Trade Resources Economy $40 Billion Silk Road Fund Will Be Operated Under a Market-Oriented Approach

$40 Billion Silk Road Fund Will Be Operated Under a Market-Oriented Approach

China's $40 billion Silk Road Fund will be operated under a market-oriented approach and the projects it plans to invest in will not be limited to countries along the "One Belt, One Road" route, the fund's chairperson said on Thursday.

The fund is not an aid or donor agency but financed by different shareholders including China's foreign exchange reserves, the China Investment Corp, the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank, Jin Qi, chairperson of the board of the Silk Road Fund, said at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing national legislature session..[Special coverage]

The fund is liable to pay back the investment, so it will be operated according to the market rules and seek to invest in projects which could bring mid- and long-term returns to shareholders, Jin said.

According to Jin, the investment of the fund has no geographical boundaries and it could participate in related projects in any countries and regions which have the need to connect with the world.

Through diversified financing means including long-term equity financing and loans, the fund will invest in infrastructure, energy resource development, as well as industrial and financial cooperation, Jin said.

"To seek mid- and long-term returns means the fund will not merely seek to profit from the infrastructure projects it plans to invest but also from the commercial value these projects could bring to the surrounding areas," Sun Jianbo, chief strategist of China Galaxy Securities Co, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The "One Belt, One Road" initiative, which refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, were launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to enhance cooperation with countries and regions in Asia, Europe, Africa and beyond.

To finance the initiative, China announced in November 2014 it would set aside $40 billion to establish a Silk Road Fund. The fund started operation on December 29, 2014.

The fund will be open and welcome international and regional financial institutional investors such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, development banks, commercial banks and China-Africa Development Fund, Jin said at the press conference.

In an interview with Shanghai-based newspaper China Business News (CBN) in February, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the central bank, said that the fund is not a State-owned sovereign fund but similar to a private equity fund.

Zhou also told CBN that the fund will be currently denominated in foreign currencies, but in the long term, China's investment funds will not be defined by the currency they use to invest and lend.

"If the Silk Road Fund could extend loans in yuan in the future, it could speed up the internationalization of the yuan," Lu Zhengwei, a Shanghai-based chief economist at Industrial Bank Co, told the Global Times on Thursday.

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Silk Road Fund to Be Run by Market Rules: Chair
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