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Report: Global asset managers talk with Chinese regulators over market entry

Several global asset managers have discussed with Chinese regulators their plans to apply for fully foreign-owned mutual fund licenses to operate in the country, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group Inc., Fidelity International Ltd., Van Eck Associates Corp., Neuberger Berman Group LLC and Schroders PLC have spoken with regulators, according to the report. Fidelity told Bloomberg that it plans to apply for a mutual fund license at the right time, while Neuberger Berman and Vanguard declined to comment to the news outlet. BlackRock, Van Eck and Schroders did not respond to requests for comment from Bloomberg.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission is removing foreign ownership caps on fund management companies starting April 1, 2020. Similar restrictions on futures companies and brokerages will be abolished Jan. 1, 2020, and Dec. 1, 2020, respectively.

BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink said in his annual letter to shareholders that the asset management giant is focused on building an onshore presence in China because it represents "one of the largest future growth opportunities for BlackRock."