China overseas investments are facing significant losses

Jul 6


Bean Taylor

Bean Taylor

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China overseas investments are facing significant losses. Most of China's overseas investments are placed by the state-owned enterprises, but the leadership of these enterprises don't need to take responsibility for the losses of investments.

Most of China's overseas investments are placed by the state-owned enterprises,China overseas investments are facing significant losses Articles but the leadership of these enterprises don't need to take responsibility for the losses of investments. For this reason, the China SASAC (State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission) decide to reduce risks by developing new rules and regulations on overseas investments.Recently, a report of news media exposed that the deficit of Saudi railway project invested by CRCC (China Railway Construction Corporation) was over 4 billion Chinese yuan, about 0.64 billion U.S. dollars. The state has no choice but to pay for this because the CRCC can't afford the loss by itself, causing an uproar in the people. Later in June 27, SASAC officially announced the "Overseas State-owned Assets Supervision Interim Measures" and "Overseas State-owned Property Interim Measures".An anonymous expert of SASAC said, the losses of overseas investment made by state-owned enterprises has caused attention to the SASAC in the past two years, the development of two "measures" is to strengthen the supervision of state-owned assets abroad. The expert believes that the published data out of the loss is only tip of the iceberg, more hidden losses haven't been revealed.The expert from SASAC also indicated that SASAC has paid more and more attention to the supervision of overseas property, the internal risk control of state-owned enterprises and the supervision of overseas assets are to be further strengthened. China has to build a indicator system for risk early warning and complete legal system for monitoring overseas assets right now.China increased the speed of overseas investment under complicated international situation in recent years, and the policy environment of overseas investment has also changed dramatically. From March 2011 onwards, the threshold amount of major overseas resource project which is required for being approved raised from $30,000,000 to $300,000,000, and the approval threshold of major overseas non-resource project raised from $10,000,000 to $100,000,000. Direct investments of state-owned enterprises are applicable to the filling system and does not require approval. An officer of NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission) said publicly that the NDRC will significantly relax restrictions on overseas investment of state-owned enterprises.For the approval power delegate to the lower levels, more enterprises sped up the pace of going abroad, more and more state-owned enterprises began to integrate resources on a global scale.According to the statistics of SASAC, the number of foreign enterprises that invested by Chinese companies was more than 15,000, non-financial overseas direct investment was in the stock of $258.8 billion, total amount of overseas assets was more than $1 trillion and the investments made by state-owned enterprises are accounted for half of the total amount. As of the end of 2009, overseas assets of state-owned enterprises had reached 4 trillion Chinese yuan which took 37.7% of total profits of state-owned enterprises in that year.However, the fact proved that the loss of overseas assets of state-owned enterprises has become the biggest enemy of state assets value increasing. The loss of overseas investment made by state-owned enterprises is not an isolated phenomenon, while CRCC is not a typical example too. According to a survey of China Commerce Department in 2007, 65% of overseas investments were at a loss, calculated as this, the loss of current $1 trillion overseas assets should not be overlooked.According to the information from news medias, the amount of overseas investment losses made by state-owned enterprises was amazing. June 2010, the Weld Range iron ore project owned by Sinosteel Group in Australia was to suspend, no specific loss statistics yet. As of the end of 2009, the loss of three oil and gas projects owned by Sinochem Group was about $15,266,200. In September 2009, CRC (China Railway Corporation) claimed a loss in the A2 highway project in Poland, totally $447 million in contract. Tianwei New Energy Company, subsidiary of China Military Equipment Group, took bid for Hoku company in U.S. in March 2008, the payment in advance was $79 million and invested nearly $100 million later, but Hoku Company is now on the verge of bankruptcy and unable to fulfill the contract, the loss of this investment is unknown so far.In addition, 68 state-owned enterprises had exposed a total of $11.4 billion loss in their overseas business during the 2008 financial crisis. These 68 enterprises include PetroChina, Sinopec, CNOOC (China National Offshore Oil Corporation), Sinosteel Group, etc. Since the outbreak of war in Libya a few months ago, China's overseas investment is resulting in billions of dollars in economic losses.The SASAC can no longer stand still in front of huge amount of loss in overseas investment, It officially announced the "Overseas State-owned Assets Supervision Interim Measures" and "Overseas State-owned Property Interim Measures" in June 27. These two measures have been approved by the chief director's meeting of SASAC and shall come into force from July 1, 2011. The two measures identifies the state-owned enterprise takes the responsibility for managing overseas state-owned assets. If the loss of state-owned assets is taking place, SASAC will be in accordance with laws, administrative regulations and state-owned assets relative provisions to hold responsibility of responsible person.According to the requirements of these two measures, the state-owned assets of all levels of state-owned enterprises, wholly-owned subsidiaries, subsidiaries will be bound by these two measures.Although SASAC has Strengthened the supervision of state-owned overseas assets via two measures, but that is far from enough supervising by SASAC itself. "Regulate overseas investment of state-owned enterprises, prevent from the risk and loss of state assets, the best and the fastest way is to strengthen the overseas investment legislation." Indicated by an expert from Global Products Catalog.NDRC and Ministry of Commerce is currently drafting a common "Overseas Investment Regulations", this regulations is still under drafting stage, it will be finally reported to the State Council as soon as it finishes, and it is also the first national-level overseas investment regulations of China.