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Natixis sees opportunity in Ch

Natixis sees opportunity in China renewables sector

HONG KONG, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Natixis Private Equity Asia Capital (NPEA)

sees opportunity in China’s renewable energy sector, particularly wind power

companies and makers of energy-efficient equipment, but has reduced its exposure

to solar-power companies.

It sees potentially strong returns from wind projects over a two- to

three-year period as a result of a tight supply of parts for wind power plants,

Gael de Barmon, president of NPEA, said on the sidelines of a private equity

conference.

The fund recently bought a stake in a Chinese maker of wind turbine parts

and is looking at makers of energy-saving equipment.

NPEA is the Asian unit of French Bank Natixis SA’s private equity arm,

which manages $175 million.

Barmon said it still holds a stake in Chinese solar wafer maker LDK Solar

Co Ltd, but has no plans to expand its presence in the once-booming solar

sector, where share prices of listed firms have tumbled.

“It’s too late to be investing in the solar sector. You don’t want to

invest in a latecomer when the industry is consolidating,” said Barmon.

He said consolidation in the sector is inevitable as lending tightens for

businesses, forcing some solar firms to pursue alliances.

The fund sold its stakes in Taiwan’s E-Ton Solar and China’s Suntech

Power Holdings when the companies went public, he said.

Barmon said NPEA has not been making big investments lately.

“We’re holding up our investments because we think valuations are going

to come down,” he said.

“We’ll have a better understanding of the depth of the crisis in China

and the way companies react to it in the next six months,” he said.

(Reporting by Leonora Walet; editing by Simon Jessop) Keywords: NATIXIS/FUND

(tony.munroe@reuters.com; Reuters Messaging:

tony.munroe.reuters.com@reuters.net; +852 2843 6358, Fax +852 2845 0636)