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Posts Tagged ‘WSJ’

The Future of Banking Is in China

Posted by hkarner - 3. Juni 2016

Date: 02-06-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Tech companies use internet payment systems as a wedge into an array of money-management services

The Alipay app for now is mainly a high-tech credit card that makes it easy to use a mobile phone to exchange money.

SHANGHAI—
The 33-year-old market researcher in Shanghai usually keeps yuan equivalent to a few hundred dollars deposited online to cover her daily spending—and more ahead of big sales. It takes her only a few taps on the screen to buy investment funds, split restaurant bills with friends and send cash to family members. She recently dipped into the account for a $7.50 box of tea at a Shanghai convenience store.

“I use it about every day,” Ms. Wu said. “Click here, and they just scan the code. You don’t even need to take out your wallet.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What Keeps Companies From Thinking Digitally?

Posted by hkarner - 1. Juni 2016

Date: 31-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Shih Clara CCClara Shih, CEO and author, says the problem is often a lack of leadership

CLARA SHIH | ‘Digital becomes so strategic that it’s everyone’s job.’

Consumers are spending more and more time online and on social-media sites. Yet many companies have yet to adapt.

That’s the argument made by Clara Shih, chief executive and co-founder of Hearsay Social Inc., a Shih Bookmaker of digital marketing software founded in 2009, and a director of Starbucks Corp. Ms. Shih—who has written a new book on the subject called “The Social Business Imperative”—argues that every company needs to accept the fact that it, too, must become a technology company.

In other words, opening a corporate Instagram account won’t cut it.

Ms. Shih spoke with The Wall Street Journal about her role at Starbucks and what’s holding larger companies back digitally. Following are edited excerpts from that conversation.

Everyone’s job
WSJ: What do you see as your role on the Starbucks board? Is it fair to say you’re a digital ambassador to the company?

MS. SHIH: My job is to be a director. You can initially start with digital ambassadors, but ultimately digital becomes so strategic that it’s everyone’s job. You can’t delegate it to a single director or small group of directors. You can’t delegate it to a social-media team or to the digital team. It really has become everyone’s job, whether you’re a CEO, chief marketing officer, front-line salesperson, customer support. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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France, Austria Notched Up Robust First-Quarter Economic Growth

Posted by hkarner - 31. Mai 2016

Date: 30-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

French figures mark the third straight quarter of growth in eurozone’s second-biggest economy

The French economy grew faster than initially estimated in the first quarter compared with the previous three months.

PARIS–French economic growth accelerated faster than initially estimated in the first quarter, helped by sharp rises in consumer spending and investment, in another signal of more robust activity across Europe.

The eurozone’s second-largest economy expanded 0.6% in the first quarter from the previous three months, instead of 0.5% as previously estimated, France’s national statistics agency Insee said Monday.

The figures mark the third straight quarter of growth in France, providing further evidence that the economy is gathering strength after years of weakness. There are also signs the stronger economy is feeding into France’s job market after statistics showed a drop in the number of job seekers for the second month in a row in April.

The French data follow recent encouraging numbers from Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which showed gross domestic product grew at a quarterly rate of 0.7% in the first three months of the year, equivalent to an annualized rate of 2.7%. Growth in the quarter was more than double the rate of 0.3% recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Oil Rally: What Comes After $50

Posted by hkarner - 30. Mai 2016

Date: 29-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Prices could still rise in the short term though long-term outlook is subdued

Drip, drip, drip. The leak in the world oil market is getting annoying, helping to push crude prices above $50 a barrel for the first time this year.

So where do we go from here? While demand is a slow-moving beast, supply sometimes isn’t. Despite near-record inventory, traders are right to price in the risk of the market getting tighter in a hurry.

That means prices could still rise in the short term, even though the long-term outlook remains more subdued. In other words, while $60 oil is a distinct possibility in coming months, the market is far from its heyday. Producers may not even be budgeting for $50. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Trillions in Debt—but for Now, No Reason to Worry

Posted by hkarner - 27. Mai 2016

Date: 26-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

U.S. household borrowing nears precrisis peaks; global debt has already topped 2008 levels

Student loans in the U.S. now account for 10% of household debt, double the level in 2008.

If current trends persist through the end of the year, U.S. households will owe as much as they did at the peak of borrowing in 2008.

Global debt has already topped 2008 levels and keeps rising. That’s pretty astonishing so soon after debt-driven crises in the U.S. and Europe and endless worries about too much borrowing in Japan, China and emerging markets.

But for all the hand-wringing, a near-term debt crisis is unlikely. Lower interest rates mean debt payments are far lower than they were before the crisis. In the U.S., household debt compared with the overall economy is way down. And overseas, loans can easily be rolled over. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The IMF, Trying to Lend Europe Credibility for a Greek Bailout, Risks Losing Some of Its Own

Posted by hkarner - 27. Mai 2016

Date: 26-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The International Monetary Fund acted tough on Greek debt relief. But it appears to have caved under pressure by its largest shareholders, the U.S. and Europe.

That means Greece’s economic crisis will likely continue to simmer. It also means the fund may again forfeit some of its credibility for the sake of the eurozone.

“The agreement does little to address the underlying problems the Greek economy is currently suffering,” IHS Global Insight economists Diego Iscaro and Blanka Kolenikova said of Europe’s fresh bailout deal. “The promises of debt relief are, in our view, too distant and vague to make a material impact on confidence.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Investors Check Out of Europe

Posted by hkarner - 24. Mai 2016

Date: 23-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Fractious politics, economic malaise, negative rates discourage fund managers

Investors are fleeing Europe.

Fund managers are pulling cash out of European equity and debt markets in response to concerns about the continent’s fractious politics, ultralow interest rates and weak banks, and relentless economic malaise.

Investors have sold exchange-traded funds tracking European shares for nearly 15 weeks—the longest stretch since 2008—according to UBS Group AG. Meanwhile, annual net outflows from eurozone bonds were running at over half a trillion euros as of the end of March, according to a Pictet Wealth Management analysis of data from the European Central Bank. That is happening as investors are turning away from Europe’s growing pool of negative-yielding debt.

The money is finding a home in places from U.S. Treasurys to emerging economies, helping to push up prices in those markets. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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A Real Personal Finance Shocker

Posted by hkarner - 20. Mai 2016

Date: 20-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

electric shockerA company plans to deliver electric shocks to customers who overspend

It won’t come as a shock to hear that people don’t save enough. Some of those spendthrifts may be in for a literal shock themselves, though, if they avail themselves of the newest innovation from Britain’s Intelligent Environments.

The firm, which claims to have launched the world’s first “internet of things” bank, has integrated a Fitbit-like bracelet called the Pavlok with a customer’s bank account. Once it goes below a certain threshold, the customer receives a buzz that eventually escalates to a painful jolt of electricity.

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China’s Midea Group Announces Bid for Germany’s Kuka

Posted by hkarner - 19. Mai 2016

Date: 18-05-2016
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The offer is one of the largest unsolicited approaches of a foreign company by a Chinese buyer

Kuka Merkel ObamaU.S. President Barack Obama, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel listen to Kuka CEO Till Reuter speaking at Hannover’s industrial technology trade show in April.

HONG KONG—Chinese home-appliance maker Midea Group announced Wednesday it plans to launch a takeover of Germany’s Kuka AG, in a deal that values the industrial robot maker at more than $5 billion, making it one of the largest unsolicited approaches of a foreign company by a Chinese buyer.

Midea Group is offering to pay 115 euros a share, a 59.6% premium over Kuka’s closing price of €72.05 a share on Feb. 3, 2016, a day before Midea announced an increase in its stake in Kuka to 10.2%.

Midea Group, which owns shares in Kuka via its offshore affiliate MECCA International (BVI) Ltd., has since further increased it stake to 13.5%. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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