Chinese Firms Shrug Off Brexit to Get Returns on U.K. Investment

(Bloomberg) -- Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Chinese companies’ commitment to the U.K. seems to be paying off.

The 750 largest Chinese-owned firms registered in Britain saw revenue grow by an average 11.6 percent last year, according to a report by Grant Thornton, pushing combined turnover up to 68 billion pounds ($90 billion). The largest gains were seen in manufacturing and financial services, reflecting a Chinese government strategy to invest more in industries with high-end products and know-how.

Chinese Firms Shrug Off Brexit to Get Returns on U.K. Investment

In real estate, investments dropped significantly amid higher controls of capital outflows. Still, Chinese interest in U.K. real estate remains high, the report said.

Companies from the rest of Europe are bracing for a potentially messy divorce between the U.K. and European Union -- with plans ranging from relocation to passing higher costs on to consumers -- yet Chinese investors still see a lot of upside in the country.

“Attractions such as a stable political, legal and social environment endure, while a weak pound and an increasingly difficult environment for Chinese investors in the U.S. and, to some extent, Europe add to the U.K.’s appeal,” the report said.

Chinese investments into the U.K. increased last year occurred against the backdrop of an overall drop in global outbound investments from China.

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