Manulife Asset Management (Manulife AM), the asset management arm of Canada’s Manulife Financial, is working to take full control of its fund joint venture (JV) in China, reported Reuters.

An application by the firm to change the ownership of the JV was accepted by the Chinese regulators, two sources with knowledge of the development told the news agency.

Manulife AM currently owns 49% of the Manulife Teda Fund Management while the remainder is held by state-owned Tianjin TEDA International Holding.

Manulife purchased its stake from ABN AMRO bank in 2010.

Taking full control of the JV is expected to help Manulife accelerate its strategy to expand its Asian and asset management units and its plan to infuse more capital in China.

Spokespeople for both Manulife Investment Management and Manulife Teda Fund Management declined to comment on the news.

Last year, a report by Bloomberg said that the Canadian insurer was carrying out negotiations to acquire the 51% stake owned by Teda.   

The stake was worth at least $272m, the report said.

China moves by other firms

Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that Credit Suisse is postponing the planned launch of its locally incorporated bank in China by a year to 2024 because of the slow licensing process on the mainland.

This month, AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), the investment unit of French insurer AXA, registered for a new private fund unit in Shanghai.

Last month, HSBC chief executive Noel Quinn told Chinese news agency Xinhua that the British bank is planning to invest more than $448m (CNY 3bn) in its China operations.

It was also reported that the bank’s global private banking division is preparing to hire about 100 new employees in China this year.