Oct 23, 2017 06:49 PM

Quick Take: JPMorgan To Consider Going Solo in China if Rules Allow

Photo: Visual China
Photo: Visual China

JPMorgan Chase & Co. would opt for going solo in China, instead of starting a joint venture, if the country lifts shareholding limits on foreign businesses, said Jing Ulrich, the bank’s Asia Pacific vice chairperson.

Ulrich’s comment came after China banking regulator chief Guo Shuqing said last week that the country will increase market access for foreign financial institutions, including raising the maximum stake that a foreign bank can hold in a local entity.

Currently, no single foreign shareholder can own more than 20% of any Chinese bank and no group of foreign shareholders can own more than 25%. The limit is 49% for brokerages and asset management companies, and 50% for life insurers.

How quickly China will increase market access for foreign banks hinges on the pace of overall financial reform, Ulrich told Caixin. She expects change to come gradually, with the shareholding restrictions lifted over the next few years.

Foreign companies’ share of China’s banking sector has fallen to 1.29% from 2.4% a decade ago, which is not a good sign of competition, Guo said last week.

Contact reporter Aries Poon (

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