BEIJING - JPMorgan has won approval to take full ownership of its Chinese mutual fund venture, China's securities regulator said on Thursday, as the country spurs expansion by foreign firms after it lifted its restrictive COVID policies.

JPMorgan's asset management arm will by allowed to take full ownership of China International Fund Management Co. (CIFM), in which it holds a 49% stake, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said.

JPMorgan announced it would seek full ownership of CIFM in April 2020.

Canada's Manulife Financial Corp in November received regulatory approval to take full control of its Chinese mutual fund venture.

U.S. asset manager Neuberger Berman in the same month won approval to set up a new fund unit in China.

(Reporting by Beijing and Shanghai newsroom; editing by Jan Harvey and Jason Neely)