The International Finance Corp, the private investment arm of the World Bank, said March 21 it plans to invest at least $700 million in China's private sector this year. This figure surpasses the organization's total investment of $639 million in 2006 in 24 projects in the country, the IFC said.
"The private sector has become a critical component of China's economy. IFC seeks opportunities to finance local private companies which have had limited institutional support," it said.
According to previous reports, the IFC and Bank of Nova Scotia will pay more than two billion yuan for a combined 25% stake in China's Dalian City Commercial Bank, with the IFC to take probably a 5% holding. The IFC also announced this month a $20 million investment in Shandong Weigao Pharmaceutical to support the development of medical devices.
China is the IFC's fifth largest country portfolio and is one of the IFC's fastest growing client countries. From its first investment in 1985 until the end of 2006, IFC has invested $3.16 billion in 123 projects in China.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007