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Pension fund confirms planned PE investment
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China's National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has decided to invest in yuan-denominated private equity (PE) funds, its chairman, Dai Xianglong, said in Tianjin on Tuesday.

He confirmed an earlier report by the 21st Century Business Herald that the fund would invest in two funds of domestic private equity firms.

Apart from picking up two yuan-denominated funds being raised by CDH Investments and Hony Capital, the fund was also engaging in frequent contacts with domestic and international investment banks, said Dai at the two-day China International Private Equity Forum that started in Tianjin on Tuesday.

Such NSSF investments in industry funds and private equity funds had just been approved by the State Council, China's Cabinet, on June 5.

The pension fund received approval to invest no more than 20 percent of its total assets into industrial and commercial enterprises and 10 percent in private equity funds. Together, the investment quota added up to 150 billion yuan ($21.4 billion), Dai said.

He hoped the NSSF investment decisions would stimulate more similar investments and accelerate the development of private investment funds.

The NSSF would cooperate with other investment funds and promote the "orderly, two-way and win-win flow of international capital in China," Dai said.

"I believe the private investment funds in China would play an important role in direct financing, which would substantially help improve the macroeconomic structure, reduce the excess liquidity and help make a better balance sheet for China."

The pension fund invested 10 billion yuan in the domestic Bohai Fund in 2006, the country's first industry fund, with special approval from authorities.

(Xinhua News Agency June 11, 2008)

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