Solved: the riddle of the rotating Egyptian statue

Solved: the riddle of the rotating Egyptian statue

Wed, Nov 20 2013

LONDON (Reuters) – For months, curators at a British museum had been wondering how an ancient Egyptian statue in a sealed display cabinet had been able to rotate on its glass shelf, seemingly of its own free will. Rumors abounded that it was cursed by an Egyptian god, or that the spirit of its owner had entered the figurine, causing it to shudder. Others put forward more prosaic explanations, suggesting a magnetic field was behind the statue’s movements. Read more of this post

In Israel, a Push to Screen for Cancer Gene Leaves Many Conflicted

November 26, 2013

In Israel, a Push to Screen for Cancer Gene Leaves Many Conflicted

By RONI CARYN RABIN

KFAR SABA, Israel — Ever since she tested positive for a defective gene that causes breast cancer, Tamar Modiano has harbored a mother’s fear: that she had passed it on to her two daughters. Ms. Modiano had her breasts removed at 47 to prevent the disease and said that the day she found out her older daughter tested negative was one of the happiest of her life. Read more of this post

China’s World: Why the Electric-Car Market Is Low Wattage; Shanghai’s Failure to Popularize Electric Vehicles Highlights Challenges for Economic Reform

China’s World: Why the Electric-Car Market Is Low Wattage

Shanghai’s Failure to Popularize Electric Vehicles Highlights Challenges for Economic Reform

ANDREW BROWNE

Updated Nov. 26, 2013 9:26 p.m. ET

SHANGHAI—Even for a foreign visitor to Shanghai, renting an electric car is easy. All that’s required is a valid driver’s license and a passport. And it’s surprisingly cheap: eHi Car Service Ltd. charges the equivalent of just $25 a day for a Chinese-built Roewe with a range of about 90 kilometers. But having completed the paperwork, picked up the keys and eased silently into Shanghai’s chaotic traffic, the first-time electric car driver in the city quickly notices that nobody else appears to be driving one. In fact, there are at most 500 electric cars in Shanghai out of a total of about one million passenger vehicles, according to Zhang Dawei, the founder of EV Buy, a Shanghai company that sources and services electric cars for individuals and corporate users. Read more of this post

Surviving Chairman Ma: Life in the shadow of China’s Alibaba

Surviving Chairman Ma: Life in the shadow of China’s Alibaba

4:20pm EST

By Adam Jourdan

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – In a small research lab in Palo Alto, California, flanked by Hewlett-Packard Co and Stanford University, China’s largest electronics retailer is learning how to compete online. Shenzhen-based Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd is looking to tap Silicon Valley nous to help it with a formidable challenge: succeeding in China’s booming e-commerce market in the face of the behemoth that is Alibaba. Read more of this post

Alibaba started offering a cloud computing service known as Ju Baopen for banks and securities firms, as China’s largest e-commerce company ventures into financial-related services

Alibaba Starts Cloud Service for Chinese Financial Institutions

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. started offering a cloud computing service known as Ju Baopen for banks and securities firms, as China’s largest e-commerce company ventures into financial-related services. At least eight banks including Xiamen Bank Co., China Bohai Bank Co. and Tianjin Rural Commercial Bank Co. are able to provide online payment services by using Alibaba’s cloud computing service, according to an e-mailed statement from the Hangzhou-based company today. The banks’ online platforms will also be connected to Alipay, the company’s third-party transaction system. Read more of this post

Special Report: How China took control of an OPEC country’s oil

Special Report: How China took control of an OPEC country’s oil

Tue, Nov 26 2013

By Joshua Schneyer and Nicolas Medina Mora Perez

NEW YORK (Reuters) – China’s aggressive quest for foreign oil has reached a new milestone, according to records reviewed by Reuters: near monopoly control of crude exports from an OPEC nation, Ecuador. Last November, Marco Calvopiña, the general manager of Ecuador’s state oil company PetroEcuador, was dispatched to China to help secure $2 billion in financing for his government. Negotiations, which included committing to sell millions of barrels of Ecuador’s oil to Chinese state-run firms through 2020, dragged on for days. Calvopiña grew anxious and threatened to leave. Read more of this post

Rémy Cointreau’s Profit Is Hit by China Slowdown; Beijing’s Measures to Scale Back Gift Giving Hurt Drinks Makers

Rémy Cointreau’s Profit Is Hit by China Slowdown

Beijing’s Measures to Scale Back Gift Giving Hurt Drinks Makers

RUTH BENDER

Updated Nov. 26, 2013 2:18 p.m. ET

PARIS—After years of steady growth, Rémy Cointreau

SA RCO.FR -8.31% warned that China’s crackdown on extravagant gifts is set to hit the company’s profit sharply this year and dent sales for some time, the latest sign of how major liquor makers face broad fallout from the shift in policy. The French company has suffered along with rivals in recent quarters as the Chinese government has scaled back on sponsored banquets and gift giving, which for years had propelled sales of high-end spirits and other luxury goods. Read more of this post

Record Spread Blowout Sparks Mini-Crisis Warning: China Credit

Record Spread Blowout Sparks Mini-Crisis Warning: China Credit

Chinese companies’ borrowing costs are climbing at a record pace relative to the government’s, increasing the risk of defaults and prompting state newspapers to warn of a limited debt crisis. The extra yield investors demand to hold three-year AAA corporate bonds instead of government notes surged 35 basis points last week to 182 basis points, the biggest increase since data became available in September 2007, Chinabond indexes show. That exceeds the similar spread in India of 120 basis points. The benchmark seven-day repurchase rate has averaged 4.45 percent in November, the highest since a record cash crunch in June and up from 3.21 percent a year earlier. Read more of this post

China’s Nanjing, Hangzhou Raise 2nd Home Down Payment to 70%

China’s Nanjing, Hangzhou Raise 2nd Home Down Payment to 70%

China’s eastern cities of Nanjing and Hangzhou raised the minimum down payment required for second homes to 70 percent from 60 percent as more cities tighten property policies because of surging prices. The cities will continue to ban mortgage lending for third homes and will maintain a 30 percent down payment for buyers of first homes, the central bank’s Nanjing and Hangzhou branches said in separate statements on their websites yesterday. Nanjing will increase housing land supply by 10 percent from the average in the past five years, the city’s housing authority said in a statement yesterday. Read more of this post

Poor policy lies behind China’s rising cost of capital; Wealth management products are a slippery stepping stone

November 26, 2013 12:34 pm

Poor policy lies behind China’s rising cost of capital

By Paul J Davies in Hong Kong

Wealth management products are a slippery stepping stone

China Development Bank is the core policy bank in China. It has more than Rmb6tn ($984bn) in assets, is wholly owned by the state and is as good for its money as the government itself. So when CDB is forced to slash the size of a proposed bond issue by 60 per cent, as happened this month, you can be sure something is not right in China’s credit markets. Other respected and credible companies have also been forced to delay or reduce bond issues, or pay more for their money. Take US-listed internet group Baidu. Last year, it sold a bond to US investors that was priced without the extra that emerging market borrowers usually pay. But in recent months, it struggled to get a Chinese bond away. Read more of this post

Nicholas Eberstadt: China’s Coming One-Child Crisis; A minor tweak in Beijing’s population controls will not prevent a demographic crash

Nicholas Eberstadt: China’s Coming One-Child Crisis

A minor tweak in Beijing’s population controls will not prevent a demographic crash.

NICHOLAS EBERSTADT

Nov. 26, 2013 7:19 p.m. ET

Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the Soviet state and godfather of modern totalitarian politics, once explained the totalitarian worldview this way: “We recognize nothing private.” By that criterion, no totalitarian project in our era has been more ambitious than the Chinese government’s policy of forcible population control. Since the institution of the so-called One Child Policy in 1980, China’s Communist Party has demanded mastery over that final and most intimate of all private spheres, the family. Read more of this post

China probe may be aimed at Qualcomm’s 4G royalties

China probe may be aimed at Qualcomm’s 4G royalties

6:28am EST

By Supantha Mukherjee and Neha Alawadhi

(Reuters) – China’s anti-trust investigation into Qualcomm, the world’s biggest smartphone chip maker, is likely tied to the impending $16 billion rollout of commercial fourth-generation services by China’s big telecoms carriers. The probe by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top economic planning body and price regulator, is a likely pre-emptive measure that will allow China’s telecom providers to gain leverage in royalty negotiations ahead of the rollout of new high-speed mobile networks, analysts said. Read more of this post

China Plans Sale From Cotton Stockpile; News Comes as Storm Hits Texas, a Major Grower

China Plans Sale From Cotton Stockpile

News Comes as Storm Hits Texas, a Major Grower

LESLIE JOSEPHS

Updated Nov. 26, 2013 3:59 p.m. ET

NEW YORK—The Chinese government is planning to sell part of its roughly 10 million-ton stockpile of cotton this week, an event long anticipated by traders of the fiber. But while the prospect of a sale from such a large holding would usually push down international cotton prices, concern over the quality and price of the fiber China is offering is expected to mute the effect somewhat. News of the sale came as some traders worried over a late-autumn storm that hit growing regions in the southern part of the U.S., the world’s biggest cotton exporter. Read more of this post

Chart Of The Day: How In Five Short Years, China Humiliated The World’s Central Banks

Chart Of The Day: How In Five Short Years, China Humiliated The World’s Central Banks

Tyler Durden on 11/26/2013 15:35 -0500

China banks teaser_1_0

The concept of the “liquidity trap” is well-known to most: it is that freak outlier in an otherwise spotless Keynesian plane, when due to the need for negative interest rates to boost the economy (usually resulting from that other inevitable Keynesian state: the bursting of an asset bubble) – a structural impossibility according to most economists although an increasingly more probable in Europe – central banks have no choice but to offset a deleveraging private banking sector and directly inject liquidity into the banking sector with the outcome being soaring asset prices, and even more bubbles which will eventually burst only to be replaced with even more failed attempts at reflation. Sadly, very little of this liquidity makes its way to the broad economy as the ongoing recession in the developed world has shown for the 5th year in a row, which in turn makes the liqudity trap even worse, and so on in a closed loop. Read more of this post

After the Plenum, sell pianos and dairy; The easing of the one-child policy has put the pocketbook in focus

November 26, 2013 4:48 pm

After the Plenum, sell pianos and dairy

By Patti Waldmeir in Shanghai

The easing of the one-child policy has put the pocketbook in focus, writes Patti Waldmeir

China relaxed its so-called one-child policy this month, and everything from online opinion polls to piano stocks jumped for joy. The theory seemed to be that the only thing keeping Chinese couples from breeding more piano players was Communist party policy. Of course, even in planned economies things are rarely so simple – especially when sex, money and tiger mums are involved. The policy change will allow couples to bear a second child if one of them is an only child; previously they both had to be singletons. It’s probably safe to assume that many of the babies born as a result will learn to play the piano. What’s riskier is assuming that there will be a baby boom in the first place. Read more of this post

Links revealed between health insurance comparison site iSelect and health insurer health.com.au

Links revealed between health insurance comparison site iSelect and health insurer health.com.au

November 27, 2013

Ben Butler and Madeleine Heffernan

2711iselect729-620x349

Health.com.au [has] aspirations of becoming a top 10 insurer. New details have emerged about the close links between troubled health insurance comparison site, iSelect, and Australia’s newest health insurer, health.com.au. ISelect non-executive director Leslie Webb has owned up to 46 per cent of health.com.au’s parent company, Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents show, and now owns almost 7 per cent. Other investors in health. com.au’s parent company, NIA, include ballet star turned stockbroker Li Cunxin, author of Mao’s Last Dancer, recently departed Brisbane Lions chairman Angus Johnson, and Spotlight founder Morry Fraid. Read more of this post

Australian Mine, Energy Project Spending Falls 10% as Boom Peaks

Australian Mine, Energy Project Spending Falls 10% as Boom Peaks

The value of mineral and energy projects being developed in Australia, the world’s biggest iron ore exporter, dropped 10 percent to about A$240 billion ($219 billion), reflecting the peaking of the nation’s mining boom. “This large drop in investment is the result of two records being set in the period – a record high for the value of projects being completed (A$30 billion) and the lowest value of new projects being sanctioned in the past decade (A$1.7 billion),” the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics said today in its twice-yearly report on project investment. At April 30, the value of projects was A$268 billion. Read more of this post

Archer Daniels Midland has tried to win the support of wary Australian farmers as its offer to buy GrainCorp faces intensifying political scrutiny in Canberra

November 27, 2013 4:51 am

ADM seeks to win over Australian farmers

By Gregory Meyer in New York

Archer Daniels Midland has tried to win the support of wary Australian farmers as its offer to buy GrainCorp faces intensifying political scrutiny in Canberra. The measures – new infrastructure spending and a temporary cap on handling fees – promised to wary Australian farmers illustrate the importance of the A$3.4bn ($3.1bn) takeover for the agricultural trader’s plans to broaden crop supplies away from the US. GrainCorp is the largest grain handler in eastern Australia. Read more of this post

Macau’s junket operators prowl Asia to expand VIP business

Macau’s junket operators prowl Asia to expand VIP business

4:16pm EST

By Farah Master

MACAU (Reuters) – On the second floor of Solaire’s plush ocean-front casino in Manila, the dealers speak Mandarin, the players are Chinese and revenue from high-roller gamblers is rising rapidly. “It’s almost not in the Philippines. It’s more like you’re in Macau,” says Francis Hernando, the Philippine gaming body’s vice president for licensed casino development. Read more of this post

Goldman Sachs to GLG Open Asia Hedge Funds as Big Is Chic

Goldman Sachs to GLG Open Asia Hedge Funds as Big Is Chic

Global banks and assets managers are opening hedge funds in Asia for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, putting pressure on smaller firms that are already struggling to hold onto investors. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG and GLG Partners Inc. are gathering investor money for debut hedge funds dedicated to the region. Highbridge Capital Management LLC and Pine River Capital Management LP are restarting or expanding their Asian offerings. Read more of this post

Asia’s Exports Recover, but Can They Still Drive Growth?

November 26, 2013, 12:07 AM

Asia’s Exports Recover, but Can They Still Drive Growth?

NATASHA BRERETON-FUKUI

AI-CF078_ATRADE_NS_20131126031510

A string of recent export data shows Asia is finally benefiting from a pickup in demand from the U.S. and Europe. But it’s unclear whether the region can rely on exports to power growth as it has in the past. Exports from East Asia recovered quickly in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, expanding 30.0% in 2010 and 15.6% in 2011. But that growth slowed to just 2.3% last year. Read more of this post

Wearable technology: Nike’s FuelBand activity tracker is one of the company’s hottest sellers ever.

Nike FuelBand: Did the Brand Score a Goal?

Nov 25, 2013

Nike’s FuelBand activity tracker is one of the company’s hottest sellers ever. Not only did the product sell out online pre-orders in one day twice, but at one point the eBay price was double the suggested retail price. Last year, Nike’s profits leaped 18%, largely bcause of FuelBand — a big turnaround from the 1% year-earlier decline.

Nike introduced the new FuelBand SE this month for $149. Like competitors Fitbit Force and Jawbone, the FuelBand tracks activities such as steps taken, stairs climbed and calories burned. Many users strive to hit fitness goals, notably the 10,000 steps a day recommended by the American Heart Association. Friendly competitions arise among family and friends as these products connect to computers and smartphones to display progress graphically.

So what were some of the marketing elements leading to the success of the FuelBand? To find out, Knowledge@Wharton asked three Wharton marketing professors: Peter Fader, Barbara E. Kahn and David Bell. The three are team-teaching a free online course through Coursera titled, “An Introduction to Marketing,” and their comments here tie into the course modules.

An edited transcript of the conversation appears below.

Kahn on branding:

Knowledge@Wharton: What is product-focused marketing, and how does that relate to the early strategy for the Nike FuelBand?

Barbara E. Kahn: If you think of a market as between a seller and a buyer, on one extreme there is a seller’s market, and on the other extreme there is a buyer’s market. In a seller’s market, if you want the product, you have to go to [the sellers]. That gives them a lot of power in that exchange. Under those circumstances, people tend to do what is called product-focused marketing…. Since you are going to come to [the seller] if you want the product, I [as the seller] work on developing a good product. I work on reducing cost. And I am very much concerned with selling my product. Read more of this post

Wal-Mart Returns to Sam Walton Roots Naming New CEO

Wal-Mart Returns to Sam Walton Roots Naming New CEO

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) is betting on career insider Doug McMillon, who learned the business from founder Sam Walton, to revive a company struggling with slowing growth at home and in the international regions he oversaw. The world’s largest retailer yesterday named McMillon, 47, chief executive officer, replacing Mike Duke, 63, who retires Feb. 1. An Arkansas native, McMillon has held senior-level executive positions in the U.S. and overseas after starting as a worker in a Wal-Mart warehouse almost 30 years ago. Read more of this post

Moncler Owners to Raise as Much as $1.1 Billion in Skiwear IPO After Cucinelli and Ferragamo Tripled Since Listing in 2012 and 2011 Respectively

Moncler Owners to Raise as Much as $1.1 Billion in Skiwear IPO

Moncler, the Italian maker of $1,220 quilted polyester jackets, will sell shares in a second attempt at an initial public offering next month, raising as much as 783 million euros ($1.1 billion) for the company’s owners. The IPO will raise 585 million euros to 681 million euros and a so-called greenshoe option for underwriters may increase the size of the offering by 15 percent, according to terms of the deal. The stock will be priced between 8.75 euros and 10.20 euros, Moncler said in a statement late yesterday. Read more of this post

I’m a Teen, Watch Me Shop; It’s Goodbye to Big Brand Names, Hello to Cheap ‘Fast Fashion’

I’m a Teen, Watch Me Shop

It’s Goodbye to Big Brand Names, Hello to Cheap ‘Fast Fashion’

SARA GERMANO

Updated Nov. 26, 2013 8:03 p.m. ET

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.—Upon entering the massive Forever 21 store here at the Oak Park Mall, Goldia Kiteck and three of her close friends scattered like spilled marbles. The high-school seniors were on separate missions and pursued them through corridors filled with clingy leggings, racks of chunky necklaces and tank tops with kittens across the front. Read more of this post

Saputo Punished in Bidding War for Australian Dairy Warrnambool Cheese

Saputo Punished in Bidding War for Australian Dairy

Saputo Inc. (SAP)’s sweetened bid for an Australian cheesemaker threatens to erode any cost savings from the takeover, making Canada’s biggest milk processor the third-worst performer among global rivals this year. Saputo yesterday raised its offer for Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Factory Co. by 2.2 percent to A$515 million ($472 million) on condition it gains a controlling stake. That topped competing bids from Bega Cheese Ltd. (BGA) and Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co. The Montreal-based company’s total return has fallen 2.2 percent this year, including share and dividend payouts, trailing a 27-percent gain for the world’s 38 largest food manufacturers, including Nestle SA and Unilever NV. Read more of this post

Slippery U.S. Oil Demand

Slippery U.S. Oil Demand

LIAM DENNING

Updated Nov. 26, 2013 7:18 p.m. ET

It seems America is falling back in love with oil—or at least that is what weekly numbers from the U.S. Energy Department show. But oil demand is a slippery concept. The DOE’s latest data show the U.S. burned an average 20.27 million barrels a day in the four weeks ended Nov. 15. That is up 7.4% year over year, a figure more redolent of China than America. It is the fastest pace of growth in oil demand since May 2010, when the numbers were flattered by 2009’s economic malaise. Gasoline demand, meanwhile, was up 3.9%, and growth in October was apparently running at levels higher still, and not seen since late 2006. Read more of this post

Fracking Bonanza Eludes Wastewater Recycling Investors

Fracking Bonanza Eludes Wastewater Recycling Investors

After two years searching for a blockbuster investment in oilfield water management, fund manager Judson Hill is still holding on to his money. Hill’s NGP Energy Capital Management saw potential in what looked like a hot growth area in energy: treating and recycling the 21 billion barrels of wastewater flowing annually from U.S. oil and natural gas wells — particularly from shale. Read more of this post

Broom-Waving Delhi Voters Sick of Corruption Roil India’s Elite

Broom-Waving Delhi Voters Sick of Corruption Roil India’s Elite

By Indian standards, Arvind Kejriwal is an unusual politician: he doesn’t use a police escort, he won’t field candidates who face murder charges and he publishes the names of those who contribute to his party’s funds. Kejriwal’s campaign against corruption is resonating with voters in New Delhi, shaking up the dominance of the country’s two main political groups and threatening to end the Congress party’s 15-year rule of the city. Some opinion polls show his year-old Aam Aadmi Party may win a third of the seats in a Dec. 4 election, enough to make him the capital’s kingmaker. Read more of this post

Hitachi Buys Out Shareholders in Indian Electronic Services Company

Nov 26, 2013

Hitachi Buys Out Shareholders in Indian Electronic Services Company

By R. Jai Krishna

Japanese electronics maker Hitachi Ltd. said Tuesday that it plans to buy out all existing shareholders in Indian electronic payments service provider Prizm Payment Services Ltd., as it seeks to benefit from the expansion of financial services in the South Asian country. Hitachi didn’t disclose the transaction value of the purchase of stakes from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, Axis Bank Ltd., Winvest Holdings India Pvt. Ltd—the investment company owned by Prizm Payments’ founders—as well as other minority shareholders. Neither did it provide a breakdown of current stakes owned by the founders and other shareholders. Read more of this post

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: