BNP Paribas, France’s biggest lender, plans to expand China operations to include brokerage, futures trading and wealth-management ventures, as the bank anticipates further foreign investment flows into world’s second-biggest economy.
CG Lai, CEO of BNP Paribas China, said his firm was one of many international players establishing and expanding their presence in the country. The moves come as index providers including MSCI Inc. add Chinese stocks and bonds to international benchmarks, ensuring greater participation by offshore investors.
“We are here trying to build a whole ecosystem to receive the incoming foreign players,” Lai said in an interview in Shanghai. “We see the Chinese market as a big one for investment.”
China’s policy makers have this year repeatedly stressed their determination to further open the nation’s financial system, building on earlier promises that they would better integrate the more than $40 trillion sector into the global economy. Greater foreign involvement will provide a timely boost for the domestic industry amid an economic slowdown and trade frictions, while Wall Street firms stand to reap billions of dollars in profit from a new market.
UBS Group AG was the first overseas firm to win approval to raise its ownership in a local securities venture to 51 percent under new rules.
Nomura Holdings Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have also filed applications for majority ownership in securities ventures.