AIMA Planning China Chapter

Jan 14 2013 | 2:02am ET

The world's largest country is opening up to hedge funds, and the industry's leading lobby is wasting no time accepting the invitation.

The Alternative Investment Management Association is planning a chapter in China. The group hopes to have applications by the end of the first quarter, Bloomberg News reports.

China this year began to introduce new regulations that will allow a local hedge fund industry to thrive, as well as grant greater access to the country's markets and citizens to foreign hedge funds. So AIMA began work on a China chapter in the third quarter.

"It really is a time that AIMA needs to get a presence in China," Philip Tye, who heads AIMA's Hong Kong chapter, told Bloomberg. "There isn't an official hedge fund industry, but we think one will start to be developed."

The lobby established a group called Friends of AIMA in China, PricewaterhouseCoopers' Florence Yip has been charged with establishing the new chapter. Yip is vice chairman of AIMA Hong Kong.

AIMA is likely to open offices in Beijing and Shanghai, with founding members including both service providers and fund managers. The Hong Kong chapter will be retained, but will focus on managers operating in the special administrative region; its China committee will see its duties taken over by the new chapter.

AIMA's move into China follows that of the Hedge Fund Association, which opened Beijing and Shanghai chapters last year.

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