The Gold Medal for Buying Up Brazilian Assets Goes to China Inc.

China may be lagging behind in the medal count during this year’sOlympic games in Rio de Janeiro, but it’s winning the competition for Brazilian assets.

No country has done more acquisitions in Brazil this year than China, which grabbed the No. 1 ranking by deal value for the first time on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Chinese firms have announced $4 billion of purchases in Brazil so far this year, the highest total for a comparable period since 2010.

Latin America’s biggest economy has turned into a fertile hunting ground for Chinese acquirers, as Brazilian firms look for suitors to help them ride out the nation’s longest recession in decades. A 50 percent drop in the real over the past five years has increased Chinese firms’ buying power, while political opposition to takeovers is proving a smaller hurdle than in the U.S. and U.K.

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