China’s securities regulator awarded three qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) licences last month, with the recipients now due to apply for QFII quota.

The firms in question are Singapore-based Asia Capital Reinsurance Group, Italy’s AZ Fund Management and Taiwanese fund house Taishin Securities Investment Trust.

Pietro Giuliani, chairman and CEO of AZ’s holding company, Azimut Holding, says it is a natural move to expand the business. AZ has not disclosed how much quota it will apply for from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe).

Once it receives the quota, AZ will launch two Luxembourg funds, comprising a sector allocation equity fund and a pure fixed income fund, which will target institutional and high-net-worth clients. AZ has research and advisory teams in Hong Kong and Shanghai, which will provide advisory services to the funds.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Asia Capital Reinsurance plans to invest in the A-share market using both external and in-house investment expertise, but it is unclear what the split will be between the two. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based ACR Capital Holdings, which had total assets of $2.3 billion as at March 2012.

As of the end of April, the China Securities Regulatory Commission had granted 220 QFII licences, while as of March 31, Safe had distributed $41.7 billion in quota between 197 QFII holders.