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Chinese corporate deals face scrutiny at home and abroad

来源:FT中文网    2017-04-14 06:24

        After recording double-digit rates of growth over the past few years, Chinese outbound mergers and acquisitions have been grabbing headlines around the world. However this remarkable trend faces a twofold challenge. First, US, German and Australian regulators, among others, are paying increased attention to Chinese investments. At the same time, the Chinese government has started to scrutinise outbound investment projects more closely, and has even reinstalled the approval process that was abolished in April 2014.        在过去几年接连录得两位数增速后,中国对外并购成为世界各地的头条新闻。然而,这种引人注目的趋势面临双重挑战。首先,美国、德国、澳大利亚等国家的监管机构日益关注中国投资。与此同时,中国政府开始更加密切地审查对外投资项目,甚至恢复了2014年4月废除的审批程序。
        The new regulatory restrictions in China are being imposed partly to manage the high risks that Chinese investors are taking. For state-owned companies, the mere fact that they are investing in foreign countries can help their leaders secure promotion within the Chinese government apparatus. For private entrepreneurs, outbound M&A can be a way to diversify an investment portfolio or to transfer wealth abroad.        中国出台新的监管限制,在一定程度上是为了管理中国投资者正在承担的较高风险。对国有企业来说,在外国进行投资本身就有助于其领导者在中国政府体制内部获得提拔。对私人企业家来说,对外并购可以是多元化投资或者向海外转移财富的方式。
        The other main reason for the new restrictions in China is to prevent further depreciation of the renminbi. With capital outflows increasing, the Chinese government has begun to tighten foreign currency controls on outbound investments to stabilise the exchange rate, although the authorities have taken a soft approach towards implementing this restriction, to minimise the shock for Chinese citizens.        中国推出新的限制措施的另一个主要原因是阻止人民币进一步贬值。随着资本外流加剧,中国政府开始收紧针对境外投资的外汇管制以稳定人民币汇率,尽管有关部门采取表面上温和的方式执行这方面的限制措施,以尽可能减少对中国居民的冲击。
        The anti-corruption campaign against Chinese bureaucrats has occasionally uncovered bribes paid by Chinese entrepreneurs. In the past, corruption was typically a part of doing business. To escape from possible prosecution or confiscation of their wealth, individuals used various ways to transfer assets abroad and one of the quickest was an M&A transaction. As a result, the Chinese government started looking into the exodus of capital.        针对中国官员的反腐败斗争时常会发现中国企业家曾有向官员行贿的行为。过去,贿赂往往是做生意的一部分。为了逃避可能的公诉或财富没收,人们想方设法向海外转移资产,其中最快的途径之一就是并购交易。其结果是,中国政府开始调查资本外流。
        At the same time, growing Chinese investment has provoked a public outcry in certain countries and this has led to a review by regulatory authorities. A series of Chinese investments in the US have been scrutinised for security concerns by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius), which examines potential national security risks from M&A deals.        与此同时,中国投资日益增多在某些国家引发公众不满,导致监管部门展开调查。在美国,负责评估并购协议潜在国家安全风险的美国外国投资委员会(CFIUS),从安全角度从严审查了中国在美国的一系列投资。
        The exponential growth of Chinese investments, and the apparent increase in hidden government support for those companies, have led to a rise in protectionism, a trend exemplified by Germany withdrawing approval for a Chinese company to acquire a chipmaker, Aixtron.        中国投资的指数式增长,以及政府显然加大对走出国门的中资公司的隐性支持,已导致保护主义情绪上升,德国撤回对中资企业收购芯片设备制造商爱思强(Aixtron)的批准就表明了这种趋势。
        Chinese investments are still taking place in industries including semiconductors and other high-tech or sensitive sectors. Such acquisitions inevitably invite a high degree of vigilance, especially when these deals are undertaken by Chinese state-owned enterprises.        中国投资仍发生在半导体和其他高科技或敏感行业。此类收购难免招来高度警惕,尤其是当这些交易是由中国国企发起的时候。
        The Australian government last year banned the State Grid Corporation of China from acquiring a controlling stake in the country’s biggest electricity distribution network. Such negative sentiment is set to grow stronger: the Chinese government has a plan to maximise the market share that Chinese state-owned companies enjoy within the domestic market to the detriment of Chinese private companies.        澳大利亚政府去年禁止中国国家电网公司(State Grid Corporation of China)收购该国最大电网的控股权。此类负面情绪只会越来越强烈:中国政府有一个让国企在国内市场享有最大化市场份额的计划,这对中国私营企业不利。
        Chinese companies will continue to seek cross-border deals in order to quickly obtain market share, technical expertise and marketing channels, with the objective of becoming global players. However, concerns in industrialised countries about Chinese investment, combined with the ever-tightening Chinese government control over the outflow of capital, will serve as an important brake on such investment.        中资企业将继续物色跨境交易以迅速获得市场份额、技术专长和营销渠道,目标是成为全球企业。然而,工业化国家对中国投资的担忧,加上中国政府日益收紧的对资本外流的管制,将对此类投资起到重要的遏制作用。
        The number and the amount of Chinese outbound M&A will significantly reduce in 2017. For deals in the pipeline, meanwhile, contracting parties are well advised to be prepared for a range of political, financial and legal risks.        中国对外并购的数量和规模将在2017年大幅缩减。与此同时,对于在谈尚未完全交割的交易,交易各方最好准备应对一系列政治、金融和法律方面的风险。
        The writer is managing partner of Dechert, an international law firm, in China        本文作者是美国德杰国际律师事务所(Dechert)中国执行合伙人

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