CIC to set up Toronto bureau

Updated: 2011-01-20 07:58

By Kang Xize and Don Durfee (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China Investment Corp (CIC), the country's sovereign wealth fund, plans to open a Toronto office, its second outside the Chinese mainland, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

CIC, with $300 billion under management, plans to announce the new representative office on Friday, said the source, who declined to be named.

A separate source familiar with the plan said CIC will hold an opening ceremony in Toronto later this week.

"The reason for (choosing) Toronto may be twofold - first, for investment in Canada's natural resources, and the second is usually tax", a Singapore-based fund manager said on condition of anonymity.

The extension to Toronto comes as CIC tries to expand its business operations internationally and be taken seriously as a global investment group.

CIC opened a Hong Kong office last year, led by Laurence Lau, a former Stanford University professor and former vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

CIC made a splash with two of its original investments, taking significant stakes in investment bank Morgan Stanley and private equity company Blackstone Group.

Not long afterward, the global financial crisis took a heavy toll on those stakes, and CIC quickly found itself in the spotlight and under pressure for the decline in the value of the holdings.

Since then, the fund has sought to move away from financial holdings, turning toward natural resources-related investments in Canada and Indonesia.

The fund was set up in 2007 with a mandate to earn a higher return for the government.

CIC, which also holds large stakes in China's major State-controlled banks, added $58 billion to its overseas holdings in 2009, mainly in publicly traded bonds and stocks.



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