Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2021.06.28]






EIG-Led Consortium Closes $12.4 Billion Infrastructure Deal with Aramco

Consortium comprised of a cross-section of renowned investors from North America, Asia and the Middle East

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EIG, a leading institutional investor to the global energy sector and one of the world’s leading infrastructure investors, today announced the closing of its previously announced transaction with Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Aramco), under which a consortium of investors acquired a 49% equity stake in Aramco Oil Pipelines Company (Aramco Oil Pipelines), a newly formed entity with rights to 25 years of tariff payments for oil transported through Aramcos stabilized crude oil pipeline network.

The EIG-led co-investment process in Aramco Oil Pipelines attracted a global group of leading institutional investors from China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Korea, the United Arab Emirates and the United States including, amongst others, Mubadala Investment Company, an Abu Dhabi Sovereign Investor, Silk Road Fund, Hassana and Samsung Asset Management.

R. Blair Thomas, EIG Chairman and CEO, said: “We are pleased to have completed this transaction with Aramco, a preeminent global energy supplier. The caliber of this marquee global infrastructure asset is further evidenced by the leading investors that have invested alongside EIG. We are honored to be working with this world-class consortium and look forward to a long-term, fruitful partnership.

HSBC Bank plc acted as financial advisor to EIG in connection with the transaction, and Latham & Watkins served as EIG’s legal advisor.



ExxonMobil plans to cut headcount by up to 10% in the US

ExxonMobil is reportedly planning to cut between 5% and 10% of jobs annually at its offices in the US for the next three to five years.

The retrenchment plan comes as the company registered massive annual loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic crises.

The proposed plan, which will be implemented using the performance-evaluation system, will target low-rated employees, reported Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.

While the company’s 2021 performance evaluation is underway, the proposed performance-review process would mostly affect white-collar jobs in areas, including engineering, finance, and project management.

Exxon spokesman Casey Norton was cited by the news agency as saying: “Our annual performance assessment process has been occurring over the last several months.


S. Korea joint venture to produce sheet metal

China's major steel supplier HBIS Group on Friday signed an agreement with South Korean steelmaker POSCO to establish a joint venture dedicated to developing high-end auto sheet metal in the world's largest auto market.

The two companies will invest 4.13 billion yuan ($639 million) to build a joint venture producing high-end auto sheet metal in Tangshan, Hebei province, marking the largest single infusion of foreign investment in China's steel sector.

Under the agreement, the new joint venture will be a 50-50 partnership between HBIS Group and POSCO, with an annual designed production capacity of 1.35 million metric tons of high-end auto sheet metal.

Yu Yong, chairman of HBIS Group, one of China's largest steelmakers, said the two companies would synergize and capitalize on their strengths in terms of brand, technology, management, market and talent.


Schmidt to branch out into custom-made furniture sector

Schmidt, one of the Europe's leading kitchen and interior solutions suppliers, has decided to branch out into the custom-made furniture sector, in a move to cater to the rising needs of China's high-end consumers for modern home decoration.

Gan Mingzhong, general manager of Schmidt's marketing department in China, said Schmidt aims to become the top imported furniture brand in terms of both the number of stores and sales in the next three years in China.


China's first self-operated 1,500m deep-water gas field starts production

BEIJING - Deep Sea No1, China's first self-operated 1,500-meter deep-water gas field, started production on Friday, according to the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The operation of the gas field, 150 km off the city of Sanya in South China's island province of Hainan, marks the country's capability of ultra deep-water drilling for oil and gas, compared with the 300-meter depth previously, said the CNOOC.

Production at the gas field, detected in 2014, is of great significance to ensuring national energy security, optimizing the country's energy structure and promoting regional economic development, said the CNOOC.


Foreign chemical players boosting China operations

German specialty chemicals company Lanxess opened its Asia-Pacific application development center (AADC) in Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) on Friday. The 3,600-square-meter center with 2,700 sq m of usable area is the first project to enter operations in SCIP's new Shanghai International Chemical New Materials Innovation Center (InnoGreen), and it is expected to substantially improve the company's local innovation capabilities.

'The AADC will enhance our local innovation and strengthen our confidence in the Chinese market, and ultimately serve our customers in the entire Asia-Pacific region,' said Ming Cheng Chien, president of Lanxess Asia-Pacific region.


Abbott aims to better serve Chinese diabetics with glucose monitoring program

US-based Abbott, a global leading healthcare company, collaborated with the Beijing Medical Award Foundation to launch a demonstrative glucose monitoring program, in an effort to promote higher-quality and more intelligent diabetes management in China.

The program, namely 2021 Continuous Glucose Monitoring Center of Excellence Program, aims to promote the application of a standardized continuous glucose monitoring system in hospitals across China. The first batch of hospitals, including Tianjin Medical University Chu Hsien-I Memorial Hospital, the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, and the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, were recognized as the national demonstrative continuous glucose monitoring centers. The program is set to cover hundreds of hospitals across China in three years.


Chinese courier firm told to conduct safety overhaul

BEIJING - Chinese postal authorities have told Deppon Logistics Co Ltd to conduct a safety overhaul on its whole network after the courier firm accepted and sent dangerous and prohibited items, endangering public security.

The market supervision department of the State Post Bureau held regulatory talks with the company on Tuesday. The department urged Deppon to conduct top-to-bottom screening of safety risks, hold those responsible to account, plug all loopholes, and enhance management.

The firm was told to resolutely prevent prohibited items, including guns, explosives, and controlled knives, from entering the delivery channel.

The courier pledged to comprehensively comply with regulatory demand, create an overhaul plan, and ensure its solid implementation.


Potevio, CETC integrated to form giant internet information firm

Potevio was integrated into China Electronic Technology Group Corporation as a wholly owned subsidiary after the State Council approved the move. It will no longer be directly supervised and administrated by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the commission announced on Wednesday via its news center WeChat account.

AVIC Securities said the joining of Potevio will strengthen CETC advantages in scale, innovation and market, making CETC's strategic role more prominent. Potevio and CETC are both centrally administered State-owned enterprises whose businesses cover communication industry and other related fields.

CETC is regarded as the 'national team' of the internet and information industry, and plays a leading technical role in military electronics industry in China.

Data on the website of CETC showed as of June 23, the enterprise owned 11 listed firms with a total market value of 666.19 billion yuan ($102.85 billion).

As of June 23, Potevio owned four listed firms, with market value of 13.8 billion yuan, 522 million yuan, HK$392 million and 5.54 billion yuan, respectively, according to its website.

ChinaFund calculated the total market value of the two central SOEs reached up to nearly 700 billion yuan.

The integration of Potevio and CETC is thought by insiders of significant meaning for SOE reform, the ChinaFund reported. First, it helps to concentrate resources, tackle key problems and solve the supply shortage of China's high-end industrial chain.

Second, it will take advantages of national policies and industrial orientation to have State-owned enterprises cooperate with each other, so they could make breakthroughs in basic materials and key core technologies in promoting China's capability to solve the cutthroat problems.

Third, it facilitates the application of military technology to civilian use and the form of a virtuous cycle of technology conversion into products guided by market demand.


Local research speeds up new product launches by Fonterra

Five new products launched by Fonterra, a New Zealand dairy giant, made their global debut in Shanghai on Tuesday, showcasing the company's operational agility in China, its largest and fastest-growing market.

Products like a new type of cheese and milk powders for adults and children are an outcome of research by the company's research and development teams at its headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand, and at the Fonterra-ACC Shanghai Innovation Center, which was launched last year to better tap into the fast-changing dairy preferences of Chinese people.


TotalEnergies bullish on China and further investment in green power

TotalEnergies China, the local unit of French energy company TotalEnergies, will continue to invest in China's renewable energy sector, especially in its offshore wind and solar projects, to support Beijing's carbon neutrality ambitions, a top company official said.

While the government recently announced it is scrapping subsidies for new centralized photovoltaic stations, distributed photovoltaic projects and onshore wind power projects, TotalEnergies will continue expanding in the country's wind and solar sectors, as well as other clean energy industries, which is in line with its goal and the China's carbon neutrality ambitions, said William Zhao, country chair of TotalEnergies China.

'TotalEnergies will invest in the renewable energy sector in China regardless of subsidy, as we believe in the long-term performance and financial return of renewable energy in the country,' Zhao said in Beijing on Monday.

Tencent &Chindata

Chindata Group inks cloud deal with Tencent Holdings

Chinese carrier-neutral, hyperscale data center solution provider Chindata Group inked a deal with tech giant Tencent Holdings, in an effort to develop cloud computing-featured new infrastructure and promote carbon neutrality.

Specifically, the two parties will integrate respective resources, and cooperate in areas including governance, industry, culture and tourism, education, healthcare, energy and transportation. The first phase of cooperation will center on smart city, industrial internet, smart culture and tourism, and smart healthcare.


Airbus, AVIC jointly launch A320 fuselage equipping project in China

TIANJIN - An Airbus A320 fuselage equipping project was jointly launched by Airbus and the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) on Tuesday in North China's Tianjin.

The project is the extension of Airbus' supply chain in China, marking a new milestone in industrial cooperation between Airbus and China, said the European planemaker.


CNPC wins bid to develop Turkmenistan's largest gas field

ASHGABAT - Chinese CNPC won the international contract for drilling in Turkmenistan's largest gas field, Galkynysh, Shahym Abdrakhmanov, the Turkmen deputy prime minister, said on Friday.

As Abdrakhmanov said during the video conference, CNPC's commercial offer was recognized as the most favorable.

The company assumes the responsibility to complete the works in 30 months. CNPC will be paid for its services by annual supplies of 17 billion cubic meters of gas to China during three years.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow mentioned that Turkmenistan has 'good experience with large Chinese companies,' which work with the country toward 'the realization of important projects in the energy sector.'

Galkynysh is one of the largest gas fields in the world. Turkmenistan enters the top four countries with gas reserves along with Russia, Iran and Qatar.

A.P. Moller-Maersk

Maersk set to introduce more containers, offer air, rail options

A. P. Moller-Maersk, the Danish shipping and logistics giant, will introduce more 40-foot shipping containers into its fleet this summer to mitigate an equipment shortage in the market, besides continuing to offer alternative integrated solutions, such as air charters and intercontinental freight train services between China and the rest of the world.


Ride-hailing giant Didi targets $60b valuation in NYSE debut

Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing company, is aiming for a valuation of more than $60 billion in its New York Stock Exchange debut, setting it up for what is likely to be the biggest US initial public offering this year.

It set a price range of between $13-14 per American depositary share and said it would offer 288 million such shares in its IPO. At the upper end of the price range, Didi expects to raise a little more than $4 billion.

Four ADSs represent one class A ordinary share, it said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that was registered under its formal name Xiaoju Kuaizhi.

The IPO will be one of the biggest share sales by any Chinese company in the United States since Alibaba raised $25 billion in 2014.


SOCAR Petrofac JV inks contract to support BPs Caspian Sea project

A joint venture (JV) of Azerbaijan’s State Oil Company (SOCAR) and Petrofac has secured a $25m contract to support BP-operated Azeri Central East (ACE) development project in the Caspian Sea, offshore Azerbaijan.

The contract involves the provision of commissioning technicians and other specialist personnel, mobilisation, and associated services.

The personnel would support the onshore and offshore work related to the project in the country.

Petrofac Training Services global head and SOCAR Petrofac board member Patty Eid said: “The SOCAR Petrofac JV is well-positioned to support bps operations more widely in the Caspian Sea.