MNCs in the News-2018-10-12

China

China’ State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) issued a report noting net foreign investment inflows surged USD $294 billion over the first six months of 2018, which represents a 45 percent increase year-over-year (YOY). 43 percent of the above amount was foreign direct investment (FDI), a 1.3 percent increase YOY. Analysts attributed the increase, despite countervailing global economic headwinds, to China’s growth prospects, large consumer market, stable currency, attracting high-tech industrial sector, and the liberalization of certain sectors such new energy vehicle manufacturing (Zhou Lanxu and Wang Yu, “Foreign Investment on Upswing Despite Headwinds,” China Daily, October 9, 2018, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201810/09/WS5bbb9a32a310eff3032811ef.html)

IDC, a technology research firm, predicts that reports about China corrupting the security of hardware by placing chips on computer board used by Super Micro Computer, “the world’s biggest vendor of server motherboards” “will push US hardware vendors to reconsider the integrity and location of supply chains.” Vendors also may push their own hardware designs. Lastly, there will be more “full supply chain audits…to ensure that equipment and components are completely bug free” (Li Tao, “China Chip Hack Report will Push US-Based Vendors to Rethink Supply Chain Security, Research Firm IDC Says,” South China Morning Post, October 11, 2018, https://www.scmp.com/tech/article/2167898/china-chip-hack-report-will-pu...)

Chinese outward mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity fell by 60 percent in 2018 versus the same six-month period last year. The large YOY drop was explained with reference to “China’s currency depreciation, fears of the effects of the US-China trade dispute, and tightening regulations.” Partly due to the plunge in activity, China represented a much smaller share of deals in the Asia-Pacific Region in 2018. Notably, private enterprises M&A is “growing much faster than that by state-owned enterprises.” Europe and North America remain favored destinations though (“Chinese Overseas M&A Activities Cool in H1: Report,” China Daily, October 12, 2018, http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201810/12/WS5bc04172a310eff3032820e1.html)

Japan

At the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo pledged to promote quality infrastructure projects in Southeast Asian nations along the Mekong River. Meanwhile, leaders of Southeast Asian nations said that they supported Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. As part of the Tokyo Strategy 2018 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation, Japan will assist Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar on at least 150 projects centered on building effective connectivity, building people-centered societies, and environment and disaster management (Walter Sim, “Japan vows quality infrastructure in Mekong region in push for Free and Open Indo-Pacific,” The Straits Times, October 9, 2018, https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/japan-vows-quality-infrastru...)

According to reports, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stated the Saudi Arabian government is prepared to invest an additional $45 billion in the existing $100 billion Softbank (Japan) Vision Fund. According to the Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which he chairs, will make another massive investment because of the huge gains it saw from the first investment in just the first year. The Softbank Vision Fund was established in 2017 and it invests in growth companies like Uber around the world (“Saudi Arabia to investment $45bn more in Softbank funds,” Nikkei Asian Review, October 7, 2018, https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-Deals/Saudi-Arabia-to-invest-4...)

South Korea

South Korea’s LS Cable & System has won a $125.5 million contract with Bahrain’s Electricity and Water Authority to install extra high-voltage cables. As a part of Bahrain’s project to establish a new power grid across the country, LS Cable & System will supply 400 kilovolt extra high-voltage cables as well as manage their installation. The Korean cable manufacturer ranks first in the Middle East in terms of market share and won $438 million (2012) and $200 million (2017) contracts with Qatar (Jun Ji-hye, “LS C&S signs $125 mil. supply deal with Bahrain,” The Korean Times, October 11, 2018, http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/tech/2018/10/133_256832.html)

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and Britain’s International Trade Secretary signed a memorandum of understanding for a strategic partnership in bilateral investments, trade information exchanges, and joint overseas projects. Per KOTRA’s CEO, in anticipation of its exit from the European Union next year, Britain is “looking at more collaboration with major trading partners, such as Korea.” As of the end of 2017, Korean investment in the UK reached $16.79 billion. In contrast, Britain’s investments in Korea stood at just $2.2 billion (Kyongae Choi, “S. Korea, UK sign MOU for expanded trade partnership,” Yonhap News Agency, October 7, 2018, http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2018/10/05/0200000000AEN20181005009...)

*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.