While China has widened capital markets access to foreign players in recent years, the story might suggest that gaining a foothold in the local market is proving difficult, made more so by falls in Chinese equities in the past two years.
The newswire said the global asset managers will find it difficult to break into the RMB6 trillion ($840 billion) local market.
At least seven people – almost a third of the onshore team – have left Eastspring, Prudential Plc’s asset management arm, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
Barings, the unit of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, with $347 billion under management, has also cut its team under its domestic private fund management licence, the report said, also citing the unnamed sources.
Barings declined to comment on whether there have been job departures. A spokesperson added: “Barings’ commitment to China, including both PFM and QDLP business, remains unchanged. We have been identifying various investment strategies to satisfy the needs of both onshore and offshore clients.
“In addition to four QDLP products launched since 2019, Barings has been actively and continuously engaged in cross-border investments in mainland China for over a decade, including Qualified Domestic Institutional Investors (QDII), Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors (QFII), RMB Foreign Institutional Investors (RQFII), and Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect. During this time, we have also gained experience in local investment management and onshore product issuance. This demonstrates our continued dedication to China,” the firm added.
Eastspring had not responded to WealthBriefingAsia’s request for comment at the time of going to press.
Chinese authorities have widened foreign investor access to its capital markets in recent years, a fact that in a way is counter to the narrative of cooling relations between China and the West over trade and geopolitical disputes.