Noticias

13
Oct

Deutsche Bank congela la contratación de personal en la mayoría de sus divisiones

El objetivo es profundizar en su política de ahorro de costes e intentar así mitigar los temores del mercado, informa Financial Times. Sus acciones vuelven a caer hoy con fuerza en Bolsa. Leer

13
Oct

Charred chaebol

WHEN Samsung Electronics announced on October 11th that it would discontinue its flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 7, one crucial event in the history of the world’s second-biggest technology company by revenues (after Apple) sprang to mind. In 1995 Lee Kun-hee, then its boss, ordered 150,000 mobile phones burned and bulldozed in front of 2,000 weeping employees. Business partners who had received the devices as gifts from him had reported back that they did not work properly.

The South Korean auto-da-fé is said to have helped create a culture of permanent crisis at the firm, which drives employees to work incredibly hard. Now the question is how the ignominious end of the Galaxy Note 7 handset, which some hardware aficionados had called the best “phablet” (or large smartphone) ever made, will change Samsung, which is going through a leadership transition. In the midst of the crisis, the firm announced that Lee Jae-yong, the son of Mr Lee, would join the board of Samsung Electronics later this year, taking another step towards succeeding his father, who two years ago suffered a debilitating heart…Continue reading

13
Oct

Cream of the crop

TO CELEBRATE its 40th birthday, Vinamilk, a big Vietnamese dairy firm, filmed a children’s choir crooning adorably from the helipad of one of the country’s tallest towers. In truth the company hardly needs to sing its own praises. Vinamilk is probably Vietnam’s most familiar consumer brand, and it is widely considered to be the country’s best-run firm. Over a decade its profits have grown by close to one-third each year.

Hence the interest among foreigners in a 9% share to be sold by the government this year—the first tranche in a disposal which should eventually see Vietnam’s communist government give up its entire 45% stake in the firm. It is one of several big companies which the ruling party now promises to part with; two others are the Hanoi and Saigon beer companies, known as Habeco and Sabeco. After years of divesting mainly small slivers of unappealing enterprises, Vietnam is at last offering foreigners a slice of its best assets.

Vinamilk meets much of Vietnam’s daily demand for dairy products, including four-fifths of its condensed milk (most often found lurking sweetly at the bottom of the country’s famous…Continue reading

13
Oct

Insanely virtual

Better reality

AT THE heart of an emerging technology cluster in London’s Shoreditch lies the Stage, a big mixed-use building complex that is being developed by Vanke, a Chinese real-estate company, among a few others. A potential Chinese buyer of one of the flats in its 37-storey residential tower recently had a look around. She went from room to room, observing the furnishings and fittings. She marvelled at the city views from the balcony and peeped inside the refrigerator. There was no need for a flight to London. She toured the property using virtual reality (VR) goggles at Vanke’s global marketing centre in Shanghai.

The use of VR kit is quickly becoming widespread in China’s property industry. Few real-estate firms in other countries are as advanced. China is fast emerging as the world’s most important VR market, thanks to rapid adoption by property firms and by companies in other industries. The prompt take-up is not because Chinese firms make the best VR headsets, which they do not. In fact, the pioneers in cutting-edge hardware are America’s Oculus, which is owned by Facebook, Japan’s Sony, South Korea’s…Continue reading

13
Oct

Made men

AT A bar called “University” in San Giovanni a Teduccio, a rundown suburb of Naples, two blown-up photos adorn the walls: Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. Nelson Ciarravolo, the owner, put them up when the bar opened two years ago, long before the news came that Apple would open its first European iOS (its mobile operating system) developer academy in the district. Locals joke that Mr Jobs’s photo may have gone up more recently. Either way, it signals that Naples has embraced the American tech giant. On October 6th Apple held the opening event for the new academy, which it will run in collaboration with Federico II University, after which the bar is named.

“We go to places nobody thought were possible”, explained Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple, at the inaugural event. Naples lags far behind northern Italy for transport and digital infrastructure, and criminality is rife. The Camorra, a mafia gang, runs one of the biggest drug-trafficking enterprises in the world from the city. The neighbourhood in which Apple has opened the academy (it is located inside a new campus of Federico II University) used to be more dangerous. “We used to see our friends die on the ground,” recalls Davide Varlese, a cousin of Mr Ciarravolo. But things have improved over the past decade as authorities have…Continue reading

13
Oct

Gold posts

He’s got the moves

HAVING just received the latest PlayStation console from Sony, Dele Alli, an English footballer, posts a photo of it to his Instagram account. He dutifully thanks his benefactor and concludes the message: “#ad”.

It is the latest frontier of a rapidly growing industry. Since January, more than 200,000 posts per month on Instagram, a picture-sharing app owned by Facebook, have been tagged with “#ad,” “#sp” or “#sponsored”, according to Captiv8, a firm that connects brands to people like Mr Alli. Most are reaching Instagram users via such celebrities. Hiring “influencers”, as they are known, connects brands to a vast network of potential customers. Kim Kardashian West, a reality-TV star, for example, reaches 160m people across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Consumers love the unprecedentedly deep access to the lives of the rich and/or famous that platforms offer. DJ Khaled, a music producer and prolific poster on Snapchat (another picture-messaging app), delighted millions of his followers with live video updates of himself lost at sea at night on a jet ski. He is also an…Continue reading

13
Oct

Feel the force flow

YOU would expect strong job growth to be accompanied by falling unemployment, but America is proving that one does not always entail the other. Over the past year, employment is up by fully 3m but the unemployment rate has stayed around 5%. In fact, a few more workers are unemployed than a year ago (see chart). The reason is that more Americans are seeking jobs. Over the past 12 months the labour-force participation rate of so-called “prime-age” workers—those between 25 and 54—is up by just under one percentage point, the fastest growth recorded since January 1989. Economists trying to spot inflation on the horizon want to know how long this trend can continue.

The recent surge in prime-age participation follows a long decline from its peak, 84.6%, scaled in January 1999. Between then and September 2015, it tumbled by an average of about a fifth of a percentage point a year. Among men, it had been falling since the mid-1960s. The long slide accelerated after the financial crisis, as laid-off workers quit the labour force in droves.

Hence the refrain of some that low unemployment is a mirage: stronger economic growth,…Continue reading

13
Oct

Campus vs beach

THE CONVICTION that the secrets of commerce can be taught in a classroom, whether real or virtual, shows little sign of fading. In America, more master’s degrees are awarded in business than in any other discipline—over 189,000 in the 2013-14 academic year, the latest for which figures are available. Business is the most sought-after master’s qualification in the world. The majority are masters of business administration (MBA), covering a broad range of business skills, a qualification that is close to a mandatory requirement for a budding tycoon. At any one time, around two-fifths of chief executives at Fortune 500 companies are likely to hold an MBA.

Yet a fresh case study on the MBA may be in the making. Interest in the full-time variety has waned markedly in recent years. Applications to most programmes are either falling or static, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), an association of business schools. Data from The Economist’s own latest ranking of full-time MBA programmes tell the same story. Five years ago, a business…Continue reading

13
Oct

Stumpfed

Retired hurt

WHEN you consider the hundreds of billions of dollars of losses and fines that the banking industry has made or incurred over the past decade, the affair that has just ended the career of John Stumpf, the boss of Wells Fargo, may at first seem innocuous. In September Wells admitted that its retail-banking sales people had been too pushy, and agreed to pay regulators a $185m fine, a tiny sum by recent standards (Deutsche Bank is presently in negotiations to pay a fine of perhaps $5 billion to American regulators). Mr Stumpf probably thought that he had a couple more happy years to go as the head of the world’s most valuable bank.

But on October 12th, he stepped down after being roasted alive for weeks in an inferno of criticism. Wells’s transgressions have caught the public mood far more than esoteric abuses in the mortgage-backed-security market ever did. The bank admitted that its staff created up to 2m bogus accounts, without customers’ permission, in order to meet aggressive sales targets. To many Americans fed up with banks’ red tape and lousy service that seemed reckless, unforgivable and possibly…Continue reading

13
Oct

Worth it?

While many MBA programmes are feeling the pinch, life is rosy for the very best business schools. Chicago retains its place at the top of our ranking of full-time MBAs. It is the sixth time in seven years that it has taken first place. Like most of Chicago’s peers, nearly all of its MBA class can expect to find a job immediately after graduation, with a basic salary well in excess of $100,000. Such degrees do not come cheap. The average cost of tuition at the top 15 schools is $112,000. America, the spiritual home of the MBA, dominates our list, accounting for 11 of the top 15 schools. The ranking is based on a mix of hard data and subjective marks given by students. It weights data according to what students tell us is important. The four categories covered are: opening new career opportunities (35% weighting), personal development and educational experience (35%), increasing salary (20%) and the potential to network (10%).