Sat, Jan 08, 2011 - Page 10 News List

US banking giants receive green light for China ventures

AFP, SHANGHAI, CHINA

Wall Street banking giants Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase said yesterday they had won approval to set up joint ventures in China.

They said in separate statements the China Securities Regulatory Commission had approved tie-ups with Chinese securities companies to allow them to underwrite stocks and bonds in China.

“Through this joint venture, JPMorgan has dramatically expanded its access and growth potential in the world’s fastest growing capital markets,” JP-Morgan Asia Pacific chairman and chief executive Gaby Abdelnour said.

The decisions allow the banks to compete with Goldman Sachs, which has had a Chinese joint venture since 2006, and European banks including UBS, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, which have similar partnerships.

The announcements come ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) Jan. 18 to Jan. 21 visit to Washington.

Wall Street banks have been aggressively pushing for greater access to the world’s second largest economy as more Chinese companies go public and China’s capital markets expand.

“Developing our domestic market capabilities in China has been and continues to be a priority for the firm,” Morgan Stanley president and chief executive James Gorman said.

Morgan Stanley will form a joint venture with Shanghai-based Huaxin Securities Co (華鑫證券), while JPMorgan is teaming up with Shenzhen-based First Capital Securities Co (第一資本證券).

The US banks said they would hold 33 percent stakes in their respective ventures — the maximum a foreign firm can own under Chinese rules.

For Morgan Stanley, the approval marks a fresh start in China after it agreed to sell its stake last year in China International Capital Corp (中國國際金融), the mainland investment bank it helped found in 1995.

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