Industry names Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs recently obtained approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to form foreign-controlled securities firms in the country, marking another great step forward in China’s financial opening-up.

New York-headquartered Morgan Stanley announced on Friday it been approved by the CSRS to hold a majority 51 percent stake in Shanghai-based Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities Company Limited.

Another industry leader Goldman Sachs also announced on Friday the CSRC has approved its increased stake in Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities Company Limited to 51 percent. Prior to that, the US investment bank held 33 percent in the joint venture.

James Paradise, Goldman’s co-president in Asia outside Japan, said the increased stake is part of the company’s commitment to invest more in its China business in the next five years. Efforts will be made to explore market potential and invest in human resources and technology, which is in line with China’s ongoing capital market reform, he said.

With these announced approvals, there are five foreign-controlled securities firms in China. The other three companies are UBS Securities Co Ltd, Nomura Orient International Securities Co Ltd and JP Morgan Securities (China) Co Ltd.

The State Council announced in November 2017 foreign financial service providers can hold up to 51 percent in jointly-held securities firms in China. The State Council further announced in November last year it would remove the 51 percent limit, which policy will take effect on April 1.

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