China, Flush with Cash, Invests in British Sewers

Posted January 20th, 2012 at 12:45 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

China is making good on plans to invest in infrastructure around the world, buying part of Britain’s biggest water and sewer company.

China Investment Corporation announced the purchase Friday but did not disclose the price. The deal follows this week’s visit by British Finance Minister George Osborne to Beijing aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two countries.

The agreement gives China’s sovereign wealth fund an 8.7 percent stake in Britain’s Thames Water Utilities, which handles drinking water and sewage services for about 14 million customers in and around London.

The New York Times says Thames Water has previously attracted investment form other sovereign wealth funds, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

CIC Chairman Lou Jiwei said late last year that the fund was aiming to investment more of its resources in British and American infrastructure. Lou said such investment would likely help spur economic growth.

The CIC manages $410 billion in assets, investing the proceeds of China’s foreign currency reserves, estimated at more than $3 trillion.