JPMorgan applies to set up majority-owned securities business in China

The U.S. bank is one of several foreign banks, including UBS Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc who have applied to set up majority-owned securities businesses in China, following relaxation of rules.

On Monday, JPMorgan Chase & Co stated it has applied to China’s securities regulator in order to set up a securities business in China in which it will own a majority stake of 51%, under recently relaxed ownership rules.

This new unit will enable JPMorgan to tap into China’s mainland, expand its reach and grow its businesses

JPMorgan is looking to double its research coverage of China-listed companies across all sectors and has appointed banking veteran Mark Leung as the CEO of its China business.

The development sees JPMorgan returning to the securities business in China; in 2016 it held a 33% stake in a similar venture with a local partner.

The U.S. bank did not clarify who it will partner with; it has however said, it would raise its ownership levels to 100% if it was permitted to do so.

In April, facing severe criticism from its trading partners as well as U.S. action in the economic front, China had said it aims to raise foreign ownership limits in securities, fund management and futures firms to 51%.

“These developments are important for China, the U.S. and global commerce, and an encouraging sign for the world’s two largest economies,” said JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon in a statement.

Earlier, Western banks could only own up to 49% of Chinese securities in joint ventures.

JPMorgan is one of several foreign banks, including UBS Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc who have taken steps to set up majority-owned securities businesses in China.

Furthermore, JPMorgan also plans on boosting its stake in its asset and wealth management joint venture with a Chinese partner, subject to agreement with its joint venture partner and the relevant authorities.

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