MNCs in the News-2018-08-10

China

Shenmei Energy Investment Holdings, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Energy Group, had planned to buy three United States (US) solar farm projects run by Recurrent Energy Development. However, the approximately USD $230 million deal failed to obtain approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), leading Recurrent to cancel it. As the transaction had no obvious national security features, some feel the deal’s collapse had to do with US-China economic tensions (Eric Ng, “Shenzhen Energy is Latest Chinese Firm Forced to Give Up on US Acquisition after Falling under Scrutiny,” South China Morning Post, August 8, 2018, https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2158858/shenzhen-energy-...)

China has plans to invest $30 billion in infrastructure projects in Bangladesh. Aside from this China has taken a major stake in the Dhaka Stock Exchange, is looking to create special economic zones (SEZs), and has offered massive investment in a huge power plant. Moreover, it provided critical financing for a $3.7 billion bridge over the Padma river that connects Bangladesh’s north and south. All of this has raised anxieties in India, which also is witnessing massive Chinese investment in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere (Kiran Stacey, “Chinese Investment in Bangladesh Rings India Alarm Bells,” Financial Times, August 6, 2018)

Japan

Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko has opined the imposition of additional tariffs by the Donald Trump administration could produce “strained business relations” between the US and Japan. Seko met with Indiana’s Governor Eric Holcomb to discuss Japan’s relationship with the State as Japan is Indiana’s biggest foreign investor. The Minister said if additional tariffs will be imposed “great damage will be done on Japanese auto makers in the State of Indiana.” Still, tax reforms could lead to 28,000 new jobs across the US (“Trump Tariff Plans Could Stall Japanese Investment in Indiana,” WIBC, August 7, 2018, https://www.wibc.com/news/local-news/trump-tariff-plans-could-stall-japa...)

Japan’s MUFG Bank has doubled its stake in Bank Danamon Indonesia to 40 percent in a $1.1 billion deal after having gained approval from Indonesian financial authorities. Once it obtains further approvals, MUFG will increase its ownership stake to over 73.8 percent in a deal with an overall value of approximately $6.27 billion. While Indonesia usually limits single foreign ownership of lenders to 40 percent, it has allow exceptions on occasion. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. also plans to further integrate Indonesian banks into its businesses (“Indonesian banks draw deeper investment from Japanese megabanks,” Nikkei Asian Review, August 3, 2018, https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Deals/Indonesian-banks-draw-de...)

South Korea

South Korea’s Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) is facing its biggest crisis since it was founded in 2003 due to its continued failure to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). According to the IFEZ Authority, FDI in the zone in the first half of this year amounted $492.9 million, a decrease of 33 percent compared to the $741.7 million tallied in the first half of 2017. Moreover, the number of firms reporting inflows of FDI declined from 24 to 17. Several development projects in the IFEZ have been halted (“Incheon FEZ faces biggest crisis,” The Korea Times, August 6, 2018, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2018/08/129_253433.html)

After various investment offers including from South Korea’s Lotte Chemical for the construction of a Petrochemical Complex, the Pakistan Chemical Manufacturers Association (PCMA) recently urged the country’s new government to include the chemical industry in its first “100 days plan” and form a task force to exploit offers from foreign investors. Earlier, Pakistan’s Commercial Counselor in Seoul held a meeting with Lotte Chemical representatives to share PCMA’s information on the need for the project. Other interested foreign investors include parties from the United Arab Emirates and China (“South Korea plans investment in chemical industry,” The Nation, August 7, 2018, https://nation.com.pk/07-Aug-2018/south-korea-plans-investment-in-chemic...)

*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.