American Banks Have What They Want in China. Their Fate Is Still Out of Their Hands.

American investors are probably warier of China now than at any time in decades. Relations between the two countries are tense, and the prospect of a wider fallout from the struggles of property giant China Evergrande Group hovers over the market.

Yet at the same time, it is possibly a historic moment for American financial companies in China. As part of the Trump administration’s trade deal, China agreed to ease foreign-ownership restrictions across financial services. Now, U.S. banks including Goldman Sachs , JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are all at some stage of taking full or fuller ownership of what used to be securities industry joint ventures with Chinese partners. These moves will help give them more access to China’s onshore investment banking and trading markets. Meanwhile major U.S.-based asset managers such as BlackRock are being welcomed in as never before to help manage a huge pool of wealth.