Chinese outbound investment accelerates

China’s overseas mergers and acquisitions gained traction in recent years as domestic policies encouraged cash-abundant companies to spend on foreign assets amid the worsening eurozone debt crisis, new data has indicated.

The number and volume of Chinese enterprises’ overseas mergers and acquisitions transactions increased to 208 and 93.09 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 from 107 and 13.58 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, respectively, according to figures released on Monday by the ChinaVenture Group, a leading research and consulting institute.

Wan Ge, an analyst with ChinaVenture, said the European debt crisis allowed more Chinese enterprises to acquire undervalued assets in the European market.

Meanwhile, China’s rapid economic rise created massive demand for energy and advanced technology. Energy and mining topped the list for the country’s outbound mergers and acquisitions during the first three quarters of 2012.

Sany Group acquired Germany Putzmeister at a price of 360 million euros (462 million U.S. dollars) in January, while two leading oil companies, Sinopec and CNOOC, announced the acquisition of BP’s 50-percent stake in its Russian TNK-BP joint energy venture in June.

There are also signs that China is diversifying its outbound direct investment (ODI) from energy industries to other sectors including agriculture.

Eighty-two percent of China’s ODI went to energy industries in 2009, but the proportion fell to 60 percent in the first half of this year, according to an Ernst & Young report.

China’s ODI in non-financial sectors rose 28.9 percent year on year to 52.52 billion U.S. dollars in the first nine months, official data showed.


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