December 14, 2016 / 10:53 PM / 8 months ago

Private equity firm Warbug Pincus raises $2 bln China fund

Dec 14 (Reuters) - Warburg Pincus LLC has raised a $2 billion fund focused on investing in Chinese businesses, ranging from healthcare firms to real estate companies, the New York-based private equity firm said on Wednesday.

Warburg said in a statement the fund is its first dedicated to China, and that it will invest in sectors including consumer, energy, financial services, technology, media and telecommunications.

The fund was raised in approximately six months, said a source familiar with the situation, but who declined to be named as the source is not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.

Public and private pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance firms, endowments, foundations and wealthy individuals were among investors, Warburg said.

Some investors had voiced concerns about China's slowing economy and possible devaluations in the yuan, said a second source familiar with the matter, adding that Warburg is assuming moderate devaluation in the yuan in future.

Although growth in China's economy slumped to a 25-year low of 6.9 percent last year, it is still the world's fastest-growing major economy and is highly sought-after by companies looking to expand.

Official data in China showed Chinese companies drew $97 billion worth of foreign investment in the first 10 months of this year. In contrast, Chinese firms have invested a record $200 billion in overseas acquisitions so far in 2016, according to Reuters' calculation, as they answered Beijing's call to expand abroad and gain industrial know-how and technology.

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is the president of Warburg, but did not participate in the latest fundraising, said one of the sources, adding that Geithner is more involved in Warburg's investment and strategy decisions. ($1 = 6.9025 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Koh Gui Qing in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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