Liu Zhen Opalesque Industry Update – The Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds so that it is now the second-largest economy in the world, effectively dislodging Japan. And with an estimated 500,000 millionaires, it is also home to the second highest number of wealthy individuals in Asia. No wonder asset managers in Beijing are seeing a growing demand for hedge fund products and expect the local hedge fund industry to grow significantly.
Home-grown hedge funds led by E Fund Management and Guotai Junan Asset, have reported strong demands, reported Reuters. Others that have anticipated the growth in the Chinese hedge fund industry are also joining the bandwagon. They are Guotai Asset Management, which partly owned by Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali SpA , China Southern Fund Management and Rose Finch Investment.
Liu Zhen, head of the index and quantitative investment arm of E Fund Management told Reuters, "I feel that China's fund industry is at a turning point. Fund houses can no longer rely on the next bull market to grow. Quantitative and alternative investment will become an important driver of growth.”
Liu estimates that the Chinese industry could as much as $61bn over the next 3-5 years.
Data released by hedge fund data tracker Eurekahedge showed that some $43bn Greater China-focused hedge funds are managed outside the mainland. These funds mostly bet on Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong.
A separate report by hedge fund data tracker HedgeFund.net revealed that despite laggard performance, the Chinese hedge fund industry attracted positive net inflows last year with $3.5bn fresh inflows or a rise of 25% compared to the 2009 figures. This brings Chinese hedge funds assets to a total of $18.68bn, despite mediocre 6.11% gains as against the global industry average of 10.55%. (See Opalesque Exclusive: here).