BEIJING Jan 5 More than 40 Chinese insurance
companies and asset managers have jointly started an investment
firm, raising 40 billion yuan ($6 billion) for a first fund to
finance energy and infrastructure projects overseas, China's
insurance regulator said.
The new firm, China Insurance Investment Ltd, will boost
China's energy security by directing part of its first fund to
finance Russia's $27 billion Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG)
project, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) said
in an online statement on Monday, without providing any details.
Yamal LNG, due to start production of liquefied natural gas
in 2017, should consist of three lines with a capacity of 5.5
million tonnes a year each.
The project has been struggling to raise funds because of
international sanctions on Russia over its involvement in the
conflict in eastern Ukraine.
China's Silk Road Fund has already provided 700 million euro
to Yamal LNG and obtained a 9.9 percent stake in the project.
Chinese lenders are also set to provide $12 billion
China Insurance Investment Ltd, headquartered in the
Shanghai free trade zone, was launched by 46 Chinese corporate
shareholders, comprising 27 insurance companies, 15 insurance
asset management companies and four private companies. The
shareholders each have a stake of less than 4 percent.
The new investment vehicle has 1.2 billion yuan in
registered capital and will acquire overseas assets, including
stakes in emerging industries such as Big Data, cloud computing
and clean energy, the CIRC said.
Its first fund will also help finance China Merchants Steam
Navigation Co's port construction projects in Sri Lanka, Turkey
and Djibouti, the CIRC said.
China Insurance Investment Ltd has signed 100 billion yuan
worth of investment agreements, including 60 billion yuan for
urban regeneration and infrastructure, the statement said.
($1 = 6.5187 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Shu Zhang and Matthew Miller; Editing by Eric