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Published: 13:44, October 18, 2021 | Updated: 14:02, October 18, 2021
Nod for Goldman China securities firm's full ownership
By Bloomberg
Published:13:44, October 18, 2021 Updated:14:02, October 18, 2021 By Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs Group Inc headquarters stands in New York, US, on July 12, 2020. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)

Goldman Sachs Group Inc won approval to take 100 percent ownership of its securities joint venture in China, a key step to expand in the country.

The move gives the firm free rein to pursue a clearer growth strategy that includes doubling its workforce in China to 600 and ramping up in asset and wealth management. The US bank has already added 116 staff onshore this year, boosting the total to more than 400, a spokesman said.

Global banks are pushing to gain a bigger foothold as China’s market opens, jostling to capture a share of billions of dollars in potential profits. The approval from China Securities Regulatory Commission means the end of its 17-year joint venture with Chinese banker Fang Fenglei, who set up Gao Hua Securities with a loan from Goldman in 2004.

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This “marks the start of a new chapter” for the China business and “will enable us to position our firm for long-term growth and success in this market under one wholly-owned entity,” the bank’s top executives, David Solomon, John Waldron, and Stephen Scherr, said in an internal memo.

Goldman is the second Wall Street firm to be granted full ownership of its onshore securities operations. The approval came about 10 months after it signed an agreement with its partner to take full control. It took the firm 7 months to win a nod in March 2020 to boost its stake in the venture to 51 percent from 33 percent.

Goldman had been competing to become the inaugural Wall Street bank with full control onshore with JPMorgan Chase & Co, which received its approval two months ago.

READ MORE: Goldman Sachs sharpens push to win Asia SPAC market share

With China’s go-ahead, the bank now owns all its operations across Asia-Pacific. In 2011, Goldman Sachs began acquiring the remaining 55 percent of an Australian venture with JBWere Ltd, after holding minority stake since 2003. The US bank started its own financial services firm in India in 2006, after ending a 10-year brokerage alliance with Indian billionaire Uday Kotak.

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