Top Headlines - part 68

Software Giant SAP Expanding in Asia, Forming Partnerships

Software Giant SAP Expanding in Asia, Forming Partnerships

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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UNFCCC: Nations To Discuss Climate Change Next Week

UNFCCC: Nations To Discuss Climate Change Next Week

WORLD

  • 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.

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US Wants More Foreign Visitors: Will It Get Them?

US Wants More Foreign Visitors: Will It Get Them?

WORLD

  • 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.

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Johnson & Johnson To Remove Dangerous Chemicals From Baby Products

Johnson & Johnson To Remove Dangerous Chemicals From Baby Products

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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Financial Services Industry Layoffs are Expected to Continue

Financial Services Industry Layoffs are Expected to Continue

BUSINESS

  • 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.

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Virgin Money Holdings Wins Bid To Buy Northern Rock

Virgin Money Holdings Wins Bid To Buy Northern Rock

FINANCE

  • 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.

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Online Review Site 'Angie’s List' Raises Almost $115 Million In IPO

Online Review Site 'Angie’s List' Raises Almost $115 Million In IPO

FINANCE

  • 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%.

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Chrysler: $1.7 Billion Investement In New Jeep SUV Brands

Chrysler: $1.7 Billion Investement In New Jeep SUV Brands

BUSINESS

  • Chrysler’s Toledo plant to see 1,000 jobs in 2013, $500 million investment
  • Chrysler’s 2012 Jeep Wrangler receives ALG’s Residual Value Award
  • 20 new US dealerships to open in 2012, boosting Fiat 500 sales

Chrysler is set to plough $1.7 billion into new Jeep models, creating more than 1,000 jobs in 2013 in its Toledo factory in Ohio. The money will be used to construct replacements for small S.U.V. models Jeep Liberty and Dodge Nitro for export as Chrysler seeks to grow its overseas market share in countries, including China and Russia.

Chrysler’s Toledo plant represents close to 2,000 jobs at present. The company will invest $500 million in upgrading the Toledo plant, including a body shop. New employees will start off at an hourly rate of $15. The company recently tried to cut out a 25% cap on entry-level employees that comes into play in 2015, but was blocked by the union during labor negotiations.

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US Unemployment Claims Drop, Home Building Permits Up

US Unemployment Claims Drop, Home Building Permits Up

ECONOMY

  • Unemployment claims lowest in 7 months; state unemployment benefits down to a 3-year low
  • New building permits up 11% last month
  • Home-builder sentiment index reaches 20

In the latest data to suggest an economic recovery, separate reports were posted that reveal a decline in unemployment claims and a spike in home construction permits: Unemployment claims dropped 5,000 to 388,000, while building permits for housing development soared to nearly 11% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 653,000.

As the US begins its economic recovery, the European debt crisis and rising gas prices remain two major obstacles to growth. Despite these promising figures, Europe's debt kept global stocks low.

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TripAdvisor Under Fire For False Travel Reviews

TripAdvisor Under Fire For False Travel Reviews

BUSINESS

  • 45 million people search TripAdvisor reviews monthly, making it world’s most influential travel review site
  • TripAdvisor under attack for false and fake reviews
  • TripAdvisor has initiated reforms but new companies offer alternatives for hoteliers and restaurants

An estimated 45 million consumers use the online travel review site TripAdvisor each month to help them choose hotels and restaurants. However, the site is now underfire with reports questioning the reliability of its giant rating system, which is easily the world’s largest.

Lawsuits are pending and alternative sites are popping due to "increasing pressure from hoteliers and restaurateurs, who claim that many of [TripAdvisors] anonymous reviews are either fake or defamatory,” writes the British-based newspaper The Telegraph. A recent television documentary summed it up as “Attack of the TripAdvisors.”

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