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Kuwait said to be planning US$10b investment fund with China


KUWAIT is planning to create a US$10 billion fund with China to invest in the two countries, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Gulf state is discussing the creation of a Kuwait-China Silk Road Fund that would invest in Kuwaiti projects related to the Silk City and islands development, according to the people. It could also be used for strategic investments in China and other areas under the Asian country's "One Belt, One Road" initiative, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. China and Kuwait would each be responsible for raising around US$5 billion for the fund, the people said.

Kuwait would also work with Chinese strategic partners to arrange debt financing for projects, which could give the fund an investment capacity of as much as US$30 billion, they said.

Under the proposal, the fund's Chinese backers could introduce strategic partners to work on its investment projects as contractors, according to the people. Deliberations about the fund are at an early stage, and details like the size and investment targets could change, the people said.

"Silk City and development of the islands is the signature project in the development plan for New Kuwait 2035," said Khaled Mahdi, secretary general of Kuwait's Supreme Council for Planning and Development.

"There are three prerequisites for the signature project to be realised: the special economic zone law, a private-sector finance model, and the master plan." He declined to comment further.

China's finance ministry, foreign ministry and its top economic-planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, did not immediately reply to faxed queries. BLOOMBERG

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