Fosun Group, the mainland's largest non-state-owned investment conglomerate, is looking to acquire overseas mineral resources including iron ore, nickel and gold, joining state-owned companies to explore the global markets. President Wang Qunbin said yesterday that the Shanghai-based firm was willing to spend as much as US$500 million on a single overseas project whose resources could help quench the country's increasing demand. 'We will be working hard to find a good investment target,' said the 41-year-old president, one of Fosun's founders. 'Any project that meets our standards and is worthy of the investment will be our target.' Wang also admitted that Fosun was looking for overseas financial assets, although he would not comment on the company's reported interest in AIA Group. Fosun was said to be among one of at least four consortiums comprising Chinese private investors that had approached the Asian insurance division of American International Group. 'Financial assets that could benefit from China's increasing consumer demand are good buys,' he said. 'We will buy when there's a proper target.' Fosun, co-founded by five investors, including chairman Guo Guangchang, 43, and Wang, evolved from a small consultancy in 1992 to an investment conglomerate. Its businesses encompass finance, property, pharmaceutical, steelmaking, media and tourism. Guo was one of the mainland's richest people with a net worth of 16.5 billion yuan (HK$18.91 billion) in 2009, according to the Hurun Report. Fosun's plan to seek overseas acquisitions follows in the footsteps of the country's sovereign wealth fund and a clutch of state-owned industrial giants including Aluminum Corp of China, a fresh sign of the country's growing appetite for resources around the world. In June, Fosun bought 7.1 per cent of Club Med, the French resort group. Wang said Fosun would help accelerate the resort brand's expansion on the mainland to tap the rising affluence of Chinese tourists. 'Fosun will embark on both organic growth and acquisitions to develop its business,' Wang said. 'The company hopes to raise its international profile.' In February, Fosun teamed with US private equity group Carlyle to launch a US$100 million yuan-denominated fund, the first of its kind on the mainland, targeting high-growth mainland companies. 'The fund is flexible in picking investment targets in terms of size,' Wang said. 'A company's scale can range from dozens of millions of yuan to hundreds of millions of yuan - they are all targeted as long as they have huge growth potential. We want to invest in firms with prospects of listing on the A-share market.' Fosun's international branding strategy is seen by analysts as a move to separate it from several notorious mainland privately owned investment firms such as D'Long International Strategic Investment. The Xinjiang company that went bankrupt in 2004 was known as a stock market manipulator whose president Tang Wanxin was sentenced to eight years in jail for illegal banking and stock price manipulation in 2007.