Citigroup (C.NYSE) has launched a joint venture with a Chinese securities company that will enable the US investment giant to access capital markets in China, The Wall Street Journal reported. Through its joint venture with Shanghai-based Orient Securities, Citi will be able to underwrite equity and debt securities in mainland China. Underwriting deals are already in place for nearly 50 Class A-share initial public offerings, according to Citigroup’s chief executive for the Asian-Pacific region Stephen Bird. The joint venture, known as Citi Orient Securities, has RMB800 million (US$126 million) in registered capital, of which Citigroup holds a 33% share, the maximum that is permitted by Chinese regulators. Citigroup is only the latest global bank to form a joint venture in China; others include JP Morgan Chase (JPM.NYSE) and Credit Suisse Group (CS.NYSE).