Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Friday, January 20, 2012

UK firms won't buy British, so don't whine if China does

If you are surprised by China’s decision to buy 10pc of Thames Water, don’t be. If you’re worried about the world’s biggest authoritarian state flexing its financial muscles here, too late.

First, the Chinese, authors of state capitalism, can spot a decent investment when they see one and with $1.7 trillion of foreign exchange holdings the country needs somewhere to put all the cash.

China Investment Corporation, a state sovereign wealth fund, is poised to take 10pc of Thames Water which won’t give it control of London’s plumbing (the loony conspiracy fringe can rest easy) but it will generate a typical utility return of a steady income flow at low risk.

As a nation with an enormous surplus, this is exactly the sort of investment China will be seeking more of, encouraged by our Government.

George Osborne has been in the Far East this week to cement closer business and financial ties between the two countries.

If a new Thames Estuary airport is ever built, expect plenty of Chinese money behind it. Read More