On July 16, 2012, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission issued the Notice on Relevant Issues on Investing Insurance Capital in Equities and Real Estate. The notice lowers the qualification conditions for insurance companies wishing to invest in equities and real estate by (1) removing the requirement that the insurance company has been profitable during the last fiscal year; (2) adjusting the minimum net assets requirement for the insurance company in the preceding fiscal year to RMB 100 million; and (3) adjusting the minimum solvency adequacy ratio for the insurance company at the end of the preceding quarter to 120%. The notice also enlarges the equity investment scope of insurance capital to cover energy enterprises, resources enterprises and insurance related modern agriculture enterprises and new-type trading circulation enterprises e.g. e-commerce, logistics and distribution networks employing modern technology and management techniques. Insurance capital may be invested into growth funds, M&A funds, emerging strategic industry funds and related fund of funds, but a non-insurance financial institution or its subsidiary is prohibited from actually controlling or holding the general partnership interest in such equity investment funds.

The full Chinese text of the notice is available here.