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China’s US$941b sovereign fund has a new chairman: sources

[BEIJING] China has named a new chairman for its US$941 billion sovereign wealth fund, people with knowledge of the matter said, ending a two-year period without a top leader.

Peng Chun, chairman of Bank of Communications Co (BoCom), will become chairman of Beijing-based China Investment Corp (CIC), the people said, declining to be identified because the appointment isn't yet public. Ju Weimin was named general manager, replacing Tu Guangshao, who's retiring, the people said.

The appointments were announced to a small group of CIC executives on Tuesday, two of the people said. An email sent to CIC's press office didn't receive an immediate response.

Mr Peng, who has a master's degree in economics from a school that was run by the central bank, served as vice-president of CIC for more than three years before being appointed president of BoCom in October 2013. He became chairman of the Shanghai-based lender in February 2018.

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CIC plans to boost alternative and direct investments to 45 per cent or more of its overseas portfolio in three years to seek more stable returns, Mr Tu said a year ago. While the fund reported its best annual return on overseas investments in 2017, last year's performance was "certainly" worse because of global market fluctuations, Mr Tu said in an interview on the sidelines of China's annual legislative meetings in Beijing last month.

Mr Peng's appointment adds to a string of recent management changes at China's top banks and financial regulators. In the latest example, China Construction Bank Corp named Liu Guiping to replace retiring president Wang Zuji last month.

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