Mergers and acquisitions will increase by 10 times and account for half of China-bound foreign investment within five years, the chief executive of state-owned holding company Enterprise Investment Co said. Announcing plans to merge 187 state-owned companies into 50 new entities, Victor Gao said merger deals in 2003 already accounted for 7.2% of foreign direct investment, or US$3.8bn of last year's US$53bn total FDI. There are more than 500 private equity and venture funds invested in China, including US-based Carlyle Group and Newbridge Capital, UK-based 3i and Japan's Softbank, according to industry promoter Asian Venture Capital Journal. Separately, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu announced plans to merge with several unspecified mainland accounting firms, adding another 1,000 employees to its 3,000 Hong Kong and China headcount.
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