state-owned enterprises

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-2017-09-15

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-2017-08-11

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-2017-04-07

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-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.

Dr. Scott MacDonald's picture

Chinese Companies and the Changing Business Landscape

Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs) are finding the new global business landscape daunting. In their transformation from being domestic-oriented firms into companies expanding into foreign markets and acquiring foreign enterprises, Chinese MNCs have benefited from easy access to international capital markets and foreign and Chinese state-owned financial institutions. However, this is changing. Looking at the turmoil in international financial markets, access to capital likely will be harder to obtain as foreign investors are now more risk-adverse and taking a harder look at corporate risk profiles. Furthermore, many state-owned Chinese companies have relatively high debt portfolios compared to many of their Western counterparts.

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