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May 17, 2022

Azimut to accelerate China expansion as QDLP scheme gather momentum

Italian asset management group Azimut is planning to beef up its presence in China’s $18trn wealth management space, reported SCMP.

The move comes as China accelerates its Qualified Domestic Limited Partner (QDLP) scheme to allow more foreign players into its economy.

The QDLP scheme enables foreign asset managers to raise funds from investors in China and invest offshore.

Milan-headquartered Azimut is set to launch its eighth private fund under the QDLP scheme in the next few months to allow investors to invest in high-yield bonds in developed markets.

This month, AZ Investment Management, an indirectly and wholly-owned unit of Azimut, become the first wholly foreign-owned enterprise private securities investment fund manager (WFOE PFM) to be licenced to launch funds under the QDLP.

AZ Investment Management general manager and CIO Stefano Chao said in a recent interview with The Post: “If you are a global asset manager, you cannot not be in China.

“There are many upside opportunities, as the market is very big and there are a lot of opportunities for growth.”

According to Chao, AZ intends to roll out additional products in China, where it currently only offers equity long-only private funds. The firm, which is seeking to secure an advisory licence from the Chinese regulator, has plans to expand advisory services for large institutions, including banks.

China also allows licensed international funds to invest in China’s private equity and venture capital markets through the Qualified Foreign Limited Partner (QFLP) programme.

Another initiative, dubbed the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme, enables licensed foreign investors to invest in the country’s stock markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Nine Chinese cities currently offer QDLP pilot programmes, and as of 31 May last year, 36 foreign asset managers had registered under these programmes.

CCB International Asset Management, a local unit of Hamilton Lane, Beijing-based CDH Investments and JAFCO Asia are said to be seeking licences under the QFLP scheme.

Meanwhile, US-based Pimco increased its quota under QDLP by $200m, the report said.

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