BlackRock sets its sights on China growth

BlackRock_branchThe world’s largest asset manager has set its sights on expanding in China, as the world’s second-largest economy liberalises its financial markets.

In his annual letter to shareholders, BlackRock chief executive, Larry Fink, identified China as “one of the largest future growth opportunities” for the firm, adding that it is “focused on building an onshore presence”.

China is taking greater steps to invite foreign participation in its equity and bond markets. Hundreds of Chinese yuan-denominated government and policy bank securities are being phased into the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index over a 20-month period, a process which began on April 1, 2019.

In 2017, China raised the limit of foreign ownership in securities firms, mutual fund houses, life insurers and futures brokerages to 51% – rising to 100% after three years.

In his letter, Fink wrote: “Asia is expected to drive 50% of the organic assets under management growth in the asset management industry over the next five years, largely driven by China, where there is increasing demand for more diversified and long-term investment solutions.

“Our goal is to become one of the country’s leading global asset managers,” he added.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the BlackRock chief executive said the firm is “very engaged” with Chinese regulators as it looks to have “a majority-controlled asset management [business] in China”.

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