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MNCs in the News-2017-10-20

At 19th Party Congress, China promises greater market openness for foreign investors, but foreign businesses and governments cautious. Top China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) official says foreign banks may get more latitude in entering and operating in China’s banking sector. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) plummeted 41.9 percent over the first nine months of 2016 year-over-year. In the first three quarters of 2016, Chinese outward merger and acquisitions activity drops significantly in both deal volume and size. Toyota and Mazda seek USD $1 billion incentive package from US states bidding for their joint car factory. SoftBank Group struggling to carry out US investments after several of its deals have been caught up in the CFIUS review process. US Department of Justice demands Kobe Steel release all information related to it falsified steel and metal data. SK-Sinopec JV to expand its Wuhan Petrochemical plant mirroring success of SK Innovation’s China Insider strategy. Korean battery manufacturers finding backdoors into the Chinese market despite Chinese government’s preferential treatment of domestic firms. Indonesia works to attract private investment despite bad atmosphere created by problems with Freeport-McMoran. Freeport-McMoRan facing labor union protests over anticipated layoffs. New US-Thai joint committee formed to increase bilateral investment following Thai Prime Minister’s recent US visit. Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industries leads trade mission to Europe to attract German investment. MITI reports a decline in investments this year. Vietnamese government begins implementing its divestment plan for Dung Quat Oil Refinery, attracts foreign investors. Foreign brewers eagerly awaiting Vietnamese government’s divestment plans for country’s largest domestic brewer Sabeco.

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-2017-09-08

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission states China is moving to increase foreign involvement in the insurance sector. In conjunction with the latest BRICs meeting, State Grid of China touts its contribution to and presence in Brazil. Kawasaki Heavy Industries competing for USD $3.2 billion contract to build subway cars from New York’s state-run Metropolitan Transpiration Authority. Foxconn joins bidding process for Japanese chipmaker Toshiba’s USD $19.5 billion NAND memory technology. North Korea’s missile launch explodes USD $1.5 billion South Korea’s shipbuilding industry deal with foreign firm. Beijing Hyundai resumes operation at stalled Changzhou (China) facility, but the firm still faces many other challenges. Freeport McMoran to retain control over operations of Grasberg mine, with USD $750 million investment to be made next year. Indonesia urges APEC to boost cross-border investment by supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises. Thailand's small and medium-sized enterprises urged to invest in Mandalay, Myanmar because of favorable economic and political environments. Tien Phong Industrial Zone JSC and Russia’s Seaport of Azov sign memorandum of understanding to jointly build Vietnam-Russia Industrial Complex. South Korean investment in Vietnam continues to soar as tariffs reductions from the ASEAN-Korea free trade agreement slowly come into effect.

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-2017-05-26

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-05-12

Germany’s top financial regulator generically welcomes Chinese investment in Germany’s financial sector. Tokyo and Beijing discuss bilateral economic relations and cooperation, as Japan fears potential spillover of China’s economic problems. India’s Finance Minister invites Japanese companies and financial institutions to engage in India’s “Made in India” initiative. POSCO and SeAH Steel join growing list of Korean multinationals joining American Chamber of Commerce Korea. Malaysian federal government’s support increases Johor’s appeal as a foreign direct investment (FDI) destination. Failure of Chinese bailout deal fuels speculation about future of Chinese investments in Malaysia. Formosa accelerates investment in USD $11.03 billion integrated steel mill project in Vietnam. Vietnam’s Prime Minister meets with Hong Kong delegation to promote infrastructure investment in Vietnam.

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-2017-01-13

China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) increases moderately over 2015, with a major proportion going into the service sector. Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) soared in 2016, hitting new records, with Europe, above all, Germany a key destination. Jack Ma meets with US President-elect Trump and touts Alibaba’s potential to create one million jobs. Takata pleads guilty to one criminal charge and will pay USD $1 billion in fines in conjunction with falsifying test data about its faulty airbags. Honda will invest USD $372 million in an existing facility in Ontario, Canada. Japanese energy producer JX Nippon Oil & Gas and NRG Energy Inc. complete the world’s biggest carbon capture system in Texas. Apparently prodded by Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, Samsung Electronics will build its first home appliance plant in the US. Indonesia modifies it mineral export ban policy because of its challenging economic growth situation. Indonesia and Japan will discuss business and investment cooperation during a visit by Japanese Prime Minister and during post-visit meetings between Indonesia’s President and a large delegation of Japanese CEOs

MNCs in the News-2016-12-23

American firms fret that Trump’s stances on China trade and Taiwan may lead China to retaliate against them. Chinese firm drops contract with Korean software and platform provider due to sensitivities about Korea’s decision to deploy the THAAD system. Foreign decision makers strongly distrust Chinese state-owned enterprises where merger and acquisition deals are concerned. China retorts those critics arguing One Belt, One Road is a massive dumping scheme do not understand the idea of a double circulation economy. Japan is moving to force foreign pharmaceutical product prices to undergo annual reviews. Softbank pledges $1 billion investment in United States (US) as a partial fulfillment of a commitment made to US president-elect Trump. Russia, Japan, and many private companies strike new deals leading to cooperation possibilities in new areas. Japanese firms still intrigued by opportunities in the United Kingdom (UK) despite Brexit. The UK and Japan glow about a major nuclear cooperation agreement. The European Commission has fined Sony Corp., Panasonic Corp., and Sanyo Electric Co. regarding rechargeable lithium-ion battery price fixing. Investment in South Korea’s free economic zones is soaring but below prior highs. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. wins two orders including one from Iran’s state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, the latter’s first post sanction order. Indonesia and Google fail to come to a settlement about Google’s alleged tax underpayments. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha orders mine operated by Australian gold miner Kingsgate subsidiary Akara Resources to shut down for health and environmental reasons. Vietnam’s inward FDI hits new low for the year.

MNCs in the News-2016-12-09

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have reduced the number of sectors on its foreign investment catalog restricted and prohibited lists by more than 30 percent. China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) has denied there are restrictions on foreign firms' crossborder profit transfers. The NDRC has imposed a more than $17 million fine on Medtronic for violating China’s anti-monopoly laws. China’s national cybersecurity standards body, The Technical Committee 260, ignores foreign company pleas about its technical standards for operating systems, microprocessors, and office software. China’s concerns about capital flight and money laundering led it to strengthen its review of overseas deals exceeding USD $10 billion and in an overseas entity unrelated to the investor’s core business. China launches $22 billion fund to support overseas investments by Chinese companies. Chinese investment in Europe soars over 2015 totals. Softbank owner Masayoshi Son promises Donald Trump he will make a massive investment in the US. South Korea’s largest steel pipe producer buys two oil country tubular goods (OCTG) related facilitates in the US to escape possible US trade barriers. Indonesia’s Ambassador to Singapore encourages greater investment from Singapore, Indonesia’s largest foreign investor. Chinese investment in Indonesia soars, helping with infrastructure development, but raising some concerns. Chinese delegation from Zhejiang province to travel to Indonesia to assess the political risk environment in the country. Foreign companies in Thailand ask Prime Minister to update its laws pertaining to foreign workers. Official Thai delegation to China hopes to attract more investment, reinforce the relationship, and increase cooperation on China’s One Belt, One Road initiative. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected the notion he was trading the country’s sovereignty for foreign investment. Vietnam’s FDI inflows reach record highs and Vietnam promises steps to attract more investment.

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