensions via mutual funds
RIYADH: The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, also known as ICBC, said Friday that its wealth management joint venture with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has received approval from the country’s banking regulator to begin operations.
The nod from China’s Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission comes as the world’s second-largest economy opens its giant financial sector to investment from foreign players, allowing them to collaborate with domestic banks.
Goldman Sachs ICBC Wealth Management, established in May last year with a 51% financial contribution from US banking giant Goldman and 49% from ICBC, will now offer a wide range of investment products to the Chinese market over the time, including quantitative investment strategies.
ICBC will “move forward” the joint venture to carry out all relevant procedures “in strict compliance with laws, regulations and regulatory requirements,” China’s largest bank said in a statement.
Regulate investment in private pensions via mutual funds
China’s securities regulator has proposed rules to regulate private pension investments through mutual funds, setting criteria for qualified products and sales agents under a scheme that will channel fresh savings to the country’s capital markets.
The draft rules, published late Friday by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), came after Beijing launched a landmark private pension scheme in April to meet the challenges of an aging population.
Under the scheme, eligible Chinese citizens can purchase mutual funds, savings deposits and insurance products through their own individual retirement accounts, potentially boosting a pension market that has attracted foreign asset managers, including Fidelity International and BlackRock.
The proposed rules “set the bar relatively high for products and institutions, and are designed to ensure the safety of pension fund investments and protect the interests of investors,” the CSRC said in a statement posted on its website. .
Initially, target pension funds with at least 50 million yuan ($7.48 million) in assets over the past four quarters are eligible under the pilot pension scheme, the CSRC said.
Senators demand update on TikTok’s US security review
On Friday, a group of six Republican senators questioned US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about an ongoing national security review by the Biden administration of social media platform TikTok.
The US government’s Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, which reviews offers from foreign acquirers for potential national security risks, in 2020 ordered Chinese parent company ByteDance to divest TikTok over concerns that user data Americans are passed on to the Chinese Communist government.
Last week, TikTok said it had completed migrating information about its US users to Oracle Corp. servers, in a bid to address US data integrity concerns.
Senators Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse, Mike Braun, Marco Rubio, Todd Young and Roger Wicker asked Yellen numerous questions saying the administration “apparently did nothing to enforce” the August 2020 surrender order They noted that “the results of the security reviews, likewise, have not been made public after a year.”
Senators want to know “will TikTok be run locally in the US?” and “Will the U.S. government be able to regularly access and inspect the source code of the algorithm?” It also asks “what assurances does the US government have that TikTok will store US data and adopt privacy policies with adequate protections?”
(Contributed by Reuters)