Oxford to offer support
After decades of incubating science and engineering companies, the University of Oxford yesterday announced it is branching out to support businesses that put people before profit, seeking to maximize the effects of its academic research on the world. The university is launching a program to support social enterprises, which aim to benefit society or the environment, as well as turn a profit, through its Oxford University Innovation arm. Britain is seen as a world leader in the social enterprise sector, with 100,000 companies employing 2 million workers — as many people as its creative industries — according to Social Enterprise UK.
Web community to up hype
Debenhams PLC is leveraging an online community of beauty-product enthusiasts to drum up foot traffic, the latest effort by the struggling UK retailer to improve business and fend off threats from Amazon.com Inc and other digital-first competitors. Debenhams launched an online social platform called the Beauty Club Community, where shoppers can talk and get advice from other members. As they post on the platform, users earn points that can be used to get discounts on beauty products online or in stores. Products that get a lot of buzz online would also be featured in the physical store.
Nomura hires fintech head
Nomura Holdings Inc this month hired investment banker Sean Minnihan to focus on its financial technology advisory business. Minnihan joined the Tokyo-based company’s US investment banking unit, Nomura Securities International Inc, as a managing director based in New York, a bank representative said. He was a managing director and head of financial technology with GCA Advisors LLC, a US brokerage and advisory division of the Japanese investment bank GCA Corp. Minnihan previously worked at UBS Group AG, Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority data showed.
British American taps CEO
British American Tobacco PLC picked Jack Bowles to become its new chief executive officer when Nicandro Durante steps down next year. Bowles, currently chief operating officer, is to become CEO-designate on Nov. 1 and join the board on Jan. 1, the company said yesterday. He is to replace Durante on April 1. The departure comes after Durante, who took over as CEO in 2011, sought to shift the company’s strategy amid a slowdown in global cigarette demand. Durante last year sealed a US$55 billion acquisition of Reynolds American, which brought brands like Camel and Natural American Spirit under the same umbrella as Dunhill and Lucky Strike. The company has also made a bet on heated tobacco and other alternative devices viewed as having lower health risks.
War is winless: WTO head
A full-blown global trade war would have serious effects on global growth and there would be no winners of such a scenario, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said yesterday. “The warning lights are flashing. A continued escalation of tensions would pose an increased threat to stability, to jobs and to the kind of growth that we are seeing today,” Azevedo said at a Berlin industry event.
Polytronics Technology Corp (聚鼎科技) yesterday announced that it is buying Henkel AG’s thermal clad dielectric material (TCLAD) business division for US$26 million as the Taiwanese firm aims to improve its technology, product portfolio and revenue performance. Polytronics, headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park (新竹科學園區), is a supplier of protection components and heat dissipation materials. The firm entered the metallic heat-dissipation substrate market in 2007 and developed a unique solventless production process. Its board of directors approved signing an agreement with Henkel to acquire the German chemical firm’s TCLAD division in the US. The purchase includes all assets and business interests, including equipment,
SIZE MATTERS: Medium-sized hotels that do not have the support of parent groups are more vulnerable and are forced to take action, a REPro Knight Frank researcher said About 50 hotels across Taiwan are seeking to exit the market as they succumb to the bleak business outlook amid international travel restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yomi Hotel (優美飯店) on Minsheng E Road, Sec 1, in Taipei is seeking to transfer ownership with an asking price of NT$950 million (US$32.15 million) and a pledge for a lease contract that guarantees a 3 percent return. The budget hotel, with room rates that start from NT$1,400 per night, maintains normal operations, but has been struggling since March, when the government placed restrictions on inbound and outbound travel. Occupancy rates for hotels in
With the US dollar expected to weaken in the next 12 months due to near-zero interest rates, investors should consider purchasing US corporate bonds, Standard Chartered Bank Taiwan Ltd (渣打台灣銀行) said on Thursday. The bank said that the US Federal Reserve since last month has been buying bonds issued by US companies to curb default rates. The US dollar is forecast to be weaker against the pound, the euro and the yen, as well as the Canadian dollar, the Swedish krona and the Swiss franc, as the greenback lacks high investment returns after the Fed in March slashed the benchmark interest rate
‘SENSITIVE MARKETS’: The previously unannounced project would involve the company handing over control of data to a third party to sidestep privacy concerns Google has abandoned plans to offer a major new cloud service in China and other politically sensitive countries due in part to concerns over geopolitical tensions and the COVID-19 pandemic, two employees familiar with the matter said, revealing the challenges for US tech giants to secure business in those markets. In May, the search giant shut down the initiative, known as “Isolated Region” and which sought to address nations’ desires to control data within their borders, the employees said. The action was considered a “massive strategy shift,” said one of the employees, who added that Isolated Region had involved hundreds of employees