BUSINESS

India’s new bankruptcy code takes aim at delinquent tycoons

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A SMOOTH bankruptcy process is akin to reincarnation: a company at death’s door gets to shuffle off its old debts, often gain new owners, and start a new life. Might the idea catch on in India? A first wave of cadaverous firms are seeking rebirth under a bankruptcy code adopted in December 2016. In a hopeful development, tycoons once able to hold on to “their” businesses even as banks got stiffed seem likely to be forced to cede control.India badly needs a fresh approach to insolvent businesses. Its banks’ balance-sheets sag under 8.4trn rupees ($130bn) of loans that will probably not be repaid—over 10% of their outstanding loans. But foreclosure is fiddly: it currently takes over four years to process an insolvency, and recovery rates are a lousy 26%. Partly as a result, bankers have ofte

Unilever dodges the Brexit crossfire

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IN 1929 the Lever Brothers, a British soapmaker, merged with Margarine Unie, a Dutch margarine manufacturer, to form Unilever. The company has an annual turnover of over €50bn ($59bn), and a portfolio of brands that is recognisable worldwide, from its Flora spread to its Persil detergent. It has retained dual nationality for nearly 90 years, with holding companies and share listings in both Britain and the Netherlands.Now Unilever says that for the sake of its business, it needs to pick a side. But it is hesitating. On November 28th, ahead of its annual investor meeting, the board provided an update on an ongoing review of its corporate structure. Unifying the company’s share structure, it said, would offer “strategic flexibility” and be in the best interests of both the company and its sh

Germans get little in reward for booking their flights early

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HOW far in advance should you book a flight to get the best price? That is a question that many travellers agonise about. Yet people around the world do not respond in the same way to the incentives they are given.New data from Concur, a travel-software firm, compares flight-booking trends from five countries. Their researchers found that the penalty for booking at the last minute is by far the greatest in America. For domestic flights in America, tickets booked fewer than eight days in advance of travel tended to cost 39% more last year than those purchased at least 15 days ahead of time. The equivalent figure for France was 27%, 19% for Canada and 16% for Germany. In Britain (where there are comparatively few domestic flights), waiting to buy a ticket until the final eight days actually ...

Sona Group seeks Government’s ban or tariff increase on Sorghum, Barley

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Sona Group of Industries said it is seeking the Federal Government’s intervention to ban the importation of sorghum, barley and biscuits into the country as Nigeria produces enough to meet local needs. The call was made by the company’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Ashok Manghnani, in Ota, Ogun State, at the unveiling of the firm’s new production line by the Minister of State for Commerce, Industry and Trade, Aisha Abubakar. Manghnani noted that the group has invested over $650 million in over eight of its subsidiaries and employs over 8,000 personnel, adding that the group has not only the capacity to meet local demand but also has started exporting to Senegal, Ghana and Abidjan, with sights set on other African countries. He cautioned that allowing imports of goods that the country

Coca-Cola Nigeria unveils 50cl Eva Twist Bottle

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Coca-Cola Nigeria has announced the launch of a 50cl Eva Twist Bottled Water as it seeks to bolster its presence in the market. The soft drinks maker noted that the new bottle uses 18% less plastic which is in furtherance of its commitment to secure a friendly environment as well as serving consumers better. All up till now, Coca-Cola Eva bottled water only came in 75cl plastic bottles. Speaking on the new product, the company’s Marketing Manager, Patricia Jemibewon, said that the company acknowledged the essence of packaging in delivering products to consumers. “We envision a world in which our packaging is seen as a valuable resource for future use. Our packaging vision is zero waste, which means we are working to support initiatives that enable recovery and reuse of our packaging,” she

AB InBev restates commitment to Nigeria as it confirms construction of a new brewery

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Global beer behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev has said it is committed to a long-term investment in Nigeria. This was as the firm announced in a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, the construction of a new brewery in the country, located in Sagamu, Ogun State, at a cost of over $250 million. The company noted that the new brewery which is expected to be completed in 2018 would be its second largest in Africa and a testament to its long-term view of the country. Speaking on the company’s activities in Nigeria, Annabelle Degroot, Managing Director-designate, International Breweries Plc (IBPlc), said: “We are investing in a fourth brewery, a large brewery outside of Lagos, in the Sagamu area that will come on line next year and it’s our largest brewery in Africa outside of South Africa. Degr

Malta Guinness Herbs Lite wins innovation and creativity award

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Malta Guinness Herbs Lite, a malt brand from the stables of Guinness Nigeria Plc has won the ‘Fair Competition and Creativity Nigeria Awards’ (FCCNA) for its innovation and creativity. The award ceremony which took place on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry was organized by the Consumer Rights Awareness Advancement and Advocacy Initiative (CRAAI). The Fair Competition and Creativity Nigeria Award (FCCNA) aims to encourage and reward companies and organizations that use innovation and creativity as tools to continually deliver superior products and services in the market place despite environmental challenges. “Our consumers are always at the heart of what we do, and we constantly strive to innovate with exciting products to delight them; we are happ

AB InBev replaces North American operation head as US beer sales continue to fall

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Anheuser-Busch InBev announced on Monday the appointment of a new North American head, Michel Donkeris to replace João Castro Neves, a 20-year veteran of the Belgian/Brazilian brewer as beer sales in the U.S., the company’s most important market continue to lag. The company said in a statement that Mr. Neves who had been in charge of the North American division for two years would be leaving the company “to pursue other opportunities” and thanked him for his 22-years “distinguished career” at the firm. Mr. Doukeris, who is the brewer’s global chief sales officer, also a 20-year veteran of the firm has until now been in charge of the company’s Asian operations, helping to grow Budweiser globally and launched the firm’s premium beer business. Budweiser, one of the company’s global brands has

Sustainable investment joins the mainstream

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IN 2008, when she was in her mid-20s and sitting on a $500m inheritance, Liesel Pritzker Simmons asked her bankers about “impact investing”. They fobbed her off. “They didn’t understand what I meant and offered to screen out tobacco,” recalls the Hyatt Hotels descendant, philanthropist and former child film star. So she fired her bankers and advisers and set up her own family office, Blue Haven Initiative. It seeks investments that both offer market-rate returns and have a positive impact on society and the environment. “Financially it’s sensible risk mitigation,” she says. “Our philanthropy becomes far more efficient if we don’t need to undo damage done in our investment management.”Such ideas are gaining ground, particularly among the young. Fans of “socially responsible investment” (SRI