(Bloomberg) -- Citadel founder Ken Griffin’s hedge fund and securities firm have put up $7.5 million to help contain the deadly coronavirus that has killed at least 360 people and infected about 17,400.
The partners of both Citadel and Citadel Securities began wiring funds early last week, spokesman Zia Ahmed said Monday.
Medical supplies are on their way to Hubei Xinhua Hospital in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first case was identified a month ago. The money is also going for humanitarian aid through the Hubei Charity Federation and China Charity Federation, and toward the development of a vaccine.
“Our first priority was delivering much needed supplies requested by local medical professionals and enabling experts to administer aid as effectively as possible,” said Peng Zhao, chief executive officer of Citadel Securities, who was born in China.
The shipment from the U.K., worth about $1 million, includes face masks, gowns and sanitizers. The humanitarian aid is designated to support families affected or displaced by the virus.
“Our hearts go out to all impacted by this situation, particularly those in China which is the native country of many of our colleagues,” Griffin said.
Billionaire Guo Guangchang, the founder of Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group, last week appealed for help in his country’s efforts to contain the deadly virus.
China is facing a shortage of emergency supplies such as protective masks and decontamination suits because local factories that were shut for the Lunar New Year holiday didn’t have enough time to crank up production, he said.
Citadel’s brokerage and hedge fund businesses have operated in China for years. It was the first international hedge fund to complete a yuan fundraising from wealthy Chinese individuals in 2014 through a local unit.
(Updates with Citadel operations in China in final paragraph.)
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