Sunday, February 25, 2007

South African companies in China

Sending coals to Newcastle is the phrase used for stuff like this...

....Beijing's largest daily newspaper is part-owned by a South African company. China's largest brewer is operated and part-owned by SABMiller, formerly South African Breweries. And two coal-to-liquid-fuel plants under consideration by South Africa's Sasol would, if built, make the energy giant the single-largest foreign investor in China, analysts say.

Mining and financial services companies are also moving to China, eager to gain a foothold in a market far larger than South Africa, which has 46 million people. China's population tops 1.3 billion.

"South Africans are actually trailblazers in China," said Martyn Davies, director of the Center for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University, speaking from Cape Town. "These investments are big, and they're building."

Davies estimated the total of South African investment in China (including SABMiller, which maintains stock market listings in London and Johannesburg) at nearly $2 billion, and that number could grow several times over if either of the two Sasol projects goes forward, at price tags the company now estimates at $5 billion to $6 billion each.

These totals far exceed the investment by Chinese companies in South Africa, where established firms have resisted major inroads even as they have become dominant players in other, less developed countries across the continent.....

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