The CIRC cut the paperwork and approvals needed by insurance fund companies to invest in such projects, making the process more straightforward. The Commission also expanded the areas that insurance funds could invest in, increasing it from the five investment areas currently allowed. Right now, insurance funds are limited to investing in projects related to transport, communication, energy, environment and city planning. Finally, the CIRC said in the statement on its website it was looking to strengthen risk controls in the industry.
The move comes as interest in infrastructure projects from insurance fund firms have spiralled in the last decade. Such firms have invested more than 893 billion RMB in over 300 infrastructure investment plans between 2006 and May this year, according to data from the CIRC. The Commission also wants to increase public and private sector partnerships and make the industry into a more market-oriented, the CIRC said.
The earlier rules governing the sector were issued in 2006 and have not been changed since.