China Launches Landmark Reforms Impacting Hedge Fund Capital Raising, Investments and Operations

The Chinese government and securities regulators recently undertook a series of historic reforms aimed at dismantling regulations that separate China from international markets.  The first and boldest initiative, the Qualified Domestic Limited Partner Program, has vast potential to enable foreign hedge fund managers and other institutional investors to raise Renminbi (RMB)-denominated funds in mainland China.  See “Local Currency Hedge Funds Expand Marketing and Investment Opportunities, but Involve Currency Hedging and Other Challenges,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Jan. 6, 2010).  The second initiative, a trial scheme in the prosperous coastal city of Wenzhou, allows residents to invest funds abroad and facilitates the conversion of underground private lenders into loan companies servicing small and medium-sized enterprises.  The third set of reforms expands the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor program, enabling foreign hedge funds managers and other institutional investors to invest more easily in Chinese markets.  The fourth initiative, the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme, allows Hong Kong-based arms of major Chinese asset managers and securities companies to raise capital from foreign investors that can then be directly invested into mainland China’s markets.  On the flip side, The National People’s Congress is also proposing to implement significant regulations for private funds and their managers by amending the 2004 Securities Investment Funds Law.  This article summarizes key highlights of each of these initiatives.  See also “Questions Hedge Fund Managers Need to Consider Prior to Making Investments in Chinese Companies,” Hedge Fund Law Report, Vol. 4, No. 21 (Jun. 23, 2011).

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