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SHANGHAI, August 21(Reuters) - The former chairman of China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd , one of the country's top private lenders, launched China's largest private investment fund on Thursday.
Dong Wenbiao, who resigned from Minsheng on Monday as a result of what he described as job changes, launched China Minsheng Investment Co Ltd with a registered capital of 50 billion yuan ($8.13 billion) after raising funds from 59 domestic private enterprises.
"This is the largest fund of its type," said Chen Xingyu, a Shanghai-based banks analyst at Phillip Securities (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Shareholders of the fund, which received State Council approval in April, are all large private firms and include Suning Commerce Group, one of China's largest electronic appliance retailers, and Baota Petrochemical Group, a leading chemical manufacturer.
Other investors hail from the manufacturing, metallurgy, e-commerce sectors, among others, and together own assets of nearly 1 trillion yuan.
The fund, which is one of a handful of national-level investment companies, will invest in photovoltaic power generation projects, steel and vessels, and will also engage in stock management and consultancy services, according to a press release circulated at the launch event on Thursday.
The fund is also licensed to conduct outbound investment and the disposal of non performing assets. It is unclear whether the fund will be handling non-performing loans from Minsheng Bank.
While there is no legal relationship between Minsheng Bank and the fund, many of the owners of the fund are ex-Minsheng Bank executives, so there is likely to be a co-operative relationship between the two entities, said Chen.
It is unclear why Minsheng Investment is using the Minsheng name.
$1 = 6.1522 Chinese yuan Reporting by Engen Tham and Sharon Xu; Editing by Matthew Miller and Matt Driskill