China fund keen on more bank stakes

International investment and more private equity deals are in the works, says the chairman of the Social Security Fund.

Xiang Huaicheng, chairman of the National Council for Social Security Fund in Beijing, says the Rmb192 billion $23.7 billion fund is interested in taking stakes in state-owned commercial banks such as ICBC or China Construction Bank. He also says the SSF is close to making its first investments into overseas markets.

In June 2004, the SSF made its first 'alternative investment' by taking a stake in the non-listed equity structure of Shanghai-based Bank of Communications - the first domestic institutional investor to do so. It now is BoComm's third-largest investor, behind the Ministry of Finance and HSBC.

This is part of the SSF's overall...

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