American investment bank Goldman Sachs has submitted an application with the China Securities Regulatory Commission for a majority stake in its local securities joint venture (JV), reported Bloomberg.

The bank intends to raise the stake in its China JV Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities to 51% from the existing 33%.

The JV specialises in equity and debt capital markets as well as mergers advisory. At present, the other shareholder Beijing Gao Hua Securities holds a 67% interest in the JV.

Further, Goldman Sachs plans to incorporate the securities sales, trading and research operations of its partner Beijing Gao Hua Securities into the JV.

With this move, Goldman Sachs follows in the footsteps of its rivals.

Last year, UBS obtained the regulatory nod to increase its holding in its China securities JV to 51%.

Earlier this year, JPMorgan and Nomura received the green light from China’s securities watchdog to launch local securities JVs.

Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley too are pursuing controlling stakes in their China JVs.

The move is part of China’s plan to increase competition in the financial services sector.

In 2017, China allowed foreign players to acquire a majority stake in their local securities JVs.

The country further opened up the financial services sector recently by scrapping foreign ownership caps a year before the scheduled date.