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July 8, 2020

Credit Suisse eyes 100% stake in China securities JV

Swiss banking group Credit Suisse intends to increase its stake in its China securities joint venture (JV) to 100% after securing the regulatory nod.

The plans were revealed by the bank’s Asia business head Helman Sitohang to Reuters.

Last month, Credit Suisse concluded the deal to acquire a majority stake in its China securities JV, Credit Suisse Founder Securities (CSFS).

Janice Hu, who has been with Credit Suisse for almost two decades, will chair the JV.

The value of the JV has not been revealed.

The bank obtained the clearance of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to raise its stake to 51% from 33.3% in April this year.

At the same time, Credit Suisse also intends to increase its staff headcount in China and make investments in the market, Sitohang noted.

Last year, around one-fifth of Credit Suisse’s pre-tax income came from the Asia-Pacific region. Greater China is said to be the bank’s most important market in Asia Pacific.

The bank managed CHF220bn ($233bn) in Asia-Pacific at the end of 2019, which fell to CHF197bn in Q1 2020 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Credit Suisse’s main rivals in Asia-Pacific are UBS along with Pictet and Julius Baer in wealth management.

Chinese investment bank CITIC Securities is also Credit Suisse’s main rival in Asia.

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are Credit Suisse’s key rivals in investment banking.

Credit Suisse recently appointed Jing Wang as the head of wealth management for onshore China. Wang joins from China Merchants Bank.

Over the next few months, plans are on to hire in other key roles for the bank’s China operations, noted Reuters.

Sitohang stated: “We will continue to invest across our platforms in China and closely integrate our onshore operations with our businesses in Hong Kong and across the region.

“There will be more hires, some of which we will announce shortly.”

At the same time, the bank affirmed its commitment to Hong Kong, calling the market its important hub for decades.

 

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