The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has given Franklin Templeton Investments permission to establish an office in China with its joint venture partner Sealand Securities of Shenzhen, Dow Jones reports.

"We just received approval from the CSRC for the preparatory phase," said Frank Liu, Franklin’s chief representative for China.

This is only one of many hurdles Chinese regulators require of joint ventures involving foreign companies, however. Chinese regulators still must approve what types of investment products the joint venture may sell and where in China it may sell them.

Franklin and its partner, of which it owns the maximum permissible 33% stake, are planning an equity product for the beginning of next year, Liu told Dow Jones.

By December 2004, China will allow foreign companies to offer up to 49% of Chinese funds. This will mark the three-year anniversary of China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.

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