11/06/2012 11:29 EST | Updated 01/06/2013 05:12 EST

China eyeing timberland on Vancouver Island

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that China is preparing to invest about $100 million in timber assets mainly on Vancouver Island.

The Journal said China’s government wealth fund, the China Investment Corp., is negotiating with Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management for a 12.5 per cent stake in Island Timberlands, which owns about 254,000 hectares of forest land.

Without identifying its sources, it said a deal could be announced as early as this week.

Island Timberlands is jointly owned by a subsidiary, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, and other institutional investors.

BIP shares were up two cents at $34.42 US on the New York Stock Exchange at mid-morning Tuesday.

It holds a total of more than one million hectares of forest lands in North and South America.

CIC manages China’s massive foreign exchange reserves and the Journal has previously reported that it has been in talks with Brookfield for assets that would hold on to their value in times of inflation.

The central banks of the U.S., Europe, Canada and others have been embarking on various program aimed at stimulating their economies by keeping interest rates low, raising concerns of eventual inflation.

The report comes as the Harper government considers whether to approve a proposal from the Chinese state-owned energy giant, CNOOC, for Calgary based-Nexen, which has assets in Canada’s oilsands and conventional oil and gas properties in Canada, the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Yesterday, the government announced it was extending its deadline for its review of the net benefits to Canada of the $15.1-billion proposal to Dec. 10.