CIC takes stake in KMG as China seeks to take advantage of commodity slump

CHINESE wealth fund CIC yesterday bought a stake in KazMunaiGas Exploration Production (KMG), the Kazakh oil and gas company, which is listed on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, and has its GDRs listed on the London Stock Exchange.<br /><br />State-owned CIC, which has over $300bn (&pound;189bn) under management, paid $939m for an 11 per cent stake in KMG&rsquo;s Global Depositary arm.<br /><br />Over the last year CIC has shifted its focus to industrial firms, especially those in the energy and commodities sector.<br /><br />State-owned firms in China have been encouraged to buy into mining and oil assets overseas as commodity prices drop in the downturn.<br /><br />CIC has also bought a 15 per cent stake in Noble, the commodities trader, for $850m.<br /><br />But the wealth fund prefers to hold minority stakes, staying away from full takeovers.<br /><br />China&rsquo;s top oil and gas firm CNPC had 16 projects in central Asia and Russia and top refiner Sinopec Group had eight, as of the end of 2007, according to a report by CNPC.