GIC Opens Office in Brazil Reflecting Latin America Optimism

GIC Pte, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, is opening an office in Sao Paulo after buying stakes in some Brazilian companies in a show of confidence in Latin American economic growth.

Wolfgang Schwerdtle, who has been with GIC for five years, will head the office, GIC said in an e-mailed statement today. The office will add to its network of eight overseas including in London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tokyo and New York.

“Although emerging markets remain volatile, we are confident of the long-term Latin America growth story,” GIC Group Chief Investment Officer Lim Chow Kiat said in the statement. “Our presence in Brazil will enable our partners to engage early and interact closely with the GIC team, which is very beneficial for complex and sizable investments.”

Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund bought 5.02 percent of communications technology provider Linx SA, according to a March 10 filing by Linx. It increased its stake in Sao Paulo-based food processor BRF SA last month and in October agreed to invest in water and sewage treatment company Aegea Saneamento e Participacoes SA.

Four percent of GIC’s assets were in Latin America as of March 31 last year, unchanged from the previous year, according to the fund’s annual report issued in August. That compared with 36 percent in the U.S. and 11 percent in the euro area.

The Singapore state fund, which almost exclusively invests outside the city-state, is the eighth biggest in the world, according to the Las Vegas-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which estimates its assets at $320 billion.

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