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Huarong targets new businesses
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Huarong Asset Management Corp is considering setting up and investing in equity or securities funds as part of efforts to transform itself into a competitive financial group, Zheng Wanchun, its vice president, said.

It also plans to venture into new business areas such as banking, insurance and futures, and will launch an initial public offering in three to five years, Zheng said at a financial forum on Wednesday.

"Huarong will make all efforts to transform itself to conduct commercial operations," Zheng said, adding that it will introduce strategic investors to develop it into a market-oriented, diversified and comprehensive financial group.

The company now operates more than 30 outlets across the country to offer a basket of financial services, including investment banking, trust, leasing, financing and asset management. It will continue to explore innovative businesses.

China created four asset management companies in 1999 - Great Wall, Cinda, Huarong and China Orient - to help clear up the balance sheets of the nation's four biggest banks.

The four AMCs cleared up billions of yuan worth of bad debts at the lenders in a government-directed exercise in 2007 and have since then focused on turning themselves into financial institutions to do commercial operations.

Huarong's rival, China Orient Asset Management, also revealed that it is diversifying its business from just focusing on disposing bad assets to other areas.

(Shanghai Daily September 4, 2009)
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