【英语财经】澳大利亚收紧外资收购基建项目审查 Australia tightens scrutiny over infrastructure sales

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2016-3-23 22:08

小艾摘要: Australia is tightening scrutiny of sales of ports, electricity networks and other key public infrastructure to foreign investors following a backlash sparked by the controversial lease of Darwin port ...
Australia tightens scrutiny over infrastructure sales
Australia is tightening scrutiny of sales of ports, electricity networks and other key public infrastructure to foreign investors following a backlash sparked by the controversial lease of Darwin port to a Chinese company.

“From March 31, the Foreign Investment Review Board will formally review critical infrastructure assets sold by state and territory government,” said Scott Morrison, Australia’s treasurer.

He said the process would ensure future sales to privately-owned investors are properly scrutinised, citing the looming sales of Melbourne and Utah Point ports, and New South Wales electricity networks as examples.

China’s investment in the US, Europe and Australia is at record highs in spite of its economic slowdown, prompting increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world.

Until now, sales of public infrastructure by Australian states or territories were only scrutinised by Firb when they were purchased by foreign state-owned enterprises, not private companies. This enabled China’s Landbridge Group last year to pay A$506m to secure a 99-year lease to operate Darwin port — a strategically important area as US marines are stationed at a nearby naval base — without a formal review by Firb.

An interim report by a parliamentary investigation into the foreign investment framework, which was sparked by the lease of Darwin port to Landbridge, found the Firb process “appears to be ad hoc, run on a case by case basis” and the regulatory body needed to be strengthened.

Two Chinese companies: State Grid Corporation of China; China Southern Power Grid; plus Hong Kong’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure are reported to be assessing A$10bn plus bids to buy a controlling stake in Ausgrid, Australia’s biggest electricity distribution company.

Mr Morrison denied that tighter scrutiny of foreign investment would deter Chinese bidders, saying they were savvy investors and understood that all countries have foreign investment rules.

待售的墨尔本集装箱码头

澳大利亚开始收紧对外国投资者购买本国港口、电力网络以及其他关键公共基础设施的审查。此前,达尔文港被出租给一家中国企业惹争议,引发了强烈抵制。

“从3月31日开始,外国投资审查委员会(Firb)将正式对被州和领地批准的关键基础设施出售项目进行审查,”澳大利亚财政部长斯科特?莫里森(Scott Morrison)表示。

他说,审查程序将保证,未来资产被民营企业收购时会得到合适的审查。他列举了墨尔本港和Utah Point港、以及新南威尔士电网即将被出售的例子。

尽管经济增长在放慢,但中国企业对美国、欧洲和澳大利亚的投资达到创纪录高位,导致全球各地监管机构实施更多审查。

直到目前,澳大利亚各州和领地只有把公共基础设施出售给外国国企而非民企的时候,才会受到外国投资审查委员会的审查。结果,在未经外国投资审查委员会正式审查的情况下,去年中国的岚桥集团(Landbridge)斥资5.06亿澳元,获得了经营达尔文港99年的租约。达尔文港是一个具有重要战略意义的地点,因为该港附近的一处海军基地驻扎着美国海军陆战队。

达尔文港被出租给岚桥集团,推动澳大利亚国会对外资投资框架进行了一次调查。调查结果显示,外国投资审查委员“似乎是根据一案一议原则,进行随机的审查,”该监管机构的职能需要得到加强。

据报道,两家中国公司——国家电网公司(State Grid Corporation of China)和中国南方电网(China Southern Power Grid)——以及香港的长江基建(Cheung Kong Infrastructure)正考虑出资逾100亿澳元参与竞标,收购澳大利亚最大配电企业Ausgrid的控股股权。

澳大利亚财长莫里森否认加强外资审查会让中国企业打消竞标的念头,他表示,中国企业是精明的投资者,他们知道所有国家都有外国投资审查规则。

译者/何黎

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