Blackstone, Pension Fund To Invest $4 Billion Into S. Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) on Thursday said it had signed a preliminary agreement with private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to invest $2 billion each in the north Asian country.

“Blackstone plans to invest in alternative asset categories such as infrastructure and real estate as well as domestic stocks and bonds,” a statement from the NPS said.

The deal comes as South Korea grapples with the fallout from the global financial crisis, with its won currency gyrating on persisting dollar shortages.

Several investment firms have recently struck deals to invest in the country.

The NPS, which has about 230 trillion won ($178 billion) of assets under management, said earlier this month that U.S. firm Oaktree Capital Management and South Korea-based MBK Partners had agreed to put $3 billion and $2 billion, respectively, into its domestic investment projects.

New York-based Blackstone, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, has been hammered as the year-long crisis practically shut down credit markets.

(Reporting by Marie-France Han and Miyoung Kim; Editing by Keiron Henderson and Jonathan Hopfner)