Google’s Waze Deal Said to Give BlueRun 19-Fold Return

Google’s Waze Deal Said to Give BlueRun 19-Fold Return

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Waze Inc. produced a 19-fold return for BlueRun Ventures, the biggest investor in the mobile-mapping company, a person familiar with the matter said.

Led by John Malloy, BlueRun had a stake of 15 percent in Waze that was worth more than $165 million at the time of sale, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The firm invested a total of $8.7 million in Waze, starting in 2008, Malloy said.

Waze is the first investment for BlueRun that’s fetched more than $1 billion since PayPal Inc., another portfolio company, was acquired by EBay Inc. (EBAY) in 2002. BlueRun, which changed its name from Nokia Venture Partners in 2005, has raised $540 million for its last two funds, Malloy said. About 65 percent of the portfolio is in mobile startups like Waze, which was founded in Israel, he said. Read more of this post

How to make it in America, the Waze way; With its high-profile acquisition by Google, the navigation start-up has shown other technology companies a route to combining Israeli expertise with a small U.S. presence.

How to make it in America, the Waze way

With its high-profile acquisition by Google, the navigation start-up has shown other technology companies a route to combining Israeli expertise with a small U.S. presence.

By Omer Shubert | Jun.17, 2013 | 6:31 PM

Outside the Silicon Valley offices of Waze, the day after Google purchased the Israeli navigation start-up for over a billion dollars, two Japanese tourists celebrated having found one of the company’s retail stores.

They could be excused for their confusion. The company’s offices – located in Palo Alto, California – are sandwiched between a Mexican restaurant and a furniture store. Down the block, the neighborhood turns high-class residential, featuring opulent homes with immaculately manicured yards. It’s not a place where you would expect to a hot, young high-tech company.

On the inside, the offices turned out to be even more out of step with stereotypical Silicon Valley culture. They were an open space about 650 square feet across, somewhat reminiscent of a one-bedroom Tel Aviv apartment. Read more of this post

How mobile payments might be the global money-laundering machine criminals have dreamed about

How mobile payments might be the global money-laundering machine criminals have dreamed about

By Josh Meyer @JoshMeyerDC June 17, 2013

Earlier this month, US prosecutors took down the global currency exchange Liberty Reserve and charged it with being the largest online money laundering operation in history, the “bank of choice for the criminal underworld.” More than a million customers used the Costa Rica-based company to wash more than $6 billion,according to an indictment. Besides drug traffickers, it alleged, Liberty Reserve’s illicit users included a wide array of gangsters and thugs, and criminal organizations engaged in credit card and investment fraud, identity theft, computer hacking, and child pornography.

But while Liberty Reserve and similar currency exchanges are getting a lot of attention these days from regulators and enforcement agencies, another global money-laundering frontier is not: mobile payments. Millions of people now use their mobile phones to do their banking, especially in developing parts of the world, and their numbers are growing daily. And hidden among them are criminals who some experts believe are engaged in just as wide a range of criminal activity as those using Liberty Reserve, albeit on a smaller scale—for now. Read more of this post

LinkedIn targets business news eyeballs

LinkedIn targets business news eyeballs



LinkedIn came of age as the staid social media platform for business professionals: reliable, utilitarian and, well, boring.

Unlike Twitter or Facebook, which are hives of message activity that attract constant monitoring, LinkedIn for years warranted little more than an intermittent update to a résumé, or a check on a job search.

Then, in October, LinkedIn began offering its own content, called Influencers, which consists of a select group of people in leadership positions posting their musings on life, careers and the secrets of success in both. Suddenly, LinkedIn was filled with new age chief executive talk. Read more of this post

Fashion designer Lisa Ho’s company will shut its doors after administrators failed to find a buyer of her business; “Lisa Ho is an iconic Australian fashion brand and one of the bastions of fashion landscape in last 30 years”

Lisa Ho to close its doors forever

by: By Melissa Hoyer

June 18, 2013 1:18PM


Fashion designer Lisa Ho’s (L) label is reportedly riddled with $11m in debt.

WELL-REGARDED industry stalwart and a star performance at the recent Australian fashion week weren’t enough to keep designer brand Lisa Ho in business, with stores set to close.

Today, administrators for the Lisa Ho Group, Barry Taylor and Todd Gammel of HLB Mann Judd, announced that despite considerable interest, ‘a sale of the Lisa Ho Group business as a going concern has not been achieved within the sale program’.

Discussions are continuing with a number of interested parties in relation to the purchase of intellectual property, stock and other assets of the Lisa Ho Group.

“The Administrators are now focused on an orderly closure of the remaining Lisa Ho Group stores.”

For the past 30 years the Lisa Ho label followed a modern, fashion-now aesthetic but like most fashion retailers, particularly following the GFC, there has been thwarted demand growth and increased competition of numerous online retailers. Read more of this post

Fidelity’s Anthony Bolton to Stop Managing China Fund and return to retirement after it failed to match the returns of the U.K. trust that made his reputation

Fidelity’s Anthony Bolton to Stop Managing China Fund

Anthony Bolton will give up managing the Fidelity China Special Situations fund and return to retirement after it failed to match the returns of the U.K. trust that made his reputation.

Bolton, 63, will be succeeded by Dale Nicholls, manager of Fidelity’s Pacific Fund since 2003, Fidelity said in a statement today. The handover will be completed in April 2014, almost four years after China Special Situations became the nation’s largest equity fund to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Over 28 years running the U.K.-focused Fidelity Special Situations fund, Bolton delivered average annual returns of 19.5 percent, transforming a 10,000 pound ($15,720) investment in 1979 into 1.49 million pounds in 2007, according to Morningstar Inc. After coming out of retirement to start China Special Situations in April 2010, the fund has lost about 15 percent, matching the MSCI China Index’s decline in British pound terms. Read more of this post

Case study: Li-Ning lost out to foreign rivals in China

June 17, 2013 4:56 pm

Case study: Li-Ning lost out to foreign rivals in China

By Hellmut Schütte, Sumelika Bhattacharyya and Jocelyn Probert

The story

Gymnast Li Ning became a Chinese hero in 1984 when he won six medals at the Los Angeles Olympics, the country’s first appearance at a summer games in 32 years. By 1990 he had set up his own sportswear company, Li-Ning. It was an immediate hit, and in 1999 the company’s revenues in China reached Rmb700m, more than twice Nike’s Rmb300m and Adidas’s Rmb100m.

The challenge

The growing spending power of China’s middle-class consumers and their appetite for foreign brands, combined with the surging popularity of basketball and football – with which Nike and Adidas were associated – helped the two overseas companies win more sales in China than Li-Ning. Read more of this post

Myanmar’s old friend China is left wondering where it went wrong; President Thein Sein said he personally despises Beijing’s influence over its smaller, poorer neighbour

June 17, 2013 1:04 pm

Myanmar’s old friend China is left wondering where it went wrong

By Jamil Anderlini in Naypyidaw

In the surreal Burmese capital Naypyidawit’s hard to miss the gleaming convention centre built by a Chinese state-owned construction company and donated to the military junta a few years ago in a gesture of bilateral amity.

But earlier this month, as more than 900 executives from across the globe gathered in the complex for Burma’s first ever World Economic Forum, the Chinese presence was conspicuously absent. According to the official WEF list, only 16 participants were from mainland China.

For decades after the founding of the People’s Republic, American foreign policy was obsessed by the question of “who lost China?” Read more of this post

Samsung’s Kitchen ambition; Can the Korean electronics giant pull a smartphone-like win in the home?

Samsung’s Kitchen ambition

June 17, 2013: 10:25 AM ET

Can the Korean electronics giant pull a smartphone-like win in the home? 

By Stephanie N. Mehta, deputy managing editor

FORTUNE — Can Samsung Electronics conquer kitchen appliances in the same way it has conquered televisions and smartphones?

The Korean tech conglomerate, already the market leader in sales of TVs and mobile phones with advanced computing capabilities, says it also aims to be the world’s No. 1 purveyor of home appliances by 2015. That’s a lofty goal considering that today it is the No. 5 player in refrigerators and automatic washer/dryers, according to market share data from Euromonitor International, and isn’t in Euromonitor’s top 5 in dishwashers, ovens or microwaves.

But Boo-Keun Yoon, co-CEO of Samsung Electronics, believes the company can win over global consumers by bringing innovation and a high-tech approach to refrigerators, ovens, air conditioners, and washing machines. “These are products that consumers are very emotional about, but there’s a lot of room for innovation in home appliances.” Yoon says. Read more of this post

How big companies can beat the patent chaos of India

How big companies can beat the patent chaos of India

June 17, 2013: 1:59 PM ET

There are several companies that are doing well in India by adapting to the market instead of the other way around.

By Ravi Venkatesan

FORTUNE — Multinational pharmaceutical companies agree on one thing — that India is one of the hardest places in the world for Big Pharma to compete thanks to price controls, compulsory licensing of drugs, poor intellectual property protection, and a host of capable generic competitors.

The recent decision by India’s Supreme Court to deny patent protection to Novartis (NVS) for a reformulated version of an anticancer drug has just added more fuel to the fire, provoking drug companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to unleash angry warnings that it would cut off investment to the world’s most populous democracy and ultimately limit access to lifesaving medications. The judgment adds to a growing list of trade tensions between India, the U.S., and Europe at a time when India desperately needs more foreign investment to restart its slowing economy. Read more of this post

Korea rising: From rags to riches

2013-06-17 20:33

Korea rising: From rags to riches

This is the final of a 10-part series of Korean history from its mythological, ancient beginning until the present day. This project is sponsored by several companies and public agencies including Merck Korea, eBay Korea, Daewoo Securities and Korea Post. ― ED.

By Kim Tae-gyu and Kevin N. Cawley
The end of World War II on Aug. 15, 1945 brought about the independence of Korea after 35 years of brutal Japanese colonial rule. However, the initial euphoria of the people did not last long.

Against the will of the Korean people who sought to have their own government ruling the entire Korean Peninsula, a United Nations arrangement led to its division along the 38th parallel ― a demarcation that lasts until today. Read more of this post

Abenomics for Women Undermined by Men Dominating in Japan

Abenomics for Women Undermined by Men Dominating in Japan

By Isabel Reynolds and Takashi Hirokawa  Jun 17, 2013

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to elevate the role of women in the world’s third-largest economy. He might start with his own party.

Abe called for women filling 30 percent of senior positions in all parts of society by 2020, in an April 19 speech showcasing his growth strategy. Now, his Liberal Democratic Party is fielding nine female candidates out of 79 for next month’s election to the upper house of parliament — about 11 percent. Read more of this post

Samsung under pressure amid growing health fears faced by workers working in their plants

June 17, 2013 8:43 am

Samsung under pressure amid growing health fears

By Simon Mundy in Hwaseong

As thousands of workers stream out of Samsung Electronics’ semiconductor plant in the South Korean town of Hwaseong, Mr Lee, a 58-year-old restaurant owner, regards them with mixed emotions. The factory across the road guarantees his livelihood – about two-thirds of his customers work there, he estimates. But his views on the plant have shifted after it suffered two leaks of hydrofluoric acid gas in the past six months, which killed one worker and hospitalised several others.

“Everyone here has the same feeling,” he says. “On the one hand Samsung is great for business, but on the other, perhaps there are health risks. And lots of people are worried about the effect on property prices.” As Samsung has grown into one of the world’s largest corporations, it has found itself under growing scrutiny from activists and official bodies both at home and abroad. In Europe it has become a target for competition authorities, while its Chinese factories were the subject of allegations of illegal practice last year by China Labor Watch, a New York-based group. Read more of this post

From the ashes of Webvan, Amazon builds a grocery business

From the ashes of Webvan, Amazon builds a grocery business

A worker walks past Amazon Fresh delivery vans parked at an Amazon Fresh warehouse in Inglewood

Sun, Jun 16 2013

By Alistair Barr

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The online grocery start-up Webvan may have been the single most expensive flame-out of the dot-com era, blowing through more than $800 million in venture capital and IPO proceeds in just over three years before shutting its doors in 2001. Twelve years later, though, Webvan is rising from the dead – in the form of an online grocery business called AmazonFresh. Four key Inc executives – Doug Herrington, Peter Ham, Mick Mountz and Mark Mastandrea – are former Webvan officials who have spent years analyzing and fixing the problems that led to the start-up’s demise. Kiva Systems, the robotics company that Amazon bought last year for $775 million in one of its largest-ever acquisitions, was built on ideas and technologies originally developed at Webvan and is a key part of the AmazonFresh strategy.

Read more of this post

Corning Bendable Willow™ Glass will help enable new, thinner applications and could revolutionize display manufacturing

Corning Is Working On A Bendable Version Of Its Gorilla Glass

JULIE BORT JUN. 17, 2013, 7:23 PM 1,144 1

One of the cool new technologies coming soon from the labs at Corning is a type of glass that’s so bendable, you’d swear it was plastic.  It’s called Willow Glass, and it’s designed to be used as a touchscreen, or for high-temperature displays, Corning’s Dr. Waguih Ishak, a vice president for Corning West Technology Center, said Monday on stage at Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing Summit. Think about that for a minute. With a bendable display, a watch computer could be adjusted to fit anyone’s wrist, no matter how big or small.  Ishak said that the glass would be available for devices by the end of 2013 or early 2014. Apple is using bendable glass in its as-yet unreleased “smart watch,” Nick Bilton of The New York Times reported in February.  Tech blogger Robert Scoble, who joined Ishak on stage during the presentation, said Willow Glass would work well with such a product.  “If I’m Tim Cook at Apple, I’d be looking at that for a watch with a flexible surface, a display with touch-sensor applications,” Scoble said.

Corning Launches Ultra-Slim Flexible Glass

Corning® Willow™ Glass will help enable new, thinner applications and could revolutionize display manufacturing

CORNING, N.Y., June 04, 2012 – Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) announced the launch of Corning® Willow™ Glass, an ultra-slim flexible glass, which could revolutionize the shape and form of next-generation consumer electronic technologies. The company made the announcement today at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week, an industry tradeshow in Boston. Corning Willow Glass will help enable thin, light and cost-efficient applications including today’s slim displays and the smart surfaces of the future. The thinness, strength, and flexibility of the glass has the potential to enable displays to be “wrapped” around a device or structure. As well, Corning Willow Glass can be processed at temperatures up to 500° C. High temperature processing capability is essential for today’s high-end displays, and is a processing condition that cannot be supported with polymer films. Corning Willow Glass will enable the industry to pursue high-temperature, continuous “roll-to-roll” processes – similar to how newsprint is produced – that have been impossible until now. Read more of this post

Spain’s high-speed trains and abandoned stations

Published: Tuesday June 18, 2013 MYT 8:47:00 AM

Spain’s high-speed trains and abandoned stations

ONBOARD MADRID-ALICANTE HIGH-SPEED TRAIN: A one-track dirt road used by local farmers is the main access to a magnificent glass-and-steel train station in the small city of Villena, on Spain’s latest high-speed rail route.

It is a spanking new 4,500 square meter building – essentially in the middle of nowhere.

The central government financed the rail route, inaugurated on Monday, between Madrid and Alicante on the Costa Blanca. The Valencia regional government was supposed to fund works to connect it to the nearby motorway and Villena, home to 35,000.

But it ran out of money, leaving the station high and dry. Read more of this post

Bond stampede fear spurs race for reform

June 17, 2013 5:53 pm

Bond stampede fear spurs race for reform

By Stephen Foley, Vivianne Rodrigues and Tracy Alloway in New York

If there is one thing that keeps bond investors awake at night, it is the fear of a stampede for the exit. And for good reason: there could be a pile-up in the doorway, leading to extreme market swings. After the scares of the past month, the race is on to find ways to improve liquidity in the bond market, where, unlike stocks, it can often be tricky to find buyers and sellers. Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, is expected this week to try to undo some of the concerns about a disorderly rise in interest rates, which he triggered in May with talk that the US central bank may begin to taper its monetary stimulus. That led to a run-up in market rates and record weekly outflows from fixed-income funds. Read more of this post

Private equity exits hit by economic uncertainty

Private equity exits hit by economic uncertainty

7:20am EDT

LONDON (Reuters) – The rate at which private equity firms exited their European investments slowed last year, a study showed on Monday, as economic uncertainty hit both new stock market listings and merger activity.

Ernst & Young (E&Y) found in 2012 there were just 61 exits from Europe-based businesses which had an enterprise value of more than 150 million euros ($200.1 million) at the time private equity made its investment, down from 85 exits in 2011. Read more of this post

Investors doubt U.S., European governments can cut debts by 2016: poll

Investors doubt U.S., European governments can cut debts by 2016: poll

11:23am EDT

By Clare Hutchison

LONDON (Reuters) – Governments in the United States and Europe will not be able to significantly cut their debts in the next three years, a large majority of investors believe, according to a poll published on Monday.

Almost 90 percent of investors did not see European governments making significant progress in reducing their debts by 2016, the poll found.

Similarly, more than two thirds doubted President Barack Obama’s administration could make a big difference to debt levels in the next three years, according to the survey published by Principal Global Investors and UK think tank CREATE-Research. Read more of this post

Mining Firms Face New Scrutiny From Regulators Amid Deal Probes

Mining Firms Face New Scrutiny From Regulators Amid Deal Probes

For an industry that routinely makes multi-billion dollar deals with developing-world governments and an array of sometimes controversial leaders, the mining sector has been remarkably free of political scrutiny.

No longer. World leaders gathering in Northern Ireland for the Group of Eight summit beginning today have mining transactions and companies in their cross hairs. They are proposing tighter oversight by requiring companies to disclose all payments made to foreign governments. The new rules, aimed at exposing corruption, come as U.S. and British regulators probe mining companies including Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) and a firm backed by Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz. Read more of this post

Shale Drillers Squeeze Costs as Era of Exploration Ends

Shale Drillers Squeeze Costs as Era of Exploration Ends: Energy

The pioneers of America’s shale gas and oil revolution have done their work. Now it’s time for the factory crews to take over.

After spending $53 billion on a land binge to find hydrocarbons, the petroleum industry is counting on technological innovations — better imaging data, speedier and longer horizontal drilling, among them — to ramp up the flow of oil and gas from U.S. shale fields where they’re drilling more than 10,000 wells a year.

The techniques are embraced by the biggest producers from shale such as Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK). and Newfield Exploration Co (NFX). to boost shareholder returns by shifting money from exploration, which is winding down, into what’s known in industry parlance as manufacturing. The moves will help producers increase profit at a time shareholders are ousting executives and revamping boards because of poor performance. Read more of this post

Siemens Will Shut Solar Unit as It Loses $1 Billion in Two Years

Siemens Will Shut Solar Unit as It Loses $1 Billion in Two Years

Siemens AG (SIE) will close its solar power unit after failing to find a buyer and losing at least 784 million euros ($1 billion).

About 280 workers will be affected by the closure, which will be completed once Munich-based Siemens has finished projects including in Spain, spokesman Torsten Wolf said by telephone. The shuttering will cost a “double-digit million-euro” sum, he said.

It “has become evident that, due to the increasingly difficult market situation, we will not find an investor for this business,” Wolf said. “We had negotiations with a number of interested parties but no agreement could be achieved.” Read more of this post

SocGen Sees More Gold ETP Sales, Lower Price on ‘Paradigm Shift’; “We would expect large-scale gold selling from investors who bought gold as a hedge against medium-term inflation.”

SocGen Sees More Gold ETP Sales, Lower Price on ‘Paradigm Shift’

Gold holdings through exchange-traded products will probably drop another 285 metric tons this year as prices fall further on speculation the U.S. economic recovery will mean less stimulus, Societe Generale SA said.

Prices will average $1,200 an ounce in the fourth quarter, compared with $1,386.47 now, the bank said in report today. It previously forecast a drop to $1,375 by the end of the year, before the metal slid into a bear market in April. A “sharp” price-drop could spur a “big increase” in producer hedging, or sales of future production, according to Societe Generale. Read more of this post

FT: Fed likely to signal tapering move is close

June 17, 2013 6:59 pm

Fed likely to signal tapering move is close

By Robin Harding in Washington

Ben Bernanke is likely to signal that the US Federal Reserve is close to tapering down its $85bn-a-month in asset purchases when he holds a press conference on Wednesday, but balance that by saying subsequent moves depend on what happens to the economy.

The Fed chairman has a double communications problem. Markets seem reluctant to acknowledge the improvement that is leading the Fed towards a taper of QE3. But they also appear to be assuming, incorrectly, that any taper means the Fed has become less willing to support the economy’s recovery. Read more of this post

It’s Hard To Look At These Photos From Indonesia And Brazil And Not Worry About A Much Bigger Emerging Market Blowup

It’s Hard To Look At These Photos From Indonesia And Brazil And Not Worry About A Much Bigger Emerging Market Blowup

JOE WEISENTHAL JUN. 17, 2013, 8:37 PM 5,684 12

indonesia-protest-1 brazil-protest-1

The protests in Turkey continue to dominate the attention of media, but today there were two other protests in red-hot emerging markets that warrant your attention, especially since the basic narratives are fairly similar. In Indonesia and Brazil — where governments are hoping to pursue fiscal consolidation — protests have turned violent. In Indonesia the issue is the initial driver of protests is the removal of a fuel subsidy. In Brazil, it’s over an increase in bus fares, as well as general frustration over inequality, and the money being spent on next year’s World Cup. Both — along with other emerging markets — are experiencing slowing economies, sharply weakening currencies, rising interest rates, and generally a squeeze related to both financial and structural conditions.

Read more of this post

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