SOEs

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

Investments and Connectivity: Digital Capacity Matters

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and upcoming regional connectivity plans like the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) should stimulate foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in countries getting connected and developing new industrial and other capacities. These investments, among other factors, would be driven by local and national capacities to do business across cyberspace. Discussions on connectivity often overlook this vital element as they focus on land and sea links.

MNCs in the News-2018-06-01

China’s inward foreign direct investment (FDI) shows growth with especially impressive growth in high-tech areas like medical equipment manufacturing. Slew of political factors conspiring to dampen Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) to the United States (US). European parliament pushing increased reviews of FDI, partly due to surge of Chinese OFDI in Europe. China’s first report on central state-owned enterprises (SOEs) corporate social responsibility (CSR) argues their efforts go unnoticed and that they are doing a good job in environmental protection. Japanese contractors blindsided by Malaysia’s decision to scrap planned USD $14.8 billion high-speed rail link from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Government representatives of China, Japan and Thailand announce intentions to pursue business collaboration in Eastern Economic Corridor. General Motors’ $7 billion rescue plan for South Korean plants in jeopardy because of threat of Trump tariffs on foreign cars and car parts. Hanwha Q CELLS Korea signs memorandum of understanding with Whitfield County government to construct solar module production facility. Mahathir announces reconsideration of terms of USD $14 billion rail deal involving Chinese partners to prioritize reducing country’s ballooning national debt. Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas to become second-largest partner in Canadian liquefied natural gas export project by buying 25 percent stake.

MNCs in the News-2018-01-08

Chinese drug approval authorities likely to approve several blockbuster foreign drugs in 2018. Hyundai Motor Group faces declining sales growth in 2018 in large part due to political and economic challenges in China. China State-Owned Assets Supervision and Advisory Commission (SASAC) to issue new guidelines to improve behavior of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in various areas. United States (US) Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) concerns leads China’s Ant Financial and US MoneyGram to terminate the former’s acquisition of the latter. Japan’s Toshiba Corp sells floundering US nuclear business Westinghouse, which went bankrupt after regulations and other factors stalled many of its projects, to Canada’s Brookfield. US legal process for Takata Corp.’s US unit coming to completion, which should allow company to make payouts to claimants who suffered from Takata’s faulty airbags. Korea urges US policy makers to reconsider the US International Trade Commission's recommended special tariff on imported Korean washers. Lotte Group struggling to shed its politically troubled Chinese hypermarket chain after talks with Thai conglomerate failed to produce agreeable sale price. Indonesia’s state-owned energy company Pentamina took back control of Indonesia’s largest oil and gas block helping Jakarta to expand its control over domestic energy production. Indonesia’s Investment Coordinating Board launches several measures to spur 10 to 14 percent year on year growth in FDI. Thailand’s Board of Investment expects FDI into its EEC to continue to grow as new EEC policies are implemented and foreign companies become familiar with EEC requirements. Chinese FDI into Malaysia is expected to move out of infrastructure and property development and into new sectors due to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Japanese Ambassador touts that Japanese firms have a good chance to win Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail project. Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has set a new deadline for long delayed Chinese-funded Cat Linh rail project

MNCs in the News-2017-10-06

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) spokesperson stresses that China’s industrial policies will not discriminate against foreign firms. China’s favoritism towards state-owned enterprises (SOEs) not only pressures domestic firms, put foreign companies, too. Bain led consortium still hopes to conclude Toshiba deal despite litigation by competing bidder Western Digital. Chinese authorities announce Honda will recall over 245,000 vehicles in China because of concerns about Takata made air bags. China’s MOFCOM allows HP Inc. to buy Samsung Electronics’ printer business subject to certain restrictions. Samsung and LG to invest in US production facilities to avoid Trump administration protectionist tariffs and setbacks. Tesla Motors to increase investment in Korean electric vehicle infrastructure because of recent changes in Korean government subsidy policies. Only 27 percent of foreign investment pledges for Indonesia fulfilled in the last 10 years causing Indonesian government to undertake corrective action. Freeport-McMoran rejects Indonesian government’s latest divestment plan. Singha Estate Plc announces USD $1.5 billion project spurred by Thai and Maldivian governments’ efforts to promote tourism in both countries. Honeywell first multinational company to participate in the Malaysian Investment Development Authority’s Principle Hub Initiative. Moody’s calls attention to fact that tensions on Korean peninsula may seriously affect Korean investment in Vietnam. Vietnam’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry to host events to attract more Japanese investment.

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.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

Rethinking China’s Outward Cash Flow Crash: Politics in Command?

Not so long ago, the story of the day was about China’s inexorable path to buying up the world, with more than USD $200 billion of acquisitions in 2016 alone. Lately, however, those once focused about China’s global takeover have been dashing to explain the Chinese outward cash flow crash. The crash has involved an almost 43 percent drop in COFDI over the first six months of 2017 year-over-year (YOY).

MNCs in the News-2017-08-18

China takes steps/promises measures to draw in more foreign direct investment (FDI). China’s State Council details a slew of initiatives to increase greater inward FDI (IFDI) as well as to foster specific types of IFDI. Donald Trump signs executive order authorizing US Trade Representative to decide whether or not to investigate China’s theft of American intellectual property. China’s Ministry of Commerce reports small drop in IFDI over the first seven months of 2017 year over year (YOY) while outward FDI drops dramatically over the first seven months of 2017 YOY. The Philippines is looking to Japan and China to finance investments in energy and power generation projects worth over USD $135 billion. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. to expand operations in Saudi Arabia to support Saudi initiatives to reduce reliance on oil. Kumho Tire Co. to be bought out by its Chinese competitor Qingdao Doublestar Co. for USD $857 million after South Korean state-owned development bank sells its stake to Doublestar. Hyundai to promote Indonesia as Southeast Asian production base because of, among other things, the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement will remove car import duties in 2018. Indonesia and Vietnam to boost investment activity following 7th Indonesia-Vietnam Joint Commission on Economic, Science, and Technical Cooperation. Facebook opens full office in Indonesia due to tightening regulations on foreign Internet firms. Recent report touts that Malaysia’s strategic location and competitive position make it attractive for foreign investment. US deepening investigation into money stolen from Malaysian state investment fund allegedly used to obtain around USD $1.7 billion in real estate, jewelry and art.

MNCs in the News-2017-08-11

Beijing’s actions to curb overseas foreign direct investment (FDI) by private firms coupled with other factors generate uncertainty among potential Western investment targets. American credit/debit card companies Visa and MasterCard move to gain access to China market, but licensing uncertainties remain. Nissan to sell battery subsidiary to Chinese private equity firm, following recent Chinese government policy changes on purchase of batteries for electric vehicles. Facing pressure to invest in US, Toyota and Mazda plan USD $1.6 billion partnership to establish US based electric vehicle production plant. SK Engineering & Construction Co. announces deal to upgrade Iranian oil plant, reflecting Teheran’s bid to bring in foreign companies to boost its oil industry. Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Samsung Engineering win mega construction projects in Oman. Vale Indonesia experiencing difficulties finding nickel smelter partners for new investments after rule change. Indonesian President courting China for investment but concurrently preparing the military for potential confrontation. EXIM Thailand plans to open new branches in Cambodia and Laos to support outward FDI by Thai firms. China and Malaysia launch USD $13 billion rail project connecting peninsular Malaysia's East and West. Mitsubishi’s CEO tells Vietnamese Prime Minster it plans to produce electric vehicles in Vietnam. Long Son Petrochemical Co Ltd announces Hyundai Engineering and Construction won building contract for petrochemical plant in Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2017-08-04

Donald Trump administration contemplates using Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act to challenge China’s technology transfer and intellectual property right protection practices. Foreign businesses increasingly fret about the burdens to be flowing from China’s rejection of non-approved virtual private networks (VPNs) and other data controls/restrictions. China’s Ministry of Finance issues a guideline to limit risk of overseas investments by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Foxconn Technology Group announces major planned investment in the United States (US) to do R&D work relating to self-driving vehicles perhaps due to Trump’s efforts to bring more manufacturing to the US. Workers at Nissan’s Mississippi factory vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers. Japan’s JFE Holdings Inc. considers further investment into India’s JSW Steel Ltd as a way to profit from increased steel demand potentially flowing from Indian Prime Minister Modi’s economic plans. South Korean firms struggle in the Middle East due to government indifference and rising political tensions. South Korea’s LA Cable & System signs USD $195 million contract with Qatar’s state owned utilities firm. Jakarta focuses on simplifying investment application process for foreign firms seeking investment licenses. Indonesia’s government will start taking bids in September for construction of six massive geothermal power plants. Thailand and Australia discuss revising the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement to increase investment and trade. Indian Oil Corp Ltd in talks with partners to search for cheaper location for Pacific Northwest LNG terminal after recent withdrawal of Petronas. South Korea’s Lotte signs Eco-Smart city development contract with Vietnam’s People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s Prime Minister confirms that creation of Vietnam’s first three special economic zones would enjoy special rules to attract greater investment.

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.

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