Business / Markets

HSBC plans JV with Shenzhen Qianhai

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-11-03 09:52

Europe's biggest lender HSBC Holdings Plc has agreed to establish a majority-owned securities joint venture in China, taking advantage of the country's rules that favor Hong Kong-established banks over foreign peers in the world's second-biggest economy.

Stepping up its interest in China, HSBC could own up to 51 percent of a proposed joint venture with China's unlisted Shenzhen Qianhai Financial Holdings Co Ltd, the lender said in a statement on Monday.

HSBC's advantage comes from its ownership of a Hong Kong-based banking subsidiary, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp Ltd.

As part of its growth plans, the bank has already said it will shift assets into China's Pearl River Delta region in the southern province of Guangdong, a move seen by analysts as potentially risky given the country's slowing economic growth.

Ownership for other foreign banks of their China securities joint ventures is capped at 49 percent. Industry watchers say those ventures suffer from restrictive licences that confine them to underwriting stock offerings rather than share trading.

HSBC said on Monday its proposed joint venture could engage in the full range of investment banking and securities businesses in the Chinese mainland. The proposed venture is subject to regulatory review, HSBC said.

"If approved, this will be the first majority foreign-owned securities company in the mainland and will potentially allow us to engage in the full spectrum of securities business in the country," HSBC Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said in a conference call with analysts.

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