American investment management giant BlackRock Inc and Singapore's Temasek Holdings Pte have just been granted regulatory approval to establish a new asset management joint venture in China. The two companies will be working with the country's largest banks, China Construction Bank Corp, to establish a new business.
The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC) granted the approval over the weekend. BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager with over $7.4 trillion in managed assets, said in a statement that the approval marks yet another step forward in China's opening-up efforts. China has gradually been easing its regulations and restrictions, particularly for its financial markets, opening it up to more foreign players.
BlackRock is the latest investment and asset management firm to increase its investment in the Chinese market. Financial institutions such as JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and HSBC have already made moves to take increasing control over their respective joint ventures as the country eases its restrictions. Europe's largest asset management firm, Amundi SA, was the first foreign company to be granted approval to establish a wealth management venture in the country back in December last year.
While the spread of the coronavirus pandemic may have slightly hampered the further liberalization of China's financial sector, more foreign companies have expressed interest in expanding into the highly lucrative market. China's retail funds market is one of the fastest-growing in the world, with the sector estimated to reach more than $3.4 trillion over the next three years.
BlackRock's chief executive officer, Larry Fink, said in a statement that China still remains the company's top region for growth. He added that even with the ongoing geopolitical tensions between China and the United States, BlackRock still sees a lot of growth potential in the region.
Apart from establishing a new asset management business in China, BlackRock is also moving to expand its other businesses in the region. BlackRock has reportedly applied for a license to establish a wholly owned mutual funds firm in Hong Kong. The company also holds stakes in a number of Chinese firms and joint ventures, including a 16.5 percent stake in its joint venture with the Bank of China.