The National Social Security Fund (NSSF), said on Sunday it is looking for at least three to five private equity funds to help it manage part of its US$82 billion portfolio, Reuters reported. The fund, which has a goal of amassing US$146.36 billion in assets by the end of 2010, intends to reduce its bond exposure and buy more direct equity stakes in state firms this year. After investing in China Development Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and the Beijing-Shanghai express railway project, the fund said it would increase direct investment in state-owned companies and firms with local government backing. The NSSF is allowed by law to invest up to 20% of its assets in foreign markets but had only invested US$1.66 billion outside of China as of the end of 2007. The fund is also looking at using the renminbi to invest directly overseas, but no details were disclosed.