December 3, 2018 / 4:36 AM / 8 days ago

China allows domestic banks' wealth management units to buy shares

BEIJING, Dec 3 (Reuters) - China’s banking regulator has allowed wealth management subsidiaries of domestic commercial banks to directly invest in Chinese shares, in a move aimed at bolstering market confidence amid a slowing economy.

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) had first announced its plan to make the change in October.

The outstanding amount of wealth management products sold by banks stood at 29.54 trillion yuan ($4.26 trillion) at end-2017, according to official data.

Chinese shares have slumped about 22 percent so far this year as economic growth has slowed to its weakest pace in more than a quarter of a century. ($1 = 6.9323 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Ryan Woo; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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