China is still the ultimate prize that Western banks can't resist
Hong Kong (CNN Business) For many companies, doing business in China is getting trickier by the day.
But Western banks and asset managers are more than willing to up their bets on the world's second biggest economy, convinced that the opportunities remain too good to pass up.
The British banking giant is also seeking a greater stake in HSBC Qianhai, its joint securities venture in China, according to Reuters , which cited an anonymous source.
And the state-owned China Securities Journal reported Wednesday thatwants to establish its own wealth management joint venture in the country.
CEO Jamie Dimon said back then that China represents "one of the largest opportunities in the world" for the firm.
"China represents a significant growth opportunity for global financial service companies," said Brendan Ahern, chief investment officer for KraneShares, an asset management firm focused on China stocks and bonds.
A number of Western businesses have been swept up in controversy in China as geopolitical tensions worsen, especially over allegations of human rights violations in the country's western region of Xinjiang.
Some American politicians also called on Wall Street to stop "enabling Communist China" and take a tougher stance against Beijing.
"While China is facing huge economic headwinds, the country has defied bearish predictions in the past," Singleton said, adding that Western banks have continued to generate billions of dollars in revenue from China, even with the recent regulatory crackdown.
"In other words, Western banks are playing the long game under the guise of portfolio diversification," he added.
Last year, Fang Xinghai, vice chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, repeatedly talked about the importance of opening up the financial service industry and drawing on global capital and financial expertise.
He added that China understands it needs to maintain access to foreign markets, technology and capital, necessitating those continued partnerships with Western firms.