Rio/Chinalco sparks protectionism debate

Author: | Published: 10 Jun 2009

Eighteen months ago speculation surrounded how foreign businesses could make strategic acquisitions in China. Minority stakes were thought to be the best way to duck under the unflinching gaze of the country’s Ministry of Commerce.
Times have changed. Last week’s collapse in Chinalco’s $19.5 billion investment in Rio Tinto illustrated not only that the direction of capital flow has shifted but also that the problems facing Chinese bidders are similar to those facing foreign buyers 18 months ago.Some have complained that although the deal ultimately failed for commercial reasons, the Australian government’s handling of the deal, and other natural resources bids, has been unclear...