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BNP Paribas mulls setting up a securities firm in China

By opening up its capital markets, the lender is trying to expand into brokerage services in China

China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) recently received an application from France-based BNP Paribas to set up a securities firm in the country according to the media. As the firm opens up its capital markets it is trying to expand into brokerage services in China.

The application was first published on the CSRC website but with no details regarding the shareholding structure. In 2019, BNP Paribas, the biggest lender in France told the media that it was looking to enter the securities trading market in China and was studying opportunities to have a local securities joint venture.

The firm has told the media that it will continue to explore all of its options for growth in the market of China. It is to remember that it already has a long-standing presence in the Chinese market and has also developed a full-fledged corporate and institutional banking business. It also owns a successful asset management joint venture. BNP Paribas is also said to explore ways to enhance its local capabilities and delivery to clients in mainland China.

Despite the disruption of the pandemic due to Covid-19, China has been pushing ahead with the opening of its financial services. In April last year, the country officially scrapped down the limits on foreign ownership of securities companies. Now, to take majority stakes in local securities ventures UBS of Switzerland, Japan-based Nomura Holdings and JP Morgan have all received approvals from Chinese financial regulators. The application of BNP Paribas is on track for a comeback of the firm to China’s equity market which also reinforces the reality that the country remains attractive for European businesses.

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