Ant leapfrogs banks to top China fund sale rankings

Alibaba affiliate Ant Group became China's largest seller of non-money-market mutual funds in the first quarter.

SHANGHAI: Alibaba affiliate Ant Group became China's largest seller of non-money-market mutual funds in the first quarter, industry data showed, disrupting a market dominated by banks despite a regulatory crackdown.

Ant and Alibaba are being targeted by Beijing's anti-monopoly campaign. Regulators have urged Ant to reduce the size of Yu'ebao, China's biggest money market fund managed by Ant-controlled mutual fund house Tianhong.

Ant's fund sales arm sold non-money-market mutual funds worth a net 890.1 billion yuan ($138.23 billion) to investors in the first quarter of 2021, according to data released late Thursday by the Asset Management Association of China (AMAC).

China Merchants Bank took the second spot at 707.9 billion yuan, followed by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the country's biggest lender.

It was the first such ranking released by AMAC, highlighting the rapidly growing clout of independent fund advisers that sell funds via mobile apps and the internet, by-passing bank outlets.

"It's.. about the strength of big-tech-company-backed IFAs (independent fund advisers), how far they have reached, how deep their client base is and how adaptive they are to the market trends," said Ivan Shi, director at Z-Ben Advisors, a consultancy.

"It also speaks to how much service and tool development different tech companies have put into their IFA platforms."

Ant (Hangzhou) Funds Sales Co's main distribution channel is Ant's ubiquitous payment platform Alipay.

Shi said Ant's top rankings could also reflect lower risk appetite as investors shift away from equities funds to fixed-income products, which are popular on Alipay.

"If you log into the Alipay app, a lot of the products they are promoting are short-term bond funds, fixed income products. That's a very quick response to market trends, so that's going to catch a lot of outflows from equity products."

According to AMAC's ranking, Shanghai Tiantian Fund Distribution ranked fifth during the first quarter, while other tech-driven sales platforms, including Tencent's fund sales unit and Baidu's Du Xiaoman Fund Sales, far lagged Ant.

Revenues at Ant's fund sales company more than tripled to 6.01 billion yuan in 2020 from a year earlier, public disclosures showed. ($1 = 6.4391 Chinese yuan) - Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In Business News

Public Bank reaffirms commitment to provide ongoing targeted repayment assistance
Public Bank provided RM40b in loan relief assistance
Palm falls nearly 10% on cheaper US soyoil
Indonesia says key rate "already low", eyes virus outbreak
Oil prices climb as demand outlook improves, supplies tighten
Bitcoin jumps after Musk says Tesla could use it again
Serba Dinamik appoints EY as independent reviewer
Taiwan’s Hon Hai subsidiary buys 120m DNeX shares
FBM KLCI rebounds after three days of losses
Ahmad Nazim appointed LTAT CEO

Stories You'll Enjoy