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Barings enters China with first onshore fund

Following its competitors, the firm has received approval for its debut local fund for sale via the private fund management (PFM) channel.

Barings today announced the launch of the China A-share Private Securities Investment Fund No 1, to be sold to China’s institutional and professional investors, according to a statement from the firm.

The product was registered with the Asset Management Association of China (Amac) last Friday, the regulator’s record shows.

A PFM licence allows foreign managers to develop and sell funds investing in onshore assets to domestic qualified investors.

The fund is managed by Nathan Jiang, investment manager of China A-share equities.

“Barings uses bottom-up analysis and consistent with the firm’s growth-at- a-reasonable-price (GARP) investment philosophy across the global equity platform, the fund strategy will focus on individual company’s fundamentals and long-term earnings profile,” the statement added.

This is the firm’s first onshore product, but it has been participating in various cross-border quota programs such as QDII, QFII and RQFII for about 10 years, the statement said.

A Shanghai-based investment management wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE) was established in August 2018 and earlier this year the firm registered as a PFM WFOE.

In QDLP (qualified domestic limited partnership) products, Barings launched one this year and a second one was registered  with the Amac in August, according to the regulator’s records.

A QDLP licence allows foreign managers to raise money domestically to invest in offshore traditional and alternative investments, including overseas equity and bond funds, hedge funds and real estate, within allocated quotas.

Multiplying onshore funds

As of 9 August this year, 21 foreign firms hold a PFM licence and collectively they have launched 46 products with RMB 5.4bn ($768m) in assets, according to a statement from the Amac.

However, the Amac information does not include recent product launches, which seem to be accelerating.

Value Partners now leads the pack, with four onshore products introduced this year and eight since the WFOE registered as a PFM firm in November 2017.

UBS AM has eight PFM products, followed by Winton Investment Management, the WFOE of British quant fund manager Winton Capital,which now runs seven onshore products.

As for UK-based Schroders, last month the firm registered the second fund of funds onshore, the China Diversified Income No. 1 FOF Private Security Investment Fund.

Blackrock’s China A-share Opportunity Private Fund II also received approval from the Amac in August. The regulator’s records show that the firm now manages three PFM products, FSA previously reported.

Individual firms declined to comment on assets gathered by their onshore products, citing concerns related to China’s regulators.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.