China Overseas Finance Inventory Database

A comprehensive database on Chinese equity and debt investments in power generation sector in Belt and Road Initiative Countries.

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The COFI database includes power-generation projects in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries financed by Chinese corporations and banks that reached financial closure from 2000 to 2021. Types of financing include debt and equity investment, with the latter including greenfield foreign direct investments (FDI) and cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As).

COFI is consolidated using nine source databases using both automated join method in R Studio, and manual joining by analysts. The database includes power plant characteristics data and investment detail data. It captures 509 power plants in 82 BRI countries, including 265 equity investment transactions and 319 debt investment transactions made by Chinese investors. Key data points for financial transactions in COFI include the financial instrument (equity or debt), investor name, amount, and financial close year. Key technical characteristics tracked for projects in COFI include name, installed capacity, commissioning year, country, and primary fuel type.

This project is a collaboration among the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, the Inter-American Dialogue, the China-Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University (CARI), and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The detailed methodology is given in the World Resources Institute publication “China Overseas Finance Inventory”.


When analyzing debt investment amounts, users should be aware of the difference between loan commitment and actual disbursement. Our database records the loan commitment for a certain year and not actual disbursement. The investment amount should only provide a rough picture of where Chinese companies are investing and not how much their exact portion is.

In this version of the database, all equity investment amounts are missing. This is because the equity amount is either missing or estimated in the source databases.


Zhou L., Z. Ma, S. Liu, X. Ma, K. Acker, M. Myers, D. Brautigam, and K. Gallagher. 2022. “China Overseas Finance Inventory Database.” Technical Note. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available online at:

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License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Full license text available at Creative Commons Attribution 4.0


Page Last Updated: August 10, 2022

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