Foreign investment to scale $1.1 trillion UN
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Sun Dec 10 18:19:01 MST 2000
10 December 2000
Foreign investment to scale $1.1 trillion: UN
GENEVA: More than $1.1 trillion is expected to be invested abroad in 2000 -
a fivefold increase over 1990 - the United Nations said on Friday.
More than four-fifths of the money is invested in developed countries, and
most of it is due to cross-border mergers and acquisitions, said the UN
Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Last year's total was $720 billion.
"Western Europe continues to be the largest host region to foreign direct
investment, receiving an estimated $597 billion," UNCTAD said in a
statement. It added that a significant part of this was due to the $180
billion takeover of Germany's Mannesmann by Britain's Vodafone AirTouch.
The United States remains the single largest target country for cross-border
mergers and acquisitions, with sales of US firms to foreign concerns
expected to top $300 billion this year.
Despite the dramatic overall rise, investment in developing countries will
be the same as last year, at about $190 billion, UNCTAD said. That means
those countries' share of the world total will fall to 17 per cent, with
China and Brazil taking the lion's share.
Increases in investment are expected in Egypt, Tunisia, Mexico, Venezuela,
Malaysia and Taiwan, the agency said. The largest slump is in Argentina,
where UNCTAD predicts investment will be down by $15 billion.
In central and eastern Europe, investment is expected to reach $30 billion
this year, up from $21 billion last year, with the biggest increases coming
in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia.
UNCTAD said this was due to "a combination of political stability, lower
country risks and relatively high skills."
"European firms are expanding in this region, which is increasingly
recognised as a competitive European production site.
The expansion is also in response to the expected enlargement of the
European Union," UNCTAD added. (AP)
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