China approves joint venture of BlackRock, Temasek and CCB

FILE PHOTO: A sign for BlackRock Inc hangs above his building in New York US, July 16, 2018. REUTERS / Lucas Jackson

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has approved a joint wealth management venture between US asset manager BlackRock Inc (BLK.N), Singapore investor Temasek Holdings (Pte) Ltd and China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) (0939.HK), as China gradually opens up its financial sector to international companies.

The announcement, which confirms what people with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters in December, was announced on Saturday on the website of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC).

The article did not provide further details about the venture or what services it would offer.

The deal comes as China’s government looks to open up its financial market to foreign companies, offering potentially rich rewards to international fund managers and others in the broader financial sector.

Top global financial players have long sought to increase their presence in the relatively fast-growing Chinese economy, and in October last year, China scrapped some restrictions on the operations of foreign banks in the country.

Two months later, France-based Amundi, Europe’s largest asset manager, and Bank of China Wealth Management won approval from Chinese regulators to set up a joint venture, while banks including UBS (UBSG.S) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) have won approval to set up China companies with a majority.

But the Chinese sector remains dominated by domestic state-owned companies and China has yet to open up any sensitive areas of its financial industry.

A CBIRC spokesman also said in an interview published on the watchdog’s website on Saturday that US insurer Chubb had allowed its stake in Huatai Insurance Group Co Ltd to increase to 46.2%, and became the largest shareholder of the Chinese company.

Report by Leng Cheng and Yew Lun Tian; Edited by David Holmes

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