Chief executive Larry Fink has said BlackRock is "very engaged" with Chinese regulators as it is set on becoming "one of the country's leading global asset managers".
"In China, which is one of the largest future growth opportunities for BlackRock, we are focused on building an onshore presence," Fink said in his annual letter to shareholders. "We hope to have a majority-controlled asset management [business] in China and we are very engaged with the Chinese regulators," he added.
Fink said BlackRock aimed to be one of China's top asset managers as the Asia region, driven by China, comes to account for an ever growing share of global assets.
In China, which is one of the largest future growth opportunities for BlackRock, we are focused on building an onshore presence"
The CEO said Asia is expected to drive 50% of the organic growth in assets under management for the industry over the next five years, largely driven by China.
BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, is studying ways to broaden its global reach as firms are under pressure to find growth. It has been in talks with CICC Fund Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of state-backed investment bank China International Capital Corps, about buying a majority stake in the investment unit, according to people close to the situation, the FT reported.
The CICC unit is the first mutual fund management company established by a single shareholder under China Securities Regulatory Commission rules. BlackRock declined to comment.
"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," Fink said. "We hope to have a majority-controlled asset management [business] in China and we are very engaged with the Chinese regulators."
In 2017 China announced international asset managers would shortly be able to own up to 51% of a domestic fund management company, rising to 100% in three years.
BlackRock has seen a slowdown in profits amid the continuing fee war among money managers. Fourth-quarter revenue fell short of expectations and its assets under management dropped 5 percent, to $5.98trn, over the last 12 months.
"2018 was a difficult year for the asset management industry and a marker of things to come: greater focus on value, tougher competition, more operating complexity and disruption of legacy business models," Fink said in the annual letter.
The New-York based firm is currently undergoing a large reorganization, shuffling the roles of about 20 directors and aiming to expand its alternative investments business.