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Wall Street Is Finally Getting Access to China. But for How Long?


For decades, American banks have been eager to expand their business in China, the world’s second-largest economy. They’re finally getting their way — just as a spiraling corporate debt crisis threatens to rock the country’s financial system and China’s central government takes a stronger hand with big businesses.In July, Citigroup became the first foreign bank to win approval to open a custody business in China, essentially acting as a bank for Chinese investment funds. In August, JPMorgan Chase got permission from the Chinese authorities to take full ownership of its investment banking and trading business in the country — a century after it first opened shop there. Goldman Sachs received the green light for a similar venture in October.As the approvals came in, the message from Beijing was clear: It wanted U.S. lenders to bring more foreign investors into China and help Chinese people buy assets overseas.Thrilled that they no longer hav …

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