Nigerian state programs

A Chinese oil baron is reportedly detained by the authorities

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Ye Jianming in bloomSTAFF had routinely been directed to pore over their chairman’s speeches and learn from them. One which Ye Jianming, the 40-year-old founder of CEFC, delivered last autumn—“Only One Step From Midsummer to Harsh Winter”—was a historical tale meant to motivate the troops. In it he compared his firm’s swift rise to that of Hu Xueyan, a 19th-century merchant banker. Hu amassed a fortune trading in salt, tea, arms and silk through close ties to China’s imperial elites, then fell from grace and went bankrupt.Mr Ye did not mean the lesson to be pertinent to his own situation. CEFC was then enjoying its own midsummer. As China’s largest private oil group, it had just won a 14.2% stake in Russia’s state-backed oil firm, Rosneft, paying $9.1bn for one of the most significant shar

Will China’s Belt and Road Initiative outdo the Marshall Plan?

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SEVENTY years ago America passed the Economic Co-operation Act, better known as the Marshall Plan. Drawing inspiration from a speech at Harvard University by George Marshall, America’s secretary of state, it aimed to revive Europe’s war-ravaged economies. Almost five years ago, at a more obscure institution of higher learning, Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan, China’s president, Xi Jinping, outlined his own vision of economic beneficence. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as it has become known, aims to sprinkle infrastructure, trade and fellow-feeling on more than 70 countries, from the Baltic to the Pacific.Mr Xi’s initiative, which also has geopolitical goals (see Banyan), has invited comparison with America’s mid-century development endeavour. Some even suggest it will be far bigg

Sweden tries to increase gender equality on Wikipedia

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EVER since Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, referred to Sweden as a “hornets’ nest of revolutionary feminism” and as a “Saudi Arabia of feminism”, Swedes have worn this as a badge of honour. Now its foreign ministry has an ambitious plan to increase gender equality on the internet.Its precise target is Wikipedia, a user-generated online encyclopedia on which some 90% of the content is created by men. Of its biographies, 80% are about males. On International Women’s Day on March 8th (as The Economist went to press) the Swedes were hosting “WikiGap” edit-a-thons and seminars in 54 of its embassies, from Abuja to Vilnius, in partnership with Wikimedia, the foundation behind the platform. The hope was that participants would write more entries about notable women.“Knowledge is power,” exp

An attempt to revise the Dodd-Frank Act reaches a milestone

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AFTER 25 hearings, thousands of pages of comments and many unworkable bipartisan working groups, America’s Senate has finally produced a possible consensus bill to tweak the Dodd-Frank Act, the vast swathe of banking regulation passed soon after the 2008-09 financial crisis. On March 6th, in a technical move that counts as significant progress in Washington’s creaky bureaucracy, 16 Democrats and one independent joined Republicans in voting to allow several hours of debate before passing the bill on to the Senate leadership.Amendments may yet be added and the entire edifice could fracture, but the vote, after years of effort, suggests a bill might now pass. If it does, it would then have to be reconciled with a different bill passed by the House of Representatives. But this now seems possib

Investment by women, and in them, is growing

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MARCH 8th, International Women’s Day, always brings a flood of reports about gender inequalities in everything from health outcomes to pay and promotion. But one gap is gradually narrowing: that in wealth. As money managers seek to attract and serve rich women, and as those women express their values through their portfolios, the impact will be felt within the investment industry and beyond.According to the Boston Consulting Group, between 2010 and 2015 private wealth held by women grew from $34trn to $51trn. Women’s wealth also rose as a share of all private wealth, though less spectacularly, from 28% to 30%. By 2020 they are expected to hold $72trn, 32% of the total. And most of the private wealth that changes hands in the coming decades is likely to go to women.One reason for women’s gr

The real problem with pensions

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PAYING for pensions is like one of those never-ending historical wars; a confusing series of small battles and skirmishes that can obscure the long-term trend. The latest conflict is in Britain where university lecturers are indulging in strike action over changes to their future benefits.Let us start by making the long-term trends clear.1. People are living longer and retirement ages have not kept pace. This increases the cost of paying pensions 2 Interest rates and bond yields have fallen. This increases the cost of generating an income from a given pension pot3. Private sector employers have reacted to this cost by closing their defined benefit (DB) schemes (which link pensions to salaries) and switching to defined contribution (DC) schemes (which simply generate a savings pot)British u

New $250m Sagamu brewery to commence operation by mid-year – AB InBev

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Belgian brewer AB InBev has said it is nearing completion of its new $250 million Sagamu brewery and expects it to go into operation by mid-year. The announcement was made by Ricardo Tadeu, AB InBev’s head of operation for Africa on Thursday in South Africa. “For the long term, in five to 10 years, Africa will be an important growth driver for the global company,” he said. Tadeu would not reveal the plant’s production capacity, but said that the company was upbeat about growth prospects in Nigeria and elsewhere on the continent. “We have a clear strategy to keep a good level of growth in Africa based on developing our brands in different segments of the market,” Tadeu said.Powered by WPeMatico

AB InBev full year profit soars on solid performance of its global brands and revenue enhancing initiatives

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AB InBev reported full year surge in profits for the 2017 financial, helped by global premiumization and revenue management initiatives. Profits soared to $8 billion from $4.9bn in 2016. The beer giant said that the combined revenues of its three global brands – Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona grew 9.8%. Total beer volumes increased by 0.2%. The company notes that the business integration with former SABMiller resulted in savings of $1.3bn in 2017, raising cumulative savings so far to $2.1bn of the expected $3.2bn it hopes to capture through synergies. Revenue for the full year 2017 rose 5.1% to $56.4bn from $45.5bn in the previous year. Commenting on the results, AB InBev said that “2017 was a transformative year for our company. We are well on our way to achieving our most successful