Canadian insurer Manulife Financial has secured itself an
instant position in China’s asset management market with the
acquisition of French bank BNP Paribas’s 49 percent stake in ABN
AMRO TEDA Fund Management Company (TEDA) for €105 million ($158
million) in cash.
“Our new partnership with TEDA provides a rare
strategic opportunity to make a fast track entry into China’s large
and high growth market for individual and institutional wealth
management services,” said Manulife president and CEO Donald
Guloien. “This accelerates our expansion in China’s huge growth
market by several years,” he added.
According to Manulife, TEDA has assets under
management (AuM) of CNY26 billion ($3.8 billion).
TEDA was formed in 2002 by former Belgo-Dutch
bancassurer Fortis as a joint venture with Northern International
Trust, a unit of Tianjin TEDA, a Chinese diversified investment
company owned by the city of Tianjin. BNP Paribas gained control of
TEDA this year as part of its acquisition of 75 percent of Fortis
Bank from the Belgian government.
TEDA, to be renamed Manulife TEDA Fund
Management Company, will fall under Manulife’s asset management arm
MFC Global Investment Management. With the acquisition, MFC Global
will have asset management companies in nine of the 10 Asian
territories, including China, in which Manulife has insurance
MFC Global has total institutional and retail
AUM of over $100 billion, including $13.5 billion for Asian
Underscoring attractions of the deal, Manulife
said figures supplied by the China Securities Regulatory Commission
show 30 June 2009 China’s asset management industry had AUM of $338
billion; a total consultancy Z-Ben Advisors forecasts to exceed $1
trillion by 2014.
A big driver of growth is expected to be a
shift of household wealth from banks to the asset management
industry. Citing 2007 data from reinsurer Swiss Re, Manulife noted
that 88 percent of personal assets in China are held in