HONG KONG, March 15 Manulife Financial Corp
has been granted a licence that will allow it to launch
investment products in China through a wholly-owned local
subsidiary, as Beijing further liberalises its capital markets.
Canada-based Manulife said on Wednesday that the creation of
the Shanghai-based unit paves the way for the financial group to
provide its global public and private products in the
fast-growing asset management industry in China.
"This underlines Manulife's commitment to China and to the
city of Shanghai by supporting its vision as a regional
financial centre," said Donald Guloien, president and chief
executive officer of Manulife.
"This also allows us to better fulfil our aspiration in
serving Chinese investors to achieve their respective investment
A growing number of foreign financial institutions,
including Fidelity, Aberdeen Asset Management, U.S.
hedge fund Bridgewater Associates and Vanguard have recently set
up wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOE) in China.
Previously, foreign asset managers looking to distribute
investment products in China had to operate through
minority-owned joint ventures with Chinese firms, but Beijing
has been gradually loosening the reins.
Manulife already has a 51 percent investment in the joint
venture company, Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd, based
The new entity, however, will allow Manulife to serve a
broader investor base such as small and medium-sized
institutions, private banks and independent wealth management
platforms, the company said.
(Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Stephen Coates)