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MNCs in the News-2017-09-01

China announces it is working on a document to enhance the protection of foreign intellectual property rights (IPR). Likely due to Brexit, Chinese delegations flock to Ireland to explore investment opportunities. Indian government asks Chinese smartphone makers to provide info that allows for investigation of security of Indian user data. United States government probing potential bribes paid by Sinopec’s Swiss unit Addax Petroleum to Nigerian government officials. British luxury carmaker Aston Martin announces Japanese investment deal worth nearly USD $600 million as Brexit looms closer. Nissan and Renault teaming up with Dongfeng to design and introduce new electric vehicles to the Chinese market, following China’s new strict emissions rules. Disrupted parts supply due to sluggish cash flow resulting from backlash against Hyundai for Korea’s deployment of THAAD system halts Hyundai’s China production. Samsung Electronics in talks with China for a USD $7 billion expansion of its Xi’an chip plant. Indonesia to finalize numerous deregulation measures aimed at creating more competitive investment environment. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. reduces its ownership stake in Indonesian Grasberg copper and gold mine to resolve long-running dispute with Indonesia’s central government. Mobike, Ofo, and oBike are striving to win the Thai market and working with the government to build a favorable operating environment. Nazir Razak says foreign investors like Malaysia’s robust economy, but are holding off because of uncertainties linked to upcoming election. Vietnam’s leaders recently concluded state visits to Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand resulting in USD $13.45 billion of newly registered investment capital. Hanoi General Export Import JSC and Hong Kong United Investors Holding join together on bid for infrastructure project contracts from the Vietnamese government.

MNCs in the News-2017-07-21

In rare praise for foreign firms, Chinese President Xi Jinping lauds their contribution to China and says the Chinese government must do more to attract and retain them. The China Banking Regulatory Commission imposes strict limits on Chinese banks providing support for overseas deals by Dalian Wanda. Some feel the United States (US) Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is becoming stricter which, in turn, may hinder Chinese investment flows in the US. Toyota continues USD $310 million UK plant expansion after receiving Brexit reassurances from British government. Japanese financial institutions move to set up subsidiary businesses in the EU as Brexit jeopardizes their financial services licenses. Hyundai to open fifth Chinese assembly plant as compact vehicle sales are expected to rise before Chinese government’s increase in purchase taxes next year. South Korea’s Nexen Tire Corp. signs memorandum of understanding with United Arab Emirates’ state-owned Mubadala Development Co. Indonesian branch of ExxonMobil drops talks on East Natuna natural gas block, with Jakarta saying it intends to invite firm to discuss project again. Economist says Malaysia to become key economic corridor because of strong economic fundamentals, strategic geographical location and Prime Minister’s diplomatic efforts. China’s restrictions on bank loans to Dalian Wanda Group diminish prospects of Bandar Malaysia project. Vietnam’s Prime Minister signs decision to boost his country’s solar power development which is spurring much foreign investor interest. At HCM City conference, Laotian provinces court investment from Vietnam.

MNCs in the News-2017-06-30

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) plans to create database with information on foreign investors. China’s MOFCOM and National Development and Reform Commission role out first nationwide negative list, which has 30 fewer restricted and prohibited sectors than the 2015 list. China’s Leading Group for Comprehensive Reform calls for more statistics on and the better monitoring of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). Despite Brexit, many expect Chinese firms will remain interested in investing in the United Kingdom (UK). Takata files for bankruptcy protection in the US and Japan due to massive recall, with viable operations bought by Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems. Korea Economic Research Institute urges Korean government to exempt taxes on income earned by South Korean multinationals abroad to encourage capital repatriation. Samsung joins increasing list of international firms boosting employment in the US in line with US President Donald Trump’s push for more manufacturing jobs. Jakarta plans to revise its Negative Investment List to encourage more foreign investment. World Bank states that foreign investment in Indonesia is still too low and recommends various policy changes. Minister says Malaysia’s government constantly striving to attract foreign investment. Former Bank Negara Malaysia governor says Malaysians should view China’s increasing investment rationally to evaluate benefits to country.

MNCs in the News-2017-05-05

The Cyberspace Administration of China will begin hardware and software checks starting June 1. Foxconn Technology Group Chairman indicates it is looking at investment prospects in the United States (US) following meetings with US officials. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asks British Prime Minister Theresa May to ensure a smooth transition for Japanese business following Brexit to limit problems for Japanese investors. Japan launches various initiatives to ease the way for greater foreign investment. Russia and Japan agree on key terms and conditions for launching a joint investment fund to boost their investment cooperation. Chinese economic retaliation due to South Korea’s deployment of the US THAAD system has potentially cost the Korean economy USD $7.6 billion. E-Mart to close China outlets by the end of this year partly due to anti-Korean sentiments flowing from Seoul’s deployment of THAAD. Japan’s bid for high-speed rail connecting Kuala Lumpur with Singapore to include financing, talent development, and collaboration with local companies. Foreign technology companies increase Singaporean investment following strong demand and government incentives. Vietnam licensed major gas pipeline project which represents its second billion-dollar foreign investment project in 2017 and an increase of total FDI. Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister encourages Sumitomo Mitsui to increase investment in the country’s infrastructure.

MNCs in the News-2017-03-10

European Chamber of Commerce in Beijing highlights China’s 2025 Plan as possibly violating China’s World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. China’s re-imposition of capital controls becomes a hot issue at China’s 2017 National People Congress meeting. Facing seemingly severe constraints on their ability to access/use yuan, Chinese corporate executives are complaining about the impact of such limits on their ability to do deals. In the face of possible increased American trade barriers, Great Wall Motor Co. ponders building its first factory in the United States (U.S.). Wanfeng Auto Holding Group looks to the U.S. for deals to jump potential tariff and other barriers in the U.S. Toyota Motor Corp. may wait until economic fallout of Brexit becomes clearer until it decides whether or not to produce the next generation Auris in the United Kingdom (U.K.). Honda announces plans to invest $150 million in transmission facilities in Georgia and Ohio in the US. Chinese sanctions against South Korea because of the latter’s deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system hit Korean companies inside and outside China. Korea’s Trade Minister meets with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to seek ways to boost investment and other forms of cooperation. Indonesia explores new levels of investment cooperation with Japan. Indonesia welcomes small amount of investment from Saudi Arabia flowing from visit of Saudi king, but does not receive large amounts expected.

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-2017-01-27

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology sooths foreign firms over upcoming restrictions on VPN providers. Trump administration trade officials back a tougher line towards Chinese semiconductor investment and greater support for home firms. China stresses how Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) in the US promotes manufacturing there and creates jobs. Hon Hai is considering a USD $7 billion investment in a joint flat panel project in the US with Pennsylvania a leading contender. In the wake of growing anxieties over Chinese investment, Australia moves to prepare review of strategic infrastructure. Apparently incentivized by Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other anti-trade statement, Toyota talks up $600 million investment plan. Toshiba’s troubles in the UK may force it to take on new partners and get United Kingdom (UK) government financing. Domestic and international political uncertainties seem to be driving a slowdown in inward FDI flows into Indonesia. Chinese outward FDI to Indonesia has been exploding, but it is uncertain if it will continue given uncertainties there plus anti-Chinese sentiments.

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-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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