Everbright Securities to establish China's first PPP sports fund

SHANGHAI, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Everbright Securities Co Ltd said its investment unit would set up China’s first sports-focused public-private partnership fund, hoping to capitalise on what is expected to be rapid growth in the nation’s sports market.

The fund, to be established with Zhejiang Kunlun Holding Group, will start with an initial cash injection of 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion).

Projects that the fund may consider investing in include infrastructure projects for the Beijing 2022 Winter Games Olympics, the construction of pavilions for the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou and a sports park in Beijing, Everbright said.

China is keen to see its sports market grow to be worth more than 5 trillion yuan ($738 billion) by 2025, up from an estimated 1.5 trillion yuan currently. On Friday, Beijing released guidelines to speed up the development of the country’s fitness and leisure industry.

“Our company is full of confidence in the future of China’s sports market as the country is strongly encouraging its development,” Everbright Securities Chief Executive Xue Feng said in a statement.

In May, Everbright Securities and internet entertainment company Beijing Baofeng Technology bought a majority stake in Italian-owned MP & Silva, valuing the sports media rights firm at over $1 billion.

Everbright Securities is controlled by state-owned China Everbright Group. In August another unit of the group, China Everbright Ltd, dismissed media reports that it was in talks to buy a stake in British soccer team Liverpool FC.

$1 = 6.7751 Chinese yuan Reporting by Jackie Cai and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs