China's foreign mergers and acquisitions were widely seen to have slumped in 2017, but some indicators suggest those numbers may be larger than earlier thought and might even continue to grow this year, according to investment bank, Natixis.
"[W]hen one looks into some of the microdata in M&A, ... there is no such thing as a sharp reduction in China's cross-border acquisitions in 2017, if anything, an increase," Natixis Asia Pacific Chief Economist, Alicia Garcia Herrero and Senior Economist, Jianwei Xu, wrote in a note.
"Such divergence can be explained by the increasingly important role that overseas subsidiaries of Chinese corporates have played in acquiring assets abroad. Those activities are not captured in the official data or even in some of the private M&A data providers," they added.
Chinese overseas investments rose from $170.2 billion in 2016 to $185.4 billion in 2017, according to data compiled by Natixis, based on numbers from think tank, the American Enterprise Institute. That's in contrast to the dip reflected in the official overseas investment figures from Beijing, which showed a decrease from $170.11 billion in 2016 to $120.8 billion in 2017.