Chinese joint venture ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management is set to launch its international fund management arm in Hong Kong next week, with an official opening ceremony scheduled for March 8, a Beijing-based insider tells AsianInvestor.

The firm obtained its Type 4 (advising on securities) and Type 9 (asset management) business licences from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) last November.

ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management (International) will commence with a staff of four comprising general manager Ku Sanqi, head of investment Hao Kang, and managers for compliance and office administration.

The source adds that the company is on a recruitment drive, but declines to give further details.

Ku had worked as general manager of subsidiary ICBC Hong Kong since February 2009, but obtained his securities practice qualification last year. His employment at ICBC Credit Suisse was confirmed in December.

Besides overseeing business for ICBC’s Hong Kong subsidiary, Ku also serves as vice-general manager at the parent joint-venture company in Beijing, where he is chiefly responsible for institutional business.

Meanwhile Hao has been managing the ICBC Credit Suisse China Chance Global Allocation Equity fund for qualified domestic institutional investors since February 2008.

ICBC Credit Suisse Asset Management (International) becomes the 13th Hong Kong subsidiary of a mainland fund management firm to begin operations. It would argue that its point of differentiation is the strength of its majority shareholder ICBC, the largest bank in the world by market cap, which increased its holding in the joint venture from 55% to 80% last November.

ICBC Credit Suisse was one of the few fund management companies that managed to increase its overall AUM last year, to Rmb69 billion ($11 billion) from Rmb58 billion in 2010. That saw it rise to become the ninth largest Chinese fund management firm overall, from 12th spot in 2010.