Overseas investors will be allowed to enter the booming concert market, according to a revised national regulation to take effect on September 1. Hong Kong and Macau businesses, in particular, will be able to set up agencies on the mainland and run either fully owned or joint-venture performance venues. Investors from other regions, including Taiwan, will be limited to a maximum 49 per cent stake in operations and will be restricted in the number of directors they can appoint to their boards. Chen Jixin , chairwoman of the privately owned Beijing Time New Century Entertainment, a performance agency, took part in drafting the law and said the new regulation would result in more performances from overseas. She said although the mainland market had opened slowly to overseas entertainers, no overseas investment had been allowed in concert operations. 'There used to be a quota - say three to four concerts of Hong Kong singers per year in Beijing - leading to fierce competition for the very limited approvals among agencies,' Ms Chen said. 'This regulation ushers in complete openness of the performance market concerning private, overseas and foreign sectors. As a result, there should be no quota limits and no profiteering for approval.' The regulation applies to performances ranging from singing and dancing to acrobatics, circuses and fashion shows, but it does not cover shows within television studios. Leading Hong Kong entertainment firms welcomed the move. Toppy Lee Cheung-fu, general manager of Gold Label Management, said it offered more flexibility in making business decisions to tap the market, especially given the industry's drop in record sales due to piracy and digital downloading. Some Hong Kong firms already have set up joint ventures with mainland counterparts on record labels and management firms.