Ashmore wins China investment licence in first for a western firm

City A.M. Reporter
LONDON’S push to become a leading foreign centre for yuan trade took a step forward yesterday after Ashmore became the first western asset manager to secure a licence to invest directly in China’s capital markets.

China’s cautious embrace of international cash resulted in a coup for Britain last October, when London became the sole non-Asian conduit for investors looking to buy stocks, bonds and funds in China using yuan.

Under the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) pilot programme, which was previously only available to Hong Kong firms, Beijing gave London-based asset managers the right to buy up to 80bn yuan (£8bn) of assets.

Ashmore head of research Jan Dehn said the licence would give its clients access to China’s fast-growing $4 trillion interbank bond market and its $3.5 trillion A-share equity market, both of which had previously been harder to reach.

“China has been one of the most compelling, yet difficult markets for investors to access,” said Dehn.