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Negotiation is key as UBS heads for China JV majority stake

UBS’s path to China JV control raises questions for others.


Z-Ben, the impeccably connected China-based research house, reported in October that UBS is to succeed in its move to a 51% stake in its Chinese securities joint venture (JV), UBS Securities.

UBS hasn’t confirmed it, but if Z-Ben is correct, UBS will acquire a further 26% stake in its JV through public auction, from the 24.99% it holds now, and could be a majority shareholder by November 8.

This would make it the first, barring the special case of HSBC, to gain majority control, with Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley said to be next in line.

Biggest challenge

Z-Ben’s take on this is an interesting one: that, contrary to popular belief, China is not restricting deals, and that the biggest challenge is instead foreign banks reaching agreement with their local counterparts.

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