Franklin Templeton Investments will serve as an advisor to a Chinese investment firm in a deal that could become a joint venture, Reuters reported today.

The firm, Guangfa Securities, will allow Franklin Templeton to work with its asset management unit, perhaps until more palpable arrangements between U.S. and Chinese firms are allowed under Chinese law, the report said. Many U.S. firms expect China to permit more foreign access to its financial markets and allow more international partnerships to take place by year-end when China is expected to join the World Trade Organization.

Franklin Templeton representatives in the U.S. could not confirm the report and the company’s officials in China could not be reached.

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