US asset manager BlackRock has launched the BlackRock Global Funds (BGF) China A-Share Opportunities fund, a liquid systematic active equity Ucits strategy aimed at retail investors looking for growth, alpha and diversification from the China A-share market.
The fund’s strategy combines traditional quantitative signals with innovative big data and with machine learning insights, and aims at identifying potential investment in around 300 companies from a universe of 1,300 Chinese companies.
Targeting consistent alpha on an annual basis, the fund will be managed by a team of up to 80 professionals led by Jeff Shen – who is the co-chief investment officer of active equity and co-head of investments within SAE. San Francisco-based Shen will work alongside Rui Zhao, the fund’s co-portfolio manager, whose trading execution will be carried out from Hong Kong.
Jeff Shen, co-portfolio manager of the BGF China A-Share Opportunities Fund, said: “We’ve been applying systematic investment methods to equity markets for over 30 years and more recently, we’ve been researching and applying new methods – big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence – to our models. We find these insights have extraordinary relevance in a market like China where data is quite often available and the market is large and complex. We have been managing this strategy for institutional investors for five years, and we are very excited to offer this strategy to retail investors in a vehicle that provides daily liquidity.”
Michael Gruener, head of EMEA Retail at BlackRock, added: “China is one of the largest stock markets in the world, but due to restrictions on ownership, foreign investors have had very little exposure to Chinese domestic equities. Now, with access to onshore Chinese companies through the recently opened Stock Connect programme, investors have the opportunity to invest in a previously untapped market.”