BEIJING - China will give private capital the same entry standards to the banking industry as other capital, state media said on Sunday, as the government makes its hardest push in a decade to court private investors by welcoming them into a handful of sectors.

Private companies would be allowed to buy into banks through private stock placements, new share subscriptions, equity transfers, and mergers and acquisitions, the official China Daily said, citing the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

Private investment would also be permitted in trust, financial leasing and auto-financing companies, the report said. “The banking regulatory branches at different levels cannot set up separate restrictions or additional conditions for private capital to enter the banking sector.

They are obliged to improve transparency of the banking market access constantly,” the newspaper cited the regulator as saying. In order to encourage lending to the private sector, China should let private capital play a bigger role in financial institutions, and encourage private lending companies to become commercial banks, Wu Xiaoling, a former deputy central bank governor, told the China Daily.

“The government has encouraged small lending companies to turn into rural banks,” she said. “But with a minimum shareholding requirement of the main initiator, private investors lack enthusiasm for such things.”