US investment bank JPMorgan has received the securities regulator's blessing to set up a futures trading joint venture, state media reported. JPMorgan's local partner in the venture will be Zhongshan Futures, a brokerage based in the southern province of Guangdong with registered capital of US$4 million. The joint venture will provide trading and clearing brokerage services in both commodity futures and, when they come into operation, financial futures. "By learning from JPMorgan's rich experience in the global market, we can avoid the long and tedious learning curve in financial futures trading," said Jiang Xuehong, general manager of Zhongshan Futures. China's long-awaited stock index futures are said to be more or less ready for launch. The products are seen as vital to the market as they allow investors to hedge their risk in the event of a downturn.