Who says American companies aren't investing? They are. Billions, in fact. Only, they are just not investing here in the U.S.
Atlanta based Coca-Cola (KO) plans to invest $4 billion in China, the company's CEO Muhtar Kent told reporters in Shanghai this week. It's the company's biggest planned investment in China since the 2009 investment of $2 billion. The investments will start next year and is part of the company's China capex until 2014.
Kent said the company is even considering listing its shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, adding itself to the list of mainstream brands listing their depositary receipts on exchanges outside of their home base. Massachusetts luggage maker Samsonite opted to list in Hong Kong in the second quarter rather than do its initial public offering on the NYSE. The new China investments will focus on innovation, infrastructure and expansion of its production capacity. The company now has six manufacturing centers in the country.
"U.S. corporations are actually in good shape and a lot of that is due to emerging markets, particularly the BRIC countries," fund manager Paul Dietrich of Foxhall Capital Management in Orange, Conn told Forbes on Friday. The BRIC countries are Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Low growth in the U.S. and Europe have essentially forced the hands of the big multinationals to look for growth elsewhere. "In this low growth environment, we will continue to see European and American multinational companies spending in countries far from home," says Martin Schulz, managing director of international equities at PNC Capital Advisors in Columbus, Ohio.