Investment bank Morgan Stanley is negotiating the purchase of up to half of Shanghai-based brokerage AJ Securities, Reuters reported, citing two sources close to the situation. The bank is eyeing a minimum 20% stake, but wants to take this up to 50% should overseas firms be successful in their calls for an end to foreign ownership caps in the financial sector. A controlling stake in the brokerage would allow it to underwrite activities such as share listings. AJ Securities, which has 16 branches nationwide and US$80.8 million in registered capital, is widely seen as one of the most troubled and debt-ridden of China's brokerages.
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