The China International Trust & Investment Corporation (Citic) has hinted at further activity in the New Zealand forestry market once it completes the purchase of a 35% stake in Fletcher Challenge Forests Ltd.

Citic, which has US$43.5bn of assets worldwide, says its wants to use its 40%-owned Hong Kong unit South East Asia Wood Industries Holdings Ltd for future investments which could also target Russia.

Its bid to buy 35% of Fletcher Forests, its former partner in the failed Central North Island Forestry Partnership, is dependent on Fletcher striking a deal to buy the partnership’s assets from receivers for US$650m.

Sir Dryden Spring, chairman of Fletcher Forests, says the involvement of Citic would assist market development in China.