Brokerage CLSA will form an asset management joint-venture with Chinese state-owned investment firm Shanghai Guosheng Group to launch a US$1.46 billion yuan-denominated investment fund, Reuters reported. The 50-50 joint venture Guosheng CLSA (Shanghai) will invest in environment- and consumer-related, renewable energy and heavy machinery sectors. Hong Kong-based CLSA is the latest in a string of foreign investors to announce plans to raise RMB-denominated investment funds. Hong Kong private equity firm First Eastern Investment Group on Monday said it aimed to raise US$877.9 million for yuan-denominated funds over the next 12 months. The Blackstone Group on Friday announced a plan to launch a US$731.6 million local-currency fund with the Shanghai government. China wants to boost the number of yuan-denominated funds in order to reduce firms’ dependence on bank financing.