Citigroup has applied for a securities licence in China in a bid to ramp up its presence in the world’s second biggest economy.
The New York-based bank recently file an application with the China Securities and Regulatory Commission (CSRC), The WSJ reported citing a person privy of the development.
The bank is planning to apply for a number of other licences too in the near future, according to the source.
It is also moving to hire around 100 additional employees in mainland China over the coming two years to support its onshore expansion.
The securities licence, if granted, would allow Citi to underwrite yuan-denominated stock and bond offerings, and manage trading of these securities.
The bank established a minority-owned securities joint venture in China in partnership with Shanghai-based Orient Securities in 2012.
This partnership was later exited by Citi after it failed to get Orient Securities agree to a deal that would give it control of the venture.
In 2019, Citi agreed to offload its 33.33% stake in the venture to the latter.
Meanwhile, the opening up of China’s securities sector continues to grab the interest of foreign players with several global financial institutions eyeing to beef up their holdings in their Chinese ventures towards full control.
In April this year, Reuters reported that BNP Paribas submitted an application with China’s securities regulator to set up a securities company in the country as it opens up its capital markets.