Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., listens during a Bloomberg Television interview on the sidelines of the JP Morgan Global China Summit in Beijing, China. (Photographer: Giulia Marchi/Bloomberg)

Dimon Lays Out 100-Year China Vision With Trade Spat on Horizon

(Bloomberg) -- Jamie Dimon laid out his long-term vision for JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s expansion in China, while expressing hopes that mounting trade tensions won’t derail the plans.

“We’re building here for a hundred years,” Dimon, chief executive officer of the largest U.S. bank, said Tuesday in a Bloomberg Television interview in Beijing. “One day you’ll probably have a tower here that looks like the tower we have in New York.”

Dimon, 62, reiterated that JPMorgan still plans to achieve 100 percent ownership of a Chinese brokerage operation, adding that the bank is in the “process.” He said he hopes there won’t be a trade war between the U.S. and China and -- if there is one -- “hopefully it doesn’t affect JPMorgan.”

JPMorgan decided more than a year ago to exit a minority-owned Chinese investment-banking joint venture, with Dimon highlighting that such setups tend to have corporate governance shortcomings. Since then, China has pledged to allow foreign firms to own majority stakes in securities ventures, even as the country engages in a trade spat with the U.S.

Dimon signaled optimism that the U.S. and China will make progress on their trade talks. Officials from the countries met in Beijing last week, with both sides making long lists of demands that analysts said won’t be met.

Dimon said he wasn’t disappointed with the meeting, adding that the sides were just starting to get to know each other. “There’s no reason it can’t be bridged,” he said. “Hopefully they will make progress, we need progress to be made."

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China has set a June 30 deadline for allowing foreign firms to own as much as 51 percent of their securities ventures, part of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to open the country’s financial markets. UBS Group AG has submitted an application to acquire a majority stake in its Chinese venture, becoming the first global bank to take advantage of the move, while Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have also signaled a desire to do so.

Dimon said JPMorgan is “gearing up" to help companies do cross-border business in China and doesn’t worry about short-term goals for profit and revenue in the country.

“Once we have 51 percent, and then a 100 percent, you will have the full faith of JPMorgan coming here," Dimon said. “What we want is simple: a 100 percent and all the licenses to do the same business as we’re doing in the United States.”

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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