Global markets are “overreacting” to the British vote to exit the European Union, UBS’ China head Eugene Qian said, as he called on clients to stay focused on their long-term investment strategies.

(Bloomberg News)
(Bloomberg News)

“It pays to pause a little bit” to think about what the right next step is, Qian said in an interview on Monday with Bloomberg Television’s Stephen Engle. “It’s wise to pause.”

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Qian said he’s expecting some Chinese companies to slow the pace of their investment in the U.K., given the potential for uncertainty in the country over the next couple of years. Still, over the longer term, a lot of the bank’s clients are still looking to developed markets like the U.K. and the EU, he said.

“Economically, a lot of Chinese companies still see the U.K. as a market where it does have a lot of potential to collaborate” with the mainland, Qian said.

UBS remains committed to its China strategy even amid the uncertainty over Brexit and softer global markets this year, he said. CEO Sergio Ermotti in January unveiled a plan to double the firm’s workforce in China to about 1,200 over the next five years as he seeks a slice of a financial-services market traditionally dominated by Chinese firms.

“No single event will change our long-term strategy for China,” Qian said. Over the medium to long term, there are “very promising prospects of local domestic market development, especially in wealth management, but also in the capital markets,” he said.