Germany is to increase its powers to block foreign investments by significantly lowering the threshold for deals that can be subject to ministerial veto, in a further sign of growing protectionist sentiment towards Chinese acquisitions.
Berlin can veto deals that involve the purchase of at least 25 percent of the equity of a German company by an entity from outside the EU, and only if they endanger public order or national security. Ministers now want to reduce that threshold to 15 per cent.
Peter Altmaier, economics minister, told the newspaper Die Welt that the threshold would be lowered “so that we can check more acquisitions in sensitive sectors of the economy”. Die Welt said the new bill could come into force this year.