April 8, 2019 / 1:21 PM / a year ago

Larry Fink says BlackRock focused on onshore presence in China

April 8 (Reuters) - BlackRock Inc Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said on Monday that his ambition was to build an onshore presence in China and become the leading global asset manager there.

Rising demand for more diversified and long-term investment solutions in China was likely to drive the growth in assets under management in Asia by 50 percent over the next five years, Fink said in his annual letter bit.ly/2OXDWoE to shareholders published on Monday.

The chief executive of the world's largest asset manager said his China ambitions have not been dented by the prolonged tariff war between the United States and China.

"If anything the Chinese are looking for greater participation of global firms in their asset management space because they also have a growing retirement crisis," he said on.ft.com/2OVqbad in an interview to the Financial Times.

China has slowly started opening its financial markets, allowing foreign institutions to set up operations in the country.

In 2017, it raised the foreign ownership ceiling to 51 percent in securities firms, mutual fund houses, life insurers as well as futures brokerages and said all ownership restriction would be scrapped in three years.

BlackRock already has a foot in the door in China.

It has held talks with China's CICC Fund Management, a unit of state-backed investment bank China International Capital Corps, for a majority stake in it, according to the FT report that cited people close to the situation.

BlackRock has also been in talks with a handful of other Chinese groups, a person close to the asset manager told FT.

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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