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2017
Asia Needs more Dialogue
Solutions to urban pollution may prove complex
Spread of ESGs could herald new global movement
Investing in quality education is imperative if India wants to reap demographic dividends
China needs to lead in new multi-stakeholder world
China’s B&R initiative leading a resurgence of Asia
Education is key - but long-term: Can we survive?
New wave of robots will be beneficial to all
China needs to continue with its ‘heavy lifting’
Time is right for Chinese firms to invest in Europe
Robots to the rescue for China?
Asian Multinationals are Going Global, But to Where?
China ratchets forward with energy efforts
China’s calm necessary for globalization push
Bridging managerial gaps involves trust-building
China well-placed to power its future through green technology advances
China's new 'springtime' is here
2016
China’s moves show it’s banking on the future
Mindset for action at the G20 summit will be determined by Chinese presidency
Chinese head-hunting intensifies for rare managers that can steer overseas firms
US talk of isolation jars with growing links in Europe and Asia
Electoral rhetoric on global trade not in sync with reality
Is it time to be prudent and consider austerity policies again?
What will we do if we have no oil?
Unlock talent by finding the right fit for a person
The benefits are real and tangible
Trade along China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ won’t succeed without the currency of trust
Reasons for optimism about the long term
2015
Can big oil go green and win?
Poorer Nations Could Sway Climate Talks
Combating Idleness and Deprivation
How China can be a model of food sustainability for the developing world
Kyoto II – Is it a Done Deal?
A meeting of the two largest economic powers
Why China will experience a 'soft' landing
Beware of superstitions
The Elephant and Dragon move ahead
G-7 target on fossil fuels raises many questions
Why Battle for Net Neutrality in the US Matters Globally
China’s resurgence – the ‘normal new’
Wanted: A managerial culture that embraces cultural differences
China's early education plan a smart investment in the future
The New Normal for China and India
2014
China's infrastructure push offers a sure track to better growth
US-China climate pact a good start, but not quite enough
Rethink the human’s place in the ‘digital revolution’
China springs a carbon surprise
Infrastructure - the invisible hand in full view
Dialogue vital for survival of Iraqi nation
China must nurture a new generation of beautiful minds
Great expectations in China and India
GM Cereals – The Pros and Corns
Time to be Honest about Our Energy Prospects
Weathering the Storm of Climate Change
Making a Big Decision? Beware of Your Biases
West Deserves Better Logistics Infrastructure
Digital Currencies do Represent the Future
From 'Printed' Houses to Wooden Skyscrapers
It’s time to bail out our schools, not our firms
Solution to India’s housing shortage – print new ones!
And the most promising green technologies of 2014 are ...
Transport infrastructure key to domestic, export growth
Oil stopgaps: Not worth risking
2013
Why the US should grant Edward Snowden amnesty
May we be more optimistic!
China headed for another massive social experiment?
A dialogue that worked
Yes, politicians deserve vacations - because we benefit
NPOs, NGOs invaluable as creators of dialogue
Look closer and ask: Is America reinventing itself?
Boston bombings case underlines need for dialogue
Millennium Development Goals or own goals?
As usual it's about balance - and timing - of course
Chinese strategists make right moves for growth
2012
Preparing for tomorrow
Austerity or growth?
Japan in danger of becoming 'just a place to fly over'
Beware of the business cycle?
An inconvenient truth
Limited offer sale: Buy a country
Where did our money go?
Leading from behind - a year of elections is almost over
Driving towards a green future
Waiting for springtime
Preserve or Perish
Startlingly similar Asia policy for Obama, Romney
Globalisation remains an irresistible trend
Google has the edge in smartphone war
U.S. Braces for China's Rise
Mankind’s General Scourge
The summer holidays are over and nothing has changed!
Put the hidden trillions to work
Making sense of India’s woes and wonders
Storm in a teacup!
Let’s give bad bankers a venue to admit their sins
News is about depth, not puff or velocity
Booming India, but too few toilets
Delayed Court decisions doesn't mean one may continue to play 'Great Game'
We need media to reflect on data and offer public a balanced view
Big polluters can lead in forging common purpose
The weighty issue of choosing a leader
EU-India Relations - Facing similar challenges
Educating with a goal
The Judicial Malaise
We are growing out, but not growing up
EU´s retrenchment enigma
Urbulence in the Eurozone and the effect on SMEs
Skolkovo May Help Russia to Diversify
Make things more effective
Tapping into the Commonwealth connection
Innovative models for public finance
Facebook revolution but Indian style
The feel-good factor
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
India needs to be taller and stronger
China´s low sales volume...
Nations playing leapfrog
Shafts of sunlight
What webs we weave
As performers go to Davos, the circus steals the show
Can we control the politicians?
 
2011
Europe’s reminiscence
China firms should go for win-win in overseas ventures
Of procrastination...
Making sense of profiteering
Truth about financial mess must be laid bare
Small is also beautiful
China can help Europe with debt crisis
Excising the cancer of global corruption
Education, a critical asset
Arab uprisings set in motion forces of creative destruction
A new era of change
We must ensure better education for all
Beijing wary of bankrolling a lost cause
Asean's re-emergence as a local and global leader
Why India's Role in the Global Economy is Still Work in Progress
Its the leadership, stupid!
Reverse globalisation: The new buzzword
Asian investors - a private equity opportunity
By Frank-Jürgen Richter
Realdeals, March 20 2012
 

Europe is making overtures to Asian investors, with private equity leading the way, says Dr Frank-Jürgen Richter of Horasis.

At a glance

  1. Europe is attracting large amounts of FDI, particularly from China and India
  2. Competing on a global basis requires root-and-branch change in the way companies operate - as well as investment
  3. Private equity's skills in this area, plus the depressed valuations of European companies, present a major opportunity

The last few years have been terrible for Europe. The sovereign debt crisis, combined with overall stagnation in most European economies, has led to unprecedented uncertainty. Such turbulence has also led to an overall fall in foreign direct investment (FDI) globally.

Most countries in Europe have realised that the solution to these issues lies outside Europe. In February 2011, Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, presented a paper entitled "Trade and Investment for Growth" to the parliament. The paper laid out the government's plans to encourage exports from the UK, enhance inward investment and strengthen international trading systems. The UK remains one of the top destinations in Europe for FDI. Cable's paper shows the way forward for other European economies as well.

The UK and France have retained their dominance in European FDI but other countries, such as Germany and members of Eastern Europe, are providing stiff competition. Sectors in which we are seeing the most action include business services, software, machinery and the automotive industries.

There are a host of new opportunities in this interconnected world. New consumers in BRIC countries are an exciting prospect for European companies. Apart from opportunities to expand in Europe, there are several possibilities in fast-growing emerging markets.

The challenge of global competition

Competing globally will require grass-root changes in the way companies function. With the support of British government, over 20,000 SMEs have ventured into new international markets and secured over £800m (EUR961.2m) of high-value opportunities overseas in just one year. These changes require financing.

Indian industrial giant Tata has invested over $15bn (EUR11.4bn) in buying iconic British companies including Jaguar Land Rover, Corus and Tetley. With Tata's investments, the companies have grown considerably. They have been able to bring in innovation and expand their markets in emerging economies. In fact, Tata is now one of the UK's largest employers in the manufacturing industry with over 45,000 staff.

Chinese push

In 2011, Europe emerged as the leading destination for China's international investment, ahead of the US. This month, China Investment Corp received $30bn from the Chinese government with the intention of targeting Europe. Chinese companies are also aggressively acquiring assets in the continent - one of the most notable being Geely Holding Group's purchase of Volvo Car Corporation from Ford in 2010.

The trend for international investments in Europe has been to acquire strategic assets that have an ability to scale up and expand. Brands with a significant global legacy and heritage are also highly sought after.

Private equity involvement

This is where privatee equity comes in. Such firms are playing a dominant role in bringing in investment to Europe and reviving economies. They are helping European companies become more competitive globally by augmenting growth and developing business beyond boundaries. They are also playing a major role in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation. A host of private equity firms are also talking about a strategy involving buying in Europe and expanding in Asia.

David M Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, said at the recent SuperReturn International conference that Europe is currently one of the world´s greatest investment opportunities. There´s no other part of the world that will see so many assets sold at a discount. With the current slowdown in European economies, the valuation of many companies has become extremely interesting for buyout houses, and once invested they have the necessary nous to catch the eye of cash-rich Asian investors.

 

Dr Frank-Jürgen Richter is founder and chairman of Horasis.


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