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PwC survey predicts flat growth

FOREIGN fund-management companies in China projected flat-to-moderate growth this year, a lower rate of staff turnover and growing merger and acquisition possibilities amid the financial crisis, an industry survey said yesterday.

The majority of foreign-invested fund management houses said cost control is becoming their top concern in China, said the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey, released yesterday.

"This is a clear signal that the challenging performance and market shrinkage in 2008 has had a major and ongoing impact on the cost structures of fund-management companies," said Alex Wong, a PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, in Shanghai yesterday.

The accounting firm surveyed 29 foreign fund-management companies in China in January and February. Overseas companies can hold up to a 49 percent stake in fund-management joint ventures.

The financial crisis and the huge falls in the domestic stock market since hitting an all-time high of 6,124 in October 2007 have brought some good news, PwC said, as these factors have helped bring down staff turnover rate. It has been easier to recruit staff and there are signs of easing salaries.

Almost one-third of respondents said staff turnover rate was less than 5 percent in 2008.

The respondents expected on average a 101-percent increase in assets under management by 2012. The 29 respondents employ 3,484 people and they expect the figure to grow 49 percent by 2012.


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