Archive for the ‘INTERNATIONAL’ Category

New Brazilian oil Company Focuses on Onshore and Shallow Water

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Barra Energia, a newly established independent oil company from Brazil, intended to form prospects in onshore and shallow water with $500 million in financial support from the First Reserve Corp.

According to Renato Tadeu Bertani (Thompson & Knight Energy Services chief executive officer ) and Joao Carlos de Luca (president of the Brazilian Petroleum and Gas Institute and formerly the Repsol YPF Brazil president), Barra Energia’s aim to pursue ultradeep breakthroughs offshore, along with an assumed tighter control over them by Brazil, made the shallow locations a point of opportunity.

Bertani said that because most of the focus has been on deep water, there is not much attention given to onshore and shallow water discoveries.

The company intended to implement new geologic models and enhanced technology to advanced areas of manufacturing to boost output, as much as the latest strategies have enabled businesses to use shale in developing gas production in the United States.

The initial deal was said to come soon, but the company founders did not disclose a particular date.

First Reserve Houston’s branch managing director, Will Honeybourne, said that this was the way America reinvents itself. He further added that since Brazil lacked capitalized independents, there are countless opportunities for improvement.

First Business China Awards This November

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Entrepreneurs and businesses that have contributed to the success of the relations between China and Singapore will now be rightfully acknowledged, as the first Business China Awards will be held on November 23rd 2010.

Honoring two decades of diplomatic partnership between these Asian nations, the Business China Awards organizers said that the event aims to strengthen the bond as the Chinese market continues to be productive, with a record of 12% growth in the first quarter of 2010.

According to Business China’s chairman, Chua Thian Poh, one of their aims is to persuade more Singaporeans to take up the China challenge.

The award, after being launched last year, opened to businesses and entrepreneurs from Greater China (Macau, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), as well as for those from Singapore.

The Business China Award is segregated into four categories, namely Business China Enterprise Award, Business China Young Achiever and Business China Excellence Award.

The judging criteria, according to the award organizers, will be inclusive and extensive.

Among the list of attributes that will be vital to communities in Singapore and China are effective administration and enterprise-corporate governance. This is according to Lim Chee Onn, Singapore’s Keppel Corporation senior adviser and a Business China director. In addition to this, he added that both countries were expecting to get better on the identified aspects.

India’s Business Confidence Index Increases

Monday, August 9th, 2010

In spite of issues on global financial flux and inflationary pressures in India, the Indian business sector is positive that there will be better opportunities happening in the future, particularly in the first half of the present fiscal year that will end in March 2011, according to a survey by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

CII’s survey revealed that there was a 1.5 point boost in the BCI to the 67.6 level over the earlier survey that measured business mood for six months, which ended in March of 2010. On the other hand, the progress in the business sentiment, as seen by an increase in the BCI, was average compared to a 7.4 point improvement in the latter survey, which was compared to the period between April and September 2009.

CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said that although there was only a moderate increase, it was crucial to mention that it was on a “high base of the previous survey.” When it was compared with last year – the period from April-September 2009 – the Business Confidence Index (BCI) tallied almost nine points. The total index denoted the assumptions from the financial system in the current status, as well as in the next few months.

The survey, which covered over 450 businesses in India, showed that business outlook for the services area – counting the outsourcing sector – is quite higher than the total business sentiment. It likewise indicated that three in four businesses intended to boost their investments in the future, whereas two-thirds of the respondents were sure of growth in exports in the next months.

Burj Khalifa, World’s Tallest Structure, Re-opens Observation Deck

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The observation deck of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, has finally been re-opened. The deck was shut two months ago after an elevator accident caused visitors to be trapped more than 120 stories above the ground. During the opening ceremony, dozens of tourists visited and bought tickets to take an elevator ride to the top floor of the half-mile high superstructure located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Burj Khalifa’s was forced to close its observation deck in February after an elevator filled with visitors malfunctioned, leaving visitors trapped in the tower for 45 minutes. Rescuers had to drop a ladder to into the shaft so that those inside could escape the defective elevator. Two months after the incident, people still have no clue as to what caused the elevator to fail.

The unforeseen accident was very embarrassing for Dubai for its leaders hoped that the soaring building could attract more tourists as well as revive the advanced, cosmopolitan image the metropolis has earned in the past.

With a height of 2,717 ft (828 meters), this sky high tower not only is the world’s tallest skyscraper, but is also the tallest freestanding building in the world.

Burj Dubai has over 160 stories, although the number of floors isn’t exactly known.

Mukesh Ambani: The Richest Man in Asia

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Mukesh Ambani is a 52-year old Indian business mogul. He is the current chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries Limited, the largest private sector conglomerate in terms of market value in India. He is also the biggest shareholder of the Fortune 500 company, owning 48% of the corporation’s stocks. Presently, he is the fourth richest man in the world, with a net worth of $30 billion as estimated by Forbes Magazine.

The Indian billionaire acquired the entrepreneurial spirit and industriousness that led him to business success from his father, Dhirubhai Ambani, the founder of Reliance Industries. Dhirubhai Ambani turned the organization into India’s most massive conglomerate. Mukesh Ambani has followed his father’s footsteps since high school, when he would spend most of his time in his father’s office during the weekends.

He attended college at the University Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai, where he took up chemical engineering. He also pursued a Masters in Business Administration at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University.

Mukesh Ambani joined Reliance in 1981. After their father died, he and his younger brother Anil took over Reliance Industries and ran the company together until 2006. Differences in interests and disputes over company control led the brothers to divide the conglomerate’s assets and operations. Mukesh Ambani took over the oil, gas and petrochemicals businesses.

Since then, he has led Reliance Industries and helped turn it into India’s most valuable company. He pushed for expansion as the company diversified into several ventures, including petrochemicals, petroleum refining, oil and gas exploration and production. He led Reliance’s initiative to create the biggest grassroots petroleum refinery in the world located in Jamnagar, India. Reliance Industries became the only Indian company to be included in Forbes Magazine’s list of “world’s 100 most respected companies.”

Profiles in Business: Karl Albrecht

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Karl Albrecht is a 90-year old German businessman who established the discount supermarket empire Albrecht Discount, or Aldi. Albrecht is one of the richest men in the world. He is currently ranked as the sixth richest man by Forbes Magazine with a net worth of over $23.5 billion in 2010.

Born on February 20, 1920 in Essen, Germany, Karl Albrecht’s humble beginnings as a son of a former miner turned baker’s assistant and a mother who owned a small grocery store in Schonnebeck, Germany, instilled in him a sense of industriousness that equipped him with almost everything he needed for his entrepreneurial career. His younger brother, Theo Albrecht, shared the same business vigor. The brothers had their own modest careers in their youth, with Theo working as an apprentice in their mother’s shop and Karl working in a delicatessen store. Eventually, their mother’s store was passed on to Karl and Theo at the end of World War II.

In 1961, the brothers opened their first Aldi store. The Albrechts eventually grew their business into a supermarket giant all across Europe. Later on, they divided the company into two distinct organizations, Aldi Sud (South) and Aldi Nord (North). Karl took over Aldi Sud while his brother controlled Aldi Nord.

By the year 1997, Aldi expanded to over 3,000 stores in Germany alone. By 2009, Aldi penetrated other countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland, Australia and Austria, with 8,500 stores across the world. Despite Karl Albrecht’s retirement from the daily operations of Aldi Sud in 1994, the company continued to achieve success as he led Aldi as its chairman. He eventually stepped down from his post in 2002.

With Aldi’s immense success, Karl and Theo Albrecht became self-made billionaires. The brothers are now the richest individuals in Germany.

Karl Albrecht is known for his very private lifestyle. Aside from his business success, the public knows little about him other than his family and hobbies. He is married with two children, neither of whom are working for Aldi. He is a golf fan, an orchid enthusiast and an antique collector.

Profiles in Business: Li Ka-shing

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Li Ka-shing is an 81-year old wealthy business tycoon from Hong Kong who is considered to be one of the most powerful people in Asia. He is the 16th richest person in the world, the richest person in Hong Kong, and the richest among people of East Asian roots in the world. He had an estimated net worth of about $16.2 billion as of 2008. He holds the position of Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings.

Li Ka-shing has established himself as the largest operator of container terminals, as well as being the largest retailer of health and beauty products in the world. His personal portfolio extends to being one of the major suppliers of electricity in Hong Kong and a successful real estate developer.

Li Ka-shing has achieved honors from different international publications. Asia Week named him as “Asia’s Most Powerful Man” in 2001, while Forbes Magazine honored him as a recipient of the first ever Malcolm S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He has also received other recognition and awards such as the Grand Bauhinia Medal, position of Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and a recognized Commander of the Légion d’honneur. His peers in the corporate world often call him “Superman” for his excellence in leadership and success in businesses. His portfolio of businesses involve a variety of industries in Hong Kong, including retail, real estate, electricity, telecommunications, shipping, and the Internet. His Cheung Kong Group’s assets reached $82.9 billion by the end of 2009 after operating in 55 countries while employing around 260,000 people worldwide.

Along with these lifetime achievements, no one can deny the generosity he has shown to others. He is a great philanthropist and has called a foundation he has established his “third son.” He pledged to give out one-third of his accumulated wealth to charity and other philanthropic endeavors across the world.

Lakshmi Mittal – Leader in the Steel Industry

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

The UK-based Indian Industrialist Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was born on June 15, 1950. Hailing from the Churu district of Rajasthan, India, Lakshmi Mittal now maintains his residence in Kensington, London. The billionaire industrialist is the renowned founder of the Mittal Steel Company.

In addition to being a steel baron, Lakshmi Mittal also serves as a non-executive director of EADS, Goldman Sachs, and ICICI Bank. His personal wealth of US$19.3 billion has made him the richest man in UK and the 8th richest person in the world as of 2009.

He received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from St. Xavier’s College in Calcutta. A few years after his graduation, Lakshmi Mittal married Usha Mittal, who soon gave him a son and daughter. He started his 30 year-experience in the steel industry by working in the family’s steelmaking business in India. Eventually, in 1976, he successfully built his own company, Mittal Steel, formerly known as the LNM Group. Since then, Lakshmi Mittal slowly developed his business until it became an international steel producer with operations scattered in 14 countries.

By pioneering the use of DRI (or Direct Reduced Iron) as an alternative for steelmaking, Lakshmi Mittal led the global industry’s consolidation process. With profits of more than $22 billion and shipments of 42.1 million tons of steel, Mittal Steel stands as the largest steelmaker worldwide.

In 1996, Lakshmi Mittal was hailed by New Steel as “Steelmaker of the Year”. Due to his outstanding vision, leadership, entrepreneurship, and success in the international steel development arena, he became the recipient of the “Willy Korf Steel Vision Award” from the Paine Weber’s World Steel Dynamics and the American Metal Market in 1998. In addition to these honors, Lakshmi Mittal was also hailed by Fortune Magazine as the “European Businessman of the Year” in 2004.

Carlos Slim

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Carlos Slim Helu, or Carlos Slim, was born on January 28, 1940 in Mexico City, Mexico. Descending from Lebanese-Mexican roots, Carlos Slim is a philanthropist, engineer, and businessman with a primary focus on the burgeoning telecommunications industry. He dominates over the telecommunications industry within Mexico as well as for the greater part of Latin America. He controls Telcel, Telefonos de Mexico, as well as the America Movil companies. Having an estimated net worth of US$35 billion, he currently ranks as the third wealthiest person in the world competing amongst Lawrence Ellison, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

Carlos Slim completed his engineering studies at the prestigious Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. In 1967, he married Soumaya Domit, who gave him six children. The couple was married for 32 years until Soumaya’s death in 1999.

From 1996 to 1998, Carlos Slim served as the president of the Latin-American Committee of the New York Stock Exchange Administration Council. He was also a president of the Mexican Association of Brokerage Houses and vice president of the Mexican Stock Exchange.

Carlos Slim was also responsible for building Grupo Carso, a large Mexican financial-industrial conglomerate. Twenty eight years after its inception, Carlos Slim became the business’ Honorary Lifetime Chairman. The firm owns a variety of companies including the electronic retail chain CompUSA. In addition, he is also the chairman of the Grupo Financiero Inbursa.

For his active involvement and significant influence in the telecommunications industry, Carlos Slim became the recipient of Mexico’s Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneurial Merit Medal of Honor. In addition to this, the Belgian government also awarded him the Leopold II Commander Meda award. In 2003, he was hailed as CEO of the year by Latin Trade magazine and a year later, he received the title CEO of the decade from the same publication.

Swiss privacy agency to sue Google over Street View

Friday, November 13th, 2009

A privacy agency in Switzerland said it plans to sue Google over its Street View feature.

Street View allows users to see street-level pictures online. The application has been criticized by other European countries because it could expose private or embarrassing things about people’s lives, according to an Associated Press article.

The Swiss agency said it wants Google to ensure that all license plates, faces and private streets are blurred. It also wants at least one-week notice of when Google will be in the area taking photographs and when it will be available online.

“In the Street View service, which has been online since mid August 2009, numerous faces and vehicle number plates are not made sufficiently unrecognizable from the point of view of data protection, especially where the persons concerned are shown in sensitive locations, e.g. outside hospitals, prisons or schools,” said Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, Hanspeter Thür in a news release.

The commission maintains that previous advance information from Google has been incomplete.

“Google announced that it would primarily be filming urban centres, but then put comprehensive images of numerous towns and cities on the Internet,” said Thür. “In outlying districts, where there are far fewer people on the streets, the simple blurring of faces is no longer sufficient to conceal identities. This is primarily due to the website’s zoom function, which enables the Street View user to isolate and enlarge images of individuals on the screen.”