Colonial First State Global Asset Management launches China joint venture

20 July 2006

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia today became the first Australian financial institution to launch a fund management joint venture in China, through an agreement between its fund management arm, Colonial First State Global Asset Management and China Cinda Asset Management Corporation (Cinda).

The joint venture, launched in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, will operate under the name First State Cinda Fund Management Co. Ltd (First State Cinda).

Highlighting the significance of this advancement in China’s financial service industry, was the attendance at today’s launch by the Australian ambassador to China, Dr Alan Thomas, and senior government officials from the People’s Bank of China, Ministry of Finance, China Banking Regulatory Committee and China Securities Regulatory Committee (CSRC).

CSRC approval has already been received and this was announced in April, with today’s launch confirming that First State Cinda is now officially open for business. The joint venture is expected to launch its first fund later this year and has already employed 40 staff, with offices located in Shenzhen and Beijing.

Colonial First State Global Asset Management’s Chief Executive Officer Warwick Negus said, "This is an important and historic step for the Commonwealth Bank and Cinda and we are delighted to establish a joint venture with a partner of this quality."

"The launch of First State Cinda forms part of Colonial First State Global Asset Management’s longer term strategy of identifying and developing attractive growth opportunities," Mr Negus said.

He said the joint venture would initially focus on managing retail funds invested into domestic Chinese equities and fixed interest.

"This venture will undoubtedly benefit from Cinda’s existing relationships with large institutions and corporations, as well as its strong connection with the financial services industry across China," Mr Negus added.

"Also, the global investment management expertise of Colonial First State Global Asset Management is a key component of the joint venture."

Mr Negus said First State Cinda was preparing for its first fund launch, an application for which will shortly be submitted to the CSRC for approval.

Colonial First State Global Asset Management, which is fully owned by Commonwealth Bank of Australia, has a 46% shareholding in the First State Cinda Management Co. Ltd., while Cinda holds 54%.

The joint venture will have a paid in capital of approximately AUD$17 million (RMB100 million), with the Commonwealth Bank’s investment being approximately $7.7 million.


Colonial First State Global Asset Management

Colonial First State Global Asset Management is the fund management arm of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The group has funds under management of more than $118 billion and is the largest fund manager in Australia with offices in Sydney, London, Edinburgh, Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta.

First State Investments in Asia provides unit trusts, mutual funds and institutional portfolio management. The group offers a wide range of investment products, including global and Asian equity and fixed income portfolios.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which, with total assets of $330 billion as at 31 December 2005 and operations in 13 markets worldwide, is one of the two largest Australian banks by market capitalisation. The Bank enjoys AA- and AA ratings from international ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, respectively.

With more than 10 million clients worldwide, the Bank provides integrated financial services, including retail, business and institutional banking, funds management, pension, general and life insurance.

Cinda Asset Management Corporation (Cinda)

Cinda is one of the four state-owned asset management companies established to manage the non-performing loans of China’s major commercial banks. It is one of China’s most prominent state-owned financial institutions and its funding is directly from the Ministry of Finance.

It is the first professional company established in China in dealing with non-performing financial assets, managing more than 300,000 accounts detached from banks, with total finances of more than RMB 1 trillion.

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