More global banks seeking a majority-owned venture on the mainland will see their applications approved in the first half of 2019, according to China’s top securities watchdog.
“We do have a few companies in the process of applying for 51%,” said Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission during an interview with Bloomberg in Davos. “In the next six months you will see more licenses being granted.”
Chinese policymakers and officials have ramped up talk of opening up its $40 trillion financial sector to foreign players, particularly as domestic markets were stung be a sustained rout towards the end of 2018.
Overseas securities firms can now own a majority stake in a locally-registered company, under new rules brought in last year. Swiss bank UBS was the first company to take advantage of the legislation in December, while JPMorgan Chase and Nomura have both filed applications.
Fang said that there may be delays, however, when the process involves the foreign entity buying a stake from a local partner previously part of a joint venture, but the regulator is, in theory, capable of “very swift” approval.