French asset manager Amundi is planning to establish a wholly-owned mutual fund business in China, reported Bloomberg citing a person familiar with the development.

The move is said to be part of the European asset manager’s plan to bulk up its multi-pronged strategy in China in spite of the macro headwinds.

Amundi has not yet decided whether its planned entity will be based in Beijing or Shanghai. It is yet to file a regulatory application, the source said.

The Paris-based $2.2trn manager, who has been bullish on Chinese stocks, is seeking to turn China into its secondary home base and rapidly expand its presence in the country’s evolving wealth market.

Amundi Greater China chairman Zhong Xiaofeng said last year that the firm is aiming to more than double assets under management in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan by 2025.

Xiaofeng also revealed at the time that the company was beefing up its workforce in China and was working with joint venture partners, the Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China, to offer more products in Greater China.

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Amundi established its wealth management joint-venture with Chinese firm BOC Wealth Management in 2020 to offer wealth management products to mainland investors.

Commenting on the firm’s China plans, Amundi CIO Vincent Mortier told Bloomberg in an interview: “Since April we have made a call to be overweight China and it has been the best choice. We think it is still valid even though prices have gone up.” 

This week, a report by Reuters said that UBS is eying a wholly owned mutual fund business in China.