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October 28, 2009

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Home » Business » Economy

Outbound investments climb

OUTBOUND investments by Chinese firms rose 0.5 percent in January through September compared with a year earlier, helped by a near tripling in outflows in the third quarter alone, the Ministry of Commerce said yesterday.

Non-financial outbound foreign direct investments amounted to US$32.9 billion in the first nine months of this year, the ministry said, with US$20.5 billion of that coming in the third quarter.

The July-September figure marked a 190.4 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, the ministry said.

Nearly 44 percent of the investments so far this year were in the form of acquisitions, primarily in the mining and manufacturing sectors, the ministry added.

It did not provide further details, but said a range of measures, including more clear rules on outbound investments and an official "Going Out" policy, were helping to underpin the rising tide of such flows.

Chinese companies have long sought to expand their footprints overseas, particularly in areas such as resources, but have sometimes seen those plans thwarted by political resistance in the target country.

China has now started to encourage a more proactive approach, with some officials saying firms now face good opportunities for investing overseas due to lower asset prices and a loosening of investment rules in many countries.

Major acquisitions so far this year include a deal struck in June by Sinopec, the country's largest oil refiner, to buy Swiss oil explorer Addax for US$7.24 billion.

Scouring the globe for resources, Chinese firms have also stepped up their investments in Australian resources.

Overall outbound Chinese investments totaled US$55.91 billion last year, an increase of 111 percent from the previous year.


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