A capital injection plan for China Investment Corp (CIC), the country's $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, has been submitted to the State Council for approval, according to sources close to the matter.
"The State Council is now working on the plan," said one source, who declined to be identified. He refused to disclose the scale of the capital injection.
Another source close to the matter said the injection could be between $10 billion and $20 billion.
CIC declined to comment on the issue, as did the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, which manages China's foreign reserves.
Wang Jianxi, executive vice-president and chief risk officer of CIC, said at a forum in January that the sovereign fund achieved a satisfactory performance last year but has used up its operating capital and has applied for a capital injection.
In May, the company said it entered into an agreement - through one of its wholly owned subsidiaries - with Penn West Energy Trust. The companies formed a partnership to develop Penn West's bitumen assets in the Peace River area of Alberta, Canada. CIC will invest approximately C$817 million ($796 million) to acquire a 45 percent interest in the partnership.
That deal was the only mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity published on the company's website last year. However, the Economic Observer said CIC was involved in 11 overseas M&A deals in 2010. Five of those deals, valued at $1.579 billion, were made solely by the company.
On Jan 20, CIC opened its first overseas representative office. The bureau, in Toronto, will seek to enhance CIC's cooperation with local companies and promote its overall investment business in Canada, according to its online statement.
Last year, CIC - which was set up in 2007 with a mandate to earn a higher return for the government - opened a wholly owned unit in Hong Kong.
The fund, which also holds sizable stakes in a number of China's major State-controlled banks, added $58 billion to its overseas holdings in 2009, mainly in publicly traded stocks and bonds.
Though some analysts said CIC could also raise funds through issuing bonds, in common with other sovereign wealth funds, Liu Shengjun, deputy director of the Lujiazui International Financial Research Center at the China Europe International Business School, said using the existing foreign exchange reserves is a more reasonable choice, given the country's high volume.
By the end of 2010, China's foreign exchange reserves were $2.8 trillion.