GLOBAL - Danish asset manager Sparinvest and China’s Hai Tong Asset Management (HTAM) have entered into an agreement, which, unlike many other partnerships signed with Chinese companies to date, does not call for either firm to invest capital in the other.

The agreement signed between Sparinvest - which manages more than €8bn in assets - and HTAM is to offer products jointly in Europe, Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China.

Under the agreement, Sparinvest will be responsible for the sales and marketing of the investment products in European markets through its distribution platform and network, while HTAM (UK) will handle sales and marketing in Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China.

The partnership between Sparinvest and HTAM represents one of the first to focus on an ‘expertise exchange’ basis.

Lin Yong, chief executive at Haitong International, the parent company of HTAM, stressed that globalisation, combined with an increasingly sophisticated and fast-growing business environment, had resulted in clients’ increasing interest in products and services from other markets.

“Therefore, one aspect of the group’s strategies has been to team up with leading securities firms and fund management companies across the world - including the US, Europe and Asia Pacific - to offer overseas products aiming at providing one-stop global investment services to investors,” he said.

“In return, our partners can offer their clients our group’s services and participate in Hong Kong and other markets at the same time. Thus the collaboration makes great sense for both parties.”

A recent study by Citi and consultancy Z-Ben found that mutual fund growth in China was slowing and concluded that the local industry lacked asset management expertise.

There are currently about 70 asset managers operating in country.

Sparinvest said it saw an opportunity to gain access to a new market with a potential platform of around 1.4m clients.

It believes it will also benefit from the expertise of its new local partner to step into the Chinese market.

Per Noesgaard, chief executive, said: “The agreement will definitely shorten the time to market considerably to offer a wider range of solid and well-diversified, cost-effective, global investment solutions in the interest of both parties’ existing and future clients.

“Our relationship with HTAM (HK) emphasises our international ambitions and gives us a unique opportunity to expand our global presence within the value investment philosophy.”

The Sparinvest/HTAM deal follows Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Denmark in June and comes as Chinese regulators visit European pension fund to benefit from their expertise.

During his visit in Denmark, the premier signed a host of cooperation agreements covering investment, tariffs, energy, environmental protection, agriculture, education and culture with his Danish counterpart, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

The Chinese regulators’ tour, which starts today, aims to introduce China’s capital market to European institutional investors at a time when the Asian country is set to become an exporter of capital instead of an exporter of goods only.

The agreement between Sparinvest and HTAM also comes at a time when elections are about to take place in China.

In October this year, the government is expected to select new political leaders, which will represent the fifth generation of politicians since the Communist party was created in the early 1920s.