Financial holding companies in China not a panacea

On the back of the stock market slump, companies are trying to cut costs and consolidate. But it''s unlikely the government will allow systemic risk to rise by allowing integration on the Western model.

Looking out over the desolate capital markets investment landscape in China, it's not hard to understand the latest craze sweeping China.

The stock market has been tanking for the last 18 months, the corporate bond market is developing with glacier-like slowness, and interest rates are at record lows.

The hope is that Financial Holding Companies, the words on everybody's lips, will boost profits though cross selling, economies of scale and diversifying revenue.

Ever since the restructuring of China International Trust and Investment Corporation CITIC into a holding company combining its industrial and financial business, companies have been tugging at the leash to do something similar. Manufacturers want to be the next General Electric, which changed...

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