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China's sovereign wealth fund 'keen' to invest in West's infrastructure to help spur growth
BEIJING (AP) ' China's sovereign wealth fund wants to invest in improving neglected U.S. and European roads and other infrastructure to spur global growth, the fund's chairman said in comments published Monday.
The China Investment Corp. wants to begin in Britain by teaming up with fund managers or investing directly in infrastructure projects, Lou Jiwei said in a commentary in London's Financial Times newspaper.
The CIC has about $410 billion in assets. Until now, it has limited its investments outside China mostly to small shareholdings in publicly traded companies to avoid stirring possible political opposition.
"China is keen to get involved" in improving U.S. and European infrastructure, which "badly needs more investment," Lou wrote.
Lou did not say in which other countries the CIC might invest but cited an estimate that the United States needs to spend at least $2.2 trillion in infrastructure repairs or rebuilding.
"Free of the inflationary pressure that afflicts many emerging economies, the U.S. and Europe should make substantial investment," he said. "We cannot count on developing countries to deliver a stable economic recovery on their own."
Some commentators in both Europe and China have suggested Beijing might use its foreign reserves, the world's biggest at $3.2 trillion, as political leverage at a time when other governments urgently want investment.
Lou stressed that the CIC would act as a commercial investor and wanted to make a profit.
"CIC believes that such an investment, guided by commercial principles, offers the chance of a 'win-win' solution for all," he wrote.
China Investment Corp.: