Chinese companies have become net sellers of global assets this year for the first time since corporations from the country became big players in international mergers and acquisitions a decade ago, said the Financial Times.
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. The data from Dealogic goes back to 2015, when Chinese companies bought about $100 billion in overseas assets but sold only $10 billion.
Business conditions have deteriorated for many companies that just two years ago were striking billion-dollar deals in the US and Europe. Access to credit has also tightened, pushing some recent acquirers into default. Many of the Chinese-owned assets now hitting the market were swallowed up in 2016, the peak investment year when Chinese companies struck more than $200 billion in overseas deals while taking on high levels of debt.