Shanghai Seeks Approval For Chinese Foreign Hedge Fund Program

Mar 20 2013 | 12:13am ET

A rivalry between Chinese financial centers could be good news for foreign hedge funds eager to tap into the country's wealth.

The government of Shanghai has asked the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to approve a US$5 billion quota for the planned qualified domestic limited partner scheme. That program would allow China's richest citizens to invest in foreign hedge funds licensed in Shanghai.

The program will be open only to hedge funds with at least US$10 billion in assets, and all investments will have to be approved by the foreign-exchange regulator.

It is unclear when the program will debut, but an official with the Pudong Financial Services Bureau told the South China Morning Post that "the QDLP program will be launched sooner rather than later. The city officials are very active in pushing ahead with major liberalization, including the QDLP."

It is possible that the SAFE may grant Shanghai a lower US$3 billion initial limit for the program,

The new urgency on the part of Shanghai comes as it feels pressure from Shenzhen, just north of Shanghai, whose Qianhai district has been designated an experimental financial zone. Some fund managers have said Qianhai is more efficient than Shanghai in approving new funds and easing cross-border capital flows with Hong Kong, according to the Morning Post.

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