Western banks, mutual funds rush to enter China despite hostile environment

New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) For many companies, doing business in China is getting trickier by the day. But Western banks and asset managers are more than willing to up their bets on the world’s second biggest economy, convinced that the opportunities remain too good to pass up, CNN reported.

Major banks in recent weeks have inked deals to expand their footprint in China — or are otherwise attempting to take greater control of their businesses there — after years of being forced to enter the market via joint ventures. That’s despite fraught geopolitics, a slowing economy and an increasingly hostile environment for private business, the report said.

Late last month, HSBC received approval from Chinese regulators to take full control of its life insurance joint venture, which was created in 2009 in equal partnership with a Chinese company under rules that were rolled back in 2020.

The bank said the move underscored its “commitment to expanding business in China”.

HSBC isn’t the only one. Wall Street A-listers such as BlackRock, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are already a few steps down that road. And the state-owned China Securities Journal reportedlast week that Deutsche Bank wants to establish its own wealth management joint venture in the country.

The German bank declined to comment, CNN reported.

“The sheer size of China’s virtually untapped equity and bond market is irresistible to the world’s large financial institutions, especially since Beijing is finally allowing them to operate wholly owned mutual funds,” said Alex Capri, a research fellow at the Hinrich Foundation.