Singapore-based APS Asset Management says it is looking to add more investment staff in its China offices after being awarded a qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) licence.

The firm, which is now in the process of applying for a QFII quota, has been managing QFII assets for more than eight years without a quota, borrowing it from brokers or clients.

But late last year APS AM was one of nine firms to be awarded licences in the latest batch handed out by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), as reported.

Wong Kok Hoi, chief investment officer of APS Asset Management, tells AsianInvestor: “The quota that we obtain will partly be used to replace the brokers’ quota, which has been used primarily for our China A-share fund.

“We have no plans to launch new products. As we also have investors waiting to subscribe to our fund, we hope to get enough quota to satisfy this demand as well.”

He adds that the firm is seeking to double its China A-share assets to $2 billion by March 2013.

In terms of resources, APS AM has three research offices in China, and Wong says it will be looking to hire.

“What we have decided to do is add to our teams in the three offices,” he confirms. “China should see drastic changes in coming years, more so with the bold and decisive new leader, Xi Jinping, in office. I think we can expect bold and decisive policy changes to take place.

“We will add more investment staff to ensure we will be on top of the changes and their investment implications,” he adds.

In September 2011, AsianInvestor reported that APS Asset Management and Martin Currie had agreed a strategic partnership to give the latter sole global distribution rights to APS’s China A-share investment strategies.

The move was sparked earlier this summer when an alleged conflict of interest prompted Martin Currie to part ways with its long-standing China equity manager, Chris Ruffle.

However, APS' alliance with Martin Currie was terminated in August last year.

Wong had been serving as both chairman and CIO at APS Asset Management, but dropped the chairman title at the start of this year. Raymond Lim has been appointed chairman, a spokeswoman confirms.

APS Asset Management has global AUM of $2 billion, of which $760 million is sourced from Asia-Pacific, by AsianInvestor numbers.