Zhu Yunlai, the president of the Chinese investment banking firm China International Capital Corp., said at an economist forum in New York that recent Chinese regulatory approvals for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley signal the possibility of more openness in the Chinese financial system in the long term.

JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley recently won approval for securities joint ventures in mainland China, the first U.S. firms to gain such access in six years.

The ventures will allow them to underwrite stocks and bonds in mainland China, and were seen as significant developments for both firms. The volume of initial public offerings on mainland China's exchanges has jumped, raising the interest of international securities firms in China.

Zhu did not comment directly on any possible impact to his firm from the approvals. Relations between China and the U.S. are in sharp focus ahead of a trip by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Washington.

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