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More than half of Chinese acquisitions in Switzerland have state fingerprint

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Swiss commodity firms were especially favoured for acquisition. Keystone / Jerome Favre

The Chinese government has a stake in 53% of Swiss companies acquired by Chinese firms since 2010, according to a think tank study. 

The analysis External linkby Dutch consultancy Datenna, published in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, claims that 19 of 36 Swiss acquisitions by Chinese companies over the past decade can be linked to the Chinese state.  

This means that the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) is either part of the Chinese government (high level of influence) or the Chinese government has a substantial stake in the acquiring company but not a controlling one (medium influence). 

Over 650 acquisitions in Europe were analysed of which 161 showed high influence by the Chinese state (around 25%) and 103 medium influence (15%). Switzerland placed seventh in Europe in terms of influence of the Chinese government over acquisitions. 

Swiss commodity firms were especially favoured for acquisition with stakes in Mercuria, Silk Road Commodities, Duferco and Glencore HG Storage International sought by Chinese giants like ChemChina, China Molybdenum, Hebei Steel and HNA. The biggest acquisition in Europe recorded by Datenna was Swiss company Syngenta, which was purchased by ChemChina in 2016 for CHF43.8 billion ($48 billion). 

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