BlackRock gets license to start China mutual fund business

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -BlackRock has become the first global asset manager allowed to start a wholly-owned onshore mutual fund business in China, as Beijing accelerates opening of the $3.5 trillion industry.

© Reuters/CARLO ALLEGRI FILE PHOTO: The BlackRock logo is pictured in New York City

BlackRock said on Friday its Chinese fund management unit had won approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to start the operation.

“China is taking significant steps in opening up its financial markets,” BlackRock Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said in a statement.

“We look forward to sharing our global investment expertise and offering more differentiated investment solutions to Chinese investors.”

China scrapped foreign ownership caps in its mutual fund and securities sectors last April as part of an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal.

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Several other global asset managers, including Fidelity International, Neuberger Berman and Schroders, have also applied to set up wholly-owned mutual fund business in China.

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BlackRock’s announcement came a month after it received a licence for a majority-owned wealth management venture in China. The U.S. fund giant also owns a minority stake in a mutual fund venture with Bank of China.

The regulatory approvals position BlackRock to extend the breadth of its products and services and investment insights to all client segments across China, BlackRock said on Friday.

“Rapid economic development and wealth accumulation in the world’s second largest economy have propelled growth of the domestic asset management industry,” Susan Chan, BlackRock’s head of Asia, said in the statement.

“We are eager to play our part in helping to make investing easier and more affordable” in China.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Andrew Galbraith: Editing by Neil Fullick and Kim Coghill)

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