SHANGHAI — Chinese mutual fund companies are gearing up to invest in a new science and technology innovation board expected to be launched this year.
Nine mutual fund firms, including China Asset Management, Harvest Fund Management and ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management, have applied to the country’s securities regulator to issue 10 equity investment products by Feb 26.
The products offer an alternative investment channel for many small investors.
According to draft rules for the board, individual investors need to have at least 500,000 yuan ($74,680) in their stock trading accounts and more than 24 months of trading experience to gain direct access to the market.
Asset management firms are optimistic about the size of the funds to be raised through the first batch of products amid huge attention on the new board and a market rally of Chinese stocks so far this year.
The leading tech companies, which are expected to expand amid a quickening economic transition, will be among the main investment targets, said Zhang Fan, an asset manager with China Asset Management.
Bai Xiaolan, an asset manager with HFT Investment Management, said on the backdrop of economic transition, the newly-emerging tech sectors offer plenty of investment opportunities.
Industrial upgrading has become a new driver of China’s economic growth, with a large number of tech and innovative companies faced with a pressing fund-raising demand, said Zhong Ou Asset Management, one of the nine firms.
The new board is vital to improving the fund-raising environment and the multi-tier capital market system, according to Zhong Ou Asset Management.
The preparatory work to establish the new sci-tech board and introduce the pilot registration-based IPO system is underway.
Yi Huiman, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, visited Shanghai last week to check preparatory work and get opinions. He called for coordinated efforts to push ahead with the reform and ensure its success.
The new board will focus on companies in high-tech and strategically emerging sectors, such as next-generation information technology, advanced equipment, new materials and energy, and biomedicine, according to the CSRC. It was first proposed in November 2018 and was approved in late January. It has since pushed forward at full speed.
The new board is likely to roll out in the first half of this year, according to Shi Donghui, head of the capital market research center with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.