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BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, China
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More liberal ownership climate a boon for Credit Suisse

Swiss financial services multinational Credit Suisse Group AG is boosting its presence in China.

Credit Suisse said it intends to increase the capital of its Chinese joint venture with Founder Securities Company and will transfer more of its staff to China. It also plans to apply for a stock trading permit to take advantage of higher ownership limits.

Beijing last week allowed foreign investment banks raise their stakes in domestic joint ventures to 49% from 33% and to cut the qualification period for a trading license to two years from five.

Credit Suisse China CEO Zhang Liping said the bank will transfer more experienced bankers to joint venture. He also noted the new rules give Credit Suisse the flexibility to do much more.

Credit Suisse was the first foreign bank to establish a local joint venture after the ban was lifted at the end of 2007.

Prior to last week’s loosening, government restrictions on overseas firms prevented Credit Suisse and its rivals from taking better advantage of a tripling in the size of China’s stock market since the end of 2006.

Global financial companies and their JV partners accounted for less than 3% of total corporate bond sales in China so far this year.

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