SOEs

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.

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-2017-01-20

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.

Dr. Jean-Marc F. Blanchard's picture

China’s Capital Fright and its (Ir)Relevance for Chinese Outward FDI

Over the past year or so, China’s foreign exchange reserves have been “plummeting,” falling several hundred billion (US) dollars as a result of Chinese investors pouring massive sums of money into foreign assets such as real estate and overseas stock markets and Chinese companies undertaking record levels of outward foreign direct investment (OF

MNCs in the News-2016-11-11

China approves cyber security law despite intense lobbying by foreign business associations, firms, and governments. China reportedly is considering allowing foreign investment banks to have wholly owned operations on the mainland. China Development Bank Capital (CDBC) and Microsoft have formed a partnership to “promote technology innovation and smart city development.” Germany withdraws approval for a group of Chinese investors’ 670 million euro purchase of Aixtron. The German government is seeking greater powers to investigate and potentially block Chinese acquisitions of German companies. China has expressed concerns about Germany’s seeming new protectionist stance towards Chinese investment. German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel speaks strongly about protecting German interests and gets the cold shoulder during a visit to China. High-level officials from the United Kingdom (UK) and Britain meet to discuss new investment collaborations in the financial sector. The Japanese government pushes Japanese firms to invest in Russia to help facilitate a resolution of the Russo-Japanese Northern Territories/Southern Kurils dispute. Japanese Trade minister Hiroshige Seko and Russian Far East Development Minister Alexander Galushka agreed to promote economic development projects in Russia’s Far East ahead of a summit between their leaders in December. Japan’s JFE Engineering Corporation will start constructing greenhouses in Primorsky Krai in cooperation with a Russian federal state enterprise. The President of the Japanese chambers of commerce in Britain and the European CEO of Mitsubishi warns that more than general assurances about Brexit are needed to comfort Japanese firms in the UK. Korea and Oman establish basis for Korean companies to participate in almost $27.1 billion in energy and infrastructure projects in Oman. Korea Gas Corporation moving forward on cooperation with China National Petroleum Corporation on natural gas trading, joint international projects, and information sharing. Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indonesia has jumped following repeated high-level meetings between the Presidents of the two countries. Donald Trump’s victory dampens the opportunities for US energy companies in Indonesia. Jack Ma opts to serve as an advisor to Malaysia rather than Indonesia about the e-commerce economy. Chinese technology giants like Alibaba, Tencent, and Wanda Group have expressed their interests in participating in Malaysia’s digital economy plan. During his recent visit to China, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak signed 14 memorandum of understandings totaling USD $47.5 billion. Pundits note both future opportunities and risks relating to increase Chinese investments in Malaysia.

MNCs in the News-2016-05-13

Inward FDI into China between January and April rises almost 5 percent over the same period last year. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang touts China’s plan to take measures to encourage greater inward foreign direct investment. China is investigating foreign and domestic drug firms for possible violations of competition laws and regulations. Foreign pharmaceutical firms in China take action to offset profit pressures flowing from government actions. Apple invests $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, following various adverse actions against it in China. Beijing Municipal Court denies Zhujiang Beverage the ability to use the Facebook name on its products. China outward deals in 2016 to date already have topped the figures for 2015. Some Chinese state-owned enterprises are adopting the sovereign immunity defense to escape legal liability in the U.S. SK Group explores cooperation possibilities with Kuwaiti government and businesses officials visiting Seoul. Using investor state dispute measures Hanocal Holdings is suing the Korean government for compensation over excess taxes. Indonesian President urges his Cabinet to do more to improve the ease of doing business and to garner an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor’s. Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Franky Sibarani touts his country’s reforms at the HSBC Economic Outlook 2016 conference. Indonesia President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo meets with Chinese State Council Yang Jiechi to discuss investment and trade cooperation. Vietnam calls on foreign firms to contribute more to Vietnam’s economic development.

MNCs in the News-2016-03-04

According to China’s Ministry of Commerce, China plans to “lower entry barriers for foreign investors.” MOFCOM representatives also indicate that “China will support foreign participation in its drive to reform state owned enterprises (SOEs).” Foreign Ambassadors present letter to China’s Ministry of Public Security to express their anxieties about China’s new counterterrorism law, draft security law, and draft law on the management of foreign non-government organizations. Qualcomm reaches settlement with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding allegations of improperly hiring the relatives of Chinese officials and giving lavish gifts. According to news reports, in contrast to its battles with the US FBI, Apple is showing great flexibility towards the Chinese government. Three members of the US Congress ask for increased scrutiny of Zoomlion’s purchase of US Terex Corp. Problems caused by increased scrutiny of Chinese outward investments led to deals with unusual termination fees and deal terms. Massive Chinese state-owned enterprise investments in Europe fuel concerns. Olympus Corp. will pay the US Justice Department a $623 million fine due to kickback payments and its giving of luxurious gifts. Korean government-business delegation journeys to Iran and concludes numerous deals. A South Korean wins Bolivian deal to build a new city in Bolivia. Indonesia plans to set up a “China Desk” to better Chinese investors. Vietnam shows substantial increases of FDI during the first two months of 2016. Vietnam needs to provide more information to solve problems of foreign investors.

MNCs in the News-2016-01-01

China’s Central Economic Work Conference promises to “‘give equal treatment to domestic and foreign companies.’” China’s National People’s Congress approves counter terrorism law that worries foreign businesses and governments. China’s State Council issues guideline designed to enhance IPR protection. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issues a draft of its first “Anti-Monopoly Guidelines on Abuse of Intellectual Property Rights” for public comment. China’s NDRC fines eight international sea freight shipping companies for price fixing. China’s People’s Bank of China suspends three foreign banks from certain kinds of foreign currency activities. Analysts expect Chinese outward investments to reach new heights in 2016. China’s nuclear power firms hope Hinkley Point project will be a stepping stone to new deals abroad. China and Pakistan finalize financing agreement for massive Thar Coalfield development project. Iraqi Prime Minister courts Chinese investment and railway cooperation during his first visit to China. Japan competes vigorously against China in battle to sell high-speed rail overseas. Inward FDI into Korea hits new high in 2015. At the end of December, Korea announced it would impose a Google tax on foreign companies. Hyundai Development Company wins $85.4 million bridge and road construction contract in Vietnam. Samsung Engineering lands another major engineering contract from Mexico’s PEMEX. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community is expected to boost franchise businesses in Indonesia. Indonesia is hopeful that a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the European Union (EU) will boost EU IFDI. Indonesian will increase incentives to boost investment in oil refineries. Thailand expects IFDI to meet its targets in 2016. China and Thailand hold ceremony to launch joint rail project, though disagreements exist which may delay the project’s start date. Malaysia touts the benefits of its Principal Hub scheme. Chinese group negotiating with Malaysian firms in order to position itself for a bid on Malaysia-Singapore high-speed rail. Experts feel recent free trade agreements will boost investment in Vietnam. Vietnam expects US FDI flows into Vietnam to increase significantly, though obstacles remain.

MNCs in the News-2015-11-27

Google Play app store ready to play in China. Chinese investment in the American financial sector dwarfs American investment in the Chinese financial sector. U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade meeting reportedly yields agreement on the protection of trade secrets and opens Chinese market further to certain types of American firms. Payoff of GlaxoSmithKline’s measures to recover from its 2014 China bribery scandal remain unclear. MOFCOM touts China’s opportunities to Japanese firms and hopes they will invest in “emerging sectors.” Premier Li Keqiang says China will invest $1 trillion overseas in the next five years. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) and contract work continues to record impressive results. Chinese firm private firm outward FDI (OFDI) shows impressive growth. Chinese OFDI in Africa, though, collapses. China promises $10 billion in infrastructure loans to Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries. Chinese train company motoring along in Malaysia. China National Corporation for Overseas Economic Cooperation fires up over Mexican energy sector investment. Chinese companies power up nuclear energy cooperation with Argentina. Japan opens its purse strings to win more infrastructure deals and counter China. Japan expresses its displeasure to Indonesia about Indonesia’s awarding of a high-speed rail contract to China. Japanese public private fund steps forward to finance Texas high-speed rail. Indonesia will act to revise its negative investment list to exclude e-commerce companies.

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