Archive for July, 2009

Jul 30 2009

Calling all E-Plus clients in Germany…

Published by under Companies,More News

Calling all clients in Germany of the mobile network operator E-Plus.

Did any of you get fat amounts added to your monthly E-Plus account from mysterious “third party service suppliers” (such as 3united Deutschland GmbH) you have never encountered before in your life – let alone buy special ringtones from?

E-plus says “we have nothing to do with the services provided by third parties” (we simply bill you for the services and take your money…). Furthermore, E-Plus says “we can do nothing. You must contact 3united directly.”

All efforts to make contact with 3united comes to nothing. Help desk numbers are all on answering machines. E-mail support is non-existent.

This is clearly a scam and by allowing 3united to bill E-Plus (which then collects the money from me), makes E-Plus party to the scam. It means E-Plus (somehow) gets a kick-back, or pay-off, for collecting money on behalf of 3united.

I am sure I haven’t been the only victim of this “unholy arrangement” in Germany. If you’ve also been taken out by these two recently, kindly let me know.

You may also e-mail me directly. My address: manager (at) creativenglish (dot) de.

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Jul 21 2009

Viva, mainstream economic policy, viva!

Published by under Opinion,Top Stories

Gill Marcus as governor of the SA Reservebank is the best thing that could have happened to South African economic policy. The voices of reason have won the day (yet again). And South African economic policy might (after all) NOT be facing a “jump to the left”.

These were my first reactions to the news of last weekend. [Read on]

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Jul 14 2009

A report written by journalist 007

Published by under Companies,More News

Always something funny out of Africa…

Jersey-based Petra Diamonds announced a 5-fold increase in its carat production, largely thanks to their mines in Tanzania.

I followed a link to look what got Petra Diamonds so lucky in Tanzania and landed on a Tanzanian e-newspaper site called This Day. It’s slogan: “The voice of Transparency”.

I read the article, found it very interesting and then looked to see who the people behind the e-paper were. Click here to see what I saw – the no-name editorial office. Not even the name of the managing editor is revealed!

…very transparent, very transparent indeed.

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Jul 14 2009

Two SA asset managers to work for charity

Published by under Companies,More News

Two SA-born asset management companies are among a group of twelve asset managers which have banded together for charity.

Investec Asset Management and Old Mutual Asset Managers have joined forces with Artemis, Aviva Investors, Axa Investment Managers, BNY Mellon, F&C, Ignis, Invesco Perpetual, JP Morgan, Martin Currie and Threadneedle to launch a unique multi-manager vehicle, called Invest & Give Fund, and which will donate a proportion of the management fee it earns to charity.

The annual fee of the fund is 2.25% and 0.6% of this will be donated to The Prince’s Trust, a youth charity which has given 600,000 young people the skills and qualifications to find a job since its launch in 1976, reported Portfolio-Advisor.com.

The fund is the first of its kind to be eligible for Gift Aid, which equates to an additional 28p for every £1 that the charity receives from investors in the fund.

The responsibility for managing the fund fell to North Investment Partners’ John Husselbee. He will invest across asset classes and regions with an aim to achieve long term capital growth, wrote Portfolio-Advisor.com.

Former Conservative cabinet minister The RT Hon the Lord Young of Graffham, president of The Prince’s Trust Patrons Network and chairman of the Invest & Give Advisory Committee, said: “For the very first time Invest & Give will align the interests of the City, individual investors and the community in an endeavour that will produce, over and above the usual returns because it will help young people back to work through the work of The Prince’s Trust. Invest & Give is setting a challenge to the financial community by creating a socially responsible investment and I hope that this will be but the first of many such funds in the years to come.”

The fund will sit in the IMA Balanced Managed sector. The standard initial charge is 2%, though an offer period – with the initial charge discounted to 1% – will run until 17 August. The minimum investment is £1,000.

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Jul 14 2009

KIG Mining secures finance for Silverstreams

Published by under Companies,More News

GEM Global Yield Fund (GEM Global), a UK based private investment group, has agreed to provide KIG Mining with €10 million over the next three years in the form of an equity line of credit. KIG will control the timing and maximum amount of any draw down under this credit line, KIG Mining said today.

KIG Mining Plc recently acquired BRC Diamondcore’s alluvial diamond projects in South Africa. One of the projects, Silverstreams, is an active productive operation which KIG plans to develop and expand.

KIG will be utilising the line of credit to expand the production of the Silverstreams plant to maximum capacity. In addition to the production, the plant will be upgraded to utilise the latest technology in diamond recovery to maximise yield.

The areas acquired by KIG are known and proven to yield high quality diamonds in excess of 50 carat in weight.

KIG Mining Plc entered into a joint venture agreement with South African based Rox Mining (Pty) Ltd. to manage and run the southern African projects.

On drawdown, KIG will issue ordinary shares to GEM Global at a price per share which represents a 10% discount to the average closing price of KIG ordinary shares over a 15 trading day period prior to drawdown.

KIG also agreed to issue 2,000,000 warrants. The warrants will be exercisable for a period of four years from the issue date at an exercise price of €1.00 each.

The GEM Group is a UK-based $3,4 billion private equity investment group founded in 1991, with offices in Paris, London, Hong Kong and New York. It specialises in private investments, but also invests in listed companies.

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Jul 14 2009

DST ups Facebook stake

Published by under Companies,More News

Digital Sky Technologies (DST), Naspers’ partner in Mail.ru, has made an offer to buy Facebook shares from employees and investors at $14.77 per share. The offer values Facebook at $6.5 billion, reported German news portal Internetworld.de.

Should the share-buying action go as planned, DST will increase its stake in Facebook from 2% (which it acquired in May this year) to 3.5%. Internetworld quoted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg as being “positive” about the development. He was especially happy about the fact that the price offered now was higher than the price offered in May, said the magazine.

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Jul 11 2009

Hats off to Mr. Thickskin

Published by under Companies,More News

Only those who can take setbacks get somewhere.

Anton Rupert said it (on more than one occasion)…Mandela has said it. Not in those words, but something to that effect: When you are down, you must get back up and give it another go.

But, some people “torture” this life-truth somewhat. To the point where one can only shake the head in disbelief.

One example is Lars Windhorst, the German businessman who lost a hellavu lot of money for his “principal”, London-based Robert Hersov, in recent years. Read all about those losses here.

Windhorst is still around. Still working for (or with) Robert Hersov. Recently Windhorst wrote a bio about himself on a US business network portal called www.vator.tv.

You gotta read it. It’s an outstanding example of “selective reporting”. Not a word about his mishaps of recent years. Well, only this bit here. Which you should also read, because Windhorst says the Hersov family recapitalised Sapinda in April 2009, and appointed him as CEO of a subsidiary of the “new” holding company Sapinda. The subsidiary is called Sapinda Deutschland GmbH.

In his bio, I especially enjoyed the bits where he calls himself “Germany’s flagship of young entrepreneurship” and a “new economy star”.

Hat off to you, Mr. Thickskin.

PS. Somehow, I don’t think that’s what Rupert and Mandela had in mind.

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Jul 06 2009

Has eBay virus infected Xing?

Published by under Companies,More News

Over the past five-odd years German business network Xing has been a beacon of stable management in a sea of instability.

In the same period the auction platform eBay.de was the opposite: senior management came and went almost on a monthly basis.

When the eBay boss changed ship to Xing in January this year, I wondered out loud whether this might spell the end of stable management for Xing. Last week the first senior Xing manager jumped ship – a short six months after the new boss got on.

The manager responsible for income source development Davide Villa (previously CEO of Monster in Germany), resigned and joined his wife’s business in Switzerland. Villa had been with Xing for roughly a year.

Could I have been right in my observation? Could there, in fact, be a link between the new boss and edgy, unhappy managers?

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