Robeco to launch 4 billion yuan China fun

HONG KONG Thu Sep 3, 2009 8:35am EDT

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HONG KONG (Reuters) - Dutch asset manager Robeco (RBEN.AS) said on Wednesday it aims to raise 4 billion yuan ($585 million) in China for a private equity fund that will focus on sustainable investments.

The fund will be managed by a joint venture between Robeco and the Tianjin government. The joint venture, Robeco TEDA (Tianjin) Investment Management Co., hopes to launch its first product, the Robeco TEDA Sustainable Private Equity Fund, by the first quarter of 2010.

"This is the first renminbi (yuan)-denominated cross-border private equity fund with a focus on sustainable investment," said Christiaan Kaptein, a sustainable investment business manager for Robeco, speaking at the Reuters China Investment Summit.

The fund will invest in companies that develop products and technologies that increase productive use of energy, water and other resources; reduce the impact waste and emissions on the environment; and create economic value by cutting costs.

The fund will invest in companies in China, the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

"China will be one of the largest investment areas, driven by its sheer size and the policy direction of the government," said Kaptein.

The private equity venture was established in March, marking a milestone for Robeco's development in China after it set up a representative office in Shanghai in 2007. It received a qualified foreign institutional investor (QFII) quota of $150 million in 2008.

Separately, Chief Investment Officer Arnout van Rijn said Robeco is keen to enter into a fund management joint venture in China. The company has not yet determined the registered capital of the joint venture.

Van Rijn also said that Robeco plans to open a representative office to sell Robeco funds in Taiwan. He declined to give a date for the opening.

Robeco, a unit of unlisted cooperative bank Rabobank RABO.UL, had 111 billion euros in assets under management as of December 31.

(Reporting by Nerilyn Tenorio and Clare Jim; Editing by Don Durfee, John Stonestreet)

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