Reports and papers

Investors beware: Europe’s top firms are highly exposed to China

11 Apr 2022 - 15:36
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Europe’s top firms are highly exposed to China, and therefore to China-related geopolitical risk. This risk is only set to increase in the coming years, as geopolitical tensions between China, the US and the EU are not expected to decrease. Moreover, case studies of LVMH, HSBC, ASML and BMW show that some of Europe’s biggest listed firms could and should offer investors more transparency on their risk-management strategies. Intelligence on China and geopolitical risk exposure is key for investors, and investors that get ahead of the curve may have the edge in the long term.

This report is aimed at investors in Europe’s biggest listed firms. It argues that investors have a growing need for transparency amongst European biggest companies with regard to their strategies in dealing with China-related geopolitical risk. Even investors without direct interests in China are or will be affected by China-related geopolitical risk due to the various forms of exposure of companies in the European home market. This means that investors may be increasingly exposed to the risks linked to great power competition, without having the knowledge necessary to anticipate geopolitical changes.
As geopolitical tensions between China, the US and the EU are not expected to decrease, investors would be wise to seek greater transparency about European companies’ exposure to the Chinese market – and indeed get ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage by investing in those firms that have forward-looking geopolitical strategies in place. This report aims to put this point on investors’ strategic agenda by making the following three points:

  1. Europe’s top firms are highly exposed to China.
  2. China-related geopolitical risk is spreading.
  3. Case studies suggest that Europe’s top firms may not be sufficiently transparent about geopolitical risk management.

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