China isn’t discouraging overseas investment, only regulating it, Beijing-backed think tanker says


Zhang Peng | LightRocket | Getty Images

Wanda Plaza in Yantai, Shandong Province, China. Foreign acquisitions made by property developer Dalian Wanda include cinema chain AMC and Legendary Entertainment.

Just last month, media reports said domestic banks had been asked by regulators to review their exposure to foreign debt incurred by some of China’s most prolific buyers of foreign assets, including property developer Dalian Wanda, conglomerate Fosun International and insurance company Anbang.

Acquisitions made by those companies include Anbang’s 2014 purchase of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, as well as Dalian Wanda’s purchase of U.S. cinema chain AMC Theatres and Legendary Entertainment as part of its push into the entertainment business.

As recently as July 28, Fosun announced its intentions, together with Beijing Sanyuan Foods, to buy St Hubert, a French margarine manufacturer. The acquisition was “aligned” with government policy in China to drive innovation, Reuters quoted Fosun Chairman Guo Guangchang as saying.

Despite the additional scrutiny, Cao said he was not worried about a scale back in overseas Chinese investment.

“I still believe that a lot of countries see China currently as one of the biggest investors investing abroad,” Cao said.

“To put it in layman’s terms, if a man gets rich, it’s easier for him to squander his wealth. So from the perspective of the Chinese government and our internal think tank, we should tighten the belts of companies and remind them that their investments need to be wiser.”

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