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Chinese investment in Australia turns a corner
Published on: 2013-03-15
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altA new report from professional services giant KPMG has revealed a subtle but important evolution in the nature of Chinese outbound direct investment with profound implications for Australia, until now the main beneficiary of Chinese capital.
 
The report, released Friday in Sydney, represents the latest research into Chinese direct investment by KPMG and the University of Sydney China Studies Centre -- identifies significant changes to the pattern of Chinese outbound direct investment in Australia in 2012 compared to previous years.
 
For Australia's patchwork economy, held as it has been in the thrall of a mining investment boom, these changes stretch across industry, sector, geography and investor type.
 
Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australia: Update March 2013 also delivers a sobering assessment for Australian business leaders, with evidence that the resource-rich nation is now facing increasing international competition for Chinese investment dollars.
 
Australia maintained its top ranking as the most significant recipient of Chinese ODI over the last eight years since large- scale investment of this kind began in earnest in 2005, but it is losing its dominant status.
 
"Chinese investment is geographically diversifying, and the United States and Canada in particular are catching up with Australia," said Professor Hans Hendrischke of The University of Sydney China Studies Centre.
 
"While Australia's accumulated Chinese direct investment is still ahead of its main international competitors, there is no denying that the rest of the world is hot on our heels and aggressively competing for Chinese capital."
 
Canada achieved top position for Chinese investment for the 2012 calendar year, due to the completion of one enormous transaction -- the $15.1 billion CNOOC-Nexen oil and gas company deal.
 
By the end of 2012, total accumulated investment reached $51 billion in Australia, followed by $50.7 billion in the United States and $36.7 billion in Canada. Other major recipients included Brazil and Russia. The largest investment destinations in Europe and Africa are the United Kingdom and Nigeria respectively.
 
Although short of the historic peak of $16.2 billion in 2008, Chinese direct investment inflows into Australia in 2012 increased 21 percent from 2011 to reach $11.4 billion across 27 transactions, up from $9.4 billion in 2011 and $3.7 billion in 2010.
 
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