China SWF Boosts Assets to $500bn

Surge in value of overseas investments sees fund total increase by $18 billion.

Lou Jiwei, former Chairman, China Investment Corporation

(June 10, 2013) -- China Investment Corp's return on overseas investments hit 11% in 2012, boosting the total fund size to $500 billion, President Gao Xiqing told Chinese newswires.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the higher return on overseas investments was in part due to its diversified investment portfolio.

"The investment return in the past five years has surpassed previous expectations a little bit, but not that much," Gao said.

Created in 2007, the sovereign wealth fund was tasked to earn higher returns from riskier investments using part of China's foreign exchange reserves, which at $3.44 trillion are the world's largest.

In 2011, the CIC suffered a 4.3% loss on its international portfolio, partly due to weakness in energy and resource stocks as the European debt crisis and US credit rating downgrades rocked markets, according to a report by Reuters.

The fund received $30 billion in new funding in 2011 from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the country's top foreign exchange regulator.

A boost to the coffers is good news for the CIC, but it arrives at a challenging time for the sovereign wealth fund - the CIC is still seeking a chairman after Lou Jiwei left to become China's finance minister. 

Related News: Why Does Nobody Want China's Top SWF Job? and Power 100: Lou Jiwei

| cthomas@assetinternational.com | (44) 207 397 3827