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Economy

European Firms Eager For Chinese Investment, While US And UK Stay Skeptical

According to a new study published by financial communications network AMO, European firms are becoming more and more proactive in looking for financing from China. The enthusiasm is not shared across the West.

*NEWSBITES

PARIS - European businesses are on the hunt for Chinese investment money, according to a new study by financial group AMO. The study, which surveyed 71 large multinationals across 12 countries, shows that continental Europeans are actively pursuing Chinese investors, whereas the British are still focusing on the U.S. As for the Americans, there remains a deep-seated reluctance to get their funding from Chinese investment funds.

This breakdown is in line with the evolution of Chinese investment around the world: Europe has become China's preferred destination for mergers and acquisitions. German and French companies are the most proactive, and have already secured a significant amount of Chinese institutional funding, whereas Italy, Spain and Scandinavia still have far fewer Chinese shareholders.

In the UK and the U.S., the dominant view is that Chinese investors, although hands-off, are still perceived as lacking transparency. Nicholas R. Lardy, a researcher at the Peterson Institute for International Economics believes the Americans "are still being cautious for the wrong political reasons." Apart from the mining industry, which is determined to take advantage of the interest it generates, the U.S has pursued little or no Chinese investments at all. Only a third of the managers interviewed by AMO said they were thinking about financing opportunities from China.

The study also provides an interesting overview of the investment strategies in China. For now, they seem to want to remain discrete, with very few companies surveyed reporting any investment above 5%.

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations.

Read the full article in Les Echos in French.

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Geopolitics

End-Of-Regime Vibe? Supreme Leader Keeps Referring To Shah's Final Days

The Supreme Leader of Iran has been frequently referencing the end of Iran's last regime in 1979. Is it a sign the country is indeed approaching another kind of revolution.

photo of Supreme Leader ali Khamenei

Iran's Supreme Leader al Khamenei on Jan. 9

Office of Supreme Leader via ZUMA
Kayhan-London

-Analysis-

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered his forces to clamp down with renewed vigor on the remains of the mass protests that erupted across Iran in mid-September. Initially a reaction to police brutality, these turned into the biggest anti-state protests of the Islamic Republic's 40-year history.

And they continue, in spite of thousands of arrests, more than 500 deaths on the streets and in custody, and four hangings. There was also outrage in Britain and across the world after the execution of British-Iranian Alireza Akbari, who had been sentenced to death.

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