BEIJING — Chinese outbound foreign direct investment (OFDI) has veered toward Europe over North America in the first six months of the year, a report showed on July 16.
The value of newly announced Chinese mergers and acquisitions in Europe reached $22 billion, far exceeding the $2.5-billion of M&A in North America, according to research from global law firm Baker McKenzie and independent research provider Rhodium Group.
The value of completed Chinese investments was five times higher in Europe than in North America, the report showed.
“Regulatory hurdles remain lower, political relations are more predictable and Europe offers a great base for industrial high-tech assets, which is a good match with Chinese regulators’ outbound investment priorities,” said Thilo Hanemann, director of Rhodium Group’s cross-border investment practice.
Globally, the half-yearly value of newly announced global M&A activity by Chinese mainland companies reached $50 billion, down 32 percent compared to the second half of 2017 but still significantly above the 6-month average seen in 2013-2015.
Sweden was the largest European destination for Chinese investment in H1 this year, followed by Britain, Germany and France.
The industry composition of Chinese investment has also shifted markedly during this period in both Europe and North America, the report pointed out.
“Real economy” sectors such as automobiles, health and biotech, and consumer products and services became top recipients of Chinese OFDI in both regions. The real estate and hospitality sector lost top spot but still remains largely attractive to Chinese capital.
“China plays a vital role in driving the global economy and it’s clear outbound investment is continuing at a more measured and sustainable pace, even if the geographic mix is changing,” said Danian Zhang, chief representative of Baker McKenzie’s Shanghai office.