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China fund buys stake in London’s Heathrow airport

China Investment Corp.’s Heathrow purchase expands its investments in British infrastructure.

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/File 2012

China Investment Corp.’s Heathrow purchase expands its investments in British infrastructure.

BEIJING — The Chinese government’s main sovereign wealth fund said Thursday it has bought a 10 percent stake in the operator of London’s Heathrow Airport, expanding its investments in British infrastructure.

China Investment Corp. gave no financial details but Ferrovial, the Spanish company that owns 49.99 percent of Heathrow Airport Holdings, said the fund paid other shareholders $725.8 million to acquire its stake.

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China Investment was created in 2007 to manage a portion of China’s multitrillion-dollar foreign reserves in hopes of earning a higher return. Its early investments were mostly small stakes in publicly traded companies to avoid stirring political opposition abroad, but the fund has begun making bigger direct investments.

Ferrovial said it sold a 5.72 percent stake in Heathrow to a China Investment subsidiary, Stable Investment Corp., for $415.2 million. Ferrovial said Stable also acquired shares from other owners for $310.6 million for a total 10 percent stake in the company.

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