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CIC wants capital with smarter, greener ideas

China will continue to encourage capital flows into the country that emphasise technology and environmental impact, according to Jin Liqun, chairman of the board of supervisors of the $200 billion China Investment Corporation (CIC).

Speaking at the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds meeting in Sydney, Australia, last week, he said the Chinese market, which was very open, had benefited greatly from capital flows over the past 30 years and was recently trying to increase its own overseas investment.

However he said in the past few years there had been a subtle change as the “standard” of capital flow was set higher.

“For instance China is now looking much more closely at the environmental impact of investments. It’s a subtle change.”

High pollution and emissions were also under scrutiny, he said.

“It is very important to see cross-border capital flows. It is not just the capital flows but also that they bring with them expertise, opportunity, and technology that is not available in that country,” he said.

Jin, who is the deputy chair of the SWF forum, emphasised that sovereign wealth funds, including his own CIC, had a mandate to achieve reasonable returns on investment, purely on a commercial basis.

“The government doesn’t interfere with the decisions we make,” he said.

The CIC has 194 staff in its global investment team, with 11 investment staff in the asset allocation and strategic research department, 14 in the public market investments department, nine in the tactical investments, 17 in private markets and 16 in special investments.

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