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CIC acquires minor stake in London-based alcohol company

By Wang Fangqing     Jul 22, 2009 in Business
China Investment Corp (CIC) , China's sovereign wealth fund, has acquired 1.1 percent of Diageo, the London-based world's biggest alcoholic drinks dealer.
The deal, said to be worth around 221 million pounds ($365 million), made CIC the ninth biggest investor of Diageo, owner of Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Don Julio, reported Financial Times.
CIC, which manages $200 billion (USD) of China's $ 2,132 billion in forex reserves told Chinese media that it wants to investment in industries as diverse as possible.
Indeed, it has recently invested in Tesco, the British retailer, a Canadian miner and an Australian property trust.
Established in 2007, led by Lou Jiwei, a Beijing native and China's former Vice Minister of Finance, CIC lost over 80 percent of its US$ 3 billion investment in Blackstone Group last year due to the crisis.
Diageo, after suffered a sharp fall in sales in the first quarter of this year, teamed up with China's leading liquor manufacturer, Chengdu-based Swellfun, or Shui Jing Fang to create a premium vodka called Shanghai White and launched it in Hong Kong last month.
China has the world’s fastest growing alcoholic drinks market, with volumes forecast to expand by 17.6 billion litres from 2008 to 2014, according to beverage research firm Canadean.
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