Chinese companies for more than a decade, taking advantage of the huge financial opportunities and state support, buy everything that is at least of some interest. Beijing is interested in all continents, including, of course, Europe. Bloomberg business information Agency has conducted a deep audit of the Chinese presence in the Old World over the past ten years. In total, China’s investments in Europe amounted to at least $ 318 billion in 2008-18. To judge whether this is a lot or not, you can use the following figures: the activity of Chinese business in the same period of time, for example, in the US was 45% lower.
Beijing’s activity is of concern to Brussels and the EU member States. European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, called to develop a unified strategy to reflect the ever-growing offensive of China. All Europeans are wary of Chinese expansion, although on the periphery calls for vigilance from Berlin, Paris and Brussels are met with a rather cool reception.
After analyzing the data on 678 already completed or still in the process of executing transactions in 30 European countries in 2008-18, Bloomberg concluded that despite Berlin’s calls to carefully check each transaction and, if necessary, immediately put an insurmountable barrier Germany is inferior in the number of agreements with Chinese companies concluded over the past decade, and even then only symbolically the UK, which in a year should finally leave the European Union. A German company in 2008-18. we concluded 225 deals with Chinese partners for a total amount of 20.33 billion dollars, and the British – 227. However, the British business has a much larger volume of transactions – $ 70.6 billion. The largest transactions also vary significantly in size: in the UK this is the acquisition by Aluminum Corp. of China a major stake in Rio Tinto 14.1 billion (2008), and in Germany – buy Midea Group, the German company KUKA for $ 4 billion (2016). In third place in the number of transactions – France with 89 agreements totaling $ 13.47 billion. France gives quite a bit Italy – 85 transactions 31,29 billion. In total, more than half of Chinese investments are in the five largest economies of the Old World.
The most active Chinese businessmen behaved in the Old World in 2016
That year, for example, the largest deal was announced: ChemChina announced the acquisition of the Swiss fertilizer producer Syngenta AG for $ 46.3 billion. In total, over 10 years, Chinese companies have spent $ 255 billion on the acquisition of European companies. At the same time, the Chinese acquired about 360 European companies, including such large ones as the Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli or the Irish company for renting Avolon aircraft. In addition, the Chinese business partially or wholly owned in the Old world at least 4 airports, 6 Maritime ports, wind power plants no less than 9 countries and 13 football clubs.
Most of the Chinese assets in London, where companies from China owned in the main financial district-city more than a dozen high-rise office buildings.
As for the sectors of the economy that receive the greatest attention of Chinese businessmen, the chemical industry is leading by a large margin, which accounted for 48.8 billion dollars in 2008-18. $ 25.9 billion was invested in traditional energy and $ 23.9 billion in real estate. The European financial system attracts Chinese people less strongly, and is only in seventh place. China’s business has invested $ 14.3 billion in banks and financial institutions of the Old World.
More than 670 Chinese companies, including Hong Kong, invested in Europe in 2008-18. Of these, about a hundred are wholly or partly owned by the state. They accounted for 162 billion dollars (63%). 8 of the 10 most active buyers in the Old world belong to the state (China Investment Corp. – 24,2 billion, Aluminum Corporation. of China – 14.1 and Silk Road Fund Co. – 10.5). At least 30 Chinese companies buying assets in Europe are owned by provincial or County governments.
In conclusion, the authors of the study report that Chinese companies continue to be actively interested in European assets. Their plans include many deals that have not yet been officially announced. This includes the construction of nuclear reactors in Romania and Bulgaria, the purchase of a container terminal in Croatia, the construction of a port in Sweden and a railway between Belgrade and Budapest, and the absorption of the Czech automaker Skoda, and much more.