Global appetite for investing in China and a desire to break away from a reliance on brokers are the key motivations behind PictetÆs successful attempt to obtain a qualified foreign institutional investor license.

Although the size of the mandate will not be revealed for several months, Pictet Asset Management executives say the awarding of a mandate in principle by the China Securities Regulatory Commission is evidence that the firm is serious about its expansion ambitions in Asia-Pacific.

ôThe State Administration of Foreign Exchange decides how large the mandate is,ö explains Amy Cho, PictetÆs recently appointed head of institutional marketing in Asia-Pacific. ôOnce it does we are going to bring it to bear on our Asian and Greater China mutual funds. China is a market where we see great opportunities for growth, particularly in A-shares, which we think have good upside potential.ö

Obtaining its own QFII license means Pictet will no longer have to rely on brokers to provide it with Chinese exposure and, according to Cho, this will provide a significant opportunity for investors in Europe as well as Asia.

ôWe are starting to see huge distribution and are driven by the demand for investment opportunities,ö Cho says. ôWe have used brokers in the past but now want to develop our own investment utilities and this shows our commitment to the region.ö