Royal Bank of Canada announces joint venture agreement to launch Chinese Fund Management Company
TORONTO, October 30, 2006 — Royal Bank of Canada announced today that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd. (China Minsheng Bank) to launch a new Chinese joint venture fund management company, pending regulatory and other approvals. The joint venture company, with headquarters in Shanghai, will create, manage and sell mutual funds in local currency to retail and institutional investors in China.
Under the terms of the agreement, Royal Bank of Canada will hold a 30 per cent interest in the joint venture, China Minsheng Bank will hold a majority interest of 60 per cent, and Three Gorges Finance Co., Ltd. will hold a ten per cent interest.
“This exciting initiative provides us with an entry point into the rapidly expanding Chinese asset management market,” said George Lewis, executive vice-president, Wealth Management, RBC Financial Group and chairman and CEO of RBC Asset Management Inc. “To be selected to participate in this joint venture is a tremendous honour and a reflection of RBC’s leadership in asset management and the distribution of investment products through bank branch networks.”
RBC’s China strategy is to make targeted investments in areas where RBC has global competitive advantages including global debt markets, global financial institutions, private banking and fund management.
“The fund management market in China is poised for growth, making this an opportune time to form this joint venture,” said Hong Qi, executive vice-president, China Minsheng Bank. “It also serves to reinforce the growing realization that Chinese capital markets offer good potential investment value.”
“Each party brings their inherent expertise, knowledge and resources to create a unique and exciting proposition,” said Mike Chen, China country head for RBC Financial Group. “The joint venture will benefit from the expertise in fund management, strategic direction and management capabilities that RBC can provide and the respected, well established presence of China Minsheng Bank.”
China Minsheng Bank is a Chinese commercial bank headquartered in Beijing and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. It has 240 branches and banking outlets in the major cities of China. It ranks among the top ten banks in China with widely held ownership.
In February of 2006, RBC upgraded its representative office in Beijing to a branch, which will enable RBC to provide a variety of services to clients in Canada and China. In August, the company announced the opening of RBC Life Insurance Company’s new representative office in Beijing. Today, RBC Capital Markets announced its mandate as co-lead manager of the institutional tranche for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s estimated $21 billion initial public offering, the largest in financial market history.
About RBC Asset Management Inc.
RBC Asset Management Inc. is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC Asset Management Inc. provides a broad range of investment services to investors through mutual funds, pooled funds and separately managed portfolios. With over $67 billion in assets under management and offices in major financial centres around the world, RBC Asset Management Inc. is one of Canada’s largest money managers. Visit our website at www.rbcam.com.
About China Minsheng Bank
China Minsheng Bank was established in 1996. It is the first major national commercial bank in China without state ownership. As at December 31, 2005, China Minsheng Bank had total assets of RMB 557.1 billion (CAD 78 billion) and an industry-leading non-performing loan ratio of 1.28 per cent China Minsheng Bank has 240 banking outlets and branches in cities across China, and has established agent bank relationships with nearly 750 banks in 78 countries and regions. In 2005, as published by UK’s The Banker magazine, China Minsheng Bank was ranked the second most competitive commercial bank in China and 28th in the top 200 Asian banks by total assets.
Three Gorges Finance Co., Ltd.
Three Gorges Finance Co., Ltd is a non-bank financial institution authorized by the People’s Bank of China and established in 1997, serving the Three Gorges Project and member companies of the China Three Gorges Project Corporation. As at the end of 2005, Three Gorges Finance had total assets of RMB 8 billion (CAD 1.1 billion).
Safe Harbor Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed to be forward-looking statements under certain securities laws, including the “safe harbour” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and in any applicable Canadian securities legislation, and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) intends that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbour created thereby. The words “may,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “suspect,” “outlook,” “believe,” “plan,” “strategy”, “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “forecast”, “objective” and words and expressions of similar import are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous factors and assumptions, and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks exist that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements, including statements about the proposed joint venture will not be achieved. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of important factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to the possibility that the proposed joint venture does not close when expected or at all because required regulatory or other approvals are not received or other conditions to the closing are not satisfied on a timely basis or at all, the terms and conditions of the joint venture may need to be modified to achieve regulatory approval, or that the anticipated benefits of the joint venture are not realized as a result of such things as the strength of the economy and competitive factors in the areas where the joint venture will do business; the impact of changes in the laws and regulations regulating financial services and enforcement thereof; judicial judgments and legal proceedings; reputational risks, and other factors that may affect future results of RBC including changes in trade policies, timely development and introduction of new products and services, changes in tax laws, and technological changes. We caution that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive.
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