Qatar's Sovereign Wealth Fund to Acquire 10% Stake in China's Second-Largest Mutual Fund Firm

The deal would make QIA the third-largest shareholder in ChinaAMC, a leading asset manager with over $248 billion (RMB 1.8 trillion) in assets under management. ChinaAMC offers mutual funds and exchange-traded funds to both individual and institutional investors.

TMTPOST--The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which manages over $500 in assets according to data platform Global SWF, is acquiring a stake in China Asset Management Co (ChinaAMC) from the investment firm Primavera Capital, a Chinese investment firm with offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Silicon Valley and Singapore. It is considered one of China's leading investment firms with notable investments in companies such as Alibaba, Ant Group, ByteDance, XPeng, Yum China and The Princeton Review.

The Qatari sovereign wealth fund's offer is currently pending China's regulatory approval.

If approved, the acquisition would allow QIA to enter China's rapidly expanding $4.3 trillion mutual fund market. This is in line with Qatar's strategy to diversify its economy and reduce reliance on oil revenue, boosting QIA's goal of becoming a leading global investment institution. The Economy of Qatar is one of the highest in the world based on GDP per capita, ranking generally among the top ten richest countries on world rankings for 2015 and 2016 data compiled by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The deal would make QIA the third-largest shareholder in ChinaAMC, a leading asset manager with over $248 billion (RMB 1.8 trillion) in assets under management. ChinaAMC offers mutual funds and exchange-traded funds to both individual and institutional investors.

This surge in investments from Gulf state funds coincides with a decline in investment and interest in China from some Western financial institutions, which have voiced concerns over the country's economic recovery and potential geopolitical risks.

For example, Norway's sovereign wealth fund closed its China office last year. Other financial institutions, such as Fidelity International and Morgan Stanley, are scaling back their China operations or delaying expansion plans.

"Investments from the Gulf states in China counterbalance the retreat of US investments from the country," said Toh Han Shih, chief analyst at Hong Kong-based consultancy Headland Intelligence, as quoted by Reuters. "Thus, Gulf state sovereign wealth funds know they will be warmly received in China."

Investments by Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds in China have increased fivefold in 12 months since June last year compared to the previous 12 months to $7 billion, according to data from Global SWF.

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