UBS and China’s ICBC to explore banking, wealth management ties

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HONG KONG, Sept 26 (Reuters) – Swiss banking group UBS (UBSG.S) said on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the world’s largest lender by assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (601398.SS), , to explore collaborations in China and overseas markets.

UBS has long been keen to grow its footprint in China which already includes a mutual fund joint venture and a private fund business, but earlier this year it appeared to scale back expansion plans due to headwinds to China’s economic recovery and geopolitical tensions.

The banks will explore cooperation in asset management, wealth management, and investment and corporate banking, according to a UBS statement.

The deal includes product development and distribution, client coverage, global market trading, investment and financing, research, asset custody and exchange of expertise.

UBS completed an acquisition of its smaller cross-town rival Credit Suisse in June, through which it now holds a 20% stake in ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management Company, a fund joint venture previously partially owned by Credit Suisse.

Looming uncertainties of doing business in China have dampened the appetite of Western business, with an exit ban imposed on a senior executive of Japanese bank Nomura adding to the perceived risks.

Earlier this year UBS announced it had shelved plans to set up a new fund unit in China and decided to maintain ownership in the ICBC fund joint venture.

In the months since taking over its former rival, UBS also scrapped plans for Credit Suisse to set up a locally incorporated bank in China.

UBS has also made significant job cuts in the region, letting go of the majority of Hong Kong-based investment banking staff and the securities research unit at Credit Suisse.

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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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