U.S. blocks Alibaba's Ant Financial Acquisition of MoneyGram

US-POLITICS-TRUMP

"Ma, the founder of Alibaba, the world's largest online commerce platform, met with [President-elect] Trump past year and said he could create 1 million jobs in the U.S.by helping small businesses sell their products to the Chinese".

A United States government panel has rejected Ant Financial's proposed takeover of MoneyGram on national security grounds, the companies announced on Tuesday, as the USA continues to tighten oversight of Chinese investment, Reuters reports.

Trump told reporters that he and Ma had a "great meeting" and would do great things together. The companies couldn't obtain approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment, MoneyGram said in a statement. That compares with 15 percent for Asia-Pacific-focused deals and 8 percent in Europe.

The de facto veto is just the latest move by a Trump Administration that has shown it won't let United States companies in the strategic tech and financial industries be acquired by Chinese counterparts.

Lawmakers are expected to present a new draft of the bills in March or April and "people are pretty confident" that some form of the bills will be passed, according to a China-based lawyer familiar with CFIUS matters. A bipartisan effort is underway to pass a law to further strengthen CFIUS in order to address security concerns from Chinese and other acquisitions.


However, the USA government has blocked the acquisition of Moneygram over national security concerns, according to "Reuters".

Xinhua said on Wednesday the U.S. However, Ant Financial has also revealed that it will also pursue alternative opportunities having failed to acquire Moneygram.

"Similar to US government pension funds investing in American companies, a small number of Chinese government investment funds have minority stakes in Ant Financial", the company said.

The deal, announced a year ago, had been submitted to CFIUS several times, but failed to allay its concerns about the security of U.S. customers' data. In November a year ago the pair agreed to extend the deadline for a second time to April 2018 to allow them to amend the deal terms further to satisfy CFIUS. The charm offensive that Ma began soon after Donald Trump's election, and continued through 2017, clearly didn't help dispel the distrust of China that's taken hold in Washington-and looks set to deepen this year. U.S. politicians and military leaders have also urged the administration to take a closer look at Chinese investments in America, particularly in the technology industry.

The merger was originally valued up to $1.2 billion.

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