MNCs in the News*

March 6th, 2018
Apple stores key for accessing Chinese users iCloud data in China raising human rights and privacy concerns. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) opposition causes Xcerra to terminate sale to Chinese investment fund. Chinese automakers not braking on their overseas expansion despite legal and regulatory issues facing outward foreign direct investment (FDI). Shanghai government takes over CEFC China Energy. Toyota to build next generation of Auris model cars in England despite worries about effect of Brexit. Kubota Corp. to spend over USD $3.1 billion on three new US production plants in a bid to mitigate foreign exchange risks and jump market barriers. Mounting pressure in the US to impose trade restrictions on various Korean-made products cause Samsung Electronics to consider more US based production facilities. Kumho Tire under pressure to find new majority shareholder given opposition to Chinese investment in a firm that operates defense businesses. Foreign investors charged up about investment opportunities in Indonesian electric vehicle battery sector because of the country's backward energy infrastructure and battery technology. Indonesia's BIBU plans to work with foreign partners/investors to build a new airport in Bali subject to Ministry of Transportation approval. Russia proposes joint innovation fund with Thailand to increase investment in technology. Najib Razak announces Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil and gas conglomerate Aramco will invest USD $7 billion into Malaysia before March 31. Vietnam approves Vietcombank's sale of a 10 percent stake to foreign investors as Hanoi rolls back restrictions on foreign investment in the sector.
February 26th, 2018
China to use mechanism of internationalization including inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in mixed ownership reform to enhance ability of state-owned enterprises. For 2018, Guizhou aims for $150 billion in investment money from outside the province including small and medium-sized enterprises from foreign countries. Chinese outward FDI in January 2018 jumps over same period a year earlier. Chinese government constraints on outward FDI become even tighter. Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata receives US court approval for its bankruptcy exit plan. Japanese steelmaker JFE Holdings concerned Trump's protectionist rhetoric could impede own investment plans to build US based plant. Korea Expressway Corporation signs MoU for Indian highway construction following agreement between Korean and Indian government to support USD $10 billion in Indian infrastructure. GM proposes investing USD $2.8 billion in its Korean operations, but calls for government assistance to maintain its remaining plants. Russian diversified energy holding company Inter Rao seeking to develop Indonesia's Bandar Kayangan Global Hub. Finance Minister says Indonesia to revise tax incentives to attract more investment. Thailand's government approaches Japanese robotics maker and other engineering manufacturers to build facilities along its EEC. Manila Water Company acquires 18.72 percent stake in Thailand's Eastern Water to enter Thailand's EEC. Thailand's Superblock Pcl plans to invest USD $1.76 billion to build wind farms in Vietnam in sync with Hanoi's renewables policy.
February 11th, 2018
Following the Mercedes-Benz Dalai Lama ad incident, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs asks foreign firms to follow "basic ground rules." China Banking Regulatory Commission promises steps to make it easier for foreign banks to do renminbi business in China. Google China works to win friends by searching for information about Chinese overseas investment opportunities and overseas brand successes. China's capital control have adversely impacted some Chinese investing in the technology sector in the United States. Nissan to invest USD $9.5 billion in China with JV partner Dongfeng Group as carmaker strives to exploit China's production quotas for EVs. MGM Resorts plans to set up integrated resort in Japan's Osaka Prefecture because it plans to establish tourism facilities. Hyundai finally on track to receive Chinese government subsidy for EVs after switching to Chinese battery manufacturers. Seoul Semiconductor files suit against Mouser Electronics for dispensing products that infringe upon patent held by it. Indonesia's investment board cites "frequent and abrupt changes in regulations" as major cause of foreign investor wariness when investing in Indonesia. UAE business delegation met with Indonesia's Industry Minister for preliminary talks for producing compressed natural gas in Indonesia. Thailand's parliament approves USD $45 billion EEC project to stimulate country's underdeveloped east. Nissan working with alliance partner Mitsubishi and Bangkok to produce electric cars and batteries in Thailand for export abroad. Malaysia expects more Chinese investment in real estate, manufacturing and logistics industries as Belt and Road Initiative funds find their way into the country. State run Saudi Aramco and Malaysia's state-owned Petronas are raising USD $8 billion to begin construction on planned Malaysia refinery and petrochemical complex. Edge Glass Joint Stock Company begins construction of USD $220 million Vietnam glass factory encouraged by favorable local government measures. US tax reforms causes Vietnam to worry about future foreign investment prospects.
February 6th, 2018
2018 China Business Climate Survey Report indicates "American companies overwhelmingly feel less welcome than before…and want the U.S. government to put more pressure on Beijing." American jury finds Chinese wind turbine maker Sinovel of stealing trade secrets that cost American Superconductor Inc. $800 million. Australia tightens rules relating to sale of power and agricultural assets to foreign investors. United Arab Emirates' state-owned Abu Dhabi Oil Company to expand partnerships with Japanese petrochemical companies. Muji's China subsidiary maps out new catalog strategy after Beijing criticizes its portrayal of boundaries. POSCO E&C withdraws from project to build steel mill in Iran because of high political tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Samsung Engineering resolves conflict with Omani government over USD $1 billion construction deal with Oman's state-owned refinery company Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company. Pertamina awards USD $10 billion refinery project to consortium of Omani and Japanese businesses. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group proposes to merge its Indonesian subsidiary with local Indonesian lender to take advantage of Jakarta's banking consolidation drive. Royal Dutch Shell sells control of Thai Bongkot gas field to Thailand's state-owned gas producer PTT Exploration and Production for USD $750 million after failed effort to sell to non-Thai buyer. Thailand's largest state-owned petrochemical company PTT Global Chemical partners with Korea's Daelim Industrial to build USD $5.7 billion petrochemical plant in Ohio. Alibaba Group partnering with Malaysian Government's Digital Economy Corporation to set up artificial intelligence traffic system in capital. Malaysia's state-owned oil company Petronas acquired 6 oil and gas blocks for undisclosed amount from Mexican government in recent auction. Four foreign investors registered to become strategic investors in Vietnam's GENCO 3 as the Hanoi seeks to offload shares of the company. PetroVietnam Gas looking to gain Hanoi's approval to divest 30 percent of its stock to a foreign strategic investor.
January 23rd, 2018
Various Chinese government agencies press foreign companies to ensure websites respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Shanghai consumer council not peachy about Apple's alleged old battery induced phone slowdown. China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announces that Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) drops by almost 30 percent in 2017 year-over-year. US Congressmen urge AT&T to hang up interactions with Huawei leading China to call for level playing field. Mexico's state-owned oil provider Pemex selects Mitsui as partner for USD $2.6 billion coking plant. Mitsubishi partners with Vietnamese government to promote electric vehicles. South Korea's antitrust watchdog concludes Qualcomm must adhere to new requirements to complete its USD $38 billion NXP acquisition. South Korean companies increasingly turning to joint ventures to mitigate risk and reduce setbacks due to political turmoil. Indonesian government pushing for Saudi Arabian firms to invest USD $1.6 billion in new light rail transit line. Indonesian government wants to attract more foreign investment in its financial institutions. Thai government's incentives for eco-friendly cars drive Mazda to invest USD $357 million to upgrade its Rayong plant to produce hybrid electric vehicles. Thailand's BoI expects applications for foreign investment to increase to USD $22.6 due to improved political relationships with both US and EU. Malaysia's Permodalan Nasional and state-operated EPF plan to buy Britain's Battersea Power Station Project for USD $2.2 billion. Mitsubishi to expand its operations in Vietnam boosted by Vietnamese government incentives. Pending government approval, Amata Corporation plans to invest USD $485 million in Vietnam.
January 16th, 2018
China moving to make Free Trade Zones (FTZs) freer. China punishes Marriott over survey that lists Hong Kong, Macao, and Tibet as independent countries. Apple’s iCloud darkens as it transfers the service to a Chinese company that will operate it and keep all data in China. French Finance Minister welcomes Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in France provided it is not “looting.” President Donald Trump’s pressure seems to have driven Toyota and Mazda to select Alabama for USD $1.6 billion production facility. NEC acquires Northgate Public Services for USD $640 million following the British government’s promotion of digitalization. South Korea’s state-operated Korean Development Bank sets price floor on sale of struggling construction firm Daewoo Engineering & Construction. Hyundai invests in Singapore’s Grab in effort to expand in Southeast Asia and reduce reliance on the tumultuous China market. Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance to reevaluate investment attraction programs after no companies applied in 2017. Jakarta and Freeport-McMoRan seek to resolve by June a host of operational issues that plague the future of Grasberg mine. Nissan shortlists Thailand as possible location for Asia-Pacific EV manufacturing facility due to Thai investment incentives. Thai Minister says Chinese investment into country’s rubber plantations must be carefully considered and not impact local farmers. Johor Sultan invests USD $100 million in Sri Lanka’s first pharmaceutical manufacturing sector. New policy decree by Hanoi allows foreign enterprises to provide logistics services in Vietnam. Several of Vietnam’s efforts to divest state-owned enterprises at the end of 2017 did not catch much investor attention.
January 9th, 2018
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
January 5th, 2018
Foreign direct investment (FDI) into China’s service sector shows strong performance in 2017 with observers recommending various improvements to draw in more. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is concerned about surges in mobile chips and may launch an investigation. The China Banking Regulatory Commission has published draft rules that would make it easier for foreign banks to enter China and expand their businesses there. NDRC minister says China is considering passing legislation that would improve supervision of outward FDI (OFDI) and clarify the limits that exist. Japan’s Sumitomo among foreign bidders for Indian Railways’ first global tender. Japan’s Kubota to join USD $92 million project to improve water supply infrastructure in Yangon following local government order. LG Display receives green light from Seoul to build USD $4.5 billion OLED production plant in Guangzhou. South Korea’s state-owned Korea Gas Corporation finally collects return on its 2010 investment into Australia’s liquefied natural gas sector. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group posed to gain approval from Jakarta to purchase 73.8 percent of Bank Danamon Indonesia. Major foreign motorbike companies to build production and assembly plants in Thailand as government investment packages continue to proliferate. UK firms looking to bid on light rail transit and construction projects from Malaysian government. Japan surpasses South Korea to become largest investor in Vietnam in 2017 as Hanoi attracts more foreign money for infrastructure investment.
December 27th, 2017
China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) official says Code of Conduct and Blacklist governing outward foreign direct investment (FDI) by private firms on the horizon. China’s outward FDI (OFDI) Code of Conduct calls for no bribery, environmental impact assessments, and respect for Chinese and host-country rules. Britain’s nuclear regulator approves Hitachi’s plans for advanced boiling water nuclear reactor. Financially troubled, state-backed Japan Display looking to attract over USD $1.8 billion in Chinese investment. Lotte Group shifting investment from China to Indonesia as part of Southern Eastern Policy after domestic Chinese conditions continue to cause company financial difficulties. South Korean and Chinese ministers reach agreement to lift retaliatory measures against Korean battery makers operating in China.
December 20th, 2017
China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) announces plan to ease requirements for foreign banks wanting to conduct yuan trading. Government restrictions put brakes on the progress of foreign autonomous vehicle development in China. Wisconsin to power it up to meet future Foxconn plant’s electricity needs. Economist Intelligence Unit finds that the United Kingdom’s attractiveness to Chinese investors dropped severely from 2015 to this year. Japan and the EU conclude talks on a free trade deal, however investment dispute settlement issues remain unresolved. Toshiba and Western Digital end legal battle over flash memory unit sale, though antitrust screening in big global markets could obstruct the unit’s sale. Samsung and LG expanding employment and investment in Vietnam in the wake of Hanoi’s efforts to attract foreign companies. Hyundai Motor Co. sets up JV in Indonesia in wake of South Korean President Moon’s New South Policy. Indonesia’s Gunung Steel Group and China’s Shenwu Technology Corp to build USD $3 billion steel plant in line with Jakarta’s goal to increase country’s steel production capacity. Singapore’s APRIL Group lodges case against Indonesian government through its Indonesian unit RAPP. Thai Beverage only foreign firm to bid for large share in Vietnam’s state-owned brewing company Sabeco. Jacobs Douwe Egberts to buyout Malaysia’s OldTown with deal conditional upon approval from Malaysian antitrust authorities. BRG Group and Sumitomo Corporation to finalize plans for USD $4 billion smart city in Hanoi as local government pledges to create favorable conditions for its execution.

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