BlackRock deregisters Shanghai unit ahead of mutual fund launch

BlackRock branchBlackRock has shifted focus from its private fund unit in Shanghai to the planned launch of its mutual fund business in China. According to data from the Asset Management Association of China (Amac), BlackRock has deregistered the wholly foreign-owned enterprise BlackRock Investment Management (Shanghai). The private funds business was launched in 2017 as a way for BlackRock to roll out its regional funds across China. However, it has now been deemed ‘non-essential’ following the decision of Chinese authorities to fully open up its onshore mutual funds industry to foreign managers in April 2020. BlackRock was the first global manager to be awarded such a licence in August 2020, but the business has yet to launch despite originally being originally given a six month deadline by Chinese regulators. Other global managers that have since applied for a licence include Neuberger Berman, Schroders, AllianceBernstein and Fidelity International. Vanguard had also applied for a mutual fund licence but in March suspended the process in order to focus on its joint venture with e-commerce firm Ant Group. Vanguard cited the “crowded mutual fund market” as the reason for its decision. ©2021 funds global asia

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