China sending group to Europe to look for mergers

BEIJING: China will send a group to Europe this weekend to look for merger and investment targets following a visit by a multibillion-dollar Chinese buying delegation, the commerce minister said.

Chinese companies have been stepping up investments abroad despite global financial turmoil and have signed a flurry of foreign energy and resource deals.

"We will send a tour to Europe this weekend mainly for the purpose of investment and mergers, to take a look at what enterprises would be worth our taking shares in and operating together," Commerce Minister Chen Deming said Monday in comments shown on state television.

The report said the delegation of businesspeople would visit Britain and other countries but gave no other details. Chen's ministry did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Chen led a 200-member group of Chinese businesspeople and officials on a buying mission to Switzerland, German, Britain and Spain last week. The total spent was not announced but the group said in Germany it signed contracts worth $10 billion.

China's major companies have largely avoided the impact of the global financial crisis and are still flush with cash.

In February, China signed multibillion-dollar deals to obtain oil from Russia, Venezuela and Brazil. China's biggest aluminum producer agreed to invest $19.5 billion in Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto Group.


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