The potential purchase comes as China Investment Corp.(CIC), which had more than $480 billion from the wealth fund under management at the end of 2011, seeks bargains in Europe’s weak economy, said the website, quoting unnamed sources.
But a source with knowledge of the matter dismissed the report, saying it was “not true”. Chinese media reported nearly a year ago that Daimler had been in contact with CIC regarding a possible deal.
The Financial Times newspaper valued a purchase of four to 10 percent of Daimler at €1.8 billion to €4.5 billion.
A spokeswoman for CIC, declining to be named, said: “Our consistent policy is that we do not comment on any particular project.”
Daimler, which produces luxury Mercedes-Benz cars as well as trucks, plans to sell 300,000 cars in China in 2015, about two-thirds of which will be from local production, the company said last month.
In October last year, CIC bought a 10 percent stake in the company that controls London’s Heathrow airport, according to Spanish construction group Ferrovial, one of the vendors.
Last January CIC bought a stake in British utility company Thames Water. CIC was established in 2007 to invest some of China’s massive foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest at $3.3 trillion at the end of September last year.
China’s sovereign wealth fund suffered a 4.3 percent loss on its overseas investments in 2011 due to the weak global economy. It was the first loss since 2008, when CIC was hit by the global financial crisis.