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Warren East, who led ARM Holdings from start-up to near monopoly designer of smartphone chips, with its processors at the heart of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy, is to step down as chief executive after 12 years. A pound invested in the company’s shares 10 years ago would be worth about 18 pounds now, and the company itself is valued at nearly 13 billion pounds ($19 billion).

ARM’s CEO Warren East to step down after 12 years

10:32am EDT

By Rosalba O‘Brien and Paul Sandle

ARM CEO East speaks during a Samsung Electronics keynote address at the CES in Las VegasARM

LONDON (Reuters) – Warren East, who led ARM Holdings from start-up to near monopoly designer of smartphone chips, with its processors at the heart of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy, is to step down as chief executive after 12 years.

Group president Simon Segars will replace 51-year-old East from July, the British company said on Tuesday.

Since East, an engineer, joined in 1994, ARM has evolved from one processor product line to be the dominant player in mobile computing, providing microprocessors that run nearly all the world’s smartphones, and around a third of all consumer devices.

“After you’ve been doing it for 12 years you do get a bit tired (…) and think ‘Maybe that’s a bit of a brake on the business and somebody else should have a go’,” he told Reuters.

ARM licenses its processor designs to chipmakers including Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Its low-power processors have enabled it to dominate mobile computing, leaving rival Intel far behind in the sector.

In Cambridge, ARM has been at the heart of the so-called ‘Silicon Fen’, a cluster of high-tech firms at the southern tip of the English Fenland, about an hour’s drive north of London. Founded in 1990, ARM now employs 2,300 people, with 2013 revenues forecast at around $1.03 billion.

“We’ve built a global company based here in the UK, proving it can be done in technology, and I intend to do a bit more of that,” said East, who eschews the casual clothes and colorful style of California’s Silicon Valley in favor of smart suits and a sober manner.

East, whose total pay including share awards and long-term incentives was 7.6 million pounds in 2012, said it was too early to talk about his next move, but that another executive role was unlikely in the short term.

A pound invested in the company’s shares 10 years ago would be worth about 18 pounds now, and the company itself is valued at nearly 13 billion pounds ($19 billion). Read more of this post

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Incheon named World’s Best Airport for eighth time; The process of departure takes only 19 minutes and arrival 12 minutes, far quicker than the global standard of 69 minutes and 45 minutes.

Incheon named best airport for eighth time

Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

img_visual incheonbest

Mr Hong-Yeol Choi, VP Marketing at Incheon International Airport (left) receives the World’s Best Airport Award from Mr Edward Plaisted, Chairman of SKYTRAX (right), during the World Airport Awards held at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Vienna.

By Lee Ji-yoon
The Korea Herald/Asia News Network
Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013

KOREA – Incheon International Airport said Tuesday it won the World’s Best Airport title again this year for the eighth consecutive time.

The non-profit Airport Council International conducted a survey of 350,000 passengers over the past year and Incheon Airport earned the highest scores in service quality.

The airport also topped two other categories – best airport in Asia-Pacific and best among those with 25-40 million users annually.

It is unprecedented for an airport to win the industry’s top honour eight times, officials said. Read more of this post

KOREA: THE IMPOSSIBLE COUNTRY, by Daniel Tudor, charts the improbable rise of South Korea from the devastation of war and impoverishment to rapid development and prosperity

The rising of a nation

BY JEFF KINGSTON

MAR 17, 2013

KOREA: THE IMPOSSIBLE COUNTRY, by Daniel Tudor. Tuttle, 2012, 320 pp., $22.95 (hardcover)

This superb book charts the improbable rise of South Korea from the devastation of war and impoverishment to rapid development and prosperity, and from brutal dictatorship to the most vibrant democracy in Asia. It is “impossible” in terms of its economic and political achievements, “the most unlikely and impressive story of national building of the last century,” Daniel Tudor writes.

The Korean War (1950-53) claimed the lives of 3 million people, including 2.5 million Korean civilians, at a time when the combined population of the entire peninsula was only 30 million. In the mid-1950s GDP per capita was less than $100 and the average life span was 54 years old, compared to $32,000 and 79 as of 2012. This phoenix-like rise from the ashes was based on hard work, sacrifice and extensive state support for industry. The economy was foundering until Park Chung Hee (the current president’s father) took over in a coup in 1961 and ruled with an iron fist until gunned down by the head of the KCIA intelligence service in 1979. He is credited with the “miracle on the Han,” the era of phenomenal economic growth that was largely based on nurturing national champions. Famously, Park called businessmen “corrupt swine,” but enriched those who did his bidding.

Samsung, the star of Korea Inc., accounts for 20 percent of GDP and has a stake in virtually all market sectors where there are profits to be made, from Apple-beating mobile phones and Sony-trumping electronics to resorts, real estate, insurance and shipbuilding. This “ginormous” influence is a mixed bag; there is intense pride that a Korean firm has taken on the world’s best firms and won, but Koreans are ambivalent about its stifling omnipresence and political influence at home. Journalists criticize the behemoth at their peril as Tudor explains that libel laws in South Korea stack the deck and even if scandalous allegations are proven true, damages are awarded if the court decides that reputations have been sullied. So much for freedom of the press.

Tudor provides a primer in Korean history then launches into the modern era by examining the role of shamans and the spiritual world. He wryly compares English teachers to shamans, noting that both are paid relatively large sums of money based on an exaggerated faith in their powers.

South Korea’s problems are so similar to Japan’s that many passages read as if the country names are interchangeable. Korea has a higher suicide rate, a similarly low birth rate, a rapidly aging society, wealth without prosperity, growing disparities and just like Japan over one-third of the workforce is hired on fixed term contracts as nonregular workers with low pay, few benefits and no job security. But the differences are also stark as South Korean firms and their government adjusted quickly to changing global markets while Japan, Inc. appears relatively stodgy and complacent. Read more of this post

Taxation to be introduced for China’s e-commerce industry

Taxation to be introduced for China’s e-commerce industry

Staff Reporter 2013-03-19

China’s State Administration of Taxation announced measures for the administration of online invoices on March 7, which include a trial electronic invoicing system. The measures will come into effect from April 1.

The measures are seen by many as a step towards taxing the country’s emerging e-commerce industry, reports Time Weekly in Guangzhou.

The weekly quotes sources saying that online shops which make more than 240,000 yuan (US$38,000) a year will be required to pay taxes. Read more of this post

Causes and Consequences of Disaggregating Earnings Guidance

Causes and Consequences of Disaggregating Earnings Guidance

Baruch Lev  New York University – Stern School of Business

Benjamin N Lansford affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jennifer Wu Tucker affiliation not provided to SSRN

January/February 2013
Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Vol. 40, Issue 1-2, pp. 26-54, 2013 

Abstract: 
Whether managers should provide earnings guidance, especially quarterly guidance, has been a hotly debated policy issue. Influential organizations have urged firms to stop providing earnings guidance to reduce earnings fixation and short‐termism in the capital markets. Little attention has been paid to an alternative proposal: instead of ceasing earnings guidance, companies could provide disaggregated earnings guidance. No archival evidence exists regarding the determinants of disaggregated earnings guidance and its effects on the firm and its information environment. We find that once managers provide guidance, the decision to disaggregate this guidance is primarily driven by demand‐and‐supply factors that exhibit little change from year to year rather than by strategic factors. We find more timely analyst forecast revisions (with no compromise of forecast accuracy), a greater magnitude of revisions, and a larger reduction in analyst disagreement for disaggregating firms than for non‐disaggregating firms. These findings suggest that disaggregation enriches a firm’s information environment. We also find that disaggregation helps managers align analyst expectations with their own, but firms are punished by investors for providing multiple performance targets but missing them.

Real and Accrual Earnings Management and IPO Failure Risk

Real and Accrual Earnings Management and IPO Failure Risk

Mohammad Alhadab University of Leeds – Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Iain Clacher University of Leeds – Leeds University Business School (LUBS)

Kevin Keasey University of Leeds – Division of Accounting and Finance

February 26, 2013

Abstract: 
This paper analyzes the relationship between real and accrual earnings management activities and IPO failure risk. Recent research shows that IPO firms manage earnings upward around the offer year utilizing real and accrual earnings management activities (e.g., Wongsunwai, 2012) and that these activities have severe negative consequences for future stock returns and operating performance (e.g., Cohen and Zarowin, 2010; Kothari et al., 2012). Thus, we predict IPO firms that engaged in higher levels of real and accrual earnings management will exhibit a higher probability of failure and lower survival rates. We test this hypothesis based on a sample of 570 IPO firms that went public over the period 1998-2008. We find evidence that IPO firms manipulate earnings upward utilizing real and accrual earnings management around the IPO. We also find that IPO firms with higher levels of real and accrual earnings management during the IPO year have a higher probability of IPO failure and lower survival rates in subsequent periods.

Agencies warn of global TB “powder keg”, funding gap; In some countries, including regions of Russia, up to 35 percent of new cases are multi-drug resistant

Agencies warn of global TB “powder keg”, funding gap

Mon, Mar 18 2013

By Kate Kelland and Stephanie Nebehay

LONDON/GENEVA (Reuters) – Deadly strains of tuberculosis that are resistant to multiple drugs are spreading around the world, and authorities urgently need another $1.6 billion a year to tackle them, global health officials said on Monday.

Donors should step up with “significant funding” to help experts track down all existing cases and treat the most serious ones, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria said in joint statement.

Margaret Chan, WHO director general, said nearly 4 percent of people newly infected with TB worldwide were resistant to multiple drugs from the start – signaling that resistant forms of the disease were being transmitted directly from person to person.

In some countries, including regions of Russia, up to 35 percent of new cases are multi-drug resistant.

“This gives you an idea of powder keg we are sitting on,” Chan told a news briefing in Geneva, where both agencies are based. Read more of this post

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