Swiss investment bank UBS Group has unveiled plans to double the headcount at its investment banking joint venture in China within four years after becoming the first overseas bank to own a majority share in a Chinese securities firm.
UBS Asia Pacific global banking head David Chin said that the majority-owned Chinese joint venture has 400 employees, Reuters reported.
UBS is the first foreign bank to get approval from the Chinese regulators to increase its stake in the joint venture to 51%.
verall, our plan is to steadily grow China onshore headcount, but we are not just going to compete on size"
The opening of the financial market has spurred the demand for local securities and dealmaking services.
Chin said: "Overall, our plan is to steadily grow China onshore headcount, but we are not just going to compete on size."
The operations of the joint venture include debt and equity underwriting and financial advisory services.
While the joint venture will not expand across all businesses, it will do so in areas where growth opportunities are available, said Chin.
The growth is likely to require a substantial increase in headcount. Chin said that they are considering obtaining new licences in China and are looking at global equity derivatives. He added that they also plan to set up an onshore over-the-counter derivatives business next year.
According to Chinese law, global investment banks are allowed to own up to 51% of their operations in the country.
In October, the Chinese government announced plans to open the futures, brokerage and mutual fund sectors to foreign investors next year to deregulate the financial industry.
The government also said that the cap on foreign ownership of securities firms will be removed on 1 December 2020.