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Chinese companies' cross-border M&A rising

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BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese companies have seen steady growth in cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As) while expanding overseas, according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Friday.

From 2008 to 2011, Chinese companies' outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) in the form of M&As totalled 106.3 billion U.S. dollars, representing an annualized growth of 44 percent, Chen Runyun, an official from the MOC's department of outward investment and economic cooperation, said at a news briefing in Beijing.

In 2011 alone, OFDI in the form of M&As amounted to 27.2 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 37 percent of the total OFDI that year, Chen said.

Mining, manufacturing and power generation are among the most favored sectors for Chinese investors, according to Chen.

In a recent case, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) was given approval by the Canadian government earlier this month to buy Calgary-based oil and gas producer Nexen Inc. for 15.1 billion U.S. dollars.

Once completed, the takeover will be China's largest overseas acquisition.

Despite robust activity overseas, Chen said Chinese companies' overseas investment, which accounts for just 2 percent of the global flow, has encountered a string of obstacles, including a lack of operation experience, weak risk controls and frequent safety accidents.

Chen said the ministry will work to improve policy support to facilitate Chinese companies' overseas expansion.

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