The equity fund was launched through Value Partners’ investment-management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (IM WFOE) in Shanghai.
The firm did not disclose details about the product, but a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman told our sister publication Fund Selector Asia it invests only in China’s A-shares.
The fund was launched on 12 January, according to the association’s record.
Similar to other private fund management (PFM) license holders, the firm is allowed to sell the product only to qualified (high net worth and institutional) investors in mainland China.
China’s increasing demand
Yu Xiaobo, head of China business, sees an increasing demand among China’s high net worth individuals for investment products and is positive on China’s onshore equity market.
“MSCI index’s inclusion of A-shares, expected this summer, should introduce more foreign capital into the Chinese equity market. It is expected that the A-share market will develop further to match the investment pattern of institutional investors globally,” Yu said in a statement.
In late November, Value Partners obtained a PFM licence. Two months later, the firm’s onshore fund was approved.
Invesco was also granted the license in November but the firm has yet to launch onshore funds. However, Invesco will have to roll out at least one product by end of May at the latest because the authority places a six-month deadline for the first product launch to new license holders.
Among the PFM license holders, Fidelity is the pioneer in adopting the IM WFOE structure to enter China’s domestic asset management industry. It was among the first batch of foreign firms to establish a WFOE in Shanghai in 2015.
It was then the first foreign asset manager to register as a private securities fund management firm with AMAC, in January 2017. Now it offers the most onshore products compared to other IM WFOEs, including one equity fund and two bond funds.
The prerequisite to launching an onshore private fund in China is operation of an IM WFOE, which makes the foreign manager eligible to apply for a PFM license.
So far, there are more than 25 IM WFOEs established in the country, with the most recent being Nomura Asset Management and Franklin Templeton Investments.
A Beijing-based spokeswomen previously confirmed to FSA that Nomura Asset Management becomes the first Japanese asset manager to set up an IM WFOE.
Franklin Templeton Investments converted its investment advisory WFOE to an IM WFOE on 18 December, according to its filings to China’s Ministry of Commerce.
However, with 10 foreign firms holding PFM licences, only Fidelity International, UBS Asset Management, Man Investments and Value Partners have launched investment products.
Fullerton has plans to launch an equity fund and Neuberger Berman plans to launch a fixed income fund, FSA reported earlier.