No2 at top think-tank tipped to head CICC

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 February, 2008, 12:00am

Li Jiange, a senior official at Beijing's top think-tank, is a serious candidate to head China International Capital Corp (CICC), the mainland's leading investment bank, replacing Jesse Wang, now vice-president of the country's sovereign wealth fund, sources say.

The appointment implies that Mr Li - who was a personal secretary to former premier Zhu Rongji - will play a role in the nation's US$200 billion juggernaut fund. An economist and deputy head of the State Council's Development Research Centre, he carries the rank of vice-minister.

The move reflects Beijing's determination to consolidate CICC's leading position in underwriting share sales as Morgan Stanley, which owns 34.3 per cent of the joint-venture investment bank, seeks to sell its stake, analysts say.

Mr Wang would retain his post as vice-president and chief risk officer with China Investment Corp (CIC).

As CIC holds a 43 per cent stake in CICC, analysts speculate that the 58-year-old reform-minded economist would have a say in the sovereign wealth fund's decision-making process. If Mr Li were to become chairman of CICC, the investment bank would win more underwriting deals given his influence in the country's financial community.