Caixin
Feb 20, 2021 07:31 AM
FINANCE

Credit Suisse Continues Push for Full Control of China Venture

An illuminated Credit Suisse sign outside a Credit Suisse Group AG office building at night in Muri
An illuminated Credit Suisse sign outside a Credit Suisse Group AG office building at night in Muri

(Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG is continuing to press for full control over its securities venture in China amid plans to double its headcount and revenue in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

The Swiss financial giant gained majority control over the venture last year and has been working to upgrade its infrastructure while moving more bankers into China, Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer Helman Sitohang said Friday in an interview. The executive oversaw a 24% rise in profit last year to $4.5 billion in his region.

“The intent is to get to 100% (control) as soon as possible,” he said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Credit Suisse took 51% ownership of the venture last April and has long said it planned to buy out Chinese partner Founder Securities Co. Ltd., which holds the remaining stake.

Along with other major banks, Credit Suisse is pushing into China as the country opens its capital markets. Last year, the company disclosed plans to double its headcount, matching similar plans by rivals such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Much of Credit Suisse’s build-out will focus on expanding advisory and investment banking services for the ballooning ranks of China’s rich.

Some “setbacks” are part of the learning process for everybody to know how to navigate the market, Sitohang said. China is “working very hard to ensure that the market continues to be attractive.”

So far, the momentum from 2020 is spilling over into 2021, but it’s “obviously too early to say how the full year will pan out,” he said. Sitohang said everyone has to be mindful that markets are now at “toppish” levels.

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