The granting of a China business licence to Aberdeen Asset Management – which Martin Gilbert, chief executive, revealed earlier this week – means the UK company is the first asset manager to set up an office in the country under a pilot free trade zone.
The licence will make it easier for Aberdeen to operate in China through a subsidiary in the free trade area.
China has agreed to allow qualified, locally incorporated and wholly foreign-owned or joint-venture fund management firms to run investment management business there.
Sajid Javid, UK secretary of state for business, says in a statement: “As we deepen UK-China relations it is rewarding to see Aberdeen Asset Management licensed to operate in China. The company will bring fund management expertise from the UK to the second largest economy in the world. I am committed to building relationships like this between our two nations.”
The announcement comes during a week-long tour of UK ministers and leading UK business to China, led by George Osborne, chancellor.
The UK government wants to secure London's future as China's bridge to western financial markets. Funds Global Asia, a sister publication to Funds Europe, reported this week on UK-China co-operation over bond markets.
Aberdeen’s next step is to be registered with the Asset Management Association of China.
Gilbert says: "UK business cannot ignore the structural development of China. It is already the second largest economy in the world and will sooner or later surpass the US.”
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