The value of China's offshore acquisitions climbed to a record $65.2 billion in 2012, representing a five-fold increase in the past five years, according to a report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
China's ambition overseas is a sign that emerging markets have invested in more than they receive from developed markets, the report notes.
The value of overseas acquisitions by China's private sector has surged over 600% during the past five years, totaling $25.5 billion in 2012. The value per such transaction has increased almost four-fold to $178 million.
Unlike acquisitions of overseas energy and resources assets by state-backed firms, privately-owned Chinese companies were more focused on industrial technology and consumer goods.
The report predicts that encouraged by government policies privately-owned Chinese companies will step up investing overseas to obtain technical know-how and patents. Privately-owned Chinese companies are forecast to carry out more acquisitions overseas than state-backed companies, but to be dwarfed by them when it comes to the value of acquisitions.
Privately-owned Chinese companies have shown interests in modern dairy and media and entertainment projects to meet rising demand in emerging markets, the report says.
Europe and North America will continue to the main targets of Chinese companies because they offer intellectual property that China covets. However, Oceania, South America and Africa are getting more attractive to China.
Emerging markets have invested a total of $161 billion in developed markets from 2008 through 2012, with China being the leading contributor among the BRICS nations. China was responsible for 70% of the five nations' investments in developed markets in 2012, the report adds.
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