Singapore's GIC to invest over $260 million in Indonesia's Cinema 21 operator

A group of youths practice dancing in front of a Cinema 21 theatre in Jakarta February 22, 2011. REUTERS/Beawiharta/File Photo

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC is investing 3.5 trillion rupiah ($260.7 million) in a company that operates Indonesia’s biggest cinema chain, marking the latest foreign investment in the country’s burgeoning movie industry.

GIC’s partnership with PT Nusantara Sejahtera Raya (NSR), which runs Cinema 21, Cinema XXI and The Premiere brands in Indonesia, will expand “NSR’s cinema footprint nationally”, according to a joint statement on Monday.

“The investment by GIC reflects our confidence in Indonesia’s long-term growth potential,” GIC said, adding that NSR stands to benefit from “the rapidly expanding consumer class and economic development in Indonesia.”

The movie market, one of dozens of industries that Indonesia liberalized in February, is increasingly whetting the appetite of overseas companies. Previously, the so-called "negative investment list" shut most of the industry to foreigners.

In August, South Korea’s CJ CGV Co Ltd spent $25.4 million to raise its stake in Indonesia’s second-biggest cinema chain, CGV Blitz, to nearly 23 percent from 14.75 percent.

Reporting by Eveline Danubrata in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips