MNCs in the News-2017-12-22

China

A China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) official stated China’s Code of Conduct for outward foreign direct investment (FDI) and a blacklist would be coming soon. The official noted “the code for private companies indicates enterprises should exercise caution in high-leverage fundraising in foreign countries” and will “serve as warnings that the nation is not willing to support illegal activities or investment…contradictory to the overall objective of driving healthy domestic economic growth.” The goal of the Code and blacklist is to curb outward FDI (OFDI) risks (Wang Yanfei, “SOE Foreign Investment Risk Curbed,” China Daily, December 19, 2017, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201712/19/WS5a383e86a3108bc8c67357f8.html)

According to another media report, the NDRC Code of Conduct regulating OFDI by private firms says Chinese firms putting money overseas should “exercise caution, and respect Chinese and host-country rules, as well as intellectual property concerns.” Furthermore, they “‘should adhere to fair competition…and must not bribe local officials, or personnel from international organizations or related enterprises.’” The Code also calls for inter alia project environmental impact assessments/reviews of environmental track record of acquisition targets, setting up contingency plans, and training those sent overseas for work (“Update 1-China issues Guidelines for Overseas Investment by Private Firms,” Reuters, December 18, 2017, https://www.reuters.com/article/china-economy-odi/update-1-china-issues-...)

Japan

The United Kingdom (UK)’s nuclear regulator approved plans for an advanced boiling water nuclear reactor by Japan’s Hitachi as part of the UK’s efforts to replace the country’s aging energy infrastructure. Hitachi plans to construct two nuclear plants, one in Wales and one in England, and is currently working with London on a financing scheme. The nuclear power project is expected to provide power to over 10 million households at a lower cost than previous nuclear projects and create tens of thousands of employment opportunities (“Hitachi N-plant set for U.K. govt funding plan,” The Japan News, December 15, 2017, http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004129704)

Japanese screen maker Japan Display is looking to attract more than USD $1.8 billion in investment from China’s BOE Technology Group, Tianma Microelectronics Co., and Shenzhen China Star to strengthen its finances. Taiwan’s Sharp is also planning to approach the Japanese government, which holds a 36 percent stake in Japan Display through its Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, for help in forming an alliance with Japan Display so the two firms can better compete against South Korean competitors (“Japan Display in talks over $1.8 bln-plus investment from China firms: Kyodo,” Reuters, December 20, 2017, https://in.reuters.com/article/japan-display-fundraising/japan-display-i...)

South Korea

South Korea’s Lotte Group is shifting investment from China to Indonesia as part of its “Southern Eastern Policy” after domestic conditions in China continue to cause Lotte financial difficulties. Lotte Group recently purchased two Indonesian acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) makers and has plans to build an addition ABS plant. Lotte’s chemical branch is moving forward with its USD $3.7 billion petrochemical complex after securing land from Indonesia’s state-owned steelmaker, PT Krakatau, as the Korean firm seeks to make Indonesia its chemical supply base (Yoon Yung-sil, “Lotte Group Accelerates Chairman’s ‘Southern Eastern Policy,’ Focusing on Indonesia,” BusinessKorea, December 22, 2017, http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/english/news/industry/20152-post-china-st...)

South Korea’s Trade Minister and China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology have reached an agreement to lift retaliatory measures against South Korean battery makers operating in China. Previously, South Korean investments in electric vehicle batteries were not certified by Beijing and were excluded from Chinese subsidies, making large investments by South Korean firms, such as Samsung SDI and LG Chem, uncompetitive. The normalization of relations comes as Seoul debates approving a massive investment project by LG Display to build OLED panels in China (Kang Seung-woo, “Battery issue in China to be settled,” The Korea Times, December 21, 2017, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2017/12/133_241278.html)

*The information compiled in the MNCs in the News digest is gathered from sources believed to be reliable, but the Wong MNC Center does not guarantee their accuracy. The content of the MNCs in the News digest does not necessarily represent the view of the Wong MNC Center, its Board of Directors, or its Advisory Board, but is intended for the non-commercial use of readers in order to foster debate and discussion and to facilitate and stimulate research.