China Minsheng Investment aims to double planned SEA investment to $10 billion

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - China Minsheng Investment Corp (CMI), the country’s biggest private investment group, and partners aim to double planned investment in Southeast Asian infrastructure to $10 billion, a senior executive said on Friday.

Beijing-based CMI said in March it and 10 partners would invest $5 billion to develop an industrial park in Indonesia. It is now seeking similar deals in Thailand and other countries, said Chief Executive Laurence Liao of CM International Holding, CMI’s overseas arm.

“The market is so huge, its demand is so huge,” Liao said in an interview in Singapore. CMI plans to add another $5 billion for Southeast Asia over the coming decade, he said.

Beijing-based CMI has 59 backers including financial conglomerate China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co Ltd [OWREAC.UL]. It is among a growing number of firms looking to profit from the Chinese government’s Silk Road initiative.

The initiative aims to boost Chinese business and influence by offering firms incentives to build highways, railways, ports and pipelines in Central and Southeast Asia.

“China Minsheng has long-term committed capital,” Liao said. “While usually other private equity funds have seven or 12 years or similar time horizons, for us, it’s a different story. It’s a very long, long-term capital, more like a pension fund.”

CMI was set up by an ex-chairman of China Minsheng Banking Corp Ltd 600016.SS independently of the bank. Its latest major investment was in July, when a subsidiary bought Sirius International Insurance Group Ltd for $2.2 billion from Bermuda-based White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd WTM.N.

Liao also said CMI was looking to invest in infrastructure projects in India and was organizing a visit by a delegation of Chinese companies this year.

Reporting by Anshuman Daga; Writing by Shu Zhang; Editing by Christopher Cushing