Ashmore Group won approval from China's securities market regulator to offer funds in London capable of investing offshore pools of renminbi in China's domestic equity and fixed-income markets, the London-based emerging markets manager announced.
An Ashmore news release called Ashmore the “first investment manager outside Hong Kong to be granted RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor status by the China Securities Regulatory Commission.” A commission spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
The RQFII program, launched about two years ago, has evolved rapidly. Initially restricted to the Hong Kong-based affiliates of mainland Chinese financial firms, it was expanded from mid-2013 to Taipei, Singapore and London, with non-Chinese financial firms allowed to participate as well.
Ashmore sees “appetite from a broad range of investors around the world” for dedicated access to the Chinese equity and fixed-income markets, said Christoph Hofmann, Ashmore's global head of distribution, in an e-mail.
“We're planning to roll out dedicated products in due course,” Mr. Hofmann said.
Ashmore also has a quota under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program set up by China's regulators more than a decade ago to give overseas institutional investors and financial firms some access to local Chinese securities markets.
The RQFII program will provide international investors with “unprecedented access” to China's onshore equity and fixed-income markets, the Ashmore news release said.
“The scheme allows for improved ease of repatriation of funds compared to the existing QFII scheme, and provides more flexible investment guidelines for investors looking to invest in China,” the news release said.
In October 2013, China set the London RQFII market's overall quota at 80 billion renminbi ($13 billion).
Ashmore officials weren't immediately available to comment on the size of the quota the company is seeking from Chinese regulators.