China's Asia Aluminum Fearful of Foreign Ownership?

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What’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander. According to this article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, aluminum producer Norsk Hydro had to drop it’s bid for China’s Asian Aluminum Holdings Ltd, a company that produces aluminum extrusions. The angle of the story examined how many foreign debt holders will receive only one cent on the dollar, as the company owes $1.2b to foreign creditors.

But the part of the story that caught our eye had to deal with why the bid had not been accepted by Asia Aluminum. According to the article, The company [Asia Aluminum] could not be sold to foreigners, said the company’s chairman, Kwong Wui-chun. Instead the company would rather pursue a management-led buyout. Foreign investors will be left with nothing.

It looks like China is using the same arguments that other countries have used against it. Is this a case of chicken vs. egg?

–Lisa Reisman

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