Chinese sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation (CIC) has reshuffled its infrastructure team in preparation for a strategic shift that will see it focus more on direct investments and proprietary relationships with fund managers, as it looks to decrease reliance on blind pool structures, Infrastructure Investor has learnt.
Benjamin Bao is now head of Investment Department 1, which includes three infrastructure teams led by Yan Wang, David Xie and Yuling Lu. The infrastructure teams will look at areas such as transport, utilities and energy, including renewables. Investment Department 1 also includes two other teams looking at oil & gas and metals & mining.
CIC has also created Investment Department 2, which will focus on the consumer and industrial sectors and will feature Mi Tao in a leadership position.
At Infrastructure Investor’s Berlin Summit 2015, Tao said CIC was looking into infrastructure investments in emerging economies in an effort to bypass strong demand for core assets in developed countries.
“Being a government entity located in Beijing is not very helpful when entering auctions in developed markets. In emerging markets, on the other hand, there seems to be a critical need for infrastructure that no one so far wants to tap. So we've decided to reconsider our infrastructure programme to push more into developing countries,” he explained.
Earlier this month, we reported CIC was considering buying a stake in the THB100 billion ($2.8 billion; €2.51 billion) Thailand Future Fund, which was established last year to support domestic infrastructure projects.
The sovereign wealth fund is also reportedly part of a consortium – comprising China Southern Power Grid Company and the Qatar Investment Authority – that is eyeing the privatisation of New South Wales’ Ausgrid transmission network.