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September 23, 2022

Swiss private bank UBP resumes operations in China

Switzerland-based private bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP) has re-entered the Chinese market after shutting down its activities in the country last year, reported Reuters.

The bank, which manages over $150bn of assets, made the re-entry last month, UBP chief investment officer (CIO) of wealth management Norman Villamin informed the news agency.

The bank exited from the Chinese equities market and credit space in the third quarter of last year.

Villamin was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We went from zero to neutral.”

The move comes at a time when various institutional investors have contracted their affiliations with China since 2019.

A number of factors including regulatory restrictions on tech firms, tensed Sino-US relations and severe zero-Covid norms have resulted in such practice.

According to Villamin, the upcoming Communist Party Congress to be held next month has brought optimism to the bank. The congress could bring additional incentives to private banking sector.

Villamin added: “If some of the COVID restrictions start to ease, even if it is gradual, at least we’re moving in the right direction.”

He also highlighted: “China has gone through a recession, while Europe is in the midst of recession, and the US is likely entering a recession in 2023.”

Post the return, UBP has limited its purchase to the local China A-shares and keeping companies, which are likely to have geopolitical concerns, at arm’s length.

So far this year, both the CSI 300 index and Hang Seng Index have reduced more than 20% each.

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