UBS said it was interested in establishing closer relations with one of China's big-four state banks. "If we could [form a] joint venture or partner, that would be pretty interesting," UBS Investment Banking head John Costa told Reuters, adding a minority stake would be the likeliest scenario. Linking up with a top Chinese company, he said, ï¿½you are guaranteed to be one of the long-term winners." HSBC and several US banks have expressed similar interest in forming partnerships, but Costa said, as a Swiss bank, UBS offered "a significant alternative." HSBC Holdings recently bought 19.9% of Bank of Communications for US$1.75 billion.