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ICBC and Wisdomtree plan China ETF launch

ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management (International) and Wisdomtree Investments plan to a European launch of an ETF tracking the S&P China 500 Index.

ICBCCS (International), the overseas arm of mainland joint-venture between Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Credit Suisse, together with New York-based Wisdomtree, will “jointly launch, market and distribute ETFs tracking the S&P China 500 Index”, according to a joint-statement.

“A Luxembourg UCITS ETF listed in Europe will mark the first product in this collaboration. Future products may include ETFs listed in the United States and Asian markets.”

A Wisdomtree spokeswoman added: “This product will be the first of its kind in Europe to provide access to all Chinese companies regardless of their listing exchange.”

But she declined to give more details about the launch plans.

The S&P China 500 index is licensed exclusively to the two firms. It is composed of 500 largest and most liquid Chinese companies across A-share and offshore listings.

Global benchmark indices such as MSCI have separate indices tracking A-shares and companies listed offshore. In June, the MSCI rejected the includion of A-shares on its flagship emerging markets indices.

The partnership is the first between the two firms, the spokeswoman added. ICBCCS’s Hong Kong office could not be reached by email or phone.

ICBCCS had said it planned to launch the product in London and cross-list in Asia, to include Hong Kong, this summer, according to earlier reports.

But the plan was apparently delayed after its Hong Kong office lost Ricky Chau, director of global investment solutions, and Elvin Yu, the head of international sales last month.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.