UK and Chinese regulators have approved a scheme to enhance cross-border investing between the two countries.

The Shanghai-London Stock Connect programme was set up by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) to provide investors and companies with improved access to the two markets. It was supported by the UK and Chinese governments, according to a joint press release issued today by the regulators.

Investors will be able to buy Chinese companies depositary receipts issued via a separate segment of the LSE’s main market. Companies must have A-shares listed on the SSE’s main board. Premium listed UK companies will be able to apply for admission to the SSE’s main board.

Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said: “This new scheme will deepen and strengthen connectivity between UK and China capital markets to the advantage of both countries.

“We both believe in the positive contribution regulators can make in international capital markets, and the new co-operation we’re announcing today will be an important contributor to the success of the scheme.”

The FCA and the China Securities Regulatory Commission said in a joint statement that the range of securities eligible for the stock connect programme could grow depending on market demand.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange has a total market cap of CNY31.7trn (€4.1trn) across all its indices, according to its website.

DWS to sell hedge fund business

Independent asset manager Alma Capital has agreed to buy DWS’ €2bn hedge funds business.

Six institutional funds will be transferred to Alma Capital as part of the deal, the manager said in a statement released on 14 June. The deal will more than double Alma Capital’s existing assets under management of “near $2bn” (€1.8bn), according to the firm’s website.

The funds are built by DWS but managed by third-party asset managers, either as single manager strategies of funds of hedge funds.

Subject to regulatory approval, the funds will be transferred to Alma Capital in the second half of this year.

In addition, specialist alternatives investment group EnTrust Global has upped its stake in Alma Capital to 25%. EnTrust in turn is owned by Legg Mason (65%) and its chairman and CEO Gregg Hymowitz (35%).

MFS strikes Italian distribution deal 

Milan, Italy

US asset manager MFS is seeking to grow distribution in Italy

US asset manager MFS Investment Management has signed a partnership agreement with Deutsche Bank to aid its distribution strategy in Italy.

The deal means Deutsche Bank’s network of financial advisers and private banks will have access to a number of Luxembourg-domiciled funds including US, European and global equity strategies as well as fixed income and multi-asset products.

Andrea Baron, managing director for Italy at MFS, said: “This is an important step in achieving our ambitious growth aspirations in Italy as we deepen our relationships with our Italian client base.”

MFS has $466.9bn in assets under management worldwide.