Chinese fund buys 8.7-percent stake in Britain’s Thames Water company


BEIJING — China’s sovereign wealth fund said Friday it has bought 8.7 percent of London’s water company, its first major move since announcing plans to invest in European and U.S. infrastructure. China Investment Corp.’s one-sentence announcement gave no price for its stake in Thames Water Utilities Ltd., Britain’s biggest water and sewer company. The announcement follows a visit to Beijing this week by Britain’s finance minister, George Osborne. CIC chairman Lou Jiwei announced plans in November to invest in U.S. and European infrastructure, beginning in Britain. In a commentary in London’s Financial Times newspaper, Lou said the investments would help spur global growth.

CIC was created to invest abroad in hopes of earning a better return on a portion of China’s US$3.2 trillion in foreign reserves.