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June 14, 2021

BlackRock gets clearance to begin China mutual fund operations

By Verdict Staff

BlackRock has secured the regulatory nod to start operating a wholly-owned onshore mutual fund business in China, becoming the first foreign asset manager in the country approved to do so.

The licence from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) allows the US-based asset manager to start selling onshore investment offerings to investors in the country.

Last year in August, BlackRock received the initial approval from CSRC to set up a wholly-owned mutual fund arm in Shanghai.

At the time, the watchdog gave BlackRock six months to set up the new unit.

Commenting on the latest regulatory approval, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said: “China is taking significant steps in opening up its financial markets.

“We can support more Chinese investors to access financial markets and build portfolios that can serve them throughout their lives.”

Last month, the company reportedly secured a licence in China for a majority-owned wealth management venture with a China Construction Bank unit and Singapore state investor Temasek.

The establishment of both the entities is aimed at helping the firm expand its reach in the country and increasing its dominance amongst global financial companies vying to take over China’s rapidly growing economy.

Additionally, BlackRock owns a minority stake in a mutual fund venture with Bank of China.

Besides BlackRock, Neuberger Berman, Schroders and Fidelity International are also looking to establish their wholly owned mutual fund businesses in China.

In an exception to the trend, US investment manager Vanguard scrapped its plan in March this year to secure a mutual funds licence in China.

The firm cited a ‘crowded’ market as the reason behind its decision to end the fund pursuit in the country.

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