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MNCs in the News-2017-10-27

Shanghai Customs touts 18,000 firms registered in Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ) since its creation in 2013. State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission head stresses that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will play a “leading role” going forward. Toyota claims reduced investment and production at Trump targeted planned Mexican plant not due to politics. Toyota calls for more clarity regarding Brexit plans before deciding to finalize its planned plant in Britain. South Korea’s minister of trade met with Saudi Arabian counterpart to discuss Korea’s planned bid for two nuclear reactors. Korea Development Bank planning to sell stake in Daewoo Engineering and Construction, prompting bids from various notable firms. Airbus planning on partnering with Indonesian state-owned aerospace company Dirgantara Indonesia to build maintenance facility in Indonesia. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper requests legal certainty for Indonesian investment regarding environmental regulations. Thai Airways International granted permission by the government to enter into joint investment project with Airbus. Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order approves guidelines for land development in the country’s EEC. Belt and Road Property Development Forum 2018 to draw USD $1.5 billion investments from Malaysia to China. Malaysian minister says no investment deal was finalized during Malaysian government delegation visit to the US. Korean companies shifting investment away from China’s politically difficult market into Vietnam. Southern Vietnam province continues to attract Japanese investment as local People’s Committee aims to ease business concerns.

MNCs in the News-2017-10-13

American businesses not uniformly in favor of Washington moving aggressively against China about the latter’s intellectual property right (IPR) violations. China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approves HP-Samsung printer deal subject to conditions. China’s high-speed rail project in Thailand off track due to environmental approval issues. Sinopec to sell Argentine oil assets and incur major losses in the process. Denso Corp. announces plans for USD $1 billion EV plant in Tennessee, designed to meet changing government automobile and environmental demands. Toyota reaffirms intent to build new Auris in UK, provided the British government avoids hard Brexit deal. Chinese investment in South Korea drops due Chinese government restrictions, hitting the South Korean economy. Korean retailers to shift from China to Southeast Asia as business and political tensions between Korea and China show no signs of improvement. Indonesia needs foreign investment to develop 30 ports and airports and Jakarta is supporting great foreign investment through deregulation and other measures. Indonesian and Belgian firms sign three infrastructure development memoranda of understanding to profit from Indonesia’s attractiveness. Sumitomo forms Thai real estate market joint venture (JV) to profit from the Thai government development of the country’s infrastructure. Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly approves new Eastern Economic Corridor stimulus bill in a move to attract foreign investment. Malaysian government attracts Chinese firm to build USD $3 billion steel production plant in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Vietnam attracted over USD $25 billion in foreign direct investment in the first three quarters of this year owing to its political stability. Asian investors turning to Vietnam for expansion opportunities as domestic markets shrink and Hanoi opens key industries to investors.

MNCs in the News-2017-09-15

China’s potentially massive electric car market and regulatory pressure charge up foreign auto firms’ willingness to share technology and invest in the sector. China plans to blacklist and potentially punish blacklisted Chinese outward investors that become “discreditable.” National security concerns lead American President Donald Trump to crunch Lattice chip’s sale to Chinese buyer. The European Commission has come up with a pan-European measure to vet Chinese investments in the European Union (EU). Thailand’s military junta assures Japanese investors proposed plan for USD $45 billion injection into Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor will go ahead regardless of the results of the next election. Suzuki Motor partnering with Toshiba and Denso to invest in electric vehicle facilities in India in line with the latter’s “Make in India” initiative and increasing demand for green mobility. Hyundai releases plans for electric vehicle manufacturing plant in India after Indian government pledges to ban sales of non-EV cars by 2030. South Korean retail giant Lotte Group has begun making plans to sell its China shops due to politically-related pressures in China. Asian Development Bank to support Indonesia’s energy sector. China’s expanded investment in Thailand raises local anxieties. The divestment of numerous Vietnamese SOEs has problematic features that discourage foreign investment. Southern Vietnamese province promoting investment in several industrial sectors through policy reforms and other initiatives.

MNCs in the News-2017-09-01

China announces it is working on a document to enhance the protection of foreign intellectual property rights (IPR). Likely due to Brexit, Chinese delegations flock to Ireland to explore investment opportunities. Indian government asks Chinese smartphone makers to provide info that allows for investigation of security of Indian user data. United States government probing potential bribes paid by Sinopec’s Swiss unit Addax Petroleum to Nigerian government officials. British luxury carmaker Aston Martin announces Japanese investment deal worth nearly USD $600 million as Brexit looms closer. Nissan and Renault teaming up with Dongfeng to design and introduce new electric vehicles to the Chinese market, following China’s new strict emissions rules. Disrupted parts supply due to sluggish cash flow resulting from backlash against Hyundai for Korea’s deployment of THAAD system halts Hyundai’s China production. Samsung Electronics in talks with China for a USD $7 billion expansion of its Xi’an chip plant. Indonesia to finalize numerous deregulation measures aimed at creating more competitive investment environment. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. reduces its ownership stake in Indonesian Grasberg copper and gold mine to resolve long-running dispute with Indonesia’s central government. Mobike, Ofo, and oBike are striving to win the Thai market and working with the government to build a favorable operating environment. Nazir Razak says foreign investors like Malaysia’s robust economy, but are holding off because of uncertainties linked to upcoming election. Vietnam’s leaders recently concluded state visits to Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand resulting in USD $13.45 billion of newly registered investment capital. Hanoi General Export Import JSC and Hong Kong United Investors Holding join together on bid for infrastructure project contracts from the Vietnamese government.

MNCs in the News-2017-08-25

China’s State Council issues comprehensive guidelines in an effort to provide a more welcoming environment for inward foreign direct investment (FDI). Foreign firms increasingly fret about pressures to give more power to Chinese Communist Party organizations in their joint ventures. China’s Ministry of Commerce moves to restrain the sectoral and geographic destination of Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) while leaving the space for high-tech and Belt and Road Initiative OFDI. Chinese real estate firms will continue to have strong reasons for OFDI even though they have severely cut OFDI in 2017 due to government controls. Talks between Toshiba Corp. and government led consortium of American, South Korean, and Japanese investment entities break down. Russian moves to encourage investment on disputed Kuril Islands angers Japan. China sales by South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia down for the sixth month straight due to politics, market challenges and branding issues. China’s feud with South Korea over THAAD missile installation harming its own workers and firms. LG Electronics Inc. begins construction of USD $250 million home appliance manufacturing plant in the US following Trump administration’s move to foster a positive investment climate. Under siege at home, China’s Anbang Insurance Group struggling in South Korea and drawing more regulatory attention there. Indonesia’s PT Intra Asia signs memorandum of understanding with Vietnam’s state-owned Coal and Resources department for USD $1 billion coal port. Trade delegation from the UK reaches out to Indonesian government in preparation for post-Brexit trade and investment agreements. Malaysia experiencing strong economic growth due to infrastructure projects the government is implementing across the country. PetroVietnam signs Memorandum of Understanding with Thailand’s Siam Cement Group’s chemical subsidiary to jointly build USD $5.4 billion petrochemical complex. Vietnam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment elaborates upon features of the country’s three new specialized special economic zones

MNCs in the News-2017-07-21

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-07-07

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-06-30

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-04-07

China’s State Council creates seven new free trade zones bringing the total number in the country to 11. China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) pushes foreign businesses to support its efforts to limit capital outflows from China. Prior to Donald Trump-Xi Jinping meeting, Chinese parliamentarian links the quality of the meeting to Google’s prospects for entering China. European Union regulators approve China National Chemical Corporations (ChemChina)’s massive acquisition of Syngenta while requiring some significant divestitures. Trump administration considers some dramatic steps to keep Westinghouse’s nuclear business out of Chinese hands. Sibanye Gold Ltd.’s proposed investment in Stillwater mining may not be golden because of American concerns over strategic materials access. Iran-Japan Investment Treaty enters into force on April 26 and may spur Japanese energy investment in Iran. Japanese foreign acquisitions hit a new record of almost USD $100 billion in fiscal year 2016, but performance is dubious. South Korea’s installation of the THAAD system continues to affect adversely Sino-Korean economic relations and Korean businesses. The fallout between China and South Korea over THAAD contributes to South Korean car manufacturers reducing production in their Chinese factories. Consortium of Chinese and Indonesian companies signs contract launching the construction phase of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train project. Afghan President Ghani encourages Indonesian investors to invest in Afghanistan and stresses the security of foreign investors as a top government priority. Tier-one American aerospace manufacturer may invest in Malaysia stimulating business for small and medium enterprises and creating high-income jobs. India and Malaysia sign investment deals with a value of USD $36 billion. Belgium plans to ramp up green energy investment in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2017-02-24

Capital outflow limits and consumer sector investment liberalization measures affect both the volume and sectoral distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into China. Chinese restrictions on capital outflows are affecting how sellers perceive Chinese investors. Members of the US Congress are looking to empower the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US to scrutinize Chinese investors more rigorously. The European Commission launches an investigation of planned Chinese high-speed railway project connecting Hungary and Serbia. Uncertainties surrounding Trump Administration policies are making Japanese firms, with the exception of auto firms, cautious about investing in the US. Suzuki Motor Corporation obtains incentives that will cause it to expand its investment in Pakistan. Lotte is explicitly warned by China not to meet the South Korean government’s demand for land for its THAAD system. South Korea’s SKC Ltd. and Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals- Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes Inc. (MCNS) will set up a facility in India to produce polyurethanes. Freeport-McMoRan threatens to sue the Indonesian government if they do not resolve their dispute over Freeport’s obligations. Indonesia solicits Saudi investment, especially in non-oil and non-gas sectors.

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