China has agreed to allow foreign companies, including banks, to raise money on its stock and bond markets, US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told reporters at the close of the Strategic Economic Dialogue, the Wall Street Journal reported. Though Paulson did not make much headway getting Beijing to agree to a faster appreciation of the yuan, the long-anticipated move to allow foreign companies to raise their own capital through China's booming securties markets is thought to also help ease upward pressure on the currency. No time frame was given for implementing the new rules, but Paulson said he was sure they would be put in place "gradually." Also during the meeting, the China Securities Regulation Commission announced it would start accepting applications for Sino-foreign securities joint ventures for the first time in two years. Last week, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley announced separate plans to launch joint ventures, but still awaiting government approval.