China OKs JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley Joint Ventures

Chinese regulators gave approval on Friday to the banking joint ventures of JP Morgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley, bringing the banks a step closer toward operating securities businesses in China that they, and other banks, have long sought.

For JP Morgan, the approval allows it to make its maiden entry into the Chinese securities market, where foreign banks seek the ability to underwrite securities in the rapidly growing stock and bond markets. The bank will link up with First Capital Securities Co, a Shenzhen-based brokerage and hold 33 percent of the venture.

For Morgan Stanley, the green light allows it to move on with its new Chinese partner, Huaxin Securities, also known as China Fortune Securities. Morgan Stanley recently sold its stake in China’s premier investment bank, CICC.

Under its new joint venture, Morgan Stanley will have more management control and will also underwrite securities for the mainland market.

The approval by the China Securities Regulatory Commission was expected, as more and more foreign banks enter into joint venture partnerships in China, which are subject to a mandatory ownership cap of 33 percent.

UBS AG, Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG have similar ventures in China.

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