China's $ 200 bln FX fund to balance risk, returns

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BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) China's sovereign wealth fund opened for business on Saturday, promising not to take excessive risks and to be sensitive to international concerns as it goes about investing 0 billion of the nation's vast reserves.

The agency, called China Investment Corp Ltd, has the potential to grow into one of the world's biggest funds but faces the short-term challenge of recruiting experienced managers and earning enough on its overseas assets to offset the steady appreciation of its home currency, the yuan.

''The strategy of CIC will be based on active, sound management to maximise returns for our shareholders within an acceptable bound of risk,'' Lou Jiwei, a former vice finance minister who is chairman of the fund, told a ceremony.

CIC is being launched at a time of growing unease among western politicians who fear sovereign wealth funds will build up stakes in leading companies that will give them influence in politically sensitive sectors.

Alert to the concerns, Lou said CIC would respect international practices and norms as well as the laws and regulations in countries where it invests.

CIC would set out to groom a good image of the company, Lou said: ''We will increase our firm's transparency on condition of not harming our commercial interests.'' Overseas, CIC would have a diversified portfolio of mainly financial products, while at home it would inject funds into financial institutions, Lou said.

The only investment that CIC has acknowledged is a

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