The Chinese insurance regulator has allowed mainland insurance companies to invest in Hong Kong shares via the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect.
Insurers are permitted to use their securities investment funds -- which are controlled by qualified fund managers -- to buy Hong Kong stocks, the CIRC said in an online statement last week.
The new access to the Hong Kong market will help them improve asset structures, minimise risk and increase returns, the CIRC said.
The Hongkong-Shenzhen Stock Connect was launched in December 2016 for investors to trade selected stocks on each other's exchanges.
A similar stock connect between Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses was opened in November 2014. Chinese insurers have been allowed to trade through this link since late last year.
Meanwhile, China's Bond Connect scheme started operations yesterday allowing foreign investors to trade in China’s US$9-trillion government, agency and corporate debt markets without having to set up onshore accounts.
In the initial stage, trading of Chinese bonds by foreign and Hong Kong investors will be permitted. Mainland insurers look set to be able to widen their investment avenues eventually through the Bond Connect.