First for nation as UBS increases stake

China's securities regulator has approved UBS AG's bid to take a majority stake in its mainland securities joint venture.

A logo of UBS Group is pictured on the rooftop of an office building in Shanghai, China, on  December 4, 2017.

China’s securities regulator has approved UBS AG’s bid to take a majority stake in its mainland securities joint venture.

This makes UBS AG the first global financial institution to take advantage of the rules China put in place in May to further open up its financial market.

UBS AG will raise its stake in the UBS Securities Co to 51 percent, the China Securities Regulatory Commission said. UBS AG currently holds 24.99 percent of the venture.

“This will be the first foreign-controlled brokerage approved by the CSRC since the rules on foreign investment in brokerages were implemented,” the commission said.

Sergio P. Ermotti, UBS Group CEO, said this step underlines the company’s long-term commitment to this market.

It will continue to pursue opportunities.

“The further opening-up of China’s financial sector represents great opportunities for our wealth management, investment bank, and asset management businesses,” he said.

Eugene Qian, president of UBS Securities, said with majority control, UBS can better realize the opportunities in China’s capital markets and make a greater contribution to the UBS Group.

China unveiled an array of measures this year to expand market access for foreign investors, including allowing foreign firms’ 51-percent ownership of their brokerage ventures, up from the previous 49 percent.

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