MNCs in the News-2017-02-03

China

For the past six years or so, Facebook, blocked since 2009, has been striving to regain a presence in China. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has tried to increase his visibility by meeting with/hosting high level Chinese officials, attending conferences, joining a Tsinghua university board, and taking a “smog jog.” Facebook also hired connected individuals, started developing technology that allows its content to be censored, and is considering potential joint ventures. Yet all of this pandering only bought it a 3-month permit in 2015 to open a representative office, which it did not use. For now Facebook remains “closed” in China (Alyssa Abkowitz, Deepa Seetharaman, and Eva Dou, “Facebook is Trying Everything to Re-Enter China—and It’s Not Working,” Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2017, https://www.wsj.com/articles/mark-zuckerbergs-beijing-blues-1485791106)

Japan

Japan’s Marubeni will construct and run a mega solar power plant in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With a capacity of 1.18 gigawatts, it will be one of world’s largest plants. Ever since the Paris Agreement, which aims to curb greenhouse gasses, the world including the UAE is trying to produce more renewable energy. Project costs are expected to run USD $868 million. Marubeni will provide 20 percent of the loan package in the form of project financing and the consortium will sell electricity from the plant for 25 years (“Marubeni to build 1.18GW solar plant,” Nikkei Asian Review, January 29, 2017, http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Marubeni-to-build-1.18GW-solar...)

Three Japanese firms, Marubeni, Chiyoda, and Mitsui, will sign oil refining contracts worth USD $8.6 billion with Iran this month or later to upgrade the Isfahan refinery. Iran will sign a separate $2 billion contract with South Korea’s Daelim company to improve oil processing capacity at the Isfahan refinery. Iran also plans to conclude a separate $3 billion contract with China’s SINOPEC within the next couple of weeks. Iran plans to make deals worth $14 billion for upgrading refineries in the states of Tehran, Bandar Abbas, Isfahan, Tabriz and Abadan (“Iran sees oil refining megadeals with Japan, China soon,” Press TV, February 1, 2017, http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/02/01/508680/Iran-oil-refining-deals-C...)

South Korea

South Korea’s SK Engineering & Construction Co. and Daelim Industrial Co. won a USD $3 billion worth deal to build a bridge in Turkey. The so-called 1915 Canakkale Suspension Bridge will connect Lapseki to Gelibolu districts of Canakkale and is expected to be the longest bridge in the world. These companies formed a consortium with Turkey’s Limak and Yapi Merkezi and will sign the project contract in February. The companies also will take charge of maintenance for around 16 years after construction is completed. They will start building the bridge in March and aim to start full operating in 2023 (Kim Gi-jung and Chung Soon-woo, “SK E&C and Daelim Industrial picked as preferred bidder for bridge building project in Turkey,” Pulse News, January 30, 2017, http://pulsenews.co.kr/view.php?sc=30800021&year=2017&no=67820)

South Korean builder Daewoo E&C announced on Thursday that it re-signed a deal for expanding and constructing an expressway in Qatar. This construction will “add a 4.5-kilometer extension to the country's E-Ring expressway, while also building 4 kilometers of roads with three multilevel intersections.” The original project called for a much larger USD $730 million of expenditures. Daewoo E&C view is that the project also will provide a basis for it to win other projects relating to the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar (“Daewoo E&C wins $590m road construction deal from Qatar,” Korea Herald, February 2, 2017, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170202000765)

Thailand

Chatrudee Theparat, “Firms urged to invest in Myanmar,” Bangkok Post, February 4, 2017, http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/asean/1192641/firms-urged-to-invest-in-myanmar

Pratik Ghosh, “Thailand looks at India for investments, woos global capital,” Daily News & Analysis, February 3, 2017, http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-thailand-looks-at-india-for-investm...

Malaysia

Shannon Teo, “Malaysia parties use China investments to sway Malay vote,” Straits Times, January 28, 2017, http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/malaysia-parties-use-china-investmen...

Tarrence Tan, “DAP: China deals criticism over lack of transparency,” Free Malaysia Times, February 1, 2017, http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/02/01/dap-china-de...

Vietnam

Luu Van Dat, “Public Anger Prompts Vietnam to Put the Brakes on Investment,” Bloomberg, February 2, 2017, https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-02/rare-public-outcr...

“New policy attempts to entice foreign investment into education,” Vietnam Net, February 3, 2017, http://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/education/172053/new-policy-attempts-to...

*The information compiled in the MNCs in the News digest is gathered from sources believed to be reliable, but the Wong MNC Center does not guarantee their accuracy. The content of the MNCs in the News digest does not necessarily represent the view of the Wong MNC Center, its Board of Directors, or its Advisory Board, but is intended for the non-commercial use of readers in order to foster debate and discussion and to facilitate and stimulate research.