Will Comcast try to outbid Disney for Fox?

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
WHEN Disney struck a deal just before Christmas to buy much of 21st Century Fox for $66bn, it was a career-defining moment for the two firms’ bosses, Bob Iger and Rupert Murdoch. A third media mogul, Brian Roberts of Comcast, was left out in the cold. Having tried and failed last autumn to get Mr Murdoch to take a higher offer, Mr Roberts may now be preparing a still richer bid to upend the deal.It is not hard to understand his motivation. Comcast is in an awkward position at a time when the media landscape is shifting. With millions of consumers dropping pay-TV for the likes of Netflix, media companies have suddenly become either buyers, to achieve scale, or sellers, to exit. Mr Roberts has always been a buyer, building the cable business his father started into a diversified empire throu

Ten years on from Norway’s quota for women on corporate boards

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
THE centrepiece of the opening-bell ritual at the London Stock Exchange on February 2nd was a roll call to honour 27 global investors. They were lauded for pledging allegiance to the “30% Club”, a group which campaigns for precisely that proportion of women on corporate boards globally. Membership is a hot ticket, judging by the club’s expansion. Behemoths including BlackRock, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Standard Life have joined, and are voting against boards that fail to appoint more women.In much of western Europe, such efforts follow a decade-long push by governments. In 2008 Norway obliged listed companies to reserve at least 40% of their director seats for women on pain of dissolution. In the following five years more than a dozen countries set similar quotas at 30% to 40%. In B

Opportunities are opening for electrified commercial vehicles

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
Pulls a heavy weight of expectationELECTRIC commercial vehicles were once a common sight in Britain’s towns and cities. A fleet of 25,000 battery-powered milk floats roved the early-morning streets delivering a crucial part of the nation’s breakfast. Short ranges and low top speed were unimportant for a milk round but near-silent running meant customers could sleep. Their demise came as supermarkets expanded, but electrification of business vehicles is gathering pace anew.Just as better battery technology is bringing down the cost and boosting the range of passenger electric vehicles (EVs), those advances are making electrification of commercial vehicles more appealing. The purchase price is still far higher than a comparable vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE). But businesses

Recent tax reforms in America will hurt charities

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
DESPITE its oft-professed pro-market orthodoxy, America has always had an unusually large non-profit sector. Americans gave $390bn to charity in 2016, with the bulk of contributions coming from individual donors. Historically, revenues at non-profits tend to track GDP growth. The recent tax reforms imply that despite strong economic growth, charitable contributions in America are poised to fall for the first time since the financial crisis.The most significant threat to charities comes from changes to income tax. American taxpayers can choose either to “itemise” specific expenses, such as charitable gifts or mortgage payments, or take a “standard deduction”. In an effort both to simplify the tax code and to lower overall tax rates, the Republican-led Congress almost doubled the standard de

The markets still have plenty to fret about

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
BULL markets always climb a wall of worry, or so the saying goes. For much of 2017, the main concerns were political and the markets seemed to surmount them as easily as a robot dog opens doors (the latest internet sensation).But February has shown that the market is still vulnerable. The immediate trigger seems to have been the fear that inflationary pressures would cause bond yields to rise and central banks to push up interest rates; this week’s surprisingly high American inflation numbers will only add to the worries. In a narrow sense, that makes bonds look cheaper, compared with equities. In a broader sense, it increases the discount rate investors apply to future profits, lowering the present value of shares. (A caveat is needed: if higher rates reflect stronger growth, then estimat

Google embraces ad-blocking via Chrome

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
FROM quantum computing and smartphones to self-driving cars, home thermostats and delivering the internet by balloon, Google or, technically, Alphabet, the holding company that the firm established in 2015, has its fingers in many pies. But the company’s main business, which pays for all of its dabblings elsewhere, is digital advertising, which in 2017 accounted for more than 86% of its $111bn revenue. It may seem odd, then, that Google’s latest move is to aid ad-blocking. On February 15th Chrome, its web browser, which has a 59% market share, switched on code to block certain online advertisements. 9In doing so it joins an established trend. By last year around 27% of American internet users had installed ad-blockers, according to eMarketer, a research firm (see chart). Third-party ad-blo

Going out need no longer be a headache for teetotallers

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
BARS and pubs have not usually been the non-drinker’s friend. Knocking back pint after pint of juice or fizzy drink quickly gets boring. But beverage manufacturers are now showing more sympathy for their plight. Many companies regard non-alcoholic drinks as the “biggest opportunity in the market”, says Frank Lampen, who runs Distill Ventures, which helps small producers with investment and advice, and is backed by Diageo, a British drinks giant.One of the fund’s recent investments, for example, is in Seedlip, a British firm that makes distilled, non-alcoholic “spirits” flavoured with botanicals, and which last year launched in America. Low-alcohol beer, once maligned for its paucity of flavour, is also in fashion. Technological advances mean alcohol can be filtered out of the beer without

The best—and worst—places to be a working woman

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
“PRESS for progress” is the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8th. As our sixth glass-ceiling index shows, disparity between countries remains wide. But women have made some progress towards equality in the workplace in the past year.The index ranks the best and worst countries to be a working woman. Each score is based on average performance in ten indicators: educational attainment, labour-market attachment, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications and representation in senior jobs (in managerial positions, on company boards and in parliament).Equality-conscious Nordics typically do well while workplace parity for women in Japan, South Korea and Turkey still lags badly. America under President Donald Trump rose from 20th to

China’s stockmarket plunge: this time it’s different

african inspired, BUSINESS, News, Newspaper, NIGERIA, Nigerian News, Nigerian state programs, wazobia companies
A CHINESE new-year message from the American embassy in Beijing looked innocuous. It welcomed the Year of the Dog on Weibo, a microblog, with photos of the embassy staff’s pooches and a video greeting from the ambassador and his wife, each with a dog in hand. But it soon attracted 10,000 angry responses. The post had become an unlikely lightning rod for public discontent about the stockmarket.A plunge on February 9th had left Chinese shares down by 10% on the week, their steepest fall in two years. Some punters found solace in blaming the American embassy for the rout, which started on Wall Street. For others it was a matter of convenience, because their real target, the Chinese securities regulator, knew to disable comments on its Weibo account on such a grim day for stocks.Even so, their