Monday, December 24, 2007

The news that the Chinese are putting $5 billion into Morgan Stanley marks a shift in global financial power. Ben Laurance and James Ashton find out what it means for the WestIt was a painful lesson. In May – months before the words credit crunch became common currency – China’s fledgling sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation (CIC), backed the flotation of the Blackstone private-equity group to the tune of $3 billion (£1.5 billion). The investment bought it a stake of almost 10%.The timing was disastrous. As the summer unfolded and the credit crunch took hold, the value of private-equity funds slumped. Blackstone’s share price tumbled. CIC has made a paper loss of more than 20%.

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