FIRB approves Chinese investments worth $46.6 billion in 2014/15, nearly double from previous year

FIRB approves Chinese investments worth $46.6 billion in 2014/15, nearly double from previous year
FIRB approves Chinese investments worth $46.6 billion in 2014/15, nearly double from previous year

Chinese investments in Australia have nearly doubled from 2014, with $46.6 billion planned spends in 2014-15, according to the latest Foreign Investment Review Board annual report.

In 2014, China shot past the US for the first time, after agreeing to spend $27.7 billion, said a report in the Australian Financial Chronicle.

There were 37,953 proposals that received foreign investment approval in 2014‑15, up from 24,102 in 2013‑14.

The real estate sector took the biggest chunk, with 37,347 approvals in 2014‑15, compared with 23,428 approvals in 2013‑14 and more than triple the levels of 2012‑13, the FIRB report said. The majority of this increase related to new dwellings approvals, which is consistent with the Australian government’s policy to increase the housing stock by channelling foreign investment into new dwellings. 

Expectedly, real estate investments made up the bulk of Chinese investment plans with a total of $24 billion, double that of 2014.

To date, Chinese investors have doubled their investments in real estate in both the 2014 and 2015 years, said AFR.

The rise in foreign investments has also raised security concerns.  

Following the leasing of the Port of Darwin to Chinese company Landbridge, which has links to the People's Liberation Army, FIRB enacted an amendment to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulations on April 4 to remove the exemption for private foreign investors investing in critical infrastructure assets.

FIRB will now formally review the sale of state-owned infrastructure assets to private foreign investors.

Concerns also loomed over the sale of Kidman & Co, which owns 100,000 square kilometres of land across Australia, but they are likely to be chased by two Chinese groups GLAM with a bid as high as $370 million and Pengxin offering $350 million, the AFR cited sources as saying. 

The United States remains Australia’s dominant inward investor country, accounting for around 23.7 per cent of the total stock of foreign direct investment as at the end of 2014, data from FIRB shows.

No proposals were rejected in 2014‑15, compared with three in 2013‑14, but conditions were imposed on about 40 per cent of all foreign investment approvals, it said.

 

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Firb Chinese Investment

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