China overseas investment almost doubles in September: govt

China overseas investment almost doubles in September: govt

Thursday, October 16, 2014 5:15 am

China’s overseas investment almost doubled year-on-year to $9.79 billion in September, the government said Thursday, again exceeding incoming funds even though they recovered from multi-year lows.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) — which excludes financial sectors — into China came in at $9.01 billion for the month, the commerce ministry said, up only 1.9 percent year-on-year but a significant improvement on August’s $7.20 billion, the lowest since July 2010.

China has been actively acquiring foreign assets, particularly energy and resources, to power its economy, with firms encouraged to “go out” and make overseas acquisitions to gain market access and international experience.

Overseas direct investment (ODI) was up 90.5 percent in September, and officials have said it could exceed FDI this year.

For the first nine months total ODI stood at $74.96 billion, up 21.6 percent, with FDI at $87.36 billion, down 1.4 percent.

Over the period, Chinese investment into the European Union soared 218 percent to $9.0 billion, the ministry said.

For Japan it leaped 150 percent into Japan, while also going up 69.7 percent into Russia and 19.5 percent into Hong Kong, the ministry added, without giving totals.

It was up 28.2 percent to $3.95 billion into the US.

Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang attributed the rapid growth in ODI to “strong market forces” — China’s need to invest abroad and demand from destination countries — along with policy support from Beijing and foreign governments.

“We believe China’s overseas investment and cooperation will maintain a fast development momentum in the future,” he said.

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In the first nine months FDI fell 43.0 percent from Japan to $3.39 billion, 24.7 percent from the US to $2.17 billion, 18.8 percent from the European Union to $4.84 billion, and 13.7 percent from the ASEAN group of southeast Asian countries to $4.90 billion.

But it rose 32.5 percent from South Korea to $3.23 billion and 32.3 percent from Britain to $1.01 billion.

Chinese authorities in recent months launched anti-monopoly, pricing and other inquiries into foreign firms in sectors ranging from auto manufacturing and pharmaceuticals to baby milk.

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