China’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund is moving to tackle a growing pile of troubled investments such as its stake in embattled commodity trader Noble Group Holdings Ltd., even as the coronavirus pandemic makes any asset sales more difficult.
China Investment Corp. earlier this year set up a special team led by Managing Director Benjamin Bao in its direct investment unit to recoup value and potentially exit billions of dollars in positions that have soured over the years, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Assets being examined mainly consist of energy and mining companies that have recorded chronic losses, said the people, who asked not to be named because they aren’t authorized to discuss internal matters.
The disposal of distressed assets is part of CIC’s “normal investment management activities,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. CIC sticks to its principles as a professional, market-based investor and “tries its best to protect the company’s commercial interests in every aspect of investment management,” it said in the statement.