Wall Street Chiefs Meet China Officials Amid Market Turmoil
(Bloomberg) -- Wall Street executives and top Chinese regulators plan to hold a virtual meeting to discuss topics including Beijing’s market-roiling crackdown on the private sector and U. S.-China relations.
The meeting on Thursday marks a resumption of the China-U. S. Financial Roundtable that was first convened in September 2018, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the gathering is private. The talks had taken a back seat amid the pandemic.
Blackstone Inc. Chairman Stephen Schwarzman, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President John Waldron, and Mary Erdoes, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s asset & wealth management, are among those that will attend, the people said. China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai, People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang, and Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, were invited from the Chinese side.
The high-level meeting comes after investors were unnerved by a regulatory onslaught from Beijing targeting its biggest technology companies and other industries as well as a pledge by President Xi Jinping to create “common prosperity.” Billions of dollars in potential profits are at stake for Wall Street, which has been expanding in China as the nation opens its financial markets to investment banks, wealth and money managers.
The stakes are also high for China in its efforts to transform its export-reliant economy. Beijing has so far shown no signs of wavering in its commitment to open its $54 trillion market as its seeks fresh investments and increased domestic competition.
The meeting has been organized by John Thornton, the chairman of Barrick Gold Corp. who co-chairs the roundtable with Zhou Xiaochuan, a former PBOC governor. Thornton was in Beijing last month meeting with officials including Vice Premier Liu He as well as the CSRC’s Fang, people familiar have said.
The roundtable will also discuss financial cooperation, according to a person familiar.
Morgan Stanley is also joining with a representative, a person familiar said.
Media representatives of the participating firms declined to comment.
Fang convened a call in July with executives of major investment banks, attempting to ease market fears after Beijing suddenly stamped out profits in its private education industry.
The U. S. and China are grappling with protracted standoffs on issues such as market access, data security and international stock listings. Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler last month warned hundreds of Chinese companies that have raised money in U. S. markets that they risk having their shares delisted if they don’t submit to increased scrutiny.
When initially conceived in 2018, the roundtable drew a strong rebuke from the then White House top trade adviser, Peter Navarro, who told Wall Street to “get out of the negotiations,” accusing them of pressuring President Donald Trump to end his trade war with China.
(Updates with JPMorgan in third paragraph. Morgan Stanley in eighth.)
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