(Bloomberg) -- UBS Group AG has reached out to a number of financial firms to gauge their interest in buying the Chinese brokerage venture of Credit Suisse, according to people familiar with the matter.
The firm sent invitations to bid to companies including Warburg Pincus, Citadel Securities LLC and a number of local financial groups, the people said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. One person said that the expectation for the bids is at least 1 billion yuan ($137 million). UBS declined to comment.
The plan to sell the operation follows UBS’s acquisition of Credit Suisse, which has led to job cuts and trimming of overlapping businesses. UBS already controls a securities venture in China and can’t hold two licenses in the same business.
Warburg hasn’t made any offer for the business as of now, one person said. The company didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment. Citadel declined to comment.
In an interview earlier this week, Sergio Ermotti, the chief executive officer of UBS, said it was still evaluating options on what to do about the Credit Suisse securities venture.
Like other global banking powerhouses, Credit Suisse had gained full control of its venture in China as authorities opened up the financial markets. Credit Suisse last year agreed to buy out its China partner Founder Securities’s 49% stake for $160 million and had been waiting for regulatory approval to own 100%.
Despite geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainty, global companies have been expanding in China’s brokerage and asset management industries in the past few years, due to policies encouraging more foreign firms to have full ownership of the businesses.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. were the first international banks to take 100% ownership of China ventures in 2021. Morgan Stanley has taken control of its securities venture. Citigroup Inc. is in the process of applying for a securities license.
--With assistance from Cathy Chan.
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