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Penghua Fund Management has teamed up with one of China''s largest banks to launch the country''s first open-end fund.

Shenzhen-based Penghua Fund Management and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China ICBC have signed a cooperation agreement this week to launch China's first open-end fund. With more than 37,000 branches and offices 1995 figures across the country, ICBC could offer Penghua a distribution network unequalled by any newcomers in the near future.

The announcement on Monday follows local media reports that Hong Kong fund manager Jardine Fleming is in talks with a mainland manager, Huaan Fund Management, to look at what role Jardine could play in helping Huaan to launch an open-end fund.

The Chinese government's newspaper, China Daily, reported in May that at least six fund managers from Hong Kong and...

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