SHANGHAI, Sept 13 (Reuters) - China has granted six foreign hedge fund management companies quotas to raise yuan in China and invest it abroad, the 21st Century Business Herald reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the decision.
The quota opens up the world's second-largest economy for the first time to the $2 trillion-plus global hedge fund industry, potentially helping foreign funds raise billion of dollars from Chinese institutional investors for investment abroad.
The report said that Chinese regulators had granted six funds a combined $300 million worth of quota. Earlier reports said the programme, called the Qualified Domestic Limited Partner (QDLP) programme, would have a net quota of $5 billion.
The firms include the Man Group Plc, Winton Capital Management, Oak Tree, Citadel, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC and Canyon Partners, the report said. Each fund has been granted a $50 million individual quota.
A Hong Kong-based spokesperson from the Man Group declined to comment when contacted by Reuters. The other funds could not be immediately reached for comment.
The report comes as China has accelerated the tempo of announcements regarding reforms to the country's capital account.
Financial industry insiders have told Reuters that the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone, set to launch by the end of the month, is likely to further open the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) programme, a pilot project that lets Chinese fund managers invest in foreign equities and bonds.
However, analysts have pointed out that the QDII fund has proven unpopular with Chinese investors, with much of the programme's existing quota going unused.
Analysts said that many Chinese investors were burned during the implosion of overseas stock markets in 2008-2009, turning them off of foreign stocks, but they have become enthusiastic investors in overseas real estate.