CITIC Group Corporation Ltd., formerly the China International Trust Investment Corporation (CITIC), is a state-owned investment company of the People’s Republic of China, established by Rong Yiren in 1979 with the approval of Deng Xiaoping. Its headquarters are in Chaoyang District, Beijing. As of 2019, it is China‘s biggest state-run conglomerate with one of the largest pools of foreign assets in the world.
Its initial aim was to “attract and utilize foreign capital, introduce advanced technologies, and adopt advanced and scientific international practice in operation and management.” It now owns 44 subsidiaries including China CITIC Bank, CITIC Limited, CITIC Trust and CITIC Merchant (mainly banks) in China, Hong Kong, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
CITIC Group was founded as the China International Trust Investment Corporation (Chinese: 中国国际信托投资公司; abb. CITIC), a Chinese state-owned enterprise in 1979. In the 1980s, Chinese government founded many for profit corporations, which CITIC was under the leadership of Rong Yiren, a former businessman and politician at that time, who chose to stay in the Mainland China in the 1950s after his family business was nationalized. His son, Larry Yung,[nb 1] was the former chairman of CITIC Group’s listed subsidiary CITIC Pacific. Larry also led the Hong Kong office and parent company of CITIC Pacific since 1986; Larry became a Hong Kong-based businessman since 1978.
CITIC Group headquarters was based in Beijing; Hong Kong office was formally opened in 1985. The Mainland-based CITIC Bank was founded by the group in 1984. The group also acquired 12.5% stake of the Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific in 1987, and became a member of a shareholders’ agreement in 2006; the stake was sold to fellow state-owned company Air China in 2009. The group also acquired Hong Kong-based Ka Wah Bank in 1986. In 1990, the group also absorbed some of the subsidiaries of another state-owned company, 中国康华发展总公司. Other notable acquisitions included 38.3% stake of another airline Dragonair, 20% stake of Hong Kong Telecom, etc.
CITIC also acquired a Hong Kong listed company and renamed to CITIC Pacific in the 1990s. Part of the assets of the group were injected into the listed company as reverse IPO, including the stake of aforementioned Cathay Pacific. A full reverse IPO was took place in 2014.