(Yicai Global) June 7 -- Private companies were the key driver in China's overseas mergers and acquisitions last year as the nation becomes a major player in the global market.
Mergers and acquisitions made by private Chinese companies more than tripled last year, with their value surpassing that of deals made by state-owned enterprises, according to a report from Hurun Research Institute and DealGlobe.
The country made a total of 438 mergers and acquisitions abroad last year, 21 percent more than the 363 in 2015, the report showed. Deals in 2016 were worth nearly USD126 billion, up 148 percent on the year.
In the first quarter of this year, 83 percent of China's mergers and acquisitions were initiated by private businesses, according to the report. "The proportion of M&As conducted by private companies hit a record high last year," said Rupert Hoogewerf, known in Chinese as Hu Run, "while the proportion of SOE-led deals fell to an all-time low."
Chinese conglomerate HNA Group was the most active buyer, making four of the top 100 deals. Anbang Insurance Group, Dalian Wanda Group and China Molybdenum Luoyang Co. [SHA:603993] followed, making three transactions each. Other companies, both private and state-owned, that took on multiple foreign companies were Beijing Enterprises Group Co., Bohai Leasing Co., State Grid Corporation of China, Midea Group Co. [SHE:000333], China Three Gorges Corp., Yinyi Group Co., China National Chemical Corp. and China Investment Corp., each penning two deals.
Last year, most of the country's overseas mergers and acquisitions were in 10 key sectors: manufacturing, financial services, energy, computing, culture and entertainment, consumer goods, auto parts, semiconductors, media and healthcare, the report showed.
The top 10 investment destinations for Chinese firms were the US, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, Britain, France, Italy, Singapore, South Korea and Canada.