GIC opens office in Brazil

Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC officially opened a new office in São Paulo, Brazil on Tuesday.

The new office - GIC's 10th globally - will focus on Latin American investment opportunities across areas such as real estate, healthcare, financial and business services and natural resources.

The office will be headed by Dr Wolfgang Schwerdtle, 44, who has been with GIC since 2009.

He will "build a strong network of business relationships in the region and actively seek investment opportunities", said GIC in a press release.

GIC's group chief investment officer Mr Lim Chow Kiat said that the fund's presence in Brazil "will enable our partners to engage early and interact closely with the GIC team, which is very beneficial for complex and sizeable investments".

"While markets remain volatile, we are confident of the long-term Latin America growth story", he said.

Brazil's gross domestic product grew 0.7 per cent in the quarter ended Dec 2013, up from a contraction of 0.5 per cent the previous quarter.

The new office comes after GIC took a 5 per cent stake in Brazilian communications technology provider Linx SA, and increased its stake in São Paulo-based food processing firm BRF to 4.4 per cent from 3.8 per cent last month (March 2014).

GIC also owns a 4 per cent stake in Brazil's largest financial clearing house Cetip-Mercados Organizados, valued at about 260 million Brazilian real (S$144 million).

In a press statement, GIC group president Mr Lim Siong Guan said that "GIC's presence in Brazil is another step in our strategy to be present in key financial capitals around the world".

GIC manages over US$100 billion (S$125 billion) of assets in over 40 countries including real estate, equities and fixed income, with more than 1200 staff. Four per cent of its assets are in Latin America. It also has other offices in key financial capitals globally such as London, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai.

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