Lex 2010-03-16

For emerging market predators, these are busy times: equity and debt markets are offering cheap capital. Bond issuance has set new records, while the yield spread on JPMorgan’s EMBI+ index has narrowed to its tightest over US treasuries since June 2008, at just 2.57 percentage points, down from almost 7 percentage points in March 2009 and a fraction of the almost 17 percentage point peak in 1998. For the moment, it is state-controlled companies – such as India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and China’s CNOOC – doing much of the bidding, as governments look to secure energy resources to fuel their growing economies.

A KPMG report shows that emerging market companies stepped up acquisition activity into developed markets during the last six months of 2009. It recorded 102 emerging-to-developed deals, compared with 78 in the first half. By comparison, the number of developed-to-emerging deals fell for the fourth consecutive six-month period. If India’s boldest private predators did not now have their tails between their legs – with the exception of Bharti Airtel and Reliance Industries, both still keen to globalise – the eastwards shift would be more marked.

The fact that some of India’s biggest firms stumbled when they ventured overseas has prompted some caution. The sight of Tata ruing the price it paid for Corus and Jaguar Land Rover, for example, and of Aditya Birla group’s Hindalco subsidiary blowing $6bn on Canada’s Novelis in the bubble days of 2007 has been sobering. India dominated emerging-to-developed deals up until 2008. But China now leads the way, recording 30 deals in the second half of 2009 while India registered just 25 deals in the whole year. If poor M&A returns are any guide, this may be one rivalry Indian companies can afford not to indulge in.

英国《金融时报》 Lex专栏 2010-03-16

新兴市场“掠食者”现在十分忙碌:股票与债券市场正提供着廉价资金。债券发行数量屡创新高;摩根大通新兴市场债券指数(JPMorgan’s Embi Index)对美国国债的息差,已收窄至2008年6月以来的最低水平——仅为2.57个百分点,远低于2009年3月近7个百分点,与1998年近17个百分点的峰值水平相比更是低得惊人。眼下,大举竞标的都是一些国有“掠食者”——如印度石油天然气公司(Oil and Natural Gas Corporation)和中国的中海油(CNOOC),这些国家的政府试图获取能源资源,为自身不断增长的经济提供动力。

毕马威(KPMG)的一份报告显示,2009年下半年,新兴市场公司加大了在发达市场开展收购活动的力度。报告记录了102笔新兴市场进军发达市场的交易,上半年的数字为78笔。相反,发达市场进军新兴市场的交易数量,则出现了连续第四个半年度的下降。如果不是印度最大胆的私人“掠食者”现在夹起了尾巴——Bharti Airtel与印度信实工业(Reliance Industries)两家仍热衷于全球化的公司除外——东移的趋势将更为明显。

印度一些最大的企业前往海外冒险时遇到了挫折,这引发了一些谨慎情绪。例如,塔塔(Tata)对收购哥鲁氏(Corus)与捷豹-路虎(Jaguar Land Rover)时支付的价格感到懊悔;埃迪亚贝拉集团(Aditya Birla Group)的子公司Hindalco在2007年泡沫时期斥资60亿美元购买加拿大Novelis的案例,则令人警醒。直到2008年,印度一直在新兴市场进军发达市场的交易中占据领先地位。但如今则是中国领先,在2009年下半年进行了30笔交易,而印度全年仅为25笔。如果说糟糕的并购回报率有什么指示意义的话,(它说明)印度公司可能承担不起沉溺于这样一种竞争。