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French Sovereign Fund Seeks Nuclear and Rail Investment Partners

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- France’s sovereign wealth fund is working this year with leaders of the country’s aerospace, nuclear and rail industries to create funds that will invest as much as 530 million euros ($697 million) in their suppliers.

The aeronautical fund, designed to help suppliers meet rising demand from companies such as Airbus SAS and Boeing Co., may initially amount to about 150 million euros and eventually reach 300 million euros, Jean-Yves Gilet, chief executive officer of France’s Strategic Investment Fund, or FSI, said at a press conference in Paris today.

A separate fund of about 150 million euros will aim to structure the supply chain of French nuclear companies such as Areva SA, and another fund of as much as 80 million euros may help consolidate suppliers of the country’s rail industry, Gilet said. The FSI typically provides 30 percent to 40 percent of such funds, he said.

The French sovereign fund had 14.5 billion euros in stakes of French companies at the end of 2011, down from 16.2 billion euros a year earlier, as the decline in stock markets and asset sales more than offset new investments, according to the FSI’s annual report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Francois De Beaupuy in Paris at fdebeaupuy@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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