HONG KONG, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley moved a step closer to taking a controlling stake in its Chinese investment banking joint venture after snapping up the 2% stake it needed for control, exchange filings show.
Huaxin Securities signed an equity transfer contract on Aug. 1 to move the 2% stake in Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities to the U.S. bank, according to a statement dated Aug. 2 filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange by Huaxin's parent, Shanghai China Fortune Co.
Morgan Stanley was the only bidder, the filing said, adding that the transfer still has to be approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC).
The bank currently has a 49% stake in the joint venture.
A buyer will pay 376.2 million yuan ($54.24 million) for the 2% stake in Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities, according to a separate notice on the Shanghai United Assets and Equity Exchange website dated Aug. 1.
The news comes amid mounting tensions between the United States and China. U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to impose a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports from Sept. 1, escalating the trade war between the top two economies and jolting financial markets. ($1 = 6.9354 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Cheng Leng in Beijing and Alun John in Hong Kong, additional reporting by Samuel Shen in Shanghai, and Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; Editing by Himani Sarkar)