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中资竞购澳大利亚供电企业受阻

更新时间:2016-8-14 10:27:03 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Australia Rejects Bids From Chinese Investors for Electricity Provider
中资竞购澳大利亚供电企业受阻

HONG KONG — Citing national security concerns, the Australian government on Thursday rejected competing bids from Hong Kong and mainland Chinese groups for control of a company that supplies electricity to Sydney and neighboring areas.

香港——周四,澳大利亚政府以国家安全方面的担忧为由,拒绝来自香港和中国大陆的投资者提出的竞购案,它们要收购的是一家服务于悉尼及其周边地区的供电企业。

Key sectors of Australia’s economy, like mining and agriculture, rely heavily on Chinese demand. But local wariness toward China’s growing economic influence has risen in recent years amid a wave of Chinese takeovers of Australian businesses.

澳大利亚的一些关键经济部门,比如采矿业和农业,严重依赖来自中国的需求。但近年来,随着许多澳大利亚企业的控制权接二连三地落入中国人手中,当地人越来越忧心于中国日益增长的经济影响力。

At the same time, an influx of wealthy buyers from China has helped push up real estate prices in urban centers like Sydney and Melbourne, pricing local residents out of the market.

与此同时,来自中国的富有买家大量涌入,推高了悉尼、墨尔本等城市中心地带的房产价格,把支付不起高价的当地居民挤出了市场。

In response, the Australian government, in accordance with its foreign investment review legislation, has been carefully vetting the sale of key assets to Chinese interests and has blocked several high-profile transactions. Officials have also ordered Chinese buyers to sell homes acquired in violation of Australia’s restrictions on foreign investment in real estate.

作为回应,澳大利亚政府已经开始根据该国的外国投资审查法,仔细审查向中资企业出售重要资产之举,而且已经阻止了若干宗颇为引人瞩目的交易。针对一些违反外资限购房地产规定的中国买家,政府也要求其出售所购房产。

In the latest such action, the Australian treasurer, Scott Morrison, on Thursday rejected the bids for 50.4 percent of Ausgrid, an electricity provider with a 99-year lease to distribute power in the southeastern state of New South Wales.

类似举措的最新一例是,澳大利亚财政部长斯科特·莫里森(Scott Morrison)于周四拒绝了中国投资者对供电企业澳洲电网(Ausgrid)的竞标。这些投资者本打算以一份为期99年的租约取得澳洲电网50.4%的股权,并向东南部的新南威尔士州分销电力。

Mr. Morrison did not name the bidders, but news reports in Australia last month widely identified them as Cheung Kong Infrastructure, controlled by the family of the Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing; and the State Grid Corporation of China, a government-owned electricity transmission and distribution company that is China’s biggest.

莫里森没有对相关竞标企业指名道姓,但上个月,许多澳洲媒体都曾认定,它们分别是由香港亿万富翁李嘉诚家族控制的长江基建(Cheung Kong Infrastructure,简称CKI),以及国有的中国最大电力输送和分销企业国家电网。

“My preliminary view is that the foreign investment proposals put to me for this transaction are contrary to the national interest,” Mr. Morrison said in a news release. “National security issues were identified in critical power and communications services that Ausgrid provides to businesses and governments.”

“我的初步看法是,交到我手上的这些关乎该交易的外国投资提案与国家利益相悖,”莫里森在一篇新闻稿中表示。“澳洲电网为企业和政府提供的重要电力和通信服务涉及国家安全问题。”

Mr. Morrison also emphasized the importance of foreign investment to Australia’s economy and, in separate comments to reporters on Thursday, said that the nationality of the bidders was not a factor in his decision, which focused more on the specifics of the proposed deals.

莫里森也强调了外国投资对澳大利亚经济的重要性,并于周四另行告诉媒体记者,他主要是依据拟议中的具体交易内容做出了这一决定,竞标者的国籍不在他考虑的因素之列。

“The national security concerns were not country-specific and relate to the transaction structure and the nature of the assets,” he said.

“国家安全方面的担忧并非针对哪个国家,而是和交易结构以及资产的性质有关,”他说。

He said the bidders have until next Thursday to argue their cases before he makes a final ruling on the matter.

他说,在他就此事做出最终裁定前,也就是直至下周四,相关竞标者都可以为自己的提案辩护,

Representatives of State Grid did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

国家电网的代表未立即回复置评请求。

Cheung Kong Infrastructure noted that it had been operating power, water and gas networks in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand for 25 years.

长江基建则指出,过去25年时间里,它一直在英国、澳大利亚和新西兰运营着电力、水和天然气网络。

“We believe that the Australian government must have reasons beyond the obvious which led them to make today’s announcement,” the company said in a news release. “The issue is unrelated to CKI.”

“我们相信,除了公开的原因,肯定还有其他因素导致澳大利亚政府在今天宣布这样的消息,”该公司在一份新闻稿中表示。“问题与CKI无关。”

Ausgrid’s coverage area includes Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, and covers more than 22,000 square kilometers, or about 8,500 square miles — an area roughly the size of New Jersey.

澳洲电网的服务覆盖范围包括澳大利亚最大城市悉尼,覆盖面积为2.2万平方公里——与新泽西州大致相当。

Australian news reports had estimated a sale of the Ausgrid stake could have brought in more than 10 billion Australian dollars, or $7.7 billion, to the state government of New South Wales.

澳大利亚媒体估计,出售澳洲电网的股权或将为新南威尔士州政府带来超过100亿澳元(约合77亿美元)的进账。

Both of the bidders are already significant investors in the Australian electricity market. State Grid has stakes in three local power companies, while Cheung Kong Infrastructure owns electricity and gas distribution networks in several Australian states.

在澳大利亚的电力市场上,这两个竞标者都已经成为极具影响力的投资者。国家电网持有当地三家电力公司的股份,长江基建则在澳大利亚的几个州拥有电力和天然气分销网络。

Local business groups in Australia had lobbied for a more welcoming approach to the bids from China. They pointed out that the United States remains the country’s biggest foreign investor, with Chinese investment in Australia to date amounting to only one tenth of what America has spent.

澳大利亚当地的商业团体已经开始游说相关方面以更加友好的方式对待来自中国的竞标。它们指出,美国依然是澳大利亚最大的外国投资者,中国目前在澳大利亚的投资只相当于美国的十分之一。

Australia has blocked several high-profile deals involving buyers from China in recent years.

近年来,澳大利亚阻止了若干颇为引人瞩目的涉及中国买家的交易。

Last year, Australia’s treasurer at the time, Joe Hockey, ordered the head of Evergrande Real Estate Group, a Chinese developer, to sell a mansion he had acquired illegally in 2014 for 39 million dollars.

去年,澳大利亚时任财政部长乔·霍基(Joe Hockey)命令中国开发商恒大地产的老板卖掉其在2014年斥资3900万美元以非法方式购买的一栋豪宅。

In April, Mr. Morrison signaled his opposition to the acquisition of a cattle ranching company by a Chinese-led group. He cited the significant size of the firm’s sprawling ranchland, which covered 1 percent of Australia’s total area and 2 percent of its agricultural land.

今年4月份,莫里森就一个由中国投资者领衔的财团对一家畜牧企业的收购交易表示了反对意见。他给出的理由是,该公司的牧场面积过大,分别占澳大利亚总面积和农地总面积的1%和2%。

Even some Chinese investments that went through have stirred up controversy. Concerns arose in October that an agreement by a Chinese company to acquire the port of Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory, could open the door to spying on United States Marines, who train there several months of the year.

就连一些已经获得批准的投资项目也引发了争议。去年10月,一家中国公司通过一纸协议,取得了澳大利亚北领地自治区达尔文港口的控制权,有人担心这可能被用来监视每年在这里训练数月的美国海军陆战队。

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