| | MAY 20239IN FOCUSFIDELITY RAISES $156 MILLION FOR FIRST ONSHORE CHINESE MUTUAL FUNDFor its maiden mutual fund product in China, Fidelity International reported raising 1.08 billion yuan ($156 million), making it the third-largest launch of an equity fund since the beginning of 2022 in China's difficult market conditions.However, the fundraising falls short of the debut China funds launched by international rivals and several newly established balanced funds in China, which invest in both equities and bonds. In a bond fund in China last month, Neuberger Berman raised 4 billion yuan. The China division of BlackRock raised 6.68 billion yuan in an equity fund in 2021. Investors are nonetheless anx-ious about the sustainability of the nation's fledgling economic recov-ery, hence Fidelity International's entry into China's $3.7 trillion mutual fund market. This year, the benchmark CSI300 Index for China has scarcely increased.The successful launch of the fund 'Amidst the current macroeconomic environment and tentative investor sentiment' marks another important milestone for Fidelity International's China business, Rajeev Mittal, Managing Director, Asia Pacific ex-Japan, said in a statement."Looking ahead, we have a strong product pipeline for 2023 and beyond, with a fixed income product due to launch in the coming months".The asset manager has a long history of commitment to China, one of its most crucial markets from a strategic standpoint, ac-cording to Helen Huang, pres-ident of Fidelity International's China mutual fund division.A global asset manager needs to have a "genuine long-term commitment" to China, according to Peter Alexander, managing director of fund consultancy Z-Ben Advisors.One of the top operators in the business, Fidelity's Huang is "One of the best operators in the industry... but my question is: will she be given the necessary latitude and authority to do her job?"According to a business devel-opment executive at an onshore China fund who declined to be identified because he was not li-cenced to speak to the media, for-eign asset managers encounter challenges such a lack of onshore experience and drawn-out deci-sion-making procedures.
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