Manulife has received an Investment Company Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) licence in China.   

The licence will allow the company to offer its public and private products in the asset management industry in China through its local subsidiary, Manulife Investment (Shanghai).

To secure the licence, the company made an investment of 51% in the Shanghai-based joint venture firm Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance.

The subsidiary will serve various investors base such as small and medium-sized institutions, private banks and independent wealth management platforms, the company said.

Manulife executive vice president, global head of wealth and asset management Kai Sotorp said: "Being the first financial institution to receive the Investment Company WFOE status puts us in an excellent position to expand our range of global product offerings to investors in China."

Manulife president and CEO Donald Guloien said: "This underlines Manulife's commitment to China and to the city of Shanghai by supporting its vision as a regional financial center."

Manulife Financial Asia president and CEO Roy Gori said: "This licence will complement our joint ventures in serving investors in China, including Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance and Manulife TEDA Fund Management. Manulife-Sinochem was the first foreign invested joint-venture life insurer to sell mutual funds in China, while Manulife TEDA provides traditional retail and institutional asset management service and solutions for clients across the Chinese market."