China discloses first batch of mutual recognition funds under review

HONG KONG - China's securities regulator has released a list of the first batch of funds it has accepted under the mutual fund recognition scheme, which allows funds to be sold across China and Hong Kong as part of Beijing's market liberalisation drive.

Applications from nine funds from Hong Kong-based asset management firms were under review by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), according to a filing on the CSRC website posted on Wednesday.

The asset managers include Amundi Hong Kong, Hang Seng Investment, BOCI-Prudential, Bank of China Hong Kong, JP Morgan Asset Management, Zeal Asset Management and Schroders.

The investment targets of these funds are fairly diversified, with some targeting equities in China, Hong Kong or global markets, and others focusing on multi-income assets or bonds.

Regulators in China and Hong Kong announced the long-awaited mutual recognition programme on May 22, marking another step in liberalising China's capital account following the November launch of the "Stock Connect" trading link.

Though asset managers began to submit applications from July 1, there was no information on whether regulators had begun to process the applicants until the latest update. Market players were concerned that reviews of funds might be delayed amid the recent turmoil in Chinese stock markets.

China stocks have tumbled more than 30 percent since the peak in June even as Beijing rolled out a series of support measures and promised to step up efforts to bolster the flagging economy.

About 100 Hong Kong-domiciled funds and 850 mainland Chinese funds are qualified for the scheme, according to the CSRC.