* CIC plans to invest in a few hedge funds - WSJ
* CIC wants to tap opportunities near market bottom - WSJ
* Blackstone shares up 3.5 percent
(Recasts with sourcing, adds share price, details on hedge
NEW YORK, June 19 Chinese sovereign wealth fund
China Investment Corp is poised to invest around $500 million
into a Blackstone Group (BX.N) hedge fund unit, a source
familiar with the situation said on Friday.
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news and said
it was part of a broad effort to put cash to work, and that the
hefty injection would be welcome news for hedge funds.
The paper, citing unnamed sources, said that CIC Chairman
Lou Jiwei worries about missing investment opportunities as the
market nears a bottom.
Shares in Blackstone rose 3.5 percent to $11.54.
CIC has been approached by hedge fund managers, including
Eton Park Capital Management's Eric Mindich and Paulson & Co's
John Paulson, the paper reported.
The paper said that last year Renaissance Technologies head
James Simons talked with CIC about selling a stake but did not
do a deal.
The paper said it was not clear how much CIC might allocate
to hedge funds, although it said officials in the past have
said it plans to give asset managers up to $80 billion
CIC, Blackstone and the hedge funds declined to comment to
Blackstone's funds-of-hedge-funds unit is based in New York
and London and is run by J. Tomilson Hill.
CIC was created in 2007 to manage part of China's foreign
exchange reserves for higher returns. The fund has not
published any official financial statements.
The fund became wary of overseas expansion after
money-losing investments in Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and
Blackstone, but it has recently shown renewed interest in
overseas markets as the global financial crisis eases.
On Thursday, sources told Reuters that Blackstone is in
talks with the Shanghai city government to set up a
wholly-owned China subsidiary as it prepares to launch a local
currency private equity fund. [ID:nHKG59724]
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(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal and Megan Davies; Editing by
John Wallace and Brian Moss)