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Second Thai firm nabs RQFII quota

In total, seven firms received new or additional inbound quotas in China last month.

China’s qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) scheme and its renminbi equivalent (RQFII) allow foreign institutional investors to invest in onshore assets, within allocated quotas.

Bangkok-based BBL Asset Management for the first time received an RQFII quota amounting to RMB 1bn ($140m), according to records from China’s State Administration for Foreign Exchange (SAFE).

In December 2015, the RQFII programme was extended to Thailand.

This is the second Thai firm that has received an RQFII quota. The first, Kasikorn Asset Management, has a quota of RMB 1.1bn, which it received in November 2016.

BBL AM already has a China-focused offering – The Bualuang China Equity Fund – but it is a feeder fund that invests at least one-third of its assets in the Allianz All China Equity Fund and the remainder in offshore Chinese equities, according to the firm’s website.

BBL AM, which manages around THB 598bn ($19.4bn) in mutual fund assets, is the third largest mutual fund company in Thailand, according to data from Morningstar Direct.

Two other firms also became first-time RQFII quota recipients: Weshare Asset Management in Hong Kong (a quota of RMB 1.5bn) and Pinebridge Investments in Ireland (RMB 750m), according to SAFE.

Weshare AM, which received licences for asset management and advising on securities in Hong Kong last year, is part of Weshare Holdings. Weshare Holdings is an online consumer finance platform in China that offers short-term consumer loans.

Meanwhile, Pinebridge’s Hong Kong-based entity already has an RQFII quota of RMB 800m, which it first received in 2013. The firm also has a total of $392m in QFII quotas, according to SAFE.

On the QFII front, Pimco and Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) received additional quotas last month. Pimco’s quotas increased to $400m from $100, while GSAM’s quota was doubled to $1.2bn, according to the regulator’s records.

First-time QFII recipients are UK-based Genesis Investment Management ($400m) and the International Finance Corporation ($280m).

Earlier this year, the China Securities and Regulatory Commission proposed combining the two quota schemes, which could help foreign managers with private fund management licences seed their own funds.

Part of the proposal is to expand the investment scope of the inbound schemes, which will include private investment funds, financial futures, commodity futures and options.

Since the quota programmes began, a total of RMB 681.22bn in RQFII quotas to 220 licence holders has been granted, as well as $108.6bn in QFII quotas to 292 licence holders, according to SAFE.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.