Zurich-based private bank Julius Baer announced on Monday that the Chinese government had granted it a Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) quota that will allow it to buy Chinese stocks and bonds on behalf of investors.
Reuters reported that the quota, granted by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE), allows the bank to have access to China's tightly controlled markets. Since 2003, SAFE has allowed quotas to such foreign firms as Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Goldman Sachs; together there are more than 100 financial institutions that hold QFII quotas totaling approximately $20 billion.
Baer counts both Switzerland and Asia as its two home markets, and said that it intends to launch a China fund encompassing companies listed in Hong Kong and on the mainland.
"We are in a unique position as a private bank to provide our clients with the opportunity to invest directly onshore in China, a market which is growing rapidly and offers so many interesting options for investors,” Kenneth Ho, the bank’s head of Products Asia Pacific, said in a statement.