Elec­tron­ics re­tailer Sun­ing cre­ates sep­a­rate in­vest­ment arm

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By SHI JING in Shang­hai shi­jing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Sun­ing Com­merce Group, one ofChina’s largest elec­tron­ics re­tail­ers, has un­veiled plans to cre­ate a wholly sep­a­rate in­vest­ment arm.

Sun­ing In­vest­ment Group will be based in Shang­hai and housed in its own build­ing, and is tar­get­ing to­tal as­sets un­der man­age­ment of 50 bil­lion yuan ($7.7 bil­lion) within five years.

Of­fi­cials said Nan­jing-based Sun­ing is also set­ting up two other sep­a­rate in­vest­ment funds, worth 2 bil­lion yuan, re­spec­tively, by the end of this year, to spe­cial­ize in me­dia, con­tent pro­duc­tion and other cre­ative in­dus­tries, and sports con­sump­tion and re­tail­ing.

Up un­til now, Sun­ing’s in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, run un­der the same name, have been spread across three sep­a­rate funds.

Sun­ing Run­dong

Fund

is worth 5 bil­lion yuan and has tar­geted a di­verse range of sec­tors, in­clud­ing tech­nol­ogy, me­dia, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, and the cul­tural and en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

Sun­ing Gold­stone Fund, started two years ago, is worth 4 bil­lion yuan and fo­cuses on re­tail in­fra­struc­ture such as phys­i­cal stores and lo­gis­tics.

The 300-mil­lion-yuan Qingchuang Fund fo­cuses on star­tups, par­tic­u­larly those spe­cial­iz­ing in emerg­ing in­dus­tries.

Sun Weimin, Sun­ing’s vicechair­man, said with strong in­vest­ments al­ready made in re­tail­ing, prop­erty and con­sump­tion, the time is right to ac­cel­er­ate the com­pany’s out­bound in­vest­ment in other di­rec­tions too. But he ad­mit­ted the cur­rent in­vest­ment mar­ket is highly com­pet­i­tive.

Yang Yang, vice-pres­i­dent of Sun­ing In­vest­ment Group, said: “As most in­dus­tries are closely con­nected, ev­ery com­pany is con­stantly faced with chal­lenges brought about by new busi­ness mod­els and op­er­a­tions.

“To stand out from its peers and make a break­through, it is of ut­most im­por­tance to in­vest ear­lier.”

Since its early days as an air con­di­tioner re­tailer in 1990, Sun­ing has grown into a huge op­er­a­tion, span­ning com­merce, prop­erty, cul­tural and cre­ative in­dus­try, in­vest­ment and fi­nan­cial ser­vices.

It has been in­vest­ing heav­ily in re­cent years.

Its lat­est move was the 1.93-bil­lion-yuan ac­qui­si­tion of a 33.33 per­cent stake in smart­phone maker Nu­bia Tech­nol­ogy Ltd, a sub­sidiary of ZTE Gorp, at the end of last year.

In 2013, it also be­came the largest share­holder in videostream­ing net­workPPTVafter ac­quir­ing 44 per­cent for $250 mil­lion. It ac­quired Hong Kong-based elec­tron­ics re­tailer Cit­i­call Re­tail Man­age­ment Ltd and Ja­panese duty-free prod­uct sup­plier Laox Co in 2009. The lat­ter has now grown into Ja­pan’s big­gest duty-free prod­uct sup­plier, which saw prof­its soar 550 per­cent last year.

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