LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - British investment fund manager Ashmore Group has become the first Western company to be granted a licence to invest directly in China’s stock and bond markets.
China has made moves towards opening up its capital markets to international investors in recent years under a carefully managed programme.
Last year it announced plans to expand to London and other locations its Reminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) pilot programme, which allows foreign investors to trade directly in its financial markets.
Under the programme, which was previously only available to designated companies in Hong Kong, London-based asset managers were given the right to buy up to 80 billion yuan ($13.2 billion) of stocks, bonds and money market instruments.
Ashmore has become the first fund manager outside of Hong Kong to be granted the RQFII status by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), it said on Tuesday.
“China has been one of the most compelling, yet difficult markets for investors to access,” Ashmore’s Head of Research Jan Dehn said in a statement.
Dehn said the licence would give Ashmore’s clients access to China’s fast-growing $4 trillion interbank bond market and its $3.5 trillion A-shares equity market.
“Both these markets have traditionally been difficult for international investors to access until now,” he said.