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Fidelity International’s Shanghai Subsidiary Gets OK to Invest in China Markets

By Yue Yue and Wang Yuqian

(Beijing) — The Shanghai subsidiary of Fidelity International has received approval to invest in China’s stock markets for domestic clients, the first wholly foreign-owned institution to get such approval after the country promised last year to further open its securities markets to foreign fund managers.

The firm, established in 2015 in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, now is licensed as a private fund manager with the Asset Management Association of China, according to the association’s website.

Another 10 fund management companies wholly owned by foreign parent firms had previously registered with the association under a pilot program that allows them to manage assets for Chinese investors. But the funds must be invested in overseas markets, a restriction that limits the foreign competition faced by Chinese private securities funds.

China promised to relax the restriction last year to allow foreign fund managers greater access to the Chinese market.

A subsidiary of U.S. banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. was said to be eyeing the opportunity, but had to shelve the plan as the association worked to draft operating guidelines for the investment. JPMorgan executive Wang Qionghui said the company would first focus on cross-border business, referring to the program of raising funds in China and investing abroad.

Draft regulations released earlier have met resistance from some foreign companies that were invited to give their feedback. Conflicts included a reluctance to move their entire China investment operations onto the mainland, and their demand for fewer restrictions on where the parent company of a license holder must be located, according to sources.

It is unclear whether the rules have been changed and if so, how.

Contact reporter Wang Yuqian (yuqianwang@caixin.com)

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