Swish bank UBS said on Thursday it has set up an asset management unit in Beijing to tap China's rapidly-growing $650 billion private equity market.

China's strong economic growth has positioned the market as one of the most promising emerging markets globally and resulted in a booming domestic equity investment market, Xinyuan Ling, Chairman of the newly-established UBS Global Asset Management (China), said in a statement.

The firm will help launch private equity funds, make direct primate equity investments and provide other related management and advisory services, it said.

Rivals Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs as well as global buyout firms, such as Blackstone , Carlyle and TPG , have already launched or announced plans to set up private equity funds in China, taking advantage of Beijing's support for the sector.

Morgan Stanley set up a China private equity unit in May, aiming to raise 1.5 billion guan ($230 million) in its first yuan-denominated fund while Goldman Sachs has also unveiled plans to raise up to 5 billion yuan in a China fund.

China is hoping that the entry of foreign expertise can boost the domestic private equity market, so as to improve local corporate governance and channel more money into the private sector to aid economic growth.

Capital committed to China's private equity market totaled $652 billion at the end of June, Ling added.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Kazunori Takada)