Beijing has granted approval to Swiss finance giant UBS Group to become the first foreign firm to take majority ownership of its securities joint venture in China, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The move will allow UBS to increase its stake in UBS Securities—which is joint owned by the Swiss firm and four state-owned Chinese enterprises—from 24.99% to 51%.
China’s securities watchdog announced that foreign finance companies would be allowed to increase their stakes in securities ventures to 51% in April, as part of a broader move to open up the Chinese financial sector.
Other foreign finance groups made similar applications to take control of their securities joint ventures, including Swiss firm Credit Suisse Group and US investment bank Morgan Stanley Group.
Other firms plan to set up new JVs in which they hold a majority stake, including the US’s JPMorgan Chase and Japan’s Nomura Holdings and Daiwa Securities Group.