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JPMorgan Seeks Majority Stake in China Fund Management Venture

Jun Luo, Cathy Chan
Traffic moves under elevated roads at night in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. China's economic growth accelerated for the first time in two years as government efforts to revive demand drove a rebound in industrial output, retail sales and the housing market.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it plans to take a majority stake in its Chinese fund management joint venture, the second move by the U.S. bank in the past week to take advantage of Beijing’s commitment to open its financial markets to foreign firms.

The New York-based bank is seeking the higher stake in Shanghai-based China International Fund Management Co., which it set up together with Shanghai International Trust & Investment Co. in 2004, according to a statement Monday.

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China pledged last month to allow foreign firms to own as much as 51 percent of their securities, fund management, futures and insurance joint ventures. During a visit to China last week, JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon expressed hope that mounting trade tensions won’t derail the U.S. bank’s plans to expand in the world’s second-largest economy.

The U.S. bank last Thursday submitted an application to acquire a majority stake in its Chinese securities venture, following similar moves by UBS Group AG and Nomura Holdings Inc. JPMorgan also has corporate banking operations in China and owns a 49 percent stake a commodity futures joint venture, according to the bank’s China website.

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China’s 113 fund management firms, including 45 Sino-foreign JVs, oversaw a total of 11.6 trillion yuan ($1.8 trillion) by the end of December, according to the Asset Management Association of China. JPMorgan currently has a 49 percent stake in its fund management venture, which has about 190 billion yuan of assets under management.

JPMorgan said the plan to take a higher stake in its fund management venture is subject to agreement with its partner and the relevant authorities.

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