Financial services group UBS is in discussions to buy a majority stake in its Chinese securities joint venture, says CEO Sergio Ermotti, as global banks rush to take advantage of Beijing’s pledge to further open its financial markets.

The country announced in November it would relax foreign ownership restrictions.

UBS has started talks with its local partners about taking a 51% stake in the venture, Ermotti says. — Bloomberg

Pfizer cuts

Pfizer’s decision to stop research and development activities for new neuroscience drugs, including for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, will lead to about 300 job losses.

The move to end the company’s neuroscience-discovery programme followed an internal review, the drug maker says.

The job reductions will primarily affect employees at US facilities in Cambridge and Andover in Massachusetts, as well as in Groton, Connecticut. — Bloomberg