Agricultural Bank of China Teams up with BNP Paribas on Asset Management Joint-venture with Majority Foreign Ownership

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Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) has become the fifth big state-owned bank to launch a wealth management joint-venture in which foreign investors hold a majority stake.

On 19 October ABC announced that its fully invested wealth management subsidiary, ABC Wealth Management (农银理财), had obtained approval from the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) to launch a Sino-foreign wealth management joint-venture with BNP Paribas Asset Management Holding.

ABC Wealth Management subsequently announced that it would hold a 49% in the joint-venture, with BNP Paribas Asset Management to hold the remaining 51%. The provisional name for the joint-venture is “BNP ABC Wealth Management Co., ltd. ” (法巴农银理财有限责任公司).

“The joint contribution of capital to the establishment of a joint-venture wealth management company with BNP Paribas Asset Management will take advantages the respective advantages and unique features of both shareholders, and better satisfy the increasing diverse investment and wealth management needs of clients,” ABC said in an official statement.

Chinese regulators have given their approval to the establishment of 31 wealth management companies by Chinese banks, of which 29 have commenced operation.

4 of these wealth management companies are joint-ventures with foreign investors, including those founded by ICBC, China Construction Bank, Bank of China and Bank of Communications. All four of these wealth management joint-ventures are situated in Shanghai, with foreign investors holding a majority ownership stake.