Walk softly, and carry a big wallet

Wu Chen, CFO Magazine
August 01, 2006

The social tension that simmers beneath the rich/poor divide in China is now spilling over into foreign acquisitions. Some farmer-led protests against new developments have turned violent. Populist local economists and commentators have been attracting media attention by accusing the central government of selling valuable assets to foreign firms at huge discounts. Banking M&As are a typical target, because China had spent close to $45 billion to recapitalize some banks before selling small chunks of them to the likes of Bank of America and HSBC. No protests aimed at foreign acquirers have yet taken place, but the government is mindful of popular sentiment.

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