Australia

MNCs in the News-2018-08-03

Shanghai’s release of 100 policies seems to be drawing in foreign direct investment (FDI) in advanced manufacturing and benefitting foreign firms in remanufacturing. Google reportedly will launch censored search engine in China in 6-8 months. China’s National Development and Reform Commission lightens up restrictions on overseas borrowings by Chinese companies. Negative security review leads Yantai Taihai Group to drop plan to buy Germany’s Leifeld Metal Spinning AG. Japan, US, and Australia agree to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific in an apparent move to counter China. Japan seeks to cooperate with Moscow on construction of liquefied natural gas transfer hub in Russia’s Far East to minimize supply risks. Korean government to invest USD $1.3 trillion in 10-year next-generation semiconductor project to attract global semiconductor firms to set up plants in Korea. South Korea bolstering efforts to win bid for Saudi Arabia nuclear project after losing bid for United Kingdom construction project.

Dr. Amitendu Palit's picture

Investments and Connectivity: Digital Capacity Matters

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and upcoming regional connectivity plans like the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) should stimulate foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in countries getting connected and developing new industrial and other capacities. These investments, among other factors, would be driven by local and national capacities to do business across cyberspace. Discussions on connectivity often overlook this vital element as they focus on land and sea links.

MNCs in the News-2018-06-22

China to release two enhanced negative list for inward foreign direct investment (FDI) in July. Australia keeps hanging up on Huawei despite the latter’s efforts to gain new business opportunities. British officials seem reluctant to let a Chinese-owned British firm’s deal for a small airplanes part maker take off. Warming political relations between China and India provide a fertile environment for the growth of Chinese outward FDI (OFDI) in Indian start-ups. Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association stresses Japanese carmakers’ investment contribution to the US in move to undermine criticism from President Donald Trump. Japan’s financial regulator tells Japanese banks to report suspicious money transfers involving ten Japan-North Korea joint ventures. Chinese government to give LG Display approval to launch USD $6.7 billion OLED plant in Guangzhou, though partnerships with Chinese competitors may be required. SK Engineering & Construction signs letter of intent with Manila on USD $2 billion investment plan for environmentally friendly coal-fired power plants. Mahathir says Malaysia could extend new tax incentives for foreign investment in areas such as technology and research and development. Malaysia seeks to recoup USD $4.5 billion of funding that was potentially lost through 1MDB corruption scandal

MNCs in the News-2018-03-30

China responds to United States (US) World Trade Organization (WTO) complaint that its technology licensing practices are not WTO compliant. Washington considers new mechanisms for reviewing and limiting Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) into the US technology sector. The Head of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board welcomes Chinese FDI as the country moves to improve its ability to minimize any related security threats. Takeda considering takeover of Irish drugmaker Shire as Japanese government seeks to tackle rising healthcare costs for its aging population. Softbank Vision Fund and Saudi Arabia to boost solar production in the Arab country. Tirebank intends to acquire Korean company Kumho Tire from Korea Development Bank because of frictions between Kumho’s workers union and Chinese buyer Doublestar. Renegotiation of South Korea-US Free Trade Agreement causes Hyundai to move production of its new pick-up truck model from Korea to the US. Pertamina reports it secured a contract with the Iranian government to take an 80 percent stake in Mansouri oil field. Jakarta put forth simplified tax holiday scheme in bid to boost investment in the country. Thailand approves USD $7.22 billion high-speed rail project to link three airports. Japanese electric vehicle producers flocking to Thailand in the wake of government promotion packages. Joint venture between Malaysia’s Yinson Holdings and PetroVietnam ordered to stop operations in Vietnamese offshore oil field due to Chinese pressure. InvestKL on track to bring in 100 multinational corporations by 2020. Hanoi announces list of sectors that would be prioritized to receive Japanese high-technology and investment. New Franco-Vietnamese investment deals signed as Vietnam’s Communist Party General Secretary visits France.

MNCs in the News-2018-02-02

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.

MNCs-2017-12-29

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.

MNCs in the News-2017-11-24

Skype loses Apple app store connection in China due to government regulation. Illegal overtime at Apple supplier Foxconn plant in Henan stopped. Chinese official reports Chinese firms employed more than 1.3 million people abroad in 2016. According to Chinese railway authorities, China has 20 overseas railway projects right now with investment around $15 billion. Bad press on Uber’s data theft cover-up may push SoftBank to renegotiate the terms of USD $10 billion investment deal due to impending legal action. Air bag maker Takata finalizes agreement to sell assets to Chinese owned Key Safety Systems to obtain cash needed to cover court imposed penalties. US trade commission’s proposed import tariffs on washing machines may lead Samsung and LG to reassess whether building new US factories would still be beneficial. South Korea’s SK Group sells used car affiliate to Australia’s Carsales Holdings in face of government barriers to further expansion. Indonesian government looking for more than USD $800 million in private foreign investment to develop tourism near Lake Toba. Real Estate Indonesia invites Japanese developers to engage in housing projects after Japan’s Prime Minister reaffirmed his country’s commitment to increasing investment in Indonesia. DHL to invest over USD $350 million to develop its IT services in Malaysia, contributing to Kuala Lumpur’s national digital transformation agenda. Nestlé selects Malaysia for global procurement hub investment as Malaysian Minister announces Kuala Lumpur strives to position the country as a preferred investment destination. Jardine Matheson and Fraser and Neave seek to increase stakes in Vinamilk as Vietnam continues to divest in its state-owned industries, albeit cautiously. Hanoi cooperating with World Bank to create new regulations to increase FDI in Vietnam as country seeks to diversify FDI sources.

MNCs in the News-2017-10-20

At 19th Party Congress, China promises greater market openness for foreign investors, but foreign businesses and governments cautious. Top China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) official says foreign banks may get more latitude in entering and operating in China’s banking sector. Chinese outward foreign direct investment (FDI) plummeted 41.9 percent over the first nine months of 2016 year-over-year. In the first three quarters of 2016, Chinese outward merger and acquisitions activity drops significantly in both deal volume and size. Toyota and Mazda seek USD $1 billion incentive package from US states bidding for their joint car factory. SoftBank Group struggling to carry out US investments after several of its deals have been caught up in the CFIUS review process. US Department of Justice demands Kobe Steel release all information related to it falsified steel and metal data. SK-Sinopec JV to expand its Wuhan Petrochemical plant mirroring success of SK Innovation’s China Insider strategy. Korean battery manufacturers finding backdoors into the Chinese market despite Chinese government’s preferential treatment of domestic firms. Indonesia works to attract private investment despite bad atmosphere created by problems with Freeport-McMoran. Freeport-McMoRan facing labor union protests over anticipated layoffs. New US-Thai joint committee formed to increase bilateral investment following Thai Prime Minister’s recent US visit. Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industries leads trade mission to Europe to attract German investment. MITI reports a decline in investments this year. Vietnamese government begins implementing its divestment plan for Dung Quat Oil Refinery, attracts foreign investors. Foreign brewers eagerly awaiting Vietnamese government’s divestment plans for country’s largest domestic brewer Sabeco.

MNCs in the News-2017-08-04

Donald Trump administration contemplates using Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act to challenge China’s technology transfer and intellectual property right protection practices. Foreign businesses increasingly fret about the burdens to be flowing from China’s rejection of non-approved virtual private networks (VPNs) and other data controls/restrictions. China’s Ministry of Finance issues a guideline to limit risk of overseas investments by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Foxconn Technology Group announces major planned investment in the United States (US) to do R&D work relating to self-driving vehicles perhaps due to Trump’s efforts to bring more manufacturing to the US. Workers at Nissan’s Mississippi factory vote on whether to join the United Auto Workers. Japan’s JFE Holdings Inc. considers further investment into India’s JSW Steel Ltd as a way to profit from increased steel demand potentially flowing from Indian Prime Minister Modi’s economic plans. South Korean firms struggle in the Middle East due to government indifference and rising political tensions. South Korea’s LA Cable & System signs USD $195 million contract with Qatar’s state owned utilities firm. Jakarta focuses on simplifying investment application process for foreign firms seeking investment licenses. Indonesia’s government will start taking bids in September for construction of six massive geothermal power plants. Thailand and Australia discuss revising the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement to increase investment and trade. Indian Oil Corp Ltd in talks with partners to search for cheaper location for Pacific Northwest LNG terminal after recent withdrawal of Petronas. South Korea’s Lotte signs Eco-Smart city development contract with Vietnam’s People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam’s Prime Minister confirms that creation of Vietnam’s first three special economic zones would enjoy special rules to attract greater investment.

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