March 7, 2018 / 1:57 PM / 8 months ago

German foreign investment threshold was set too high - senior official

BERLIN, March 7 (Reuters) - The German government set the threshold at which it can intervene in response to foreign investments in German companies too high and may have to think about lowering it, a senior official in the German economy ministry said on Wednesday.

The government tightened controls on foreign investments last year after a series of high-profile takeovers in Germany by Chinese firms, setting the threshold at which Berlin can intervene at a shareholding of 25 percent.

“In my opinion the 25 percent threshold has not really worked,” Matthias Machnig, state secretary in the ministry, said at a debate on foreign investments hosted by members of the Greens party in parliament.

The comments come amid an intense debate about Chinese investments in Europe, fuelled recently by the move by Chinese carmaker Geely to acquire a stake of almost 10 percent in Germany’s Daimler. (Reporting by Noah Barkin Editing by Michelle Martin)

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