China invests record sum in European firms | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 16.04.2013
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Business

China invests record sum in European firms

A study by a renowned investment company has shown that China's investments in Europe firms continue to grow at a fast pace. State-owned Chinese firms have played a pivotal role in this development.

According to a survey by the investment firm A Capital, China last year invested a record sum of $12.6 billion (9.64 billion euros) in European firms, the German daily 'Die Welt' reported on Tuesday, meaning that about a third of all Chinese foreign investments went to Europe.

The study found that Chinese investments in the continent were rising faster than anywhere else and were twice as high as the resources invested by Beijing in the US.

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The results of the study came against the backdrop of a Europe still trying desperately to come to terms with its protracted debt crisis, and many nations on the continent stuck in recession and unable to generate growth.

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"The Chinese seem to have more faith in European industry than the Europeans themselves," A Capital founder and chief Andre Loesekrug-Pietri told 'Die Welt'. He added that China was offering massive support for a wide range of European companies suffering from the current crisis.

The list of investment projects is long, the study shows. Last year for instance, the China Investment Corporation sought a stake in French satellite communications company Eutelsat as well as a stake in an operator of London's Heathrow airport. Weichai Power invested heavily in German firms Kion and Linde Hydraulics.

The survey indicated that in 58 percent of all cases, investment deals were about securing minority stakes rather than completely taking over whole companies. "Chinese investors are getting more cautious," Loesekrug-Pietri commented. "They're learning fast from past mistakes," he said, adding that majority stake deals had more often than not been unsuccessful in the past.

hg/jr (Reuters, dpa)

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