Israeli Venture Firm Launches Yuan Funds

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli venture capital fund Infinity-I China said on Tuesday it had launched six yuan-denominated private equity funds in partnership with seven Chinese cities to spur business growth through new technology.

Infinity-I China said in a statement the funds would range from 200 million yuan ($29.3 million) to a target of 500 million yuan. It said its partners were the cities of Beijing, Suzhou, Harbin, Shijiazhuang, Changzhou, Ningbo and Tianjin.

Infinity-I China is part of Infinity Group, which manages more than $700 million through nine funds, seven of which are in China. Infinity-I China manages $300 million.

It was founded by IDB Holding (IDBH.TA) subsidiary Clal Industries (CII.TA) of Israel, state-owned China Development Bank and China Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Ventures Co, a firm backed by both the Singaporean and Chinese governments.

Setting up yuan funds is alluring but problematic for global private equity firms. While they allow them easier access to Chinese deals and faster closure, only Chinese investors are allowed access under Chinese rules. (Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by David Holmes) ($1=6.826 yuan)