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JPMorgan (JPM) Plans to Expand Singapore Private Banking Team

JPMorgan JPM is planning to double the number of private bankers in Singapore to better serve its Chinese clients. The bank aims to carry out this expansion drive over the next two years. These details were disclosed by James Wey, the head of Southeast Asia private banking of JPMorgan, in an interview with Bloomberg.

The New York-based bank currently has more than 50 relationship managers based out of Singapore that cater primarily to local clients and those from Indonesia. While the bank has a sizeable presence in Hong Kong, Singapore is the sole Asian place where clients can book assets.

Wey noted, “With rapid wealth creation in China, there is a need for insightful advice around how to manage the new-found wealth. Many large Chinese companies are using Singapore as their international headquarters. Singapore is a natural hub for wealth management because of the very clear and investor-friendly regulation."

JPMorgan also intends to merge the team catering to the Indian clients with those handling the Singapore clients from Dec 1, 2020.

With China easing its restrictions for foreign firms to expand operations in the country, JPMorgan has decided to take full ownership of all mainland China operations by next year. This is part of the bank’s four-year investment plan in the country.

Notably, numerous other global finance companies are looking to expand operations in China. In September, Citigroup C became the first U.S. bank to get a domestic fund custody licence from China-based regulators. Several other firms like Goldman Sachs GS, BlackRock, Nomura Holdings, Morgan Stanley MS and UBS Group have either received approvals or are waiting for the same to increase stakes in their respective joint ventures in the country.

Shares of JPMorgan have lost 13.1% so far this year compared with the industry's 22.1% decline.

The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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