Germany to tighten checks on foreign investment plans

BERLIN — The German government plans to tighten rules on foreign investments in some companies to lower the threshold at which it can consider blocking such plans. The move comes amid increasing concern about Chinese investors.

The Economy Ministry is proposing changing the rules so that authorities can launch an in-depth investigation of whether an investor from outside the European Union can go ahead with an investment if the planned stake is 15 percent, rather than 25 percent at present.

Ministry spokeswoman Tanja Alemany said Wednesday the change would apply to companies in the defense sector, critical infrastructure or areas such as IT security.

She said that "we do not want to prohibit more" deals, but "we want to be able to be more attentive where Germany's legitimate security interests are affected."

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