European Union

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-02-17

American business community becomes more favorable towards “reciprocity” policy towards China. Hejun Vanguard Group files complaint against sale of McDonald’s China and Hong Kong assets. Chinese firms’ pursuit of investment in critical sectors leads Germany, France, and Italy to ask European Union (EU) to give it more powers to investigate and block investments. The United States (US) Federal Trade Commission asks Syngenta for more information regarding its proposed acquisition by China’s ChemChina. In the face of potential restrictions on Chinese firm investments in non-core businesses, Dalian Wanda eyes European bank deals. Japanese companies face investigation by South Korea’s transport ministry which has begun to investigate more firms in the wake of the Volkswagen emission manipulation scandal. Toshiba will remove itself from work on the UK’s new Moorside nuclear plant. South Korea’s Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has started its first wind power plant in Jordan. Korean outward foreign direct investment (FDI) grows significantly in 2016 with a large increase in money flowing to the US. Indonesian loosening of ban on raw mineral ore exports has many implications. Indonesian regional elections have big implications for Indonesia’s inward FDI (FDI)

MNCs in the News-2017-02-10

China’s goal of shifting to a more consumption, service, and higher-valued added economy is reflected in subnational level data. China remains optimistic about Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017, but plans to guide it to and sees it encountering many challenges. Syngenta believes the ChemChina-Syngenta acquisition will close in second quarter of 2017 despite remaining regulatory hurdles. China halts major Lotte construction projects in northeastern China in apparent punishment for South Korea’s embrace of THAAD. Prior to Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo’s early February meeting with US President Donald Trump, Sharp Corp. announced it would build a liquid crystal display panel plant in the US. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son touts his progress in fulfilling his job creation promise to U.S. President Donald Trump. Chinese forthcoming revised anti-monopoly guidelines worry South Korean firms which fear they might be used against it. In the face of political pressures, Samsung Electronics will build its first home appliance plant in the US despite fears about the price competitiveness of US production. Moody’s Investor Service upgrades its credit outlook for Indonesia with positive implications for Indonesia’s ability to attract FDI. Indonesian aviation regulatory burdens cause Tigerair to cease its flights to Bali island.

MNCs in the News-2017-01-20

China moves to lower restrictions on foreign investment in various financial sectors including banking, insurance, and credit ratings. China’s outward direct investment (ODI) hits new high in 2016 with a significant amount going into manufacturing and information technology. China’s State-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission says it will release a negative list for two categories of outward foreign investment by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor. Corp. say they will continue to manufacture cars and auto parts in the United Kingdom despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for full Brexit. It’s “light out” for multi-billion dollar Samsung Engineering power and desalination project in Saudi Arabia. Hyundai will invest USD $3.1 billion in the United States (US) over the next five years in response to US President Donald Trump’s threats to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Indonesia Finance Minister cites the herd mentality as the basis for her fighting JP Morgan’s downgrade of her country’s investment rating. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak accuses former Prime Minister Dr. Mahatir Mohamad of slander over criticism of Johor project. Vietnam expects Japan to become its top investor. Vietnam’s Party Secretary encourage Chinese firms to bring advanced technology to his country.

MNCs in the News-2017-01-06

China forces Apple to withdraw New York Times apps from its China App store. During a visit to Korea, Chinese Foreign Ministry official warns Korean businesses of possible adverse consequences because of South Korea’s adoption of THAAD system. US government report may result in tighter restrictions on foreign involvement in US semiconductor sector with particular ramifications for Chinese investors. There are doubts Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US will be able to maintain the same volume in 2017 as in 2016. Sri Lanka will strike agreements with Chinese investors to advance the Hambantota Port project, but large local protests dampen the atmosphere. Donald Trump blasts Toyota’s plans to invest in Mexico and sell to the US, with Japanese officials defending the contribution of Japanese firms to the US. While growing slowly, inward FDI (IFDI) into South Korea hits new heights with European Union (EU) investors representing a big proportion of investing firms. Indonesia remains optimistic about its ability to attract IFDI despite the fracturing of its partnership with JP Morgan Chase. Thailand plans new measures and new focuses in its efforts to reach new IFDI targets for 2017.

Mr. Naoyuki Haraoka's picture

Increasing Inward Mergers and Acquisitions of Japanese Companies and their Implications

Traditionally, outward mergers and acquisitions (M&As) of non-Japanese firms by Japanese firms have represented the dominant percentage of total M&As involving Japanese companies. However, past patterns are shifting with overseas companies’ acquisition of Japanese companies constituting a greater percentage of total M&A.

MNCs in the News-2016-11-24

China’s Ministry of Commerce notes that it will continue to welcome and support foreign direct investment (FDI) from the European Union (EU). Very senior Chinese Communist Party official meets with Microsoft CEO and calls for the company to share its technology with China. China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce imposes almost a $100 million fine on Sweden’s Tetra Pak for abuse of its market position. Qualcomm’s joint venture with the Guizhou provincial government will start to produce China-customized server chips in 2018. I order to enter China, Facebook reportedly is working on a tool that would empower the Chinese government to censor content. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) said it would recommend a Chinese investment consortium not be allowed to purchase Germany’s Aixtron. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said Washington should take action to ban China’s state-owned firms from acquiring U.S. companies. Japan’s Itochu Corporation and Electric Power Development Co. Ltd. will provide full support for the construction of a coal-fired Batang power plant in Central Java. Japan and Argentina work to boost Japanese investment in Argentina. New China Ministry of Industry and Information battery production standard will severely limit Korean battery sales in China. China takes adverse actions against Korean financial companies to, it is believed, punish Korea for its acceptance of the THAAD system. Despite uncertainties flowing from the US presidential election result, the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board still has faith in its investment realization targets. The Indonesia-Japanese investment relationship remains robust. Following on the heels of his efforts to court Chinese investors, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak is lobbying Japanese investors to put money in higher-value added activities in his country. Vietnam welcomes foreign investors to participate in the restructuring of the country’s banking sector. Vietnam pushes for investment in the food processing sector.

MNCs in the News-2016-10-28

Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) exceeds inward FDI (IFDI) by an increasing amount in September and for the first nine months of 2016. Chinese companies embrace diverse strategies to ensure host country stakeholders embrace their investments. ChemChina’s interactions with the European Union (EU) over its Syngenta acquisition raise new uncertainties about the deal. Chinese FDI flows into Germany now are almost double what they were for the prior ten years! Businesses from the Philippines glom in large numbers onto President Roberto Duterte mid-October trip to China. China Everbright Ltd. CEO criticizes the motives behind some COFDI. Toyota is waiting for news from the United Kingdom (UK) about the post-Brexit tariff situation before making any decisions about future investments in the UK. Despite Brexit, Nissan opts to built its new Qashqai model in the United Kingdom (UK). Japanese firm wins new contract work for Delhi-Mumbai freight railway. Marubeni and Sojitz win multi-billion dollar gas-fired power plant station contract in Indonesia. Korea Electric Power Corporation signs mega-contract to operate four UAE nuclear power plants that it also will build. FDI flows into Indonesia increased 7.8 in the third quarter year over year (YOY). Japanese firms show increasing confidence in increasing their investments in Indonesia. FDI flows into Thailand increase minimally, reflecting limited confidence in the country’s growth prospects. Foreign technology firms push Thailand to undertake various measures to maintain and advanced its status as a “digital nation.” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will focus on getting more Chinese investment during his trip to China. PowerChina International, Shenzhen Yantian Port Group, and Rizhao Port Group will work with Malaysia on a deep sea port in the Strait of Malacca.

MNCs in the News-2016-09-30

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) dismisses foreign business concerns about the investment environment for foreign direct investment (FDI). Microsoft, whose Windows 8 was banned two years ago on government computers, is now working on a localized government operating system for China. Outward FDI (OFDI) by Chinese financial institutions jumped 26 percent in 2015 while Chinese OFDI hit a new record. Chinese private firms become the dominant Chinese overseas direct investors in 2015. ChemChina seeks European Union approval of its immense acquisition of Syngenta AG. The parties involved in the Hinkley Point nuclear power complex project, which involves a major Chinese role, finally signed a contract for the deal. China and Thailand struggle to settle issues pertaining to a major joint railway project. China moves to bolster its investment, trade, and other forms of cooperation with Cuba. Japanese business delegation asks China to enhance exit procedures and antitrust rules. Indonesia may impose more than USD $400 tax bill on Google. Foreign pharmaceutical companies pour big money into Indonesia in anticipation of new health care opportunities. FDI accounts for more than 30 percent of Malaysian investment in the first six months of 2016. Thailand is moving to tighten tax collection rules for foreign internet and technology firms. Vietnam moving towards eliminating various caps on foreign involvement in its banking sector. Vietnam’s planned divestiture of Vinamilk could be a very positive sign for the country’s privatization drive.

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