In what would be the first case of a mainland fund manager seeking business abroad, Bank of China (BoC) has announced plans to create 24 equity and bond funds in Geneva, Switzerland, where they will be managed by a private Swiss bank created by BoC in November of last year. The funds will invest in both foreign and renminbi-denominated Chinese investment products. BoC declined to mention how much it hopes to raise. Sinopharm Group is also looking to raise capital by launching an IPO in Hong Kong. Sources familiar with China’s largest drug distributor say the IPO could produce US$1.13 billion in fresh funding. Five other firms are looking to list in Hong Kong this month, bringing the projected IPO total yield up to a whopping US$5 billion, which would make September the busiest month on the Hong Kong Exchange since November 2007. For direct investors, China Resources controlling stake in a mainland venture with clothing maker Esprit may soon be up for sale. The Hong Kong-based holding company’s strongest performer is its share of Snow beer, the best selling beer in China by volume, but fashion – as usual – is proving an expensive distraction; profits from the Esprit venture have declined by nearly a third in the first half of 2009. Analysts say China Resources needs to refocus on core businesses: "Beer is the only operation that is showing potential for growth," said Fiona Wong, research analyst manager at Wing Fung Securities. On Friday, we are inclined to agree.