Gung Hey Fat Choy to you all.
As we have been celebrating the New Chinese Year of the Dragon in the West End today at another end of the West End, we have just recovered from Oxford St flooding chaos. How these two events related?
Well now the Chinese are investing in our infrastructure with the purchase of 8.7 per cent of Thames Water holding company by China Investment Company (CIC), l just hope Oxford St flood is not a bad omen. As its part of water and sewage infrastructure that Thames Water has in London that the Chinese have just brought a major stake into.
This all apparently happened soon after a trip before Davos by George Osborne, kowtowing in Beijing to sell our infrastructural projects to Chinese authorities who seating on huge trade balances and saving of their own people are looking at investments around the globe. So not surprisingly the Chancellor hailed China’s state-run investment fund’s decision to buy a share of Thames Water as a ” vote of confidence in Britain” as a place to invest, so soon after his trip. The reality is that the CIC stake in Thames Water had been negotiated over many months but it made for a good news story in the FT weekend for the Chancellor, last weekend.
Who knows what else had been offered to the Chinese for them to invest into our infrastructure but l won’t be surprised if HS2 and even Boris fantasy island had been as well. HS2 would clearly be something the Chinese authority would feel comfortable investing into with their vast experience of delivering similar schemes on mainland China. It may well be that the Chinese are in the future more then just the banker of such future ventures but actually delivering and running these services, once its got the planning approvals.
So we certainly have to watch this space but its clear as hell the Chinese are here to stay for the long run with such investments and its clearly just an indication of the future sharpe of things to come, with their preference for low risk physical assets that carry steady returns.