UBS is considering expansion of its China asset management operations after the country liberalised its financial services sector, reported Bloomberg.
According to consultancy Z-Ben Advisors, the Swiss bank emerged as the biggest global manager of Greater China funds with a 9.1% market share in 2020. In 2018, the figure was 5.1%.
China’s new rules enable foreign players to take sole ownership of their mutual fund joint ventures (JVs) in the country.
Foreign players can also team up with a local bank’s asset management unit to expand their offerings.
UBS Asset Management head of Asia Pacific Raymond Yin said in an interview: “We’re not ruling out any opportunities,”
“We will continue to invest in the China market to maintain our leadership position.”
Yin did not reveal any specific plans.
Over the next few years, UBS eyes double-digit growth in its China workforce.
UBS has already made inroads into the Chinese financial space.
In 2018, the bank became the first foreign bank to get regulatory approval to take a controlling stake in a China business under new rules.
The approval allowed the bank to increase its stake in UBS Securities, its securities JV in China, from 24.99% to 51%.
According to Licai.com UBS unveiled seven private funds in 2020, taking its AUM at its wholly-owned private fund business to CNY2.34bn at the end of July.
“We definitely aspire to be No. 1” among foreign players in the private fund business, stated Yin.
Moves by other foreign firms
In June this year, UBS rival Credit Suisse picked a majority stake in its China securities JV. The bank plans to increase its stake in the JV to 100% eventually.
Last month, China approved the wealth management JV between BlackRock, Temasek and China Construction Bank.
In the same month, BlackRock also secured the approval to set up a mutual fund arm in China.
Recently, Citi received China fund custody licence.
UBS and INVERLINK partnership
Meanwhile, in a separate development UBS Securities and Colombian investment bank INVERLINK entered into a collaboration agreement.
The agreement enables them to offer investment banking services in Colombia and on select transactions in Central America as well as the Caribbean.