The New York Times is reporting China’s reluctance to invest in the foreign financial sector given the heavy losses on recent investments in Blackstone Group, Barclays and Morgan Stanley.
Lou Jiwei, chairman and chief executive of the China Investment Corporation, gave the clearest reasons for future intentions. “Right now we do not have the courage to invest in financial institutions because we do not know what problems they may have,” said Mr. Lou at the Clinton Global Inititiave conference in Hong Kong.
With the global financial markets plunging, many countries are looking to China for assistance, to which Mr. Lou responds, “If China can do a good job domestically, that is the best thing it can do for the world,” he said.
Over the past few months, some Western analysts expected China to use their $1.9 trillion in foreign exchange reserves to rescue some U.S or European banks; however, financial leaders in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai are less likely to buy more after recent losses. China Investment Corporation lost $2.46 billion, or 82 percent, of their investment in Blackstone Group earlier this year.
Currently, the China Investment Corporation holds $200 billion; it was expected to invest this wealth overseas, but it has purchased large stakes to help banks in China instead.