China Sovereign Fund Buys 10 Percent of London’s Heathrow

Posted November 1st, 2012 at 6:05 am (UTC-5)
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China's state-owned investment fund has purchased a 10 percent stake in London's Heathrow Airport, the latest Chinese push into key overseas infrastructure projects.

The China Investment Corporation paid the company that manages Heathrow, Spanish architectural company Ferrovial, $414 million for a six percent stake in Heathrow's parent company, FGP Topco. It also added shares from other investors to bring its total holdings to 10 percent.

CIC, which at $482 billion is one of the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, was set up in 2007 to invest some of China's vast foreign currency reserves.

It is the Chinese fund's second major investment in British infrastructure. Earlier this year, CIC bought an 8.7 percent stake in Thames Water, Britain's largest water supply and treatment company.

Chinese overseas investment has been the subject of increasing scrutiny, partly because of the government-backed nature of the CIC. But supporters say such attention is the result of a wider geopolitical struggle, arguing the deals are beneficial for both sides.