We read a lot about China’s growing involvement — and influence — in Latin America. Sinolatin, a new Shanghai-based private equity firm, hopes to capitalise on that interest.
The firm, which opened its Shanghai office this month, claims to be the first bank focussed exclusively on cross-border transactions between China and Latin America, and has two core businesses, private equity and financial advisory.
The firm argues that since 2008 the prospects for investment in the LatAm and Caribbean region have improved dramatically with China’s realisation of the potential for two-way trade between the two regions. China’s interest in LatAm has traditionally been driven by its desire to secure agricultural and minerals resources to keep its economy powering ahead. But the trade is not so one-sided today and Chinese companies are starting to invest in Latin America.
Chinalco, the state-owned aluminium giant, has investments in Peru, Lenovo has factories in Mexico, carmaker Cherry is in Uruguay and Huawei, the fast-growing maker of telecoms equipment, operates in 13 LatAm countries.
SinoLatin has analysed and evaluated around a dozen projects in sectors such as forestry, agriculture and fishing, and mining. The firm expects to close at least a couple of deals before the year is out.