BEIJING — A Chinese official on July 27 said domestic companies should be cautious about investing in high-profile overseas assets, including hotels, amid tightened regulations on irrational outbound acquisitions.
“As to outbound investment in real estate, hotels, cinemas, entertainment and sports clubs, we suggest relevant enterprises make decisions cautiously,” said Gao Feng, spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce.
He made the remarks when responding to questions about deals made by Dalian Wanda, a property conglomerate focused on aggressive overseas investment.
Since its first overseas acquisition of cinema chain AMC for $2.6 billion, Wanda has been flamboyant in purchasing foreign assets. Other ambitious Chinese dealmakers include HNA Group Co and Anbang Insurance Group. But given pressures from capital flight and financial risks, concerns regarding debt-fueled expansion are on the rise.
The big money being poured overseas came under increased scrutiny this year, with stricter examinations on the authenticity of investments and capital sources.
The ministry supports homegrown firms making real, law abiding outbound investment in line with market rules and international practice, Gao said.
“Investment in the Belt and Road construction, international capacity cooperation and industrial upgrading will receive special support,” he said.
He stressed continued risk control to ensure healthy and orderly growth of outbound investment.
China’s non-financial outbound investment dropped 45.8 percent year on year in the first half, with money pumped into property, sports and entertainment suffering a substantial retreat of more than 80 percent.