ICBC, Goldman Sachs get approval to form wealth management JV in China

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A branch of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. File Photo: Xinhua

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) said on Tuesday that one of its subsidiaries has won approval from Chinese regulators to set up a wealth management joint venture with a unit of US banking giant Goldman Sachs, which will hold a majority stake, marking another major step in China’s continuous financial opening.

In a filing on Tuesday night, ICBC, the world’s largest bank by assets, said that the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission has officially approved a plan for ICBC Wealth Management and Goldman Sachs Asset Management to set up a joint venture in China. 

Goldman Sachs will provide 51 percent of the funding for the new joint venture, while ICBC Wealth Management will offer 49 percent, according to the filing. China’s new opening measures allow foreign majority-owned wealth management ventures in the country. 

The new joint venture will gradually develop investment products in the Chinese market, including quantitative investment, cross-border investment and innovative investment products, ICBC said. 

The approval for the ICBC-Goldman Sachs joint venture comes as an increasing number of US and other foreign financial institutions have been expanding their investment in the Chinese market, taking advantage of the financial opening measures. 

On May 12, US asset management giant BlackRock Inc was also granted a license in China for a majority-owned wealth management venture with a unit of China Construction Bank and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. 

French asset management firm Amundi became the first foreign company to set up a foreign majority-owned wealth management venture in the Chinese market in September 2020, following China’s new opening measures.

Some foreign politicians have continued to complain about access to China’s massive financial market, but Chinese officials and experts have responded by pointing to a rising number of foreign financial institutions setting up majority-owned joint ventures in China. 

Global Times