SHANGHAI May 23 Swiss private bank Julius Baer
said on Monday that it had received a government quota
of $100 million to invest in Chinese securities and will launch
a China fund to give its clients exposure to the world's
fastest-growing major economy.
The QFII quota, granted by the State Administration of
Foreign Exchange (SAFE), China's currency regulator, would allow
Julius Baer to buy Chinese stocks and bonds under the Qualified
Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme.
"We are in a unique position as a private bank to provide
our clients with the opportunity to invest directly onshore in
China, a market which is growing rapidly and offers so many
interesting options for investors," Kenneth Ho, Head of Products
Asia Pacific, said in a statement.
"This (the QFII quota) opens up increased opportunities for
diversification and potentially attractive long-term returns."
Since 2003, China has granted a combined QFII quota of about
$20 billion to more than 100 foreign institutions including UBS
, Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley and
Citigroup , giving them access to China's strictly
controlled capital markets.
Zurich-based Julius Baer, which counts Switzerland and Asia
as its two home markets, said it plans to launch a China fund
that would invest in Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong as
well as in mainland China.
"Until now, clients have had very limited direct access to
this trend (of investing in China), since few China stocks have
overseas listings - we can now offer clients a full range of
products either directly from Julius Baer or from numerous
external parties," the bank said.
Julius Baer is stepping up efforts to expand in Asia,
especially China, seeking to benefit from China's growth and the
rising status of the Chinese currency.
In March, Julius Baer expanded its offshore yuan product
offerings, adding yuan conversion service, savings and deposit
accounts and yuan-denominated or currency-linked investment
products in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Julius Baer's Hong Kong operation was promoted into a full
bank branch late last year and the bank plans to open its
Shanghai representative office and Singapore Trust company this
(Reporting by Samuel Shen and Jacqueline Wong)