Dutch firm Robeco floats China unit to tap demand for investing abroad

Dutch money manager Robeco launched a wholly-owned subsidiary in Shanghai on Tuesday, seeking to tap rising Chinese demand for investing their assets overseas.

The move comes at a time when China is restricting capital outflows to ease depreciation pressure on the yuan.

“There’s very strong demand from China’s high-net-worth individuals to allocate assets overseas,” said Michael Lu, managing director of Robeco’s China subsidiary.

“Despite some temporary restrictions at the moment under the capital account, we believe in the future, China will continue its opening policy, and realize its goal of full yuan convertibility.”

A growing number of foreign financial institutions, including J.P. Morgan Asset Management, Aberdeen Asset Management and U.S. hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, have recently set up stand-alone money-management firms as Beijing further deregulates the fund industry.

Previously, foreign asset managers had to operate in China through joint ventures.

Rotterdam-based Robeco will seek new business under China’s Qualified Domestic Limited Partnership (QDLP) scheme – an outbound investment channel, but licensing for the program appears to have been suspended at the moment, Lu said.

To stem rapid capital outflows, China has made it more difficult for Chinese individuals and companies to move assets overseas over the past year.

The measures include curbs on investment quotas, a deepening crackdown on underground banks, tighter scrutiny over outbound acquisitions and restrictions on Chinese purchases of Hong Kong insurance policies.

Robeco, which managed $154 billion of assets as at end-September, also announced on Tuesday the launch of its China research team in Shanghai. The money manager said it plans to launch a fund that will raise offshore yuan to invest in China’s stock market, but declined to give details.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.