Alibaba-Wanxiang, Fosun-Juneyao partnerships hope to set up private banks -Securities Times

SHANGHAI, July 31 Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:39pm EDT

SHANGHAI, July 31 (Reuters) - Two Chinese partnerships, one of which involves Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd's financial services affiliate, are still hoping to get private banking licences after missing the initial batch of approvals for China's very first private lenders, the Securities Times said on Thursday.

The Alibaba Small and Micro Financial Services Group and partner Wanxiang Group, China's largest auto parts company, are drawing up a revised plan to set up a bank targeting small customers, the Shenzhen-based newspaper said, citing material related to the plan and a person close to Alibaba Group.

China's banking regulator recently approved the setting up of several new banks which were wholly funded with capital from private firms, introducing the first private lenders into a sector dominated by state giants.

Fosun International Ltd is also persisting with preparations to set up a banking operation together with Juneyao Group, parent of Shanghai-based airline Juneyao, said the Securities Times, citing Fosun insiders and an informed source in Shanghai.

The Wanxiang-Alibaba Small and Micro Financial Services and Fosun-Juneyao partnerships had not gained final approval, although the companies had been part of the private banking pilot programme earlier this year.

Fosun, which already owns stakes in two insurance companies and a securities brokerage, has hired a senior executive from the Shanghai branch of China Merchants Bank Co Ltd, the Securities Times said.

Both Fosun and Juneyao plan to take a 20 percent stake in their planned private bank, according to the article.

Alibaba and Wanxiang declined to comment.

Fosun and Juneyao could not be immediately reached for comment by telephone. Fosun also did not respond to e-mailed questions. (Reporting by Samuel Shen and Brenda Goh; Additional reporting by Paul Carsten in BEIJING; Editing by Ryan Woo)

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