Archive for November, 2009

Nov 30 2009

BAT drawn into price war in Germany

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

The global economic crisis brings strange stories in its wake. Such as this one about a cigarette price war in Germany, a country where the government tries to raise the “entrance barrier” for young smokers by making cigarettes more expensive. [Read on]

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Nov 26 2009

FTD gets facts all wrong in negative cover story

Published by under South Africa,Top Stories

Johannes Dieterich, German journalist reporting for a number of German publications from South Africa, has made an embarrassing mistake in a report carried on the front page of Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) this morning. [Read on]

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Nov 25 2009

Now you see me, now you don’t

Published by under Companies,More News

Paloma Castro Martinez is a woman with a mission. Or, simply one with ants in her pants.

Whatever, she can’t sit still for long. Or stay with the same employer for long. Many (including this writer) would walk on water for a job at luxury goods manufacturer Richemont. Not Martinez. For her, ten months are enough, thank you. Next.

The daily Handelsblatt reported today that Spanish beauty (my description…look here) Martinez has job-hopped from Richemont to competitor LVMH (probably just around the corner in Brussels), where she’ll be director of Global Corporate Affairs.

The good relationship between LVMH and the European Commission is among her many new responsibilities. Media relations another. Not shabby. But, still. Before Richemont, she was with McDonalds, and before that with eBay. All Brussels jobs.

In her defence, one could say at Richemont she was “only” head of the division Global Government Affairs. And a career is something which suggests upward movement, per definition…

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Nov 23 2009

Arabella Western Cape to be sold

Published by under Companies,More News

The German beer brewer Schörghuber will sell the Arabella Western Cape Hotel next year, the company announced in Munich.

The decision to withdraw isn’t a vote of no confidence in South Africa, but was forced upon the company Schörghuber by financial problems (loss of €88 million last year). With Heineken, Schörghuber is the third biggest German beer brewer.

CEO Stefan Schörghuber died unexpectedly at the age of 47 years in November last year. Since then the family business has been restructuring. As a non-core investment, the Arabella was earmarked for sale before the World Cup.

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Nov 23 2009

Great Trek 2.0

Published by under More News

I picked up on this one a bit late (written on 21 October this year), but it’s such an important story, that I just had to link to it.

This project is significant for several reasons. I just want to touch on one: it will be very important for the Afrikaners as a group. If they are successful, create jobs, get along and in general live peacefully with others in the Republic of Congo, the seemingly never-ending stream of claims from within South Africa, that the indigenous white people are incurable racists who are somehow responsible for everything that is wrong in the black population, will sound increasingly hollow.

Until now roughly between 1 and 2 million “mobile, white South Africans” have left the country in the past 10 years, leaving roughly 2 to 3 million behind. Now the “immobile part” of the white community has also found other options and another round of “shrinking” is on the cards.

What a waste. These people can and want to contribute and their services are needed by the country of which they are citizens.

Instead, the system pushes them away.

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Nov 23 2009

Johann reads Sake-Beeld

Published by under People,Top Stories

Johann Rupert has had an amazing “run” in the media since the announcement last week that he’ll come back as CEO of Richemont early next year. I’ve written (see article below) about the dailies FTD and Handelsblatt, which both called Rupert “Africa’s Warren Buffett”. [Read on]

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Nov 16 2009

Johann Rupert in the German press

Published by under Companies,Top Stories

Both big German business dailies reported about the return of “South Africa’s Warren Buffet” (Johann Rupert) to luxury goods company Richemont as CEO this morning. Both were a bit “wobbly” when it came to the facts. [Read on]

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Nov 12 2009

Will internet ever (really) arrive in SA?

Published by under Opinion,South Africa,Top Stories

I want to go all “Schumpeterisch” today and philosophy on the question: what brings an economy, or a sector in an economy, to grow? [Read on]

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