UBS launches China unit, eyes wealth management business

UBS AG launched its locally-incorporated unit in China on Wednesday, allowing it to conduct yuan businesses in key areas such as wealth management.

Around 40 foreign banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co , Morgan Stanley and HSBC , have already set up China units and some have been injecting additional capital into them given the expansion in the world's second biggest economy.

"China represents one of the most important markets in the world for UBS. We are committed to expanding our presence here and broadening our products and services to meet the needs of clients", Axel Weber, UBS's Asia-Pacific chief executive, said in a statement.

"It is UBS's plan to be one of the leading wealth management providers in China and the subsidiary bank is critical to realize this goal", the statement added.

UBS operates brokerage and mutual fund joint ventures with local partners, as well as a private equity unit.

JPMorgan said last May it injected 2.5 billion yuan ($394.08 million) into its China unit. HSBC added 2.8 billion yuan into its China operation in 2011, even as it laid off several hundred investment bankers in London, Hong Kong and elsewhere as part of a jobs cull to save billions of dollars.

(Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)