MNCs in the News*

July 27th, 2017
In rare praise for foreign firms, Chinese President Xi Jinping lauds their contribution to China and says the Chinese government must do more to attract and retain them. The China Banking Regulatory Commission imposes strict limits on Chinese banks providing support for overseas deals by Dalian Wanda. Some feel the United States (US) Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is becoming stricter which, in turn, may hinder Chinese investment flows in the US. Toyota continues USD $310 million UK plant expansion after receiving Brexit reassurances from British government. Japanese financial institutions move to set up subsidiary businesses in the EU as Brexit jeopardizes their financial services licenses. Hyundai to open fifth Chinese assembly plant as compact vehicle sales are expected to rise before Chinese government’s increase in purchase taxes next year. South Korea’s Nexen Tire Corp. signs memorandum of understanding with United Arab Emirates’ state-owned Mubadala Development Co. Indonesian branch of ExxonMobil drops talks on East Natuna natural gas block, with Jakarta saying it intends to invite firm to discuss project again. Economist says Malaysia to become key economic corridor because of strong economic fundamentals, strategic geographical location and Prime Minister’s diplomatic efforts. China’s restrictions on bank loans to Dalian Wanda Group diminish prospects of Bandar Malaysia project. Vietnam’s Prime Minister signs decision to boost his country’s solar power development which is spurring much foreign investor interest. At HCM City conference, Laotian provinces court investment from Vietnam.
July 18th, 2017
Chinese inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in June shows slow growth year-over-year (YOY) while the first half of 2017 showed a very slight decline in inward FDI (IFDI) YOY. Twenty percent of American firms in Shanghai plan to redirect their investment elsewhere. China’s non-financial outward FDI (OFDI) over the first six months of 2017 YOY plummets due to capital controls, tight loan supervision, and overseas factors. Almost a dozen members of American Congress ask US Securities and Exchange Commission to block Chinese-led consortium from buying Chicago Stock Exchange. At a recent conference, Chinese officials tout dramatic future growth in Chinese OFDI and moneys supplied for One Belt, One Road projects. Japan External Trade Organization and India’s provincial governments increase investment cooperation for special industrial zones to meet expansion needs of Japanese firms. Toshiba still negotiating with bidders, as company strives to fulfill government demand to keep chip technology under domestic ownership. SK Group moving to aggressively increase relations with Chinese officials. China considers investment to connect Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor with Kunming's special economic zone. Malaysian financier central figure in probes related to plundered Malaysian state development fund 1Malaysian Development Bhd. Vietnamese government gradually opens its transportation and logistics sector, providing investment opportunities for foreign firms.
July 13th, 2017
Speakers at event in Beijing argue greater market openness in China might facilitate greater Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States (US). Iranian, Chinese, and French, public and private firms, sign massive USD $4.8 billion deal to develop Iran’s South Pars (SP11) gas field. US considers applying economic sanctions on Chinese companies that do business with North Korea even if such activities are not prohibited by the United Nations Security Council. Japan and EU agree to broad outlines of new free trade agreement against the backdrop of US protectionist turn. China’s growing labor shortages, flowing from government policies, among other things, provide Japanese robotic manufacturing companies with investment opportunities. Hyundai Heavy Industries signs memorandum of understanding with state owned Saudi Aramco for engine plant in Saudi Arabia. Joint Korean and US Chambers of Commerce business summit results in Korean firms investing USD $12.8 billion in US. PT Freeport’s contract extension yet to be decided by Jakarta contrary to some media reports. Tender for Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail attracts strong global interest from potential bidders. Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance issues Request for Proposal for firms interested in developing the Bandar Malaysia project. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discuss enhancing defense, cyber security and trade ties between both countries. Vietnam to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in renewable energy projects, reflecting country’s bid to increase electricity from renewable energy sources. Real estate FDI second most popular sector for foreign investment in Vietnam because of economic growth and new government policies.
July 4th, 2017
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) plans to create database with information on foreign investors. China’s MOFCOM and National Development and Reform Commission role out first nationwide negative list, which has 30 fewer restricted and prohibited sectors than the 2015 list. China’s Leading Group for Comprehensive Reform calls for more statistics on and the better monitoring of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). Despite Brexit, many expect Chinese firms will remain interested in investing in the United Kingdom (UK). Takata files for bankruptcy protection in the US and Japan due to massive recall, with viable operations bought by Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems. Korea Economic Research Institute urges Korean government to exempt taxes on income earned by South Korean multinationals abroad to encourage capital repatriation. Samsung joins increasing list of international firms boosting employment in the US in line with US President Donald Trump’s push for more manufacturing jobs. Jakarta plans to revise its Negative Investment List to encourage more foreign investment. World Bank states that foreign investment in Indonesia is still too low and recommends various policy changes. Minister says Malaysia’s government constantly striving to attract foreign investment. Former Bank Negara Malaysia governor says Malaysians should view China’s increasing investment rationally to evaluate benefits to country.
June 26th, 2017
China’s State Council announces that 27 restrictions relating to foreign direct investment (FDI) in its free-trade zones have been eliminated. China’s non-financial outward FDI (OFDI) plunges by almost 53 percent for the first five months of the year year-over-year (YOY). Chinese legal experts suggest new international legal mechanisms may be needed to deal with disputes involving Chinese OFDI. China’s Huadian, a state-owned enterprises (SOE), and Russia’s TGC-2 announce nearly $600 million joint venture power project has come online. After years of decline because of political tensions Japanese companies now more willing to invest in China. Survey shows Japanese firms willing to increase investment in Thailand especially in Eastern Economic Corridor. Samsung Electronics Co. about to finalize talks on expanding its US production facilities, a move motivated by Donald Trump’s election. Jakarta promises more easing of rules to increase foreign investment. PGN, Indonesia’s National Gas company, plans to make Batam Indonesia a center of natural gas supplies and a “paradise” for energy investors. Malaysia Digital Economy Corp welcomes Japanese ICT firms to use Malaysia as a stepping-stone for entering the Southeast Asian market. Malaysia’s Construction Industry Development Board to participate in bidding process for Indian railway stations’ makeover.
June 19th, 2017
American and other trade unions shake and flip over potential risks to McDonald’s workers after the firm sells its self-owned China stores to Citic and Carlyle Group. United States (US) moving to strengthen review processes to encompass Chinese investment through mechanisms that are not yet subject to Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review processes. Responding to news that US is striving to tighten the CFIUS review process, China calls on the US to avoiding politicizing “commercial takeovers.” Canyon Bridge files for third time for CFIUS review of its deal with Lattice Semiconductor. Thailand’s government may loosen licensing requirements for Chinese engineers working on Thai-Sino railway to the consternation of local engineer associations. Japan’s Maritime Air Systems and Technologies (MAST) show offers Tokyo venue to boost military sales with Southeast Asia. Japanese firms carefully evaluate business relations and assets in Qatar following country’s crisis. China blacklists 24 South Korean companies following continued anger over THAAD system. Daewoo Engineering and Lotte Engineering & Construction each sign MOU with Laos’s Petroleum Trading Lao Public Co for infrastructure projects. Indonesian government invites Chinese investors to participate in railway construction project in Bali. CAT Telecom infrastructure development plans continue to drive Thailand to be Greater Mekong Subregion’s digital hub. Lawsuit alleges money misappropriated from Malaysian state fund was used to finance USD $2.2 billion acquisition of US energy firm. Malaysian Minister announces that Malaysian companies will continue to invest in Indonesia. Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister encourages businesses from both countries to foster their investment partnership. Vietnam has come up with a new decree to deal with transfer pricing by multinational corporations.
June 13th, 2017
At the 5th Global CEO Roundtable Summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang states that his government will move in several areas to improve the environment for foreign businesses. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) dismisses European Union (EU) Chamber of Commerce in China criticisms of China’s investment environment while opining China still welcomes European investment. ZTE Nigeria denies it is abusing expatriate quota limits and touts its employment practices in the country. Nomura Holding Inc. acquires Venezuelan state oil bonds for USD $100 million provoking strong denunciations by the political opposition. Western Digital abandons plans for a majority share in Toshiba chip division while trying to use the International Court of Arbitration to block Toshiba’s creation of a separate memory chip subsidiary. Hyundai Motors joins smart car partnership with Baidu to foster better Korean-Sino relations. Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries establishes joint venture with Zvezda Shipbuilding to service Russian state-owned enterprise ship needs. Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia seeks support from Indonesian Vice President to implement Jakarta-Bandung bullet train project. United States President invites Thai Prime Minister to visit White House in July to discuss investment and other issues. Sale of Petronas’ 49% share in offshore gas block advances to second round despite political opposition. International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa urges Malaysians to adopt rational attitude towards its local equity ownership policy. IE Singapore signs memorandum of understanding with Myanmar Investment Commission. Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Party Committee welcomes more US investment. Vietnamese Prime Minister promises to improve business environment of his country to attract more Japanese investment.
June 6th, 2017
China’s Global Times touts that China remains a popular investment destination for foreign investors. China delays the implementation of a cybersecurity law rule on cross-border data movement for 18 months. Surging Chinese investment in Malaysia is oriented towards the construction sector and creates many, albeit low-skilled, jobs. Qatar may force Japanese companies out of investments in Qatar Petroleum projects. Japanese corporations increasingly partnering with South Korean firms in establishing overseas projects. Hyundai Engineering wins USD $890 million power plant deal in Malaysia. Samsung Heavy Industries snares multi-billion dollar LNG facility construction contract off Mozambique. Jakarta plans to ease business for investors operating in special economic zones. Malaysia and China to organize meetings on construction of three new ports and Bandar Malaysia project. Survey shows this year’s Japanese investment in Malaysia may rise by at least 30 percent. Vietnamese lawmakers call for public private partnerships to attract investment in railway sector. Vietnam’s Prime Minister says time is ripe for American companies to further engage in economic restructuring of his country
May 31st, 2017
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) reports the country will significantly reduce its negative list for inward foreign direct investment (FDI). China counters German criticisms of its market access by saying it will open its auto sector and that Germany had profited substantially from China’s past opening. China’s new cybersecurity law is sparking foreign companies to move to comply and deterring foreign company hardware/software sales. From January through April, China’s non-financial outward FDI drops significantly versus the same period last year. Japanese firms cooperate with US counterparts to develop missile defense radar. Japanese firms not enthused about China’s OBOR and see better business opportunities flowing from other initiatives. Japanese multinational firms that have invested heavily in Africa are worried about the continent’s prolonged economic slump. The leader of Korean SK Group leave for Beijing to meet with Chinese officials to normalize relations after his country’s installation of THAAD. K-Sure signs USD $3 billion deal to finance clean fuels project in Kuwait. Geely buys 49.9 percent of troubled Malaysian carmaker Proton. Malaysian Prime Minister says government programs make Malaysia’s FDI inflows for this year surpass last year’s. Vietnam plans to set up three special economic zones to boost foreign investment. Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister reiterates country’s dedication to welcoming foreign investors.
May 23rd, 2017
Almost five dozen global business groups send letter to top Chinese officials asking China to postpone the implementation of its cybersecurity law. Foreign pharmaceutical companies seek new ways to get high off China’s pharmaceutical policy reforms. Several American senators scream that Ant Financial’s takeover of MoneyGram is a national security threat. Joint strategic and security concerns over China’s Belt and Road initiative drive Japan and India to engage in new economic partnership. China’s economic retaliation against South Korea following South Korea’s adoption of THAAD missile system decreases after the installation of a new Korean government. Daewoo E&C and Hanwha E&C partner with Saudi Arabian government to develop new Saudi Arabian city. Wanda Group Chairman meets with Malaysia’s Prime Minister and considers investment exceeding USD $10 billion in Bandar Malaysia development. Malaysia’s troubled carmaker Proton seeks to sell up to 51 percent stake to foreign investor. Survey shows that despite government encouragement to go overseas smaller Singapore businesses emphasize local investments. Vietnam’s President welcomes Chinese hi-tech investment as Hanoi pursues a green economy and economic growth. Transfer pricing continues to be a serious problem with foreign investment in Vietnam.

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