The company said, subject to regulatory approval, the range would be launched in early 2015 and is intended to take advantage of an anticipated “mutual recognition platform” between Hong Kong and China.
Barings Asia Ex Japan chief executive, Gerry Ng, said: “We have a long and distinguished record of investing in Asia and this new development furthers our commitment to investing in local talent and infrastructure in the region.
“Initially we plan to launch a focused range of locally domiciled funds in Hong Kong, drawing on our deep pool of asset management expertise.
“The development of a local fund range also positions us to take advantage of the anticipated mutual recognition platform between Hong Kong and China and the increased demand for locally domiciled funds that we expect to follow.”
Barings said it has been active in China for more than 220 years and opened its first office in Hong Kong in 1973. The firm launched one of the first mutual funds investing in the region in 1982, managed the first dedicated China fund in 1985 and were early investors in China’s domestic A-share market.
The company now manages in excess of US$14.4bn (£8.5bn,€10.5bn) in Asia Ex Japan – of which $3.7bn is in China/Greater China and employs over 130 staff in the region.
China has gradually been opening its currency and stock markets up to greater foreign investment over the past few years, with renminbi trading trials having taken place in Hong Kong and, more recently, in Singapore.
The country has also made it easier for foreign financial institutions to invest directly into its equity market. UK-headquartered asset management Ashmore became the first company to be granted a RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors licence in early January.