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Asset Managers trim China investment 

Asset Managers trim China investment 

China is moving further and further into its own independent orbit as foreign investment shrinks, says Hong Kong’s China Economic Review.

“JP Morgan announced it is hiving off its China operation, making it separate from its international and US mothership,” it said in its “Seven Days in China” weekly editorial.

“Canadian pension and other investment funds have announced they are reducing their exposure in the China market and other big players, including BlackRock seem to be in the process of reducing staffing and operations in China,” according to the same report

This is probably related to the increasing problems with the gradually stricter oversight of foreign investment, and all measures of auditing and review of China companies, and any operational and data flow issues that relate.

“Investments made by JP Morgan International require a reasonable degree of transparency on the progress of an investment and that is becoming increasingly problematic. Less foreign money is thus going to be interested in coming into China. “If you don’t have transparency and oversight on the state of investments and the operations of companies in which you invest, why invest?”

Sequoia, the international private equity firm, has had huge successes. Sequoia is in the process of changing its arrangements so that not only China, but also India and Southeast Asia Sequoia operations are separated from Sequoia international.

“This has presumably the same impact of making the funding of Sequoia in China almost completely domestic, and very likely largely state funded,” the CER editorial said.

“What is the current state of FDI? It’s hard to say, the numbers are unclear. How much of it is round-tripped funds from the mainland to Hong Kong and back? We don’t know.”

APG, one of the world’s largest asset managers, said its pension fund clients were shying away from China in a growing pullback by investors alarmed at rising geopolitical risks, reports London’s Financial Times.

The Dutch fund which manages about EUR532 billion (US$570 billion) of assets for Dutch pension plans serving around 4.8 million participants, is an established investor in China and opened an office in Hong Kong about 15 years ago.

However, Thijs Knaap, chief economist with APG Asset Management, said concerns about China were rising among its pension fund clients. “Five years ago, we’d say ‘China, it’s growing fast and it’s opening up’ and the funds would say, ‘yes, take our money there . . . no discussion’,” Mr Knaap said.

“But this has become a lot harder to sell to stakeholders. They’re very conscious of the risks they are running. There is a very real geopolitical risk that has been added to the proposition,” he said.

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