Top Headlines - part 66
BUSINESS November 25, 2011 | 9:55 AM
- Major ocean-going cruise lines offering increasingly popular mega-ships
- New ships often taller than Eiffel Tower, offer greater variety of activities
- Passengers approve of new features, satisfaction is high
In the distant past, ocean-going cruise ships of 500 to 1,000 passengers were the norm, but today ships are getting bigger. Cruise line executives say this new trend is in line with passenger demand, with travellers looking for more activities, more dining and entertainment choices, more fitness facilities and more kids programs, among others.
Leading ship lines - such as Carnival, Holland American and Royal Caribbean - are taking advantage of the mega-ship trend to produce economies of scale: with more cabins, the overall cost is less. Cruise line insiders say the highest expenses for a ship’s operation are below deck, and only one set of engines and supportive technology means savings.Read more »
ECONOMY November 24, 2011 | 10:17 AM
- Revised quarterly GDP 0.5% lower than predicted, 2.5% yearly rate expected
- Inventory slump may boost fourth-quarter growth
- Banks and corporations record quarterly profits
Third quarter gross US domestic progress figures have been adjusted by the Department of Commerce, revealing a downward revision from 2.5% to 2% growth.
The slower growth figure surprised economists, who expected the figure to remain in tact, and disappointed those who were eagerly awaiting an economic rebound in the first half of 2012. Despite the downward revision, the new figure is still much higher than the meager 1.3% growth reported in the second quarter.Read more »
BUSINESS November 24, 2011 | 9:54 AM
- Penguin temporarily bans new e-books to libraries and Kindle users
- Non-specific “security concerns” cited as reason for suspension
- OverDrive instructed to block new Penguin e-Book titles, disable Kindle functionality for all Penguin e-Books
Penguin Group (USA), one of the nation’s largest publishers, is temporarily banning the availability of its new e-books to libraries and Amazon’s online lending program as well as prohibiting libraries from loaning existing Penguin e-books on their shelves to Kindle owners.
In a statement issued by Penguin, the reason for the suspension is “due to new concerns about the security of our digital editions, we find it necessary to delay the availability of our new titles in the digital format while we resolve these concerns with our business partners.”Read more »
BUSINESS November 23, 2011 | 12:37 PM
- SAP to expand in Asia, hire employees in China and India
- Asia-Pacific accounts for 11% annual sales
- SAP Business One software sees 14 new customers in China every day.
The world’s largest developer of business management software, SAP AG, is open to new acquisitions in Asia. In addition, it plans to hire more staff in China and India.
Asia is a growing market for German-based SAP. Third quarter 2011 saw 15% of the company’s revenue come from Asia-Pacific, with the largest growing areas being China, India and Japan.Read more »
WORLD November 23, 2011 | 11:15 AM
- UN Climate Change Conference 2011 scheduled for Nov. 28 - Dec.9.
- Clean climate investment gap of $22.5 billion predicted by 2015
- China world's largest carbon emitter, investment of $54 billion made in low-carbon tech
At the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference 2011 - which runs from Monday November 28 to December 9 in Durban, South Africa - world leaders will discuss ways to prepare for global climate change and how to limit greenhouse gas emissions as well as best practices and global policies.
The conference, also known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, was first held in 1994.Read more »
WORLD November 23, 2011 | 9:56 AM
- Brand USA to welcome international visitors by making it easier to obtain visas and other initiatives
- 37% drop in share of international tourist arrivals to US due to negative perceptions
- Brand USA has access to $120 million in Electronic System for Travel Authorization fun
The US has launched a new agency, called ‘Brand USA’, to revive its long-ailing international travel market. This initiative marks America’s first-ever global consumer brand, and was stared by the Corporation for Travel Promotion (CTP) to promote the US to world visitors. These new promotion plans were announced at the recent World Travel Market in London.
US: Stagnant International Visitor Numbers
The United States has been one of the few industrialized nations in modern times without a coordinated international tourism marketing message. In the past 10 years, the world travel market increased by 60 million people, while visitation to the United States was flat.Read more »
BUSINESS November 22, 2011 | 6:27 PM
- Campaign for Safe Cosmetics urged Johnson & Johnson to eliminate formaldehyde-releasing chemicals from its baby products
- Johnson & Johnson to remove toxins from baby products, revisit chemical process
- Activists nationwide urging legislators to implement stricter controls of product development overall
Johnson & Johnson will remove certain potentially dangerous chemicals from its baby shampoos that are said to be carcinogenic. Skeptics however question if the company’s motives are truly environmentally conscious moves or rather prompted by an aggressive boycott campaign launched by the high profile activist organization, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
Johnson & Johnson’s Commitment
In a report issued in early November from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a coalition effort aimed at protecting others by lobbying to eliminate dangerous chemicals from personal hygiene products and cosmetics, it was revealed that Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo still contained a formaldehyde-releasing chemical in its US, Canada and China based products.Read more »
BUSINESS November 22, 2011 | 5:46 PM
- Citigroup anticipates continued layoffs resulting in 3,000 less jobs
- BNP Paribas to cut nearly 6.5% of its investment and corporate banking staff
- ING anticipates cutting 2,700 staff and contract jobs combined
- UniCredit announced huge losses resulting in 6,150 layoffs
With the global financial services industry being at the epicenter of our current financial and economic crisis, it should come as no surprise that jobs in this sector continue to take a hit.
Significant additional job cuts are on the horizon for a variety of financial services leaders, with losses this year alone expected to surpass 200,000. This far exceeds the 174,000 cuts that took place in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg’s Businessweek.Read more »
FINANCE November 22, 2011 | 12:18 PM
- Richard Branson’s Virgin Money Holdings purchases Northern Rock Plc for £747 million ($1.2 million)
- British chancellor says this is the first step in getting government out of bank ownership
- Customers should see no change in service
Virgin Money Holdings has purchased Northern Rock PLC for £747 million ($1.2 million), and statements confirmed that the British government will receive an additional £50 million within six months.
If the bank is listed on the stock exchange, it will also receive a further £230 million.Read more »
FINANCE November 21, 2011 | 12:23 PM
- Review website Angie’s List rose 25% after 9 million share sale
- Angie’s List 2011 revenue tops $62.5 million through September
- Groupon raises $700 million in November IPO, Yelp aims for $100 million
Consumer review website Angie’s List Inc. jumped 25% after selling almost 9 million shares, raising nearly $115 million in its stock market launch. The Initial Public Offering price estimates the company’s value at over $900 million.
Angie’s List had aimed to sell less than 6.5 million shares, leaving 2.5 million to be sold by shareholders. BV Capital planned to take its 12% stake in the company down to under 9.5%, while Battery Ventures planned to cut its interest in the company from 18% to 15%.Read more »