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Tencent Holdings-Hillhouse joint venture eyes China's offshore trillions

A weakening yuan amid escalating global trade tensions and domestic credit tightening is likely to spur Chinese interest in diversifying holdings outside the country

Bei Hu | Bloomberg 

Tencent, Chinese firm Tencent

and Capital Management are joining the throng of financial firms seeking to service the huge number of Chinese investors looking to diversify outside of the mainland.

GaoTeng Global Asset Management, the duo’s one-year-old venture in Hong Kong, plans to start accepting money shortly from retail Chinese investors who have existing assets internationally, according to an emailed statement. GaoTeng has gotten asset management and securities advisory licenses from Hong Kong’s Its first product will be a fixed-income fund that will be open to individual investors in the city.

“We will be better able to serve Chinese clients because we understand Chinese clients better,” Wayne Bi, GaoTeng’s chief executive officer said in the statement. “We will design a select number of high-quality products that make sense for Chinese investors, helping them cut through a market that can often be homogenous and confusing to new participants.”

A weakening yuan amid escalating global trade tensions and domestic credit tightening is likely to spur Chinese interest in diversifying holdings outside of the world’s second largest economy. China’s currency has depreciated 5.1 per cent against the dollar this year while the benchmark Shanghai is down almost 19 per cent in local-currency terms, making it the worst-performing primary share gauge tracked by Bloomberg. The popularity of wealth preservation and expansion in China has skyrocketed over the past few years as incomes rise and more people move to the big cities.

Chinese citizens are expected to add more than $1.9 trillion to their investments in the five years through 2020, an Industrial Bank and Boston Consulting Group report estimated in 2016. That growing appetite has already seen local wealth managers like Shanghai-based Noah Holdings expand their product offerings to meet such needs.

Capital was founded in 2005 by Yale University alumnus Zhang Lei with an initial $20 million backing from an endowment led by Yale’s Chief Investment Officer David Swensen. It now manages more than $50 billion and was an early backer of Tencent, the Shenzhen-based internet giant that operates the ubiquitous WeChat messaging service, along with games and payment systems.

Millennium, Goldman

GaoTeng’s funds will invest in publicly traded securities internationally. won’t participate in the management of GaoTeng’s funds.

Bi, a former deputy general manager of Credit Suisse Group local venture with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, has previously worked for including Vanguard Group and Wachovia, according to his biography and LinkedIn profile.

Daniel Li, GaoTeng’s equity chief investment officer, has previously managed money for Millennium Management and Goldman Sachs Group GaoTeng has also hired former Nomura Holdings managing director Desmond How to head fixed income, according to the statement. Chief Technology Officer River Cai, meanwhile, has led several departments within Tencent.

First Published: Sun, September 16 2018. 21:14 IST