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Chinese investors focus on Germany

December 21, 2015

Chinese investors have said they're interested in stepping up their activities in Europe and Germany in particular. A weak euro provides some extra motivation for investors to sign lucrative deals.

Kion forklift
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

The super-rich China Investment Corporation (CIC) - a state-run investment fund managing no less than $750 billion (690 billion euros) – was considering expanding its activities in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, the German business daily "Handelsblatt" reported Monday.

"We're looking for a number of suitable investment objects right now," CIC chief investor Li Keping told the newspaper. He added that his fund was particularly interested in companies focusing on Industry 4.0 technologies, bringing together conventional and digital production methods.

Considering the vast financial resources at its disposal, CIC investors could even buy one of Germany's DAX-listed blue chips. Bit Li dispersed fears the CIC could want to gain control over German companies' business models and philosophies.

"We're definitely not aiming to gain direct control over enterprises in our portfolio," Li maintained.

Endless amounts to spend

China's CIC was founded back in 2007 with a view to investing part of the Asian nation's huge currency reserves both at home and abroad, with a view to lessening its dependence on US bonds.

A weak euro has meant that the CIC and many other Chinese investors have seen their appetite growing for takeovers in across the single-currency bloc of 19 nations.

Lenovo will Aldi-Lieferant übernehmen # 01.06.2011 14 Uhr # Journal Englisch

According to the Berlin-based Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics), China invested some 18 billion euros in Europe last year alone. Between 2000 and 2014, over 1,000 newly founded firms, takeovers or mergers were recorded with the involvement of Chinese investment capital to the tune of 46 billion euros.

Prominent examples of that investment drive have been Lenovo's takeover of PC maker Medion and Weichai Power's investment in German machine tools and logistics company Kion, best known for its forklifts (pictured above).

hg/nz (Reuters, dpa)