UBS expands its operations in China

UBSSwiss bank UBS considers acquiring a majority stake in its joint venture in China. This was announced by the executive director of the financial institution, Sergio Ermotti. Currently, the international banks are in a hurry to take advantage of Beijing’s promise at the end of last year to make its financial markets even more accessible.

According to information, UBS has begun negotiations with its local partners to acquire 51% of the company. According to the executive director, the bank is also successfully implementing its plan to double its staff in China in five years. According to him, this could happen earlier than expected, and by the end of 2018, the country’s staff may reach 1,200 people.

In early 2016, the Swiss bank UBS announced plans to recruit a further 600 people in China within five years.

“We are in line with our plans to grow our business, regardless of what we have”, said the CEO of UBS, Sergio Ermotti, adding that acquisition negotiations could be completed within a few months. According to Ermotti, the increase of the share in the enterprise will not be particularly important, as UBS already has managerial control over it. “From a strategic point of view, this will not change much, as we have full control from a management point of view”, added he.

Other major players in the securities industry, such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group have already signaled that they also intend to take a majority stake in their Chinese enterprises after the Beijing government announced in November that it alleviated restrictions on foreign ownership in the country. Initially, the Chinese authorities said they would allow 51% ownership before completely lifting the ceiling after three years.

Already before the Beijing announcement, UBS was developing a plan to acquire a larger share of 49% from the current 25%.

On behalf of China, the four companies in the joint venture are Beijing Guoxiang Asset Management Co, China Guodian Capital, COFCO Group and Guangdong Transport Company.