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China Merchants Bank Launches Innovative Chinese Contemporary “Art Banking” Fund

Bank Follows Lead of Art Investment Funds Like Castlestone Management, Helping Break Down Barriers of Investment In China’s Cultural Assets

Helping Chinese investors break in to the contemporary Chinese art market -- CMB's Art Banking Fund. Sculpture: Yue Minjun's "Contemporary Terracotta Warrior Series No. 6" (2005)

Helping Chinese investors break in to the contemporary Chinese art market -- CMB's Art Banking Fund. Sculpture: Yue Minjun's "Contemporary Terracotta Warrior Series No. 6" (2005)

China Merchants Bank (ζ‹›ε•†ι“Άθ‘Œ) has launched a new “Art Banking Fund,” an add-on feature for the bank’s private banking division focused on high-net-worth individuals who want to invest in long-term domestic assets as well as contemporary Chinese art. This innovative program is the latest in CMB’s string of unique initiatives for China’s growing investor base, and attempts to reach this traditionally skittish demographic by allowing them to get involved with assets that are both Chinese in origin and a good investment over the long term, destroying one of the barriers for these investors to “Buy [into] China.”

Programs like this, which allow Chinese investors the ability to invest in a basket of hard assets rather than simply putting their money into stocks or other securities, should be quite successful in the mainland, where most investors feel that a diversified portfolio — more weighted towards hard assets like gold, jewelry, or real estate — is crucial. After all, Chinese investors are still a new demographic, despite their country’s age, as investment of this kind took a roughly 60-year break. Now, however, we can see that Chinese banks and investment firms are developing interesting investment strategies and products meant to offer “investment with Chinese characteristics.”

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