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Mutual Recognition of Funds scheme marks new milestone in fund passporting, says KPMG International

Commencement of the Mutual Recognition of Funds (MRF) scheme sets the tone for further potential boosts to Asian fund passporting schemes

However, while some global barriers to fund distribution are falling, others are rising, says KPMG

In response to the commencement of the China-Hong Kong Mutual Recognition of Funds (MRF) fund passport scheme, Bonn Liu, KPMG International’s head of investment management, Asia Pacific, said:

“Today is a new milestone in fund passporting and is another significant distribution opportunity for fund managers seeking to capitalize on a rapidly growing market.”

“MRF is viewed to be part of Beijing’s efforts to allow diversification for Chinese investors and to further internationalize the Chinese currency. It adds to other measures such as Stock Connect and the Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) scheme, which have similar aims.”

“Within the region, other potential boosts to the industry come in the shape of the APEC AsiaRegion Funds Passport (ARFP) and the ASEAN Collective Investment Scheme Framework (ASEAN Framework), both of which provide multilaterally agreed frameworks to facilitate cross-border marketing of funds within Asia.”

The development is an example where new fund passports are lowering cross-border barriers, but regional passports, including European initiatives, can have the effect of raising barriers to entry for foreign funds.

Julie Patterson, KPMG International’s head of regulatory change in investment management, Europe Middle East and Africa, explained:

“Regulation is both lowering and raising barriers to the cross border distribution of investment funds.”

“Some barriers to distribution within regions are being lowered. The internationalization of the Renminbi and the Asian regional passport initiatives create wider distribution opportunities within the region.

“On the other hand, European UCITS can find it more difficult to register and distribute there than in the past.”

“The fund distribution landscape is becoming increasingly complex but there are growing opportunities. Only those who have the vision and ability to navigate this environment will be able to capitalize on these opportunities.”

About KPMG International

KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 155 countries and have more than 162,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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