China makes equity investments from forex reserves

BEIJING, May 21, 2007 (AFP) – A new Chinese investment company charged with handling the nation’s bulging reserves has agreed to invest three billion dollars in US private equity company Blackstone, the American company said. Analysts have suggested that the new agency would start slowly while it refines its daily operations and so as not to roil sensitive markets. “The two companies signed a final agreement on Sunday in Beijing,” Wu Kejia, a spokeswoman with Blackstone, told AFP on Monday.

The deal, which comes ahead of Blackstone’s planned stock market listing, is the first high-profile transaction by the long-anticipated State Investment Company, which is still in the process of being established.

“We are very pleased to be able to make the State Investment Company’s very first investment in such a well-respected firm as Blackstone,” said Lou Jiwei, head of the working group of the State Investment Company, in a statement issued Sunday.

According to the agreement, the investment will be below 10 percent of total shares in Blackstone after its initial public offering.

Chinese state media reported last week that China had “entrusted” Blackstone with three billion dollars of its foreign exchange reserves, s