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Standard Chartered greenlit for China securities firm

Standard Chartered Bank has received regulatory approval to set up a mainland securities firm in China. The China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) has given in-principle approval for the establishment of a securities firm wholly owned by a foreign shareholder, marking a significant milestone for Standard Chartered and the first time the CSRC has approved such a move since ownership restrictions were relaxed in 2020. The bank has committed an initial capital injection of 1.05 billion yuan ($155.69 million) to the firm.

The new securities firm will cover a range of activities, including underwriting, asset management of asset-backed securities only, own-account trading, and brokerage. John Tan, Head of Financial Markets, Asia, Standard Chartered, has been appointed Chairman-designate of the securities firm, and Grace Geng has been appointed CEO-designate.

Standard Chartered Gets Approval from CSRC

The regulatory news comes as China is accelerating the process of granting permission to foreign institutions as part of its efforts to revive its economy and boost the confidence of overseas investors. The country is keen to show its commitment to the continued opening of its financial markets and the investment value of its onshore capital markets, which are becoming increasingly attractive to international investors.

Standard Chartered CEO for Asia, Benjamin Hung, expressed his delight at the regulatory approval and the bank’s commitment to the China franchise, stating:

We are very honored to be granted the in-principle approval to set up a wholly foreign-owned securities firm in Beijing. We are confident of the continued opening of financial markets in China and are very positive about the country’s development prospects, in particular, the promising investment value of the onshore capital markets and the growing attractiveness of Renminbi assets in offshore markets. This is another major milestone for our China franchise, one we remain very committed to.

Benjamin Hung SC CEO Asia

This regulatory news is a sign of the growing opportunities for foreign institutions in China’s financial markets as the country continues to reform and open up its economy. Standard Chartered is well-positioned to take advantage of these opportunities, and the approval to set up a mainland securities firm represents a significant step forward in its China franchise.