BlackRock expands China footprint with wealth management licence

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A sign for BlackRock Inc hangs above their building in New York U.S., July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

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SHANGHAI, May 12 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) has received a licence in China for a majority-owned wealth management venture, expanding its footprint in the country's fast-growing asset management market.

The U.S. fund giant said on Wednesday its wealth management venture with a unit of China Construction Bank Corp (CCB) (601939.SS), and Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings (Pte) Ltd (TEM.UL) can now start business.

The venture, 50.1% owned by BlackRock and 40% by CCB's wealth management unit, will draw on BlackRock's investment expertise and CCB's vast distribution network, the U.S. firm said in a statement.

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BlackRock will "support China in building a sustainable ecosystem for investing," Chairman and CEO Laurence Fink said in the statement.

"The Chinese market represents a significant opportunity to help meet the long-term goals of investors in China and internationally."

China opened its massive financial sector last April as part of an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal.

Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), said in March that Chinese regulators welcome more foreign entry into China's financial sector, including the wealth management space.

Amundi (AMUN.PA) has set up a wealth management joint venture with Bank of China (601988.SS), and Schroders has applied to partner with Bank of Communications (BOCOM) in wealth management.

BlackRock CCB Wealth Management Ltd, which received the licence from CBIRC, will expand BlackRock's presence in China.

BlackRock already owns a mutual fund venture with Bank of China, and is setting up a wholly-owned mutual fund house in the country.

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Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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