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China QDII: Overseas ETFs on Agenda of Chinese Fund Managers

Chinese fund managers are preparing overseas exchange-traded fund products, though there is not a timetable yet for the approval of such products.

Chinese fund managers are planning overseas exchange-traded fund products in response to the decision by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to grant overseas investment quotas to two companies.

SAFE, the regulator of China’s foreign investments, granted overseas investment quotas of US$1 billion to E Fund Management and US$500 million to China Merchants Fund on Oct. 23. It is expected to grant further quotas this year, Caijing has reported.

Penghua Fund Management Co. is preparing to launch a series of ETFs tracking global indices. It has licensed indices from MSCI Barra, including MSCI USA, MSCI Emerging Markets, and MSCI EAFE, which tracks stocks in Europe, Australasia and the Far East, a Penghua employee said. The ETFs will launch next year at the earliest, the employee said.

China Asset Management Co. is preparing a fund tracking the Hang Seng Index, said a source from the fund manager. An industry source said the funds will be launched on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The emergence of these exchange-traded funds could lead to capital flight, but the new funds will still be subject to regulations and quotas on foreign exchange that govern the Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors, Caijing reported. The overseas ETF operations are included under the total QDII quotas.

The Shanghai Exchange will be a testing ground for these overseas exchange traded funds, according to a source at Bosera Asset Management. Bosera had earlier won the development rights to an ETF tracking the Shanghai exchange.

According to Barclays Global Investors, as of June 30, 2009, there were 1,070 EFTs, run by 93 assets management companies, with US$789 billion under their management.

Source: Caijiang, 04.11.2009 by Zhang Bing

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