South Africa not against foreign investment

South Africa is not against foreign investment, Business Day reported on Tuesday, amid worries that its intervention in takeover hearings involving WalMart and Kansai Paint could put off investors.

WalMart is the last stages taking control of local retailer Massmart for $2,3-billion, a deal the government said would open floodgates to imports that would undermine domestic manufacturers.

Japan’s Kansai Paint, which is the middle of $260-million takeover of Freeworld Coatings, is also facing opposition from the government .

Business Day newspaper said the trade and industry department was worried that Kansai was taking over a unique South African technology that added a local component in auto manufacturing.

“It’s important to stress that the department is motivated by these considerations and this intervention should not be construed as opposition to foreign direct investment,” Lionel October, the department’s director general was quoted as saying.

No one in the department could immediately comment. — Reuters

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