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CIC sees 'good opportunity' for international investment
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It's now a "good opportunity" for the China Investment Corp. (CIC), China's sovereign wealth fund, to make international investment, said a top CIC official in Beijing Wednesday.

"To some extent, the current international situation gives the CIC a good opportunity," said CIC deputy general manager Wang Jianxi, who is also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top political advisory body.

"The major concern is when and how we should take actions," said Wang during a panel discussion of the CPPCC National Committee's annual session.

As a "passive financial investor", the CIC will stick to its initial purpose of increasing the investment proceeds of China's foreign exchange reserves and "adjust its investment strategies according to market conditions," said Wang.

"Like most sovereign wealth funds in the world, we're restricted by many factors and can not invest wherever there's a market opportunity," he said when talking about the CIC's future investment direction. "The business scope of the CIC is just international investment."

In the meantime, Wang attributed the drops of China's consumer and producer price indices in February to the sharply weaker international demand and slumping prices of raw materials and commodities.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, fell to minus 1.6 percent year on year in February, while the producer price index (PPI) measuring inflation at a wholesale level fell 4.5 percent year on year, the NBS said Tuesday.

The news worsened fears for a possible deflation, in which case consumers expecting further price falls tend to hold back spending, which could make the already faltering economy even weaker.

"There have been both good and bad data. Only a certain figure is not enough for analyzing the whole economic situation," said Wang. "We have to wait for a period before judging the trend."

The February CPI and PPI data did not represent a deflation problem in China, since the money supply was ample because of the proactive fiscal policy and the relatively easy monetary policy, the NBS said Tuesday.

(Xinhua News Agency March 11, 2009)

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