XIAMEN, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- China's outbound direct investment (ODI) reached a record high of 87.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, making it the world's third-largest outward investor during the period, new government data show.
In breakdown, financial ODI hit 10.07 billion U.S.dollars last year, while the country's overseas investments in non-financial sectors surged 13.3 percent to 77.73 billion U.S. dollars, according to a report jointly released on Monday by China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC), National Bureau of Statistics and State Administration of Foreign Exchange.
By the end of 2012, the accumulated ODI that Chinese companies had invested stood at 531.94 billion U.S. dollars, ranking China the 13th in the world. Chinese investors established about 22,000 overseas enterprises in 179 countries and regions.
"About 79.2 percent of them have made profits or maintained a balance," said Zhou Zhencheng, commercial counselor for the MOC's Department of Outward Investment and Economic Cooperation.
He forecast that China's ODI is likely to grow 15 percent this year.
Despite the complicated economic situation, Chinese investors showed strong enthusiasm for outbound mergers and acquisitions (M&A) last year. In 2012, Chinese companies engaged in 457 M&A deals, with the total value reaching a record high of 43.4 billion U.S. dollars.
China started to release official annual ODI data in 2003. The country's ODI flows have maintained steady growth in 10 consecutive years, with an average annual growth rate as high as 41.6 percent between 2002 and 2012.