Australia's Macquarie Group made its first foray into China's port sector yesterday when its Singapore-listed infrastructure fund agreed to pay up to 753 million yuan for a minority stake in a general-cargo port on the Yangtze River. Macquarie International Infrastructure Fund agreed to pay an initial 537.1 million yuan plus performance-based fees to Singapore's Pan-United Corp for 40 per cent of Singapore Changshu Development, Changshu Xinghua port's 95 per cent shareholder. The port opened in 1997 and last year was ranked No7 river port in China by volume. '[Changshu Xinghua] is a high-quality port with a deep natural draft at the furthest point upstream from Shanghai able to efficiently accommodate larger vessels,' the fund's chief executive Greg Osborne said. 'We bought from the developer, which secured a 50-year concession in 1995 and was staying on as the major shareholder.' The fund will have an effective 38 per cent of the port, which will boast 1,500 metres of quay and up to eight berths by the end of the year. The fund also agreed to pay a further 216.6 million yuan in performance-based guarantees.