ICBC’s Sino-CEE Fund ‘steadily deploying €3bn’

Infrastructure projects are a priority for the €10bn vehicle as it mobilises the cash raised during its first phase of fundraising.

The Sino-Central and Eastern Europe Fund is making steady progress on the deployment of the €3 billion it collected from domestic and global investors, according to Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the SINO-CEE Fund and former chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. 

“The first phase of funding [for the SINO-CEE Fund] is steadily moving forward with a batch of high-potential projects registered – in infrastructure, manufacturing, and mass consumption,” said Jiang, during a conference in Munich. 

“Meanwhile, a lot of domestic and international companies and financial institutions have shown great interest in investing in the Central and Eastern European market, looking for partners and investment opportunities through our platform,” he added.

Jiang said in May that €3 billion had been committed to the fund during its first phase of fundraising, in view of “high enthusiasm from global investors”. Funds from CEE countries were mainly from investment enterprises or banks closely associated with those countries’ governments, he noted, in addition to investors from the Greater China region as well as across Asia-Pacific. 

Last November, the Chinese government set up the €10 billion vehicle, with €1 billion of seed money from the country’s biggest bank, ICBC. It is looking to mobilise up to €50 billion in support funding to back businesses and projects in the CEE countries, with infrastructure development as one of its priorities. 

The vehicle is the second of its kind, following the establishment of China-CEE Co-operation Fund by the Export-Import Bank of China in 2012. Both are expected to promote the China-led ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, a master plan to facilitate trade flows and improve connectivity along the ancient trade routes linking China and Europe.