Morgan Stanley has sacked the China head of its property investment arm for suspected violations of the United States' Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, sources said.

The Wall Street bank said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday that it had fired a China-based employee who initiated actions that "appear to have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act", which is a securities law related to bribery.

Morgan Stanley did not identify the person, but sources said it was Garth Peterson, who was managing director of Morgan Stanley Real Estate in Shanghai and was fired in December.

The episode has also resulted in Morgan Stanley's global head of property investing being placed on administrative leave.

South China Morning Post, New York Times