Media Focus on Multinational Corporations[2022.08.29]






Novartis to spin off generics business Sandoz next year
Novartis plans to spin off its generics unit Sandoz to sharpen its focus on its patented prescription medicines, the Swiss group said on Thursday, acknowledging it had not received any formal offers for the business to date.
The company started a strategic review of Sandoz last October - examining a range of options, including retaining the business, spinning it off or selling it - following a protracted period of underperformance driven largely by mounting pricing pressures in the off-patent drug sector.

Bayer initiates asundexian Phase III study program
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Bayer said on Sunday it was starting a Phase III study program to investigate the efficacy and safety of asundexian, an oral Factor XIa (FXIa) inhibitor.
The drug candidate is a potential new treatment for patients with atrial fibrillation and in patients with a non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke or high-risk transient ischemic attack, Bayer said.
Bayer's best-selling stroke prevention pill Xarelto, in which partner Johnson & Johnson holds some rights, will lose patent protection around 2026.

Moderna sues Pfizer/BioNTech for patent infringement over Covid vaccine
Moderna alleges Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech copied technology that was developed years before the pandemic.
Early in the pandemic, Moderna said it would not enforce its Covid-19 patents. In March this year, Moderna said it expected companies to respect its intellectual property rights.
Patent litigation is not uncommon in the early stages of new technology.
Moderna is suing Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for patent infringement in the development of the first Covid-19 vaccine approved in the United States, alleging they copied technology that Moderna developed years before the pandemic.
The lawsuit, which seeks undetermined monetary damages, was being filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts and the Regional Court of Dusseldorf in Germany, Moderna said in a news release on Friday.
We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the Covid-19 pandemic,” Moderna Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in the statement.

PetroChina to delist from NYSE next month
PetroChina Co Ltd, the listed unit of China National Petroleum Corp, said the company plans to finish the delisting process from New York Stock Exchange on September 8.
PetroChina's Board of Directors decided to delist the company and is ADR shares from the exchange, as the trading volume is relatively small compared with global trading volume as well as the relatively large administrative burden the regulation differences in the listing places on PetroChina, said Wang Hua, PetroChina's CFO and board secretary, during the half-year earnings call held on Thursday.
After delisting from the exchange, the company will continue to be traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange, which can meet the demand for both investors and the company, he said.
According to Wang, PetroChina will follow up with the rules, regulations and securities supervision of the United States to fulfill the delisting procedures and the company is expected to submit the delisting applications to the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 29.
The company will continue to fulfill its information disclosure responsibilities and make sure everything will go on smoothly, he said.

Energy Transfer Inks 20-Year LNG Supply Deal with Shell
Energy Transfer LP has entered a 20-year deal to supply 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year to Shell Plc related to its Lake Charles LNG project, the company announced on Wednesday.
The LNG will be supplied on a free-on-board (FOB) basis and the purchase price will be indexed to the Henry Hub benchmark, plus a fixed liquefaction charge. The first deliveries are expected to commence as early as 2026. The SPA will become fully effective upon the satisfaction of the conditions precedent, including Energy Transfer LNG taking a final investment decision (FID).
We believe that Lake Charles is the most competitive LNG project on the Gulf Coast,” Tom Mason, president of Energy Transfer LNG, said. And we are particularly pleased that one of the most prominent LNG industry participants has selected Lake Charles LNG as a supplier.
Energy Transfer LNG has announced six SPAs in the last five months, bringing the total amount of LNG contracted from its Lake Charles LNG export facility to nearly 8 MTPA.
We have had a long-standing relationship with Shell and its predecessor BG Group, as a customer of our regasification facility at Lake Charles,” Mason said. It is great to have Shell re-engaged in the project as a LNG offtake customer. This SPA demonstrates their belief in the project and their commitment to continuing to deliver much-needed supplies of natural gas to markets around the world.

TotalEnergies and SSE Renewables Bring Online Scotland's Largest Offshore Wind Farm
TotalEnergies and partner SSE Renewables on Tuesday announced the first power generation from their Seagreen wind farm off the coast of Angus in Scotland.
The $4.3 billion Seagreen project will be Scotland's largest offshore wind farm and the world's deepest fixed-bottom wind farm, said French company TotalEnergies, which is trying to move more into renewable energy and away from its traditional oil and gas businesses.
'This marks a new step in the development of TotalEnergies’ offshore activities capacity. This milestone will contribute directly to our objective of reaching 35 GW of renewable electricity capacity worldwide by 2025,' said Vincent Stoquart, TotalEnergies' senior vice president for renewables. SSE said the Seagreen project will play a significant role in Britain achieving its renewable energy targets.
'The project has already brought several benefits to the local community, the UK supply chain and, once completed, Seagreen will make a significant contribution to Scotland and the UKs ambitious renewable energy targets,' said Paul Cooley, SSE Renewables' director of offshore wind.

TotalEnergies, Eni make significant gas discovery offshore Cyprus
TotalEnergies and Eni (operator) made a significant gas discovery at the Cronos-1 well, in Block 6, offshore Cyprus. This discovery follows the Calypso-1 discovery made on the same Block in 2018.
Located 160 km (99 mi) southwest of the Cyprus coast, Cronos-1 encountered several good quality carbonate reservoir intervals and confirmed overall net gas pay of more than 260 meters.
This successful exploration well at Cronos-1 is another illustration of the impact of our Exploration strategy which is focused on discovering resources with low technical cost and low carbon emissions, to contribute to energy security including to provide an additional sources of gas supply to Europe,” said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President, Exploration at TotalEnergies.
The drilling of another exploration well on Block 6 is planned to investigate significant additional resource upside and to evaluate the best development options.
TotalEnergies holds a 50% interest in Block 6, where Eni is the operator (50%).

Indian Oil Corp
Indian Oil Corp. to spend $25 billion to cut emissions
Indian Oil Corp., the countrys biggest refiner, said it plans to spend 2 trillion rupees ($25 billion) to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2046.
The company will target Scope 1 and 2 emissions under its net zero aim, Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, chairman of the state-owned refiner-cum-fuel retailer, said on Thursday. It plans to achieve 60% of the goal through mitigation and the rest via offsets, including through the purchase of carbon credits, Vaidya said.
Indian Oil did not share data on Scope 3 emissions, which occur from the consumption of its fuels and comprise the largest share of emissions for refiners.
Scope 1 refers to greenhouse gas emissions generated during production and Scope 2 to emissions from the consumption of energy. Scope 3 refers to all other indirect emissions in the value chain.
The burning of fossil fuels by the transport sector is responsible for roughly 13% of Indias carbon emissions, and constitutes the Scope 3 emission for all oil refiners,” said Shantanu Jaiswal, BloombergNEFs head of India research. And while todays announcement is a good start, to achieve net zero for the entire country India will need to reduce these very emissions.
Overall emissions at its refineries and petrochemical units will start falling after 2030, Vaidya told reporters in New Delhi after he had announced the goal to shareholders. Indian state-run energy majors have been working on plans to switch to low-carbon operations with investments planned in hydrogen and clean power.
Indian Oil will spend 5.77 billion rupees on research on green products and fuel cells, Vaidya said. The refiner has started working on hydrogen production by gasifying biomass and expects to have a trial plant with a capacity of one ton a day ready by the end of the year, he said.
The refiners decarbonization plan is in line with Indias national goal of reaching net zero by 2070. The worlds third-largest emitter announced the target at COP26 at Glasgow late last year, spurring a series of policy changes to encourage decarbonization of the economy.
The Indian energy sector is looking at investments in green hydrogen and clean power, while thousands of electric vehicle charging points are also being installed across the country even as gasoline demand is expected to remain robust for many years. Indian Oil had earlier said it is working toward producing 70,000 tons a year of green hydrogen by 2030.

Occidental to break ground on carbon capture project
US oil producer Occidental Petroleum Corp will begin construction on its first carbon capture project this fall, an official told an industry group, a key part of its effort to build a business from greenhouse gas reduction.
Tom Janiszewski, vice president of regulatory and land for Occidental, told the Colorado Oil and Gas Association's annual summit that the West Texas facility would begin operations by 2024.
Occidental's Low Carbon Ventures LLC arm formed 1PointFive with venture capital firm Rusheen Capital Management to license, finance and deploy direct air capture (DAC) technology, a method of extracting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The precise location for the West Texas facility has not been identified, but Occidental has applied for tax credits for a project in Ector County. The business also is evaluating a site in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, for a separate DAC operation.

Malaysian state oil company
Petronas explores $3bn African upstream asset sale
Malaysian state oil company Petroliam Nasional has started inviting bids for its upstream assets in Africa, which could fetch as much as $3 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Petronas is working with an adviser to gauge interest in the portfolio, which includes operations in Chad, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
The assets are likely to attract other international energy companies or financial investors, and could be sold piecemeal to different buyers, the people said.
The Malaysian firm has also been considering options for its downstream assets in Africa, though it hasnt decided how to proceed, two of the people said. Deliberations are at an early stage and theres no certainty theyll result in a transaction, the people said.
Petronas has upstream projects in countries including Chad, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Senegal and the Republic of South Sudan, according to its website.

Neptune Energy
Neptune Energy discovers oil at Ofelia exploration well offshore Norway
Neptune Energy, an oil and gas company in the UK, has made an oil and gas discovery near its Gjøa field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
The Ofelia discovery was made about 15km north of the Gjøa production platform. The estimated recoverable volume is 2.5-6.2 million standard cubic metres or 16-39 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Ofelia lies 15km north of the operating Gjøa platform at a water depth of 344 metres. The discovery could be considered for development as a tie-back to Gjøa in tandem with the companys recent oil and gas discovery at Hamlet.
The Ofelia discovery validates our exploration strategy and confirms the high prospectivity potential of the area around Gjøa,” said Steinar Meland, Neptunes head of exploration and development in Norway.
Neptune Energy owns a 40% stake in the production licence of the Ofelia discovery. Wintershall Dea and Pandion Energy own 20%, whereas Aker BP and DNO own 10% of the stakes.
According to a spokesperson at Neptune, this is the companys third discovery in the Agat formation, a reservoir which until recently was not part of established exploration models on the Norwegian Shelf.
The Ofelia drilling programme confirmed an oil/water contact at a total vertical depth of 2,639 metres.
Neptune Energys Managing Director for Norway and the UK, Odin Estensen, said: Gjøa is an important growth area for Neptune in Norway, where existing infrastructure allows for low cost and low carbon developments.

Amazon Signs Green Hydrogen Supply Deal with Plug Power
Plug Power Inc. has signed a deal with Inc. to supply liquid green hydrogen, the companies said on Thursday, sending the hydrogen fuel cell maker's shares up over 12% in early trade.
Green hydrogen is often touted as the future of energy, as the flexible and zero-emission fuel can be used for transportation and electricity generation.
Amazon said Plug Power will supply 10,950 tons of green hydrogen every year starting 2025 that it will use to replace grey hydrogen, diesel, and other fossil fuels. The companies, however, did not divulge the supply pricing specifics.
Grey hydrogen is made from natural gas, without the carbon sequestration, and makes up the bulk of the 90 million tonnes of hydrogen produced globally every year.
The green hydrogen deal will provide enough annual power for 30,000 forklifts or 800 heavy-duty trucks, Amazon said.
The world's largest online retailer said that it uses hydrogen to power over 15,000 fuel-cell propelled forklifts, and plans to increase that number to 20,000 units in three years.
Plug said the Amazon deal will help the company grow towards its goal of $3 billion in revenue in 2025.

China Life Insurance Co Ltd
China Life Insurance Co announces delisting from US stock market
A senior executive of China Life Insurance Co Ltd said on Friday that the company will exit the US stock market after taking into account two main factors – the limited trading volume of its American depositary shares (ADSs) relative to the worldwide trading volume of its underlying overseas listed shares (H shares) and the considerable administrative costs of maintaining the listing of the ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange.
The board of directors of China Life announced on Aug 12 that the company will apply for the voluntary delisting of its ADSs from the NYSE and the deregistration of such ADSs and underlying overseas listed shares, under the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
The company has filed a Form 25 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC) to delist its ADSs from the NYSE. The last day of trading of the ADSs on the NYSE is expected to be Sept 1. From that day on, the ADSs of the company will no longer be listed and traded on the NYSE, said Li Mingguang, vice-president and executive director of China Life, at a news conference announcing its 2022 interim results.
In an earlier announcement, the company said once the delisting has become effective and the criteria for deregistration have been satisfied, it intends to file a Form 15F with the SEC to deregister the ADSs and the underlying H shares under the Exchange Act.
After delisting from the NYSE, H shares of the company will continue to be traded on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd. The delisting will not change the share capital structure of the company or affect the volume of the issuance of its H shares. Nor will the action affect the production and operations, the level of corporate governance, the domestic and overseas listing status or customer rights of the company, Li said.

Chinese dairy giant Mengniu sees revenue growth in H1
HOHHOT -- The revenue of Chinese dairy giant Inner Mongolia Mengniu Dairy (Group) Co Ltd reached 47.72 billion yuan ($6.97 billion) in the first half of 2022, up 4 percent year-on-year, according to a report released by the group.
Its net profit attributable to the parent company totaled 3.75 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 27.3 percent.
The group's liquid milk revenue exceeded 39.6 billion yuan, and its milk powder products revenue reached 1.89 billion yuan in the first half of the year.
Its ice cream revenue also increased by 29.9 percent from the previous year.

Ikea announces further investment in Chinese market
Ingka Group, the parent group of Swedish home furnishing giant Ikea, will invest 5.3 billion yuan ($772.9 million) in China in the fiscal year 2023, the company said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The investment will be used for further business digitalization, construction of new stores and shopping malls as well as the integration of multiple distribution channels, said Anna Pawlak Kuliga, CEO and president of Ikea China.
Lydia Song, vice-president of Ikea China, said that the company will announce the investment of a wind power project in China later this year.
As to the store expansion plan in China for fiscal year 2023, which will start on Sept 1, Ikea will open a smaller scale store in Hefei, the capital city of East China's Anhui province. It will also launch a second store in Xi'an of Shaanxi province.
In early July, Ikea shut down its 8,500-square-meter store in northeast Shanghai's Yangpu district. The company's China vice-president Lydia Liu said the major purpose is to realize more effective mapping in the city. While Ikea will remain 'agile' in China over the next few years, Shanghai will remain as one of the key investment destinations for Ikea, she said.
Ikea announced a three-year strategy in 2019 especially for the Chinese market, which included 10 billion yuan of investment. The company announced at the Wednesday press conference that it has fulfilled that investment target, with which Ikea developed more products and solutions for Chinese consumers, set up an omni-channel distribution network and offered more discounts. Over the past three years, Ikea's services have extended to nearly 1 billion Chinese consumers with the online platforms such as the Tmall store and online shopping mall on WeChat.

JD maintains margins amid market challenges
Chinese e-commerce giant JD will continue to improve supply chain capacities, expand its presence in lower-tier markets, and develop intra-city retail business as part of its broader drive to optimize costs and enhance operational efficiency, the company's top executive said.
The company delivered better-than-expected financial results during the second quarter, with net revenue standing at 267.6 billion ($39 billion), an increase of 5.4 percent year-on-year.
Net income attributable to ordinary shareholders came in at 4.4 billion yuan for the quarter ending June 30, compared with 800 million yuan for the same period last year.
Xu Lei, JD's CEO, said during an earnings call with investors that this year's April-June quarter has been the most challenging since the company went public in 2014 due to domestic COVID-19 resurgences and external uncertainties.
The company saw rapid growth in product categories most closely related to people's livelihoods, such as consumer goods, home appliances, health-related commodities, as well as JD's omnichannel business and intracity retail business, Xu said. He noted that some other categories including apparel, alcohol and smartphones saw sluggish growth.
Despite short-term uncertainties and difficulties, Xu said he believes that China's consumer market has strong vitality and in the long term will become the world's largest in scale.
'JD's resilient business model, industry-leading supply chain capabilities and efficient operations have helped us deliver solid quarterly results amid ongoing challenges in the external environment,' Xu said.
He noted that in the future, high-efficiency and flexible supply chain capabilities will be a top priority for the sustainable development of China's retail segment.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has brought challenges to the retail industry, JD's intra-city retail business continued to deliver triple-digit year-on-year growth.
The company will further strengthen its core capabilities, increase operational efficiency, and ensure healthy margins and cash flow, while at the same time continuing to invest in innovations and strategies that will position it well for the future, Xu added.
Zhuang Shuai, founder of Bailian Consulting and an expert in e-commerce and retail, said JD is expected to see new sources of revenue from on-demand retail business, lower-tier cities, overseas markets and its business-to-business segment, which covers supply chain, logistics and technology services.
'The challenge for JD lies in how to maintain the continuous growth of users, revenue and profit, while consolidating the company's innovation ability and rapid response capability,' Zhuang said.
JD said its transaction volume came in at 379.3 billion yuan during 618a major e-commerce holiday in China that falls on JD's founding anniversaryan increase of 10.3 percent year-on-year from 343.8 billion yuan in 2021.
In addition, JD Logistics achieved steady growth in total revenue during the second quarter and maintained double-digit growth in external revenue and the number of external customers.

OATLY China makes preemptive recall in commitment to consumer health
OATLY, a Swedish food company that makes alternatives to dairy products from oats, announced last Friday to preemptively recall one product sold in China although voluntary tests showed no problems.
The Oat Drink Deluxe 330ml being recalled in China was produced in the United States by one of its third-party manufacturers Lyons Magnus LLC. OATLY has since severed its relationship with the supplier.
The decision was made after Lyons Magnus voluntarily recalled a few brands made out of its factories in the United States that affected 4 SKUs (stock keeping units) of OATLY products, which did not include Oat Drink Deluxe 330ml.
'This recall is voluntary and preemptive, even though our products are in compliance with relevant Chinese regulations, and we have also received no reports of illness or health complaints related to this product,' OATLY said in a statement.
The company has sent samples of Oat Drink Deluxe 330ml to State-accredited laboratories in China for testing and the results to date have not identified any quality issues.
Oat Drink Deluxe 330ml is the only OATLY product manufactured by Lyons Magnus in the China market. It accounts for around 0.5 percent of the total sales volume in China.
'As a company people rely on to eat better and live healthier lives, food safety and the health of our consumers are our two top priorities,' OATLY added in the statement.

Nestlé launches new Youth Entrepreneurship Platform
As part of its Global Youth Initiative, Nestlé today launched the Nestlé Youth Entrepreneurship Platform (YEP), a new digital platform for young innovators and entrepreneurs who want to learn new knowledge and skills, test an idea or grow their businesses, in areas ranging from food science and technology to the development of products and services - including regenerative agriculture and sustainable packaging.
YEP brings together all Nestlé's existing innovation initiatives and programs in one place. The platform gives young innovators access to The Nestlé Entrepreneurship Academy plus dedicated programs to grow knowledge, learn new skills and gain experience. It also offers customized content and resources from specific geographies.
Stefan Palzer, Nestlé CTO, said, 'At Nestlé we work with startups, entrepreneurs, innovators and researchers to drive innovation, bring good ideas to market fast and provide nutritious, sustainable and affordable products for a growing world population.'
'Our new digital platform supports young people to bring great ideas to life across the food value chain, shaping the future of food!'

Dell Technologies announces complete withdrawal from Russia
MOSCOW, August 28 – RIA Novosti. The American company Dell Technologies announced the suspension of all its operations in Russia and the closure of a representative office in the country. Reuters.
The server and computer manufacturer suspended sales in Russia and Ukraine in February, saying it will monitor the situation.
We closed our offices in mid-August and stopped all operations in Russia,” tech giant spokesman Mike Simienas told the agency.
With the closure of its Russia office, Dell laid off all employees. It is stated that the majority of developers and engineers have already received job offers from other companies.
Since the start of special operations in Ukraine, many Western companies have suspended their activities in Russia. Some enterprises announced their complete withdrawal from the Russian market. The governments of the United States and Americas allies have imposed new sanctions on Moscow, raising calls to refuse energy supplies from Russia. At the same time, the disruption of supply chains has led to economic problems in Europe and the United States, particularly in food and fuel prices.
The Kremlin described the sanctions as an economic war like no other. The authorities emphasized their readiness for events to develop in this way and assured that they will continue to fulfill their social obligations. The Central Bank is taking measures to stabilize the situation in the foreign exchange market. Authorities also transferred the gas payment to unfriendly countries in rubles. In addition, the government has drawn up a plan that includes nearly a hundred initiatives to counter the restrictions. The amount of its financing will be about one trillion rubles.

Apple plans to make iPhone 14 in India amid China woes
Apple Inc plans to start manufacturing iPhone 14 in India as the United States tech giant seeks alternatives to China after the Xi administrations clashes with Washington and lockdowns across the country disrupted production, Bloomberg News reported.
The company has been working with suppliers to ramp up production in India and shorten the lag in manufacturing new iPhones from the typical six to nine months for previous launches, the report said on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to the report, Apples Taiwan-based supplier Foxconn has studied the process of shipping items from China and assembling the iPhone 14 at its plant outside the southern Indian city of Chennai.
Production of the first iPhone 14s from India is likely to be completed in late October or November, the report added.
Apple did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
The company has been shifting some areas of iPhone production from China to other markets including India, the worlds second-biggest smartphone market, and is also planning to assemble iPad tablets there.
India and countries such as Mexico and Vietnam are becoming increasingly important to contract manufacturers supplying American brands as they try to diversify production away from China.
Last week, Nikkei reported the tech giants suppliers are in talks to produce Apple Watch and MacBook in Vietnam for the first time.

Abbott restarts Similac infant formula production
BENGALURU: Abbott Laboratories has restarted the production of its Similac infant formula at the plant in Sturgis, Michigan at the centre of the US baby formula shortage.
Abbott, the biggest US supplier of baby formula, in February recalled Similac and other infant formula products produced at the Michigan facility after reports of bacterial infections in babies who had consumed products that originated there.
The plant shutdown and subsequent product recall deepened a supply shortage in a nation where less than half of babies are exclusively breast-fed through their first three months, according to federal data from 2020.
To address the serious shortage, US health regulators relaxed import policies and flew in millions of cans of emergency supplies from companies such as Nestle SA and Reckitt Benckiser. Abbott briefly reopened the Michigan plant early last month, buthad to shutter it again after about two weeks due to damage caused by heavy rains and flooding.
Abbott, in a statement on Friday, said as Similac enters into production, it will take about six weeks for the product to begin shipping to retail locations.
We know that the nationwide infant formula shortage has been difficult for the families we serve, and while restarting Similac production in Michigan is an important milestone, we wont rest until this product is back on shelves, Abbott Chief Executive Robert Ford said in a statement.
In July, the company said it expects to begin releasing EleCare formula from its Sturgis plant after production of it and other specialty formulas restarted last month.
The company also said it would extend rebates offered on competitive products until Oct 31 for participants in the governments Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program in states where Abbott holds the contract if Similac is unavailable.

Toyota truck arm Hino halts more shipments in data fraud scandal
TOKYO, Aug 22, 2022, Kyodo. Hino Motors Ltd. suspended more of its shipments Monday as the truck-making subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. revealed fresh details of engine data falsification going back as far as 2003, Kyodo News reported.
Hino had already halted shipments of medium- and large-sized trucks since the scandal concerning its emissions and fuel efficiency tests came to light in March. With the latest decision, shipments of around 76,000 Hino Dutro small trucks became subject to the suspension, the Japanese company said.
The move came after the transport ministry found additional evidence of data falsification during recent onsite inspections.
We deeply apologize once again for causing great concern,” Hino President Satoshi Ogiso said in an online press conference.
Toyota sent Ogiso to head Hino, which became its subsidiary in 2001. It is almost certain that the parent company will be forced to take some of the responsibility for the falsification and play a role in Hinos recovery.

Japan's Suzuki says to set up new global research company in India
GANDHINAGAR, India (Reuters) - Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp will set up a new global research and development company in India and continue to invest in the country aggressively, the company's president Toshihiro Suzuki said on Sunday.
The new company, a wholly-owned unit of Suzuki Japan, would help Suzuki strengthen its R&D competitiveness and capabilities not only for India but also for global markets, Suzuki said during an event in Gandhinagar, the capital of the western state of Gujarat.
The event was attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.
'India has become one of the most important countries for Suzuki Group,' he said, adding that it would continue to invest in India aggressively.
Suzuki is the majority owner of Maruti, which dominates India's car market with its small, low-cost vehicles. But the company faces growing competition as buyers shift to bigger cars such as sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) and regulators demand safer and greener cars, pushing up costs.
For Suzuki, India is one of the biggest markets in terms of revenues and profit and one where it has so far invested 650 billion rupees ($8.13 billion) to support Maruti and ensure it maintains its leadership position.