China's state-run investment fund dipped its toe into the UK today by snapping up a slice of the Thames Water, country's biggest water and sewerage firm.
China Investment Corporation's swoop for 8.7% of the holding company that owns Thames Water follows a visit by Chancellor George Osborne to Beijing this week to forge closer ties between the two countries. It is thought to be the sovereign wealth fund's first investment in the UK.
Thames Water's holding company Kemble Water is owned by a consortium of investors led by Australian bank Macquarie. In December, another huge sovereign wealth fund, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, bought 9.9% of Kemble.
The water company provides sewerage services to about 14 million customers and water to 8.8 million. It has customers in London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.