World’s largest money manager BlackRock is shutting a China-focused offshore fund amid congressional scrutiny over its alleged role in directing U.S. dollars to blacklisted Chinese firms.
In a recent letter to shareholders, BlackRock Global Funds’ chairwoman Denise Voss said they will close the China Flexible Equity Fund over a “lack of shareholder interest” and the investment cost to keep the fund running, which she noted is “not in the best interests of shareholders.”
BlackRock intends to liquidate all assets under the fund and redeem any outstanding shares by Nov. 7. Existing shareholders have the options to switch their investments into another fund, sell back their shares ahead of the liquidation date, or receive automatic payments for the shares when the fund closes down.
recorded a negative 16.7 percent return in 2021, a number that nearly doubled in 2022, to negative 30.5 percent.
launched a probe into BlackRock and investment index provider MSCI regarding the alleged investments in Chinese companies the U.S. government has deemed problematic.
The two firms together facilitated investment into over 60 Chinese entities hit with U.S. sanctions over national security or human rights issues, the lawmakers said, noting their review was far from comprehensive and thus the actual number of benefited Chinese companies is likely higher. Across five funds, BlackRock has invested over $429 million in such Chinese firms against U.S. interests, according to the House committee.
Beijing in silencing dissent and spreading propaganda through its popular messaging app WeChat, as well as state-owned hydropower operator China Yangtze Power and Nari Technology, the country’s largest supplier of electric power equipment.
In a response to the congressional probe, BlackRock had told The Epoch Times that it “complies with all applicable U.S. government laws” regarding “all investments in China and markets around the world,” and noted that it is one of 16 asset managers offering U.S. index funds that invest in Chinese companies.
It didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the China fund closure.
But across the board, there are growing signs of wariness from U.S. investors toward the Chinese market. The long-hoped-for economic recovery after the regime lifted its stringent COVID-19 curbs has not happened. Instead, the country faces a slowing economy, with a sharp drop in trade, millions of young Chinese struggling to find a job, a housing crisis, and growing tensions with the United States.
an executive order to restrict U.S. investments toward China in advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum technology, and semiconductors, citing risks for U.S. national security.
The Epoch Times.