GLOBAL – European fund managers are eyeing the second tranche of mandates worth a fifth of the 132.5 billion yuan (13.2 billion euro) China National Social Security pension fund to be announced later this year.

The first round in late 2002 saw six domestic fund managers picked to manage 5% in domestic equities for the fund. The second round for managing domestic equities was opened on Tuesday, following a statement by the fund’s spokesman, according to Reuters.

The spokesman told Reuters: “We plan to expand domestic stock investment this year, and we will choose a second batch of managers. Work is now at a preparatory stage, so we have no details to disclose for now.”

The fund, which was started in 2000 to group pensions with medical and unemployment benefits, said it would invest 25% in domestic equities by the end of the year and its move was unrelated to its initiative to invest part of the fund overseas.

Foreign investment managers, such as Societe Generale and ABN Amro, are reportedly ready to start bidding with another 30 trust and fund managers. The official China Daily quoted Walter Lin, head of the fund venture between ABN Amro and Xianghai Securities, who said: “We have made the relevant preparations and we are ready to take part in the bidding.” ABN Amro told IPE it was eyeing opportunities in Asia.

JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management said it would not comment on hypothetical scenarios regarding bidding for the fund’s mandates. JPMF received on Tuesday regulatory approval for the launch of its first fund in the country, CIFM China Advantage, from its joint venture with Shanghai International Trust.