Bridgewater’s China unit becomes first foreign asset manager to hit 10b yuan mark

Assets under management at US fund investment firm Bridgewater’s China subsidiary have topped 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion), making it the first wholly foreign-owned private equity firm in the country to reach that mark, media reports said on Monday.

Analysts said that the Chinese market has become extremely attractive with great potential for global private equity firms, thanks to the country’s robust economic development and steady financial opening-up.

The China subsidiary of Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, released new products in late November targeting Chinese stocks, bonds and bulk commodities, financial news site reported on Monday.

Subscriptions for the new products started at 2 million yuan and will be closed for one year. The new products raised around 8 billion yuan in just one week.

As private equity firms target high-end clients, more enterprises like Bridgewater are eyeing the Chinese market, which actually reflects the unleashing of great consumer potential as China’s economic development has been increasing rapidly, Dong Dengxin, director of the Finance and Securities Institute at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Monday.

Dong said that the boom in domestic economic development has led the number of middle-class households to continuously expand, indicating bright market prospects for global enterprises.

China’s private wealth market developed steadily as the economy continued to improve, according to a private wealth report jointly released in May by China Merchants Bank and Bain & Co.

In 2020, the number of high net worth individuals in China totaled 2.62 million, up about 650,000 from 2018, with a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent from 2018 to 2020. That was an increase of 12 percent compared with 2016-18, according to the report.

As more foreign asset management giants move quickly to enter the Chinese market, domestic private equity firms can develop through healthy industry competition, as multiple domestic private equity firms are still at their earliest stages, said Dong.

In 2021, three new foreign private equity firms gained approval to invest in the domestic market, bringing the total number of foreign private equity investors to 34, according to media reports.

Six of them are managing assets of over 2 billion yuan and two are managing 1-2 billion yuan in assets.

The remaining 26 have less than 500 million yuan in assets under management.

Source: Global Times

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