Chinese investment in Europe: Combined investment by China’s public and private sectors in Europe hit a record $23bn last year despite the slowdown in its own domestic economy, according to a report from Baker & McKenzie and the Rhodium Group quoted in the Financial Times. Privately-ownedChinese enterprises companies and state-run enterprises invested $15bn in the US over the same period.
The $7.9bn deal between Pirelli and ChemChina made sure that Italy – perhaps not coincidentally one of the eurozone’s weaker economies – received the most investment of any EU nation. France came in second, receiving $3.6bn of investment through a string of big deals in the tourism and infrastructure sectors. New York, California and Texas received the most FDI in the US
The figures for Europe, however – which include Norway and Switzerland – indicate that year-on-year growth in investment had slowed down to 28% compared to 2014 when it almost doubled over 2013. Meanwhile, leading figures such as Wang Jianlin, China’s richest man, have raised concerns about Chinese state-owned enterprises’ investments in Europe, arguing that they lack international management standards.
But Michael DeFranco, chair of Baker & McKenzie’s M&A practice, applauded Chinese investment in developed economies. “These are turbulent economic times and yet we see Chinese companies acting with confidence and continuing to make major moves in Europe and North America,” he said.
Chinese investment in western economies is also back on track to create a new record this year, following a six-week burst in January and February which saw Chinese companies and consortia announce $70bn in potential deals, although the number is highly provisional and not all the acquisitions will come to fruition.