Hong Kong, Seoul Follow Beijing in Raising Cab Fares in Asia

Hong Kong, Seoul Follow Beijing in Raising Cab Fares in Asia

Hong Kong and Seoul followed Beijing in increasing taxi fares for the first time in years after disgruntled cab drivers complained they weren’t getting paid enough to be hailed all day. Starting Dec. 8, the base fare in Hong Kong island will rise for the first time since 2011, increasing by HK$2 ($0.26) to HK$22 for the first 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), the government said on its website yesterday. In Seoul, the base fare will rise by 600 won ($0.56) to 3,000 won, the first increase since 2009, though the starting date will be determined later, the city said in an e-mailed statement. Read more of this post

Banking World’s Ikea Born in Sweden Challenging Deposit Giants

Banking World’s Ikea Born in Sweden Challenging Deposit Giants

Sweden’s state-backed mortgage lender wants to take retail customers from the nation’s biggest banks as it targets as much as $14 billion in deposits. SBAB plans to more than double its share of Sweden’s savings market to as much as 6 percent in the coming years, from today’s 2 percent, Chief Executive Officer Carl-Viggo Oestlund said yesterday in an interview at the bank’s headquarters in Stockholm. Oestlund predicts the bank’s deposit base will rise as high as 90 billion kronor in coming years ($14 billion). Read more of this post

Debt Disaster Seen Unless VAT Rises to 20% by 2020: Japan Credit

Debt Disaster Seen Unless VAT Rises to 20% by 2020: Japan Credit

Japan must raise its sales tax to at least 20 percent by the time the Olympics come to Tokyo in 2020 to avert a “disaster” in its bond market, according to the head of a panel advising the world’s biggest pension fund. The consumption levy, due to increase in April for the first time since 1997, will need to quadruple from current levels to handle Japan’s increasing welfare costs and rein in the nation’s debt, said Takatoshi Ito, who leads an investment panel for the 121 trillion yen ($1.23 trillion) Government Pension Investment Fund. He said funds like GPIF are at risk of being too dependent on Japanese government bonds, where 10-year yields of 0.670 percent are the lowest globally. Read more of this post

Henry Ford’s Century-Old Line Finds $15 Billion in China

Henry Ford’s Century-Old Line Finds $15 Billion in China

On Oct. 7, 1913, Henry Ford’s assembly line moved for the first time. A century later, among the changes in Ford Motor Co. (F)’s production, none is more dramatic than simply where it takes place. Ford vehicles assembled in China and the rest of Asia now outnumber those built in Europe for the first time. By 2015, Ford will have the capacity to produce more cars and trucks in Asia than it made last year in North America. Read more of this post

Fonterra CEO Says Whole Milk Prices Too High, Need to Decline

Fonterra CEO Says Whole Milk Prices Too High, Need to Decline

Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Theo Spierings said milk powder prices are too high and risk hurting the dairy industry unless they normalize. “The distance between whole milk powder and the other milk products is too big,” Spierings said in an interview in Auckland today after Fonterra, the world’s largest dairy exporter, reported a 3 percent drop in earnings for the 2012-13 year. Higher prices not only push customers toward other milk products, they also make substitutes such as soy or vegetable oil more attractive, he said. Read more of this post

Losing Is Good for You; Awards can be powerful motivators, but nonstop recognition does not inspire children to succeed. Instead, it can cause them to underachieve

September 24, 2013

Losing Is Good for You

By ASHLEY MERRYMAN

LOS ANGELES — AS children return to school this fall and sign up for a new year’s worth of extracurricular activities, parents should keep one question in mind. Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program. Trophies were once rare things — sterling silver loving cups bought from jewelry stores for truly special occasions. But in the 1960s, they began to be mass-produced, marketed in catalogs to teachers and coaches, and sold in sporting-goods stores. Read more of this post

Architecture: Designs on immortality: Bold designs for headquarters say something about a company’s ambitions and priorities

September 24, 2013 6:20 pm

Architecture: Designs on immortality

By Edwin Heathcote

Bold designs for headquarters say something about a company’s ambitions and priorities

The skyscraper index, long discussed but never formally introduced, is one of the great irreverent economic indicators. The idea is that there is a correlation between the periods in which the tallest skyscrapers are built and the imminence of financial crisis. Think of the Empire State Building opening into the Wall Street crash of 1929, the Twin Towers being completed as New York City was flirting with bankruptcy or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur taking the mantle of the world’s tallest building and presaging the Asian financial crisis. Most recently the construction of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, foreshadowed the collapse in the Dubai property market. Read more of this post

Corporate beasts are their own enemy; Managers blessed with a great business have been known to embark on destructive adventures

September 24, 2013 4:48 pm

Corporate beasts are their own enemy

By Luke Johnson

Managers blessed with a great business have been known to embark on destructive adventures

In some ways winning can be almost as bad as losing. When companies become very successful, they frequently fall prey to a variety of diseases. These undermine the very reasons why a business achieved success in the first place. For example, hugely profitable businesses tend to allow bureaucracy to proliferate like a virus. And it does not just increase expense; it inhibits change and becomes an end in itself. Read more of this post

Undisciplined mind cause of corruption

Undisciplined mind cause of corruption

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 – 10:15

China Daily/Asia News Network

When fallen corrupt officials confess in a Chinese court, they often repent having let their mind stray while in power, which they say has pushed them down the road to self-destruction. Take Zhang Shuguang, a former top railways official charged with accepting 47.55 million yuan (S$9.6 million) in bribes. On September 10 he admitted in court that after making some personal achievements, he turned to criminal activities as he “let his mind loose” and slackened in studies. Read more of this post

To Be Successful You Have To Decide What Not To Do

To Be Successful You Have To Decide What Not To Do

MAX NISEN SEP. 24, 2013, 11:53 AM 3,306

As a business owner, if you don’t keep a short leash on your time, the day quickly slips away. You have to make the most out of every hour to succeed, Hello Design CEO and Creative Director David Lai says. “When I was growing up my father would always tell me, ‘We all only have 24 hours a day. It’s what we choose to do with that time that defines us,'” Lai says. “It’s the one thing you can never get back.” Read more of this post

Why Aggressively Investing Even In Hard Times Is One Entrepreneur’s Secret To Success

Why Aggressively Investing Even In Hard Times Is One Entrepreneur’s Secret To Success

MAX NISEN SEP. 24, 2013, 10:57 AM 1,463 1

Anthony Buonocore bought Westway Electrical Supply, an Upper Darby, Pa.-based supplier for electricians, at exactly the wrong time. It was 2008, the beginning of the financial crisis, and businesses around the country were pulling back or shutting down. “I had to make a decision: Either try to hunker down and save cash or spend what little cash was left to grow the business, despite the recession,” Buonocore says.  Read more of this post

FD-Johnson: How to maximise a partnership

September 23, 2013 5:19 pm

FD-Johnson

By Bruce McKern, George Yip and Fan Yuan

The story

Chinese business Four Dimensions Industry Company was set up by Yan Wang in 1996 to make security vehicles for transporting cash. In China, most cash-in-transit vans had armed guards. But an increase in robberies exposed flaws with this model, as innocent people were often injured. Dr Wang judged that he could be the first in China to create a higher standard of safety and quality with unarmed CIT vehicles. Read more of this post

Disrupters in the right place at the right time; The brothers behind Nowy Styl have thrived in the years since the fall of communism in Poland

September 24, 2013 4:43 pm

Disrupters in the right place at the right time

By Jan Cienski

Hot seat: Adam Krzanowski is chief executive while his brother Jerzy oversees the Polish factories

Over the last 25 years, Poland has been transformed. A dysfunctional country ruled by incompetent communists where people received a pittance for their work has become a wealthy and sophisticated economy – a change the Krzanowski brothers, Adam and Jerzy, tracked closely as they became two of Poland’s wealthiest men. Their company, Nowy Styl , which means New Style, is expected to become Europe’s third-largest maker of office furniture by the end of this year and the brothers are now worth more than $100m. Their company had revenues last year of 1bn zlotys ($317m) and has projected revenues of 1.2bn zlotys in 2013. Read more of this post

Zoom: Surprising Ways to Supercharge Your Career; see how van den Brink, at the age of 36, rose to become the CEO of Heineken U.S.A. in 2009

Dolf van den Brink stands fast with Heineken

By Daniel Roberts, writer-reporter  @FortuneMagazine September 19, 2013: 5:47 PM ET

These days, ambitious Gen-Xers and Millennials tend to bounce from company to company in their race to the top. Not Dolf van den Brink, 40, who joined Heineken straight out of college and has stayed with the global brand, gaining experience in a variety of titles on multiple continents. In this excerpt from Fortune’s new book Zoom: Surprising Ways to Supercharge Your Career, see how van den Brink, at the age of 36, rose to become the CEO of Heineken U.S.A. in 2009:

On a plane ride back to the Netherlands after a series of job interviews with banks and financial institutions, Dolf van den Brink was thinking, “I’m not so sure whether I’m going to be happy in this world.” It was 1991, and the Dutchman was in his final year at the University of Groningen. He was focusing on business administration (and philosophy), and he liked “analytical challenges,” he says, but he was also discouraged that so many of the job opportunities coming his way were “so purely focused on dealmaking and making money.” Read more of this post

The importance of being relentless

The importance of being relentless

Lauded by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 “most intriguing” entrepreneurs of 2012, Mr George Slessman, 39, has been inventing and delivering disruptive technologies as well as creating over US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) of value for investors over 14 years.

BY –

5 HOURS 50 MIN AGO

Lauded by Goldman Sachs as one of the 100 “most intriguing” entrepreneurs of 2012, Mr George Slessman, 39, has been inventing and delivering disruptive technologies as well as creating over US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) of value for investors over 14 years. From a team starting out with a folding table, three on-sale laptops and used office chairs, it took Mr Slessman six years to grow IO into a data centre industry leader with operations throughout the United States. Its first international data centre — located here in Singapore, to service Goldman Sachs in the Asia-Pacific — was officially opened on Sept 18. Read more of this post

Chanos Undeterred by China Growth as O’Neill Bullish

Chanos Undeterred by China Growth as O’Neill Bullish

China’s improving economic fundamentals are unconvincing to Jim Chanos, the founder of Kynikos Associates Ltd., who is maintaining short bets on the nation’s banks. “My caution is related to the credit-driven model,” said Chanos, who correctly bet in 2001 on the collapse of Enron Corp., on a panel moderated by Tom Keene at the Bloomberg Markets 50 Summit in New York. “If you grow new credit by 30 percent to 40 percent” of gross domestic product a year, it’s not difficult to reach the government’s growth target, he said. A Chinese manufacturing index rose to a six-month high in September, boosting Premier Li Keqiang’s odds of meeting the year’s 7.5 percent expansion goal. The economy grew 7.7 percent last year, the slowest since 1999, as loan expansion fueled concern that banks may fail. Read more of this post

New Approaches to Teaching Fractions; The government is funding new research on more effective ways to teach the often-dreaded subject

September 24, 2013, 7:19 p.m. ET

New Approaches to Teaching Fractions

The government is funding new research on more effective ways to teach the often-dreaded subject.

SUE SHELLENBARGER

Many students cruise along just fine in math until fourth grade or so. Then, they hit a wall—fractions. The wall is about to get taller. With mastery of the topic seen as a crucial stepping stone to progressing in math, federal standards are stepping up emphasis on fractions starting in third grade. National tests show nearly half of eighth-graders aren’t able to put three fractions in order by size. Read more of this post

China Beige Book Shows Slowdown, Opposite Official Data

China Beige Book Shows Slowdown, Opposite Official Data

China’s economy slowed this quarter as growth in manufacturing and transportation weakened in contrast with official signs of an expansion pickup, a private survey showed. Increases in business-investment and real estate revenue also slowed, while service industries picked up and employees became tougher to find, the survey from New York-based China Beige Book International said yesterday. The report is based on responses from 2,000 people from Aug. 12 to Sept. 4 as well as 32 in-depth interviews conducted later in September. Read more of this post

JIM VS. JIM: The Ultimate China Bull And The Ultimate China Bear Debate The Country’s Future

JIM VS. JIM: The Ultimate China Bull And The Ultimate China Bear Debate The Country’s Future

LINETTE LOPEZ SEP. 24, 2013, 3:07 PM 1,794 3

Jim O’Neill, former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, coined the term ‘BRIC’, and is a huge bull on China. Jim Chanos, the CEO of Kynikos Investments and famed short seller, is a massive China bear. They faced off at the Bloomberg Markets 50 conference, Bloomberg TV’s Tom Keene hosted. Here we go. Keene started us off by asking the guys to lay out their arguments. O’Neill said that “most of the reason” why China has slowed is because it has deliberately slowed, and either way the rate they’re going to grow at this year is equivalent to the U.S. growing at 4%. Chanos countered the that Chinese model is all wrong. It’s built on credit. So in a sense, he said, “we’re talking passed each other.” He doesn’t disagree with the number O’Neill presented, but what that number is built on, which is an investment driven model. “If you’re going to grow net new credit in this economy by 30%-40% you ought well to be growing by 7% real,” said Chanos. It’s the health of the system, especially banking, Chanos is concerned about. “And by the way I’m using their data,” he said smiling at O’Neill. This is where things got deep. “It was blatantly obvious to people three years ago that China was finished,” said O’Neil. The takeaway there (from O’Neill) was that Chanos is shorting the old China and he’s bullish on the new one. “But there have been so many new China’s!” said Chanos.  “How do you play the recent bounce in emerging markets,” asked Keene, breaking in. Chanos responded: “I’m looking at Petrobras” (that’s Brazil’s state oil company that Chanos has openly said is subsidizing lower prices for its customers and hurting its own business). Chanos went on to say that any company in iron ore or mining is in trouble over the next year as well. Read more of this post

Rip Curl founders step down from the board and might hail a bigger exit; the businesses of Australia’s wealthy entrepreneurs are going through a challenging period of generational change

James Thomson Editor

Rip Curl founders step down from the board and might hail a bigger exit

Published 25 September 2013 11:23, Updated 25 September 2013 14:07

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Founders of Rip Curl Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick at Bells Beach. Photo: Paul Harris

It’s no secret that the businesses of Australia’s wealthy entrepreneurs are going through a challenging period of generational change. At Westfield, the transfer of operational power to Frank Lowy’s sons Peter and Steven is all but complete. At Seven Group, Kerry Stokes is carefully managing the rise of son Ryan. At David Hains’s Portland House Group, his sons are firmly in control. It’s the same story on Linfox, where Lindsay Fox hasn’t attended a board meeting in 20 years. Now, two of the coolest men to grace the Rich 200, Rip Curl founders Doug “Claw” Warbrick and Brian “Sing Ding” Singer, are facing up to their moment of generational change. According to a report from Business Day, the pair has stepped down as directors of the company they founded in the late 1960s and turned into a global giant in the surfwear industry. Read more of this post

Why Amazon’s Cool-Sounding Locker Strategy Didn’t Work

Why Amazon’s Cool-Sounding Locker Strategy Didn’t Work

MARTY LARIVIEREOPERATIONS ROOM SEP. 24, 2013, 12:58 PM 2,189 2

amazon-locker-4

About a year ago, we had a post on Amazon Lockers — the Seattle firm’s attempt to solve recurring last mile problems. Customers could have their purchases delivered to a secure, nearby location. No need to sign for a package; no need to worry about someone walking off with your box. You just need to enter a code to pop open the locker that has your stuff. But there is an obvious complication here: Those lockers have to go somewhere. Amazon’s plan was not to buy real estate but to plant them in existing retail locations. But which stores would benefit from hosting Amazon lockers? That is the question that a recent Businessweek article examines (Do Amazon’s Lockers Help Retailers? Depends on What They Sell, Sep 20). Read more of this post

WEARABLE COMPUTING: Inside The New Mobile Market That Is Taking Shape

WEARABLE COMPUTING: Inside The New Mobile Market That Is Taking Shape

MARCELO BALLVE SEP. 24, 2013, 12:15 PM 1,595

Those betting big on wearable computing believe an assorted new crop of gadgets — mostly worn on the wrist or as eyewear — will transform the way in which we interact with the rest of our devices. But wearables won’t just complement smartphones. What is perhaps most intriguing about them is that they will serve new purposes too. Because they are designed to be worn close to the body, they’re ideal for monitoring our vital signs and health. They’ll track how active we are, our sleep quality, how many steps we take during the day. Consumers of all sorts — fitness buffs, dieters, and the elderly — will come to rely on them. Read more of this post

Millennial Media CEO Says Mobile Will Supplant Digital Ad Spending And Become The ‘Real’ Digital

Millennial Media CEO Says Mobile Will Supplant Digital Ad Spending And Become The ‘Real’ Digital

AARON TAUBE SEP. 24, 2013, 5:51 PM 572 2

In a speech to kick off the Smarter Mobile Marketing conference this morning, Millennial Media CEO Paul Palmieri trumpeted mobile advertising’s rise in the marketing ecosystem and suggested it might be the pre-eminent place for brands to spend their digital advertising budgets — supplanting traditional digital budgets. “We are now in a moment where consumer choice, consumer behavior, and consumer reception have gone past the tipping point of mattering,” Palmieri said. “Mobile has become an indispensable part of the marketing mix.” Read more of this post

Twitter Adds CBS to Its Stable of Big Advertising Partners

SEPTEMBER 23, 2013, 7:14 PM

Twitter Adds CBS to Its Stable of Big Advertising Partners

By VINDU GOEL

Twitter has been furiously adding partners to its Amplify advertising program ever since it began informally last year with a partnership between the social network, ESPN and the Ford Motor Company. In those initial ads, ESPN sent out clips of football games, wrapped in a Ford Fusion ad, as short messages on the service. Since then, more than a dozen other content distributors, from the Fox television network to Globosat in Brazil, have joined the program, with brands including Heineken and AT&T promoting clips from major sports events like the U.S. Open tennis tournament and NCAA basketball games and live events like MTV‘s Video Music Awards. Read more of this post

The Mobile Payments Rush Is On, And The Winners Will Shape The Future Of Transactions And Commerce

The Mobile Payments Rush Is On, And The Winners Will Shape The Future Of Transactions And Commerce

TONY DANOVA SEP. 24, 2013, 9:12 PM 2,005 3

PayPal is close to a deal to acquire Braintree, a company that specializes in powering mobile transactions. Meanwhile, Facebook announced that it’s pairing up with payment companies to roll out “Autofill,” which makes it easier for its users to buy things straight from their phones.  Mobile devices are edging closer to fulfilling their long-delayed promise as digital wallets, and tech and financial services players do not want to be left out. Consumers and merchants are beginning to see the advantage of channeling offline payments through mobile devices, rather than transacting in coins and cash, credit cards — or clunky register systems.  In a new report from BI Intelligence we explain the main reasons why mobile payments are poised for takeoff, provide proprietary estimates for the growth and size of the mobile payments market in the years to come, and analyze the specific trends that will help shape the growth in mobile payments, including user concerns around security. We track the demographic and geographic nature of the consumers who will drive the growth, merchant-side adoption, and the mobile payments solutions that will lead the charge.

Read more of this post

Technology’s crystal ball offers only a hazy view of the future

September 24, 2013 5:08 pm

Technology’s crystal ball offers only a hazy view of the future

By John Kay

Exciting innovations such as big data and small robots are by historical standards modest

Perhaps it is the result of years of challenging students in Oxford tutorials, but my friends sometimes describe me as counter-suggestible – too inclined to point out weaknesses even in well presented arguments for motherhood and apple pie. So it is an unusual experience for me to leave a debate persuaded by both sides. But that was my reaction last week to a discussion at Columbia University’s Center on Capitalism and Society. Both protagonists are professors at Northwestern University in Illinois. In one corner was Robert Gordon, famous for his pessimistic view of the technological future. In the other was Joel Mokyr, the pre-eminent modern economic historian of technology. Read more of this post

Netflix is doing to TV what steam-powered printing did to books

Netflix is doing to TV what steam-powered printing did to books

By Zachary M. Seward @zseward 10 hours ago

“The broadcast networks adapted to the expansion of cable networks very well,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said last week. “And that’s what we’ll see with cable networks: They’ll all become internet networks.” He was speaking at a private conference hosted by Google in Arizona. Video of the Q&A session, which also included producer Brian Grazer, just went up online and was spotted by BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield (registration required). The comment about cable networks becoming internet networks is interesting, in part, because Netflix recently began describing itself as a “network” for the first time. “We are a movie and TV series network,” it now says in the company’s “long-term view” document. The company’s preferred self-description used to be “internet TV app,” but Hastings clearly sees “network” as an equalizing term. Read more of this post

Liberty Global CEO Says He Doesn’t Expect Apple to Sell a TV

Liberty Global CEO Says He Doesn’t Expect Apple to Sell a TV

Liberty Global Plc (LBTYA) Chief Executive Officer Mike Fries, who runs one of the world’s biggest cable companies, said he doesn’t expect Apple Inc. to sell its own television, disputing speculation among analysts. “I don’t think Apple is going to build a TV,” Fries said today at an investment conference in New York. Apple instead is talking to U.S. cable providers about revamping the interface for pay-TV services, he said. Analysts such as Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray Cos. and Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald have predicted Apple will release a television set, vaulting the company into a new market. Until now, its TV efforts have been limited to a $100 Internet-connected set-top box that streams video from providers such as Netflix Inc., Google Inc.’s YouTube, Hulu LLC and Apple’s own iTunes. The company has been beefing up what is available via Apple TV in recent months by striking deals with Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN and Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s HBO. Apple also has been negotiating with Time Warner Cable Inc. to give subscribers of the cable service access to their channels via Apple TV, people familiar with the talks have said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net

Property groups investing in China look to local investors

September 24, 2013 3:59 pm

Property groups investing in China look to local investors

By Simon Rabinovitch in Shanghai

When Tishman Speyer, the US property company, raised its first China fund in 2007, the money came from overseas investors eager to get a piece of one of the world’s hottest real estate markets. Six years on, China’s property is still sizzling but foreign investors are much more nervous about its outlook. For Tishman Speyer, which remains upbeat about Chinese property, this shift has led to a change of strategy. Instead of tapping overseas markets, it is raising the cash it needs for Chinese projects within China itself, where investors remain much more positive. Read more of this post

Party Will Pay the Price for China’s Rebalancing

Party Will Pay the Price for China’s Rebalancing

We need to keep the impact of financial repression in mind in understanding the Chinese growth model. It is a fundamental cause of China’s rapid expansion and its extraordinary imbalances. State-owned enterprises, like other large-scale investors, have benefited from artificially low interest rates, and it is quite easy to prove that over the past decade they have been value destroyers on a very significant scale. Read more of this post

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