Intesa Sanpaolo to be first Italian bank to trade directly in China

MILAN, June 7 Fri Jun 7, 2013 9:52am EDT

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MILAN, June 7 (Reuters) - Intesa Sanpaolo, through its asset management unit Eurizon Capital, will be the first Italian bank to trade directly in onshore Chinese financial markets, the bank said on Friday.

Eurizon has obtained the status of "qualified foreign institutional investor", becoming one of around 200 entities that can buy bonds and trade shares in China's $3 trillion onshore stock market, and is authorised to invest $100 million in stocks, government and corporate bonds.

"Asset management in China will be very positive for Eurizon given the growth in private wealth there," said Alberto Gallo, head of European macro credit research at RBS in London.

Beijing is loosening long-standing restrictions on the trading of so-called A-shares, which are priced in yuan and traded in Shanghai and Shenzhen, to attract more stable, long-term investment.

Quotas assigned by Chinese authorities vary in size but are capped at $1 billion per investor. China has so far handed out investment quotas totalling $42 billion.

"Eurizon maintains a positive outlook on the Chinese market, both with regard to the equities of the A-shares, as well as for the appreciation of the exchange rate," Eurizon's managing director Mauro Micillo said in a statement. (Reporting By Isla Binnie; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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