London (CNN Business)Goldman Sachs (GS) has received clearance to take full ownership of its securities joint venture in China, a sign that Beijing remains open to foreign financial firms even as geopolitical tensions simmer.
Goldman announced Sunday that the entity, previously called Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities Company, will be renamed Goldman Sachs Securities Company. The unit, which was first established in 2004, underwrites local stock sales and provides financial advisory services to clients in mainland China.”This marks the start of a new chapter for our China business following a successful 17-year joint venture,” CEO David Solomon said in a letter to employees.Wall Street has long sought greater access to mainland China, a market where bankers see huge potential despite a recent slowdown in economic growth. Read MoreThe process has been arduous, however, with the country moving slowly to open its doors to financiers without local partners.That may be starting to change. Over the summer, BlackRock (BLK) was permitted to start offering investment products to individual Chinese investors as the country’s first entirely foreign-owned fund management firm. In its first week, the fund attracted $1 billion.JPMorgan Chase (JPM) received approval from regulators to take full ownership of its China securities venture in August.”China represents one of the largest opportunities in the world for many of our clients and for JPMorgan Chase,” CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement at the time.Wall Street is pushing ahead despite the difficulties of doing business in the country. Washington and Beijing remain embroiled in a fight over trade, intellectual property issues and human rights. In recent months, Beijing has also launched a crackdown on private businesses, targeting Chinese tech giants such as Alibaba (BABA) and Didi, as well as companies in other sectors.The US government has also warned businesses about the risks of operating in Hong Kong, a major finance hub in the region, after China imposed a sweeping national security law that tightened its control of the city.