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UBS' Chinese securities JV partners puts up stakes for sale

UBS Group AG is one step closer to holding a majority holding in its Chinese joint venture, UBS Securities Co. Ltd., after two of its partners said they had put up their stakes for sale, Reuters reported Oct. 12.

UBS would become the first global investment bank to hold majority ownership in the joint venture if it purchases the holdings.

COFCO Group is selling its 14% stake in UBS Securities for about 461.7 million yuan, while investment manager China Guodian Capital will sell a 12.01% stake in the joint venture for about 396.1 million yuan, according to statements to the China Beijing Equity Exchange. The filings said the stakes should be purchased together but neither filing disclosed a buyer. If UBS buys the stakes, it would hold a 51% stake in UBS Securities.

Foreign financial institutions in China have been able to increase their stakes in local brokerages and asset managers to 51% since April. UBS submitted an application with the Chinese securities regulator to hold a majority stake in its joint venture in May.

A UBS spokesman declined to comment on the matter.

As of Oct. 12, US$1 was equivalent to 6.92 Chinese yuan.