UBS looks to raise stake to 67% in mainland China joint venture

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss bank UBS at its Zurich headquarters in Switzerland, July 27, 2015. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

UBS Group is moving to increase ownership in its Chinese securities joint venture to 67%, as two local partners put their stakes up for sale, an exchange filing shows.

Guangdong Provincial Communication Group and China Energy Investment Corp, which currently owns 14.01% and 1.99% of the joint venture, will auction their entire holdings, filings on the China Beijing Equity Exchanges showed.

The exchange did not name the potential bidders, but UBS said the auctions will result in UBS holding 67% of the JV if the deal is done.

“China is a key market for UBS. The further opening up of China’s financial sector represents great opportunities for all of our China businesses, including wealth and asset management, and investment banks,” UBS said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“We are committed to the China market and will continue to invest strategically. Our further stake interest in UBS Securities demonstrates such commitment.”

UBS was the first bank to move to majority control of 51% in November 2018 after foreign banks were allowed to take larger stakes in their joint ventures.

Majority or full ownership could make it easier for foreign banks to expand their operations in the multi-trillion-dollar Chinese financial sector.

Goldman Sachs has applied for 100% ownership of its operations and JPMorgan owns 71% of its operations.

Morgan Stanley has been touted as the buyer of a 39% stake that its joint venture partner Shanghai Chinafortune Co will sell in Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities that would take the U.S. bank’s ownership to 90%.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.