CIC eyes US infrastructure with NY office

China’s $810bn sovereign wealth fund is stepping up efforts to make direct investments after backing an Aussie port and a Brazilian pipeline network.

China Investment Corporation, the country’s $810 billion sovereign wealth fund, has officially launched its representative office in New York.

CIC established the office on 14 December 2015, moving its North American outpost from Toronto to New York to leverage the city’s strategic position as an international finance centre.

The team will be responsible for conducting research on the North American economy, financial markets and policies, as well as strengthening cooperation with the fund’s business partners, CIC said in statement.

Tu Guangshao, vice-chairman and president of CIC, said in a speech at the opening ceremony that “setting up overseas branches is a strategic move for the fund to expand global outreach, deepen partnership, and improve investment capabilities”.

The fund’s New York office will be headed by chief representative Hong Zhang.

CIC actively invests in infrastructure both via funds and direct investments, with a 40 percent allocation to alternatives. In April this year, CIC acquired 90 percent of Nova Transportadora do Sudeste, a system of natural gas transmission assets in southeast Brazil, from state-owned firm Petrobras. CIC made the investment with Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and other institutional investors.

Last October, it also invested $900 million in the 50-year lease of Port of Melbourne, an A$9.7 billion ($7.2 billion; €6.5 billion) deal led by Global Infrastructure Partners and QIC.