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aws试用账号(www.2km.me)_JPMorgan has US$20bil at stake as Dimon jokes about China

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JP Morgan Jamie Dimon

SHANGHAI: Jamie Dimon’s (pic) eyebrow-raising joke about JPMorgan Chase & Co outlasting China’s Communist Party has so far been met by public silence from officials in Beijing.

But with nearly US$20bil (RM84.2bil) of exposure in the world’s second-largest economy – and big ambitions to expand even further – the US bank has a lot riding on maintaining cordial relations with a government that’s sensitive about anything that might be construed as questioning its legitimacy.

In one sign that JPMorgan is attuned to the risks, members of the bank’s government relations team and China offices had internal discussions about Dimon’s remarks, according to a source.

While some executives expressed concern that the joke could be viewed as insensitive, the government relations team told the group that Dimon intended to stress the longevity of JPMorgan’s China business rather than criticise the party.

As of midday yesterday in China, the bank hadn’t communicated with local government officials on the issue, the source said.

A JPMorgan spokesperson declined to comment.

Chinese media, often quick to criticise perceived slights against the country by international companies, have yet to cover Dimon’s remarks on the party even as they wrote about several of his other comments on cryptocurrencies and US policy risks at a panel discussion on Tuesday.

“We hope to be there for a long time,” Dimon said of China while speaking at the Boston College Chief Executives Club.

He relayed a “joke” he made during a recent visit to Hong Kong: “The Communist Party is celebrating its 100th year. So is JPMorgan. And I’ll make you a bet we last longer.”

JPMorgan earlier this year became the first Wall Street bank to gain full ownership of a securities venture in China and has said it is investing 2.67 billion yuan (US$410mil or RM1.7bil) in China Merchants Bank Co’s wealth management unit.

The bank’s total exposure to China stood at US$19.7bil (RM83bil) as of September, mainly from lending and deposits, trading and investing, according to a regulatory filing.China has a history of taking action against companies and individuals that appear to challenge its policies or slight it in anyway, particularly on sensitive issues including Taiwan, which Dimon also referenced on Tuesday.

In 2019, UBS Group AG came under pressure to fire its chief economist, Paul Donovan, after he made a comment about a “Chinese pig” in a note about rising consumer prices. He later apologised, saying it was “innocently intended.”

China also broke off relations with Norway for several years after dissident Liu Xiaobo received the Nobel Peace Prize.

China’s financial markets are a potent lure for the world’s biggest banks, with billions of potential profits on the line in investment banking and wealth management.

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