Kuwait’s KCIC plans China platform investments, pan-Asia fund launch

An investment firm part-owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority is eyeing China for returns of between 15%-19%.

A Kuwait-based investment firm part –owned by the Middle Eastern state’s sovereign wealth fund is planning to buy positions in fund management platforms across China in addition to launching its own funds.

According to a report by Reuters, Kuwait China Investment Co (KCIC), which is 15 percent owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority, said it was hoping to make its first forays by the end of the year.

In an interview, KCIC chief financial officer Faisal Nawaz told the news agency that investments in platforms would precede the launch of funds. He said: “You must have the right people on the ground in order to do business in these countries,” he said. “Once we have the infrastructure in place then the next step would be to look at specific funds. [This offers] diversification so investors don't have to go in just one project but a multitude of projects.”

Nawaz said the firm, which was founded in 2005, with $300 million in “paid-up capital” should expect returns of between 15 percent and 19 percent from its investments in the region.

He said the first fund to be launched would target $300 million in equity and have a pan-Asia focus, although this counters a current trend in the region of fund managers launching country and sector specific vehicles.

Previous investments undertaken by KCIC include commitments to private equity funds including a $100 million commitment fund of funds vehicle managed by Jade China Value Partners.