My, how things have changed! It wasn't long ago that, in deference to their political systems, Chinese and Russian investments in Western companies were unheard of.
But now, with Russian investments proliferating in such entities as steel companies in the U.S., and Chinese interests increasing in a variety of energy, mining, and resource companies, the picture has changed dramatically. Indeed, in the latest example of probably canny investing from China, an unnamed Chinese investment fund appears to have taken down a 1% stake in London-based BP
The investment, which gives the fund a position in a company that is both a major global oil and gas player and the largest natural gas producer in the U.S., follows the accumulation of a similarly sized position by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange in France's Total
Aluminum Corp. of China
For my money, the Chinese have made a couple of wise Western big oil investments thus far. Total is a solid entity, and BP, which has been hit in the past few years by a host of misfortunes, including a tragic refinery explosion in Texas, a pipeline leak in Alaska, and a management shakeup at the top, appears to have potential as well.
In fact, while it doesn't yet sport the margins or returns of, say, an ExxonMobil
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