Thursday 17 January 2019

Isif partners with China in joint new €150m fund

China’s Shanghai financial district
China’s Shanghai financial district
Tánaiste and Trade Minister Simon Coveney, and the vice-chairman of CIC, Tu Guangshao, at the launch event in Beijing yesterday
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

The Government-controlled Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (Isif) and China's CIC Capital Corporation (CIC Capital) have announced a second joint fund to back technology firms.

The latest, bigger, €150m fund is again targeted at equity investments in high-growth Irish technology firms aiming to access the Chinese market, and Chinese firms seeking to use Ireland as a base for European operations.

Target sectors for the fund include hardware opportunities underpinning next-generation products, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices, and software applications such as big data, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

Isif said that the fund was a successor to the now fully-invested China Ireland Technology Growth Fund, announced in 2014 by ISIF's predecessor, the National Pensions Reserve Fund and China Investment Corporation (CIC).

That $100m fund supported six Irish technology firms as they expanded into China, as well as helping the firms develop relationships with Chinese customers.

The firms now collectively employ around 350 people in Ireland, Isif said.

"We look forward to working with CIC Capital again on this new fund, which will offer a strong economic return to Ireland, as Chinese companies looking to gain access to Europe use Ireland as a base for their operations," said Isif director Eugene O'Callaghan.

"The Irish companies that will benefit from the fund will gain from the opportunities to grow their business and product potential in the Chinese market," he continued.

Founded in 2007, CIC has registered capital of $200bn (€162bn). According to CIC, it was established as a vehicle to diversify China's foreign exchange holdings and seek maximum returns for its shareholder within an acceptable risk tolerance.

As with the previous fund, this fund will be co-managed by Dublin-based Atlantic Bridge and Beijing-based WestSummit Capital.

The fund was launched by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney and vice-chairman and president of CIC, Tu Guangshao, at an event in Beijing as part of the Minister's visit to China and Hong Kong.

"The fund, fostering knowledge exchange in both directions, will be of mutual benefit, creating jobs in Ireland and increasing revenues for and the profiles of companies in Ireland's innovative high-tech sector," Mr Coveney said.

Irish Independent

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