At the behest of the Communist Party leadership, Chinese conglomerates and investor groups have this year transformed from sometimes overeager spree buyers of foreign companies, real estate, and art, into net sellers of global assets for the first time since Chinese companies became big-time players on the global stage about a decade ago, the FT reports.
The shift comes as the Communist Party tries to tamp down on capital outflows as China’s economy weakens with reports suggesting that Beijing could report economic growth below 6% for 2019 and 2020.
Chinese companies have agreed to sell about $40 billion in overseas assets so far this year, up from $32 billion for the whole of last year, according to data from Dealogic. At the same time, Chinese groups have bought just $35 billion of overseas assets this year, making the country a global net seller.
Divestments in the US, where Chinese corporate buyers are now viewed with increased scrutiny, have soared to over $26 billion this year, up from just $8 billion for all of 2018.