An investment fund serves as an institutional investor, which collects funds by issuing securities, and primarily invests in the securities market.
At this time foreign investment firms are not allowed to participate in the investment fund market other than through giving advice to fund management companies in China.
After WTO accession, though, fund management companies will be allowed up to include 33% foreign ownership in a joint venture. Three years after accession, the foreign equity interest may be increased to 49%. Needless to say there is great potential in the China Investment Fund market. The current regulations were launched in 1997 with the promulgation of the Provisional Measures of the Administration of Securities Investment Funds (the Investment Fund Measures). The China Securities Regulatory Commission implements the provisions and the measures apply to all natural persons, legal persons and other organizations engaging in investment fund activities. The investment funds in China are categorized under so-called close-ended and open-ended funds, where all existing funds today are close-ended. Close-ended funds have a pre-determined total issuing amount and a fixed total number of fund units. These funds are listed and can only be transacted through stock exchanges. There are 15 investment funds listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and 16 on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.