UBS first foreign bank to take control of China business

UBS_branchSwiss giant UBS AG has edged out its competitors to become the first foreign bank to secure a majority stake in its mainland securities joint venture. It increased its shareholding in UBS Securities Co to 51% from 24.99% after the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) granted approval. The move comes after Beijing changed its rules to further open up its economy earlier this year, before which foreign firms were only allowed to hold 49% of their Chinese securities business. UBS chief executive Sergio Ermotti said: “The further opening up of China's financial sector represents great opportunities for our wealth management, investment bank and asset management businesses.” The Swiss firm was the first foreign bank to apply to increase its shareholding in a China venture after CSRC issued its policy in April 2018. Kathy Shih, president of UBS Asia Pacific, said: “This is a key milestone and an important part of our China strategy.” Rivals including Japan’s Nomura Holdings and the US’ largest bank by assets, JP Morgan Chase, are still awaiting approval for a 51% stake in their onshore securities ventures from Chinese regulators. ©2018 funds global asia

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