September 2, 2008

BEL Salutes Glenn Graham


(pic courtesy of Trader Daily)

Glenn Graham was named one of Trader Daily's "Top 30 Under 30", meaning the top young traders under the age of 30. Glenn last attended classes in finance and accounting from the College of Business in 2006, and he was a student assistant in BEL. He once said that BEL was one of the best jobs in his life because we had so many databases and publications he could peruse for his career search and projects he had to do for classes.

Indeed, he used Investment Dealer's Digest and Futures magazine to do an independent job search for a summer internship, and landed a spot at Allston Investment in Chicago. He performed so well that he was offered a permanent position at the end of his internship.

Now, Glenn works for Dubai-based Casa Trading as director of its energy trading. One of his peers said this about Glenn:

"His trading prowess is unprecedented for someone his age," says one crude-oil broker. "He's a brilliant trader and a tremendous risk taker, but at the same time he knows how to calculate risk well."

Glenn is only 23 years old.

BEL salutes Glenn Graham and continues to wish him well in his endeavors.

Link to article (registration req'd, but free to anyone)

(h/t to Ashley Graham, his sibling, who also works in BEL as a student assistant)

Posted by Becky at 11:11 AM

February 27, 2007

Wall Street Takes A Hit As Chinese Market Stumbles

From the NYT:

Stocks plunged in New York today after a sell-off in China rattled markets worldwide and surprisingly weak economic data fanned fears that the economy may be more vulnerable to a downturn than widely thought.

A wide sell-off had pushed the benchmark Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index and the Dow Jones industrial average down around 1 percent for most of the trading day. But minutes before 3 p.m., stock prices plummeted, sending the Dow briefly down more than 500 points, or 4 percent. The S&P also fell about 4 percent at the same time.


Posted by Becky at 2:50 PM

October 24, 2006

Wrigley Co Names Outsider to CEO Post

Stock jumped 14% after the announcement, according to the article.

From today's NYT:

For William D. Perez, it must be hard not to feel as if his new job is déjà vu all over again. The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, purveyor of all things minty fresh, named Mr. Perez its chief executive yesterday, the first time it has tapped someone outside its founding family in its 115 years.

It is the second time in less than two years that Mr. Perez has accepted a position at the helm of a company whose previous chief executive is staying on but promising to stay out of his way. Nike’s founder, Philip H. Knight, also gave Mr. Perez such assurances, but then pushed him out this year after only 13 months.

Mr. Perez said he was confident things would be different this time even though Bill Wrigley Jr. will stay with the company in the new position of executive chairman.


Posted by Becky at 2:03 PM

September 16, 2006

Does the Death of Politicially Tied Board Member Impact a Company's Stock Price?

Yesterday at UIUC's College of Business, Vanderbilt Professor Mara Faccio gave a presentation entitled, "Sudden Deaths: Taking Stock of Political Connections", sponsored by the newly formed interdisciplinary group, U2IPERG (University of Ilinois International Political Economy Group) and CIBER, to a full house on sunny Friday afternoon.

Based on the growing literature that points out avenues in which politically connected individuals can benefit companies, Professor Faccio, with co-author Professor David Paisley studied 206 companies world wide who they could they identify as having corporate board members with political ties from 1973-2004. This quest was to answer the following, according to her Powerpoint presentation (submitted to BEL by Professor Paul Vaaler of the BA department):

* How valuable are corporate political ties? * Do geographic ties matter? Or do only personal and family ties count? Does the value of political connections depend on the strength of the relationship? *Do connections simply result in transfers of resources among different agents?


Florida Governor Lawton Chiles was an “original investor in Red Lobster restaurants.”

Baroness Brigstocke (of the UK House of Lords) was connected to Westminster Health Care Holdings Plc, since her husband Lord Griffiths was chairman of that company.

French Senator Claude Cornac was labeled as connected to Renault and Gas de France because of prior directorships.

Pamela Harriman, a Democrat, was a British aristocrat who was "very familiar" with many men in political circles, including Averell Harriman, diplomat and millionaire spouse.

Professor Faccio concluded the following from looking at press releases via Factiva and stock prices via Datastream and Worldscope (directly borrowed from her presentation):

Political ties, identified from the (common) location of a company’s headquarters and the city of the deceased politician, are particularly valuable for shareholders..

--Average price drop of -1.93% around the death of the politician for a sample of 7,080 companies
--Comparisons with previous studies suggest the value of political connections has previously been underestimated
--The price drop is even larger for those companies that are more likely to have stronger political links

Afterward, Professor Faccio met with some students who are interested in international political economy and strategy. Picture is below


Photo Credit: Natayla Shipachova, UIUC Doctoral Student.

There will be more monthly U2IREG seminars this fall. Stay tuned.

Posted by Becky at 2:31 PM

August 3, 2006

Foster's Beer Discontinues TV Ads in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Foster's Beer has decided to quit advertising on TV and will use their ad dollars for Internet. They are hoping to reach more younger males by this marketing strategy change.

BEL staffers noticed that Google stock went up. But it also may have gone up due to a new pact with XM Radio.

LINK to article (must have UIUC net id and password)

Posted by Becky at 12:05 PM

June 20, 2006

IASB Chairman Calls For Accounting Standards Convergence by 2011

June 20, 2006 - Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), sees small differences in worldwide accounting standards within five years. reports that Robert Herz, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) chairman, predicts that within three to five years, U.S. and international accounting standards will be virtually interchangeable.

Read the rest at

Posted by Becky at 1:05 PM

May 18, 2006

One billion people have Internet access

From Yahoo:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - More than one billion people in the world have access to the Internet, with a quarter of them with broadband, or high-speed connections, according to a survey.

The report by the firm eMarketer said the milestone of one billion was reached in late 2005, and that nearly 250 million households had broadband connections.

The firm estimates that of these people, 845 million use the Internet regularly.

LINK to article

For our readers, BEL does not subscribe to EMarketer, although perhaps we will obtain a trial to it in the near future.

Posted by Becky at 1:00 PM

May 4, 2006

Joining the Private Equity Club

From the NYT:
The exclusive private equity club, long restricted largely to financial institutions and high-rolling individuals, is looking a bit more egalitarian this week. That is because a unit of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the world’s largest buyout firm — as such investment companies were called before the term “private equity” came into vogue — has sold $5 billion in shares to the public through a stock listing in Amsterdam.

But is this a club that small-time investors should be rushing to join?

KKR’s offering was three times larger than originally expected, which demonstrates that the demand is certainly there. Many would also argue that individual investors, often called retail investors, should enjoy access to the impressive returns that many private equity investors have enjoyed in recent years.

LINK to NYT article

Related: International Tribune Herald picks up Bloomberg News' report, which entails more about meetings with Angela Merkel, Co-chancellor of Germany in NY today, who courting for more private equity investors:

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany will meet senior representatives of U.S. private equity groups in New York this week, as Europe's biggest economy lures investment from funds that were likened to locusts by some politicians last year.

Henry Kravis, a founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and John Edwards (former Senator and 2004 vice-Presidental candidate), senior adviser of Fortress Investment Group, will be among 12 company chiefs holding talks with Merkel on Thursday, said a German government aide. KKR, the world's biggest buyout firm, and Fortress have both invested in German companies.


Posted by Becky at 1:07 PM

April 26, 2006

Nissan Vows a New-Model Blitz

From today's NYT:

TOKYO, April 25 — Nissan Motor reported its sixth consecutive year of higher profit on Tuesday and said it would start an "offensive" of new vehicle releases to try to seize market share.

Nissan, which is 44 percent owned by Renault, reported higher sales in the United States and China. Earnings also received a lift from a strong dollar, which raised the yen value of overseas profits, the company said.

Nissan said net profit rose 1.1 percent, to 518.05 billion yen ($4.57 billion) for the year ended March 31. Sales rose 9.9 percent, to 9.428 trillion yen ($83.2 billion).


Those interested in reading more about the 2006 NYC Auto show, click here.

Posted by Becky at 2:53 PM

April 14, 2006

A new profession for Hello Kitty?

From Business 2.0;

Can a robot replace your receptionist?

Diane Anderson, Business 2.0 Magazine
April 11, 2006: 3:50 PM EDT

So far, computers have displaced assembly-line workers, telephone operators, and musicians. Now a Japanese staffing firm wants to add front-desk personnel to the list. In February, Nagoya-based People Staff launched a service called Robot Dispatch: For $424 a month - or one-sixth the cost of one of the firm's human temps - Japanese companies can rent an electronic receptionist shaped like Hello Kitty.

Manufactured by Business Design Laboratory, also based in Nagoya, the 20-inch-tall Hello Kitty Robo can recognize as many as 10 faces, ask visitors to speak their names, and tell them when the person they have come to see is ready. With 20,000 stored conversation patterns, songs, and riddles, the robot is arguably more entertaining than many real attendants. Cheaper too. "Many Japanese corporations don't have a person at reception," says Chihiro Yamada, a People Staff spokeswoman. "If a company wants to hire a receptionist, we can save them money."

Read the rest here.

If link is not accessible for free past this month, Business 2.0 is available through Business Source Complete. (UIUC id & pw req'd)

Posted by Becky at 12:50 PM

China and the art of (standards) war

From today's Asia Times:

In the afternoon of January 10, Huang Ju, China's vice premier, made a videophone call from the Science and Technology Innovation Achievements Exhibition that was then being held in Beijing. For the residents of Bijie county, to whom this call was made, it was a simple call from the vice premier that conveyed New Year greetings. But for the global telecom industry, it was an end to several years of anxious waiting.

"I am impressed with the quality of the call," Huang said, and with those words he put the Chinese government's official stamp of approval on the locally developed third-generation (3G) technology that was used for the demonstration. China's operators and global equipment makers had been waiting for years for Beijing to roll out 3G licenses and make a final decision on the technology that it would use for 3G services, expected to start in mid-2006.

Read the rest here.

Interesting stats:

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), China produced, sold and exported respectively 82.8 million, 80.4 million and 39.7 million sets of color TV sets in 2005, up 13.02%, 10.69% and 43.36% from the previous year. The output of mobile phones has increased just as dramatically. China manufactured 303 million mobile phones in total in 2005, some 40% of the world's production. The MII predicted that the number is likely to exceed 340 million this year. Statistics for most other electronics products show similar increases. China is second to the US as a consumer of electronics.

Posted by Becky at 11:45 AM

April 13, 2006

Google Chief Rejects Pressuring China

From today's NYT:

BEIJING, April 12 — Google's chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, whose company has been sharply criticized for complying with Chinese censorship, said on Wednesday that the company had not lobbied to change the censorship laws and, for now, had no plans to do so.

"I think it's arrogant for us to walk into a country where we are just beginning operations and tell that country how to run itself," Mr. Schmidt told reporters from foreign news organizations.

Read the rest here.

Interesting stat from this article:

China already has more than 111 million Internet users, the second-highest number in the world, after the United States, and this is growing quickly. Mr. Schmidt said he expected China to become one of Google's most important markets, even though it still accounted for a small slice of overall revenue. He said the same was true when Google entered other foreign markets, including those in Europe, where revenue has jumped as users became familiar with the company's services.

Looks as though Google is expanding but also may be doing some outsourcing too.

Posted by Becky at 11:27 AM

March 22, 2006

Business News:Sanofi Patent Deal Good for Brand Drugs

From Reuters:

LONDON (Reuters) - Sanofi-Aventis (SASY.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY.N: Quote, Profile, Research) settlement of a dispute over blood thinner Plavix shows the pendulum is swinging in favor of branded drug firms on patents, the life blood of the industry.

In recent years makers of famous drug brands have come under aggressive attack from generic firms challenging the exclusivity on their products in the key U.S. marketplace

Read the rest here.

Posted by Becky at 2:34 PM

February 24, 2006

Market Research Publisher VNU May Be Acquired

From today's WSJ:

A group of seven private-equity firms is poised to submit a firm bid to acquire VNU NV for about 7.2 billion euros ($8.6 billion), beginning a tug-of-war over the Dutch publisher and market-research giant as the company's board weighs whether to recommend the buyout even though VNU's biggest shareholders say the bid is too low.

It isn't clear how VNU's board will react to the bid, as several of the company's biggest shareholders as well as Dutch institutional investors have said the company would be worth more if it were broken up and sold off in three pieces. VNU owns a range of media-related properties including the Nielsen Media Research television-ratings service, ACNielsen market research, the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard magazine.

Read the rest here (UIUC id and pw req'd)

Posted by Becky at 9:48 AM

February 3, 2006

New Research Center: CORE

The Rotman School at the University of Toronto has started a new research center called CORE, which stands for Center for Outsourcing Research & Education. CORE states as its mission:

The mission of the Centre for Outsourcing Research and Education (CORE) is to further the understanding and effective application of outsourcing.

CORE’s vision is to become the definitive source of education and information about outsourcing. Executive Education, Research, Benchmarking, Conferences, and Directory — One Reliable Source of Education and Information


They have many sponsors and members, including Cisco Systems, PWC, and Hydro One.

CORE just released a summary of initial research, consisting of two case studies related to the issues of outsourcing.

Click here for the summary.

This is very interesting in light of Del Monte announcing today that they will cease their pineapple growing operations in Hawaii as they say they can do it cheaper elsewhere.

Posted by Becky at 12:28 PM

January 11, 2006

Business News:China's 2005 trade surplus triples to $102bn

From via NYT:

Published: January 11, 2006

China's trade surplus more than tripled to a record $102bn in 2005 on soaring exports, according to official figures that are likely to draw more criticism on Beijing over its currency policies.

Exports jumped over 28 per cent to $762bn last year while imports rose nearly 18 percent to $660bn, according to year-on-year figures released on Wednesday by the General Administration of Customs.

Read the rest here.

Posted by Becky at 10:05 AM

December 12, 2005

BEL Salutes: Werner Baer, Economics

At the annual congress of the Brazilian Economics Association on December 6-9th, 2005, Werner Baer received a formal prize of recognition " for his genuine contributions to the study of Brazil's economy, his activities in helping to place many Brazilian students in leading U. S. universities (including the University of Illinois) and for his contributions in helping many Brazilian universities in establishing graduate programs in Economics."

Werner gave the keynote speech at the congress and a reception followed, where he was congratulated by many of his former students.

Congratulations, Professor Baer!

Thanks to Larry Neal, for this bit of cheer!

Posted by Becky at 2:15 PM

December 7, 2005

Business News: Red Hat to expand in India

From the News-Observer:

Red Hat plans to spend $20 million and triple its head count in India over the next several years as it continues to target the surging Indian market.

The open source software company, which has about 340 employees at its Raleigh headquarters, sees India as a “fundamental” part of its long-term global strategy, said Joanne Rohde, Red Hat’s executive vice president of worldwide operations. China, which has a year-old Red Hat facility, is a major target as well.

“We’re setting an agenda for new ways of competing in those markets,” she said.

LINK to rest of article (registration may be required; otherwise, use Lexis-Nexis --for UIUC)

Posted by Becky at 6:10 PM

December 4, 2005

Business News: Bangalore Boom

From the Mercury

Tech Hub Aspires to Match Valley in Innovation

By John Boudreau
Mercury News

BANGALORE, India - Drive along Hosur Road -- Bangalore's version of Highway 101 -- even at 1:30 a.m. and you'll see sparks from welders working on new buildings to house software companies. Pick up any newspaper and read ads from tech companies seeking -- imploring -- engineers to come work for them. Experience the Silicon Valley-style, masters-of-the-digital-universe attitude permeating Bangalore, from its impossibly jammed roads to the new dot-com-like offices.

``We think we will overtake Silicon Valley,'' said Vineet Shrivastava, bid manager at the Bangalore campus of Dutch tech services and wireless company LogicaCMG. ``You can see it for yourself.''

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 10:51 AM

November 21, 2005

Latin America to US: "NIMBY" ?

From Business Week Online (via Yahoo Finance):

Why Latin America Detests Uncle Sam
Monday November 21, 10:39 am ET
By Geri Smith

"Yankees Go Home!" has long been a rallying cry for Latin Americans who resent the U.S.'s heavy-handed approach to its neighbors in the hemisphere. But anti-American sentiment is worse today than it has been in decades, and that was all too evident at the recent Summit of the Americas in Argentina.

Some 25,000 protesters turned out for a rally where President George W. Bush was excoriated as "fascist" and "genocidal," and U.S. flags were burned to protest the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez vowed to scuttle the Free Trade Area of the Americas, claiming it will crush local farmers and industries.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 1:10 PM

October 12, 2005

Business News: Asia's Top Business Leaders

According to Fortune magazine, these are the most powerful business leaders by rank, name, and company:

1 Jong-Yong Yun Samsung Electronics, South Korea
2 Li Ka-Shing Hutchison Whampoa, Hong Kong
3 Abdallah Jum'ah Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia
4 Chen Geng China National Petroleum, China
5 Fujio Mitarai Canon, Japan
6 Carlos Ghosn Nissan, Japan
7 Chip Goodyear BHP Billiton, Australia
8 Katsuaki Watanabe Toyota, Japan
9 Kim Ssang Su LG Electronics, South Korea
10 Prince Alwaleed Talal al Saud Kingdom Holdings, Saudi Arabia

There are 15 more. To find out, click here for the rest.

Posted by Becky at 2:24 PM

Business News:Communist Party chief Hu Jintao's development agenda for China

From the WSJ:

-- Double per capita GDP in 2010 from 2000

-- Decrease energy consumption per dollar of GDP by 20% in next five years

-- Develop domestic intellectual property and brands

-- Lower poverty level

-- Improve energy efficiency, environmental protection and health-care

-- Establish basic social-security system

-- Further overhaul fiscal, tax and financial systems

Read the article, "Chinese Leaders Set Out Priorities, Citing Challenges; Communist Party Produces Ambitious List to Address Social, Economic Inequities" for the entire story.

Posted by Becky at 12:53 PM

October 4, 2005

Business News: Salaries in India are fastest rising in world

By FT.COM via the New York Times

Published: October 4, 2005
A global survey has shown India's private sector salaries are rising faster than anywhere else in the world, the latest indicator of the country's strong economic growth.

A report by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, based in London, estimates India's salaries will improve 7.3 per cent above inflation next year, and 11.3 per cent year on year.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 12:48 PM

September 6, 2005

Business News: OECD warns of ‘economic shock’ from oil prices

From the Financial Times:

By John Thornhill in Paris
Published: September 6 2005 12:10 | Last updated: September 6 2005 13:23

The current surge in oil prices is a major economic shock that is in some ways comparable with that of the 1970s, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Tuesday.

“The level of the price today is not very distant from the levels reached during the great shock at the end of the 1970s,” said Jean-Philippe Cotis, chief economist at the OECD at a press briefing in Paris. “The situation remains very strained on the oil markets.”

LINK to rest of article.

OECD Economic Outlook Paper

Posted by Becky at 11:34 AM

August 26, 2005

Vietnam's exports top $20.35bn

From Asia Times:

HANOI - Vietnam has grossed an export turnover of US$20.35 billion from exports in the past eight months, an increase of 18.7% as compared to the same period last year.

Foreign-invested enterprises have registered a year-on-year rise of 69.3%, and domestically-run enterprises, a 30.7% increase. With a total export turnover of over $4.58 billion, crude oil has taken the lead in export value. However, coal exports have registered the highest year-on-year growth rate of 91%, a result of the increased demand for coal in France, China and Japan recently and the high quality of Vietnamese coal.

The main agricultural and industrial products such as rice, groundnut, vegetables and fruits; plastic products, computers, and electronic appliances obtained remarkable growth rates ranging
from 33-55%. Wooden products maintained a stable growth rate with an export turnover of US$966 million, up by 47.3%.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 2:45 PM

August 22, 2005

A Good Manager Takes Longer to China

From Newsweek:
By Sarah Schafer
Newsweek International

Aug. 29, 2005 issue - Chief executive Li Hsu had a problem. The head of Fiber-xon, a manufacturer of components for communications networks that's headquartered in California but whose main operations are in China, spent three months interviewing for a vice president of operations. He finally landed one—who left three months later for a better offer. For another top job, Li scoured the mainland for recruits before finally poaching one from one of his Taiwan-based vendors. In China, "it's easy to recruit low-level talent," Li says. "But if you want someone who's topnotch it's hard."

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 9:29 PM

August 18, 2005

Business News: The Making of Korean Brands

From Asia Times:
Aug 18, 2005

By Ng Boon Yian

SINGAPORE - As high-tech Samsung phones, sleek LG flat-panel TVs and reliable Hyundai Sonatas make it onto the wish list of the modern consumer, it is clear that Korean brands have come a long way from the not-so-recent past when these very brands were associated with a low-end image and shoddy quality. Yet within less than a decade, these brands have muscled their way into the big league of global names. In the latest Top 100 Brands ranking compiled by BusinessWeek magazine and brand consultancy Interbrand, Samsung surpassed its Japanese rival Sony to take the 20th spot in the list, leaving the latter in 28th. More impressively, Samsung posted a steep 186% gain in brand value over the past five years.

The top 10 international brands are Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, GE, Intel, Nokia, Disney, McDonald's, Toyota and Marlboro, Toyota being the only Asian brand in this elite club.

Hyundai and LG have also displayed their prowess by breaking into the top-100 list for the first time, landing the 84th and 97th spots, respectively. What lies behind the phenomenal success of the reinvention of Korean brands? It's a story of big ambitions, corporate culture shake-ups, and a laser-sharp focus on design and innovation as well as aggressive marketing and expansion strategies. The rising popularity of Korean pop culture - the so-called "kim chic" - has been another helpful bonus.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 6:31 PM

August 14, 2005

Business News: Wrigley has 60% of chewing gum market in China

From Asia Times Online:

A billion jaws chewing
By Todd Crowell
August 13, 2005

The Guangdong Fanyu Candy Co, the once-prosperous maker of Yiqing chewing gum and Dada bubble gum, folded its operations in 2002. Why? Because the company could not compete with the famous gum that comes in the little green package. Since 2000, the Wm Wrigley Jr Co, the world's largest maker and marketer of chewing gum, has quietly become the dominant player in the Chinese market.

It may be that no other American product, save perhaps Coca-Cola, is as widely available and ubiquitous in China as Doublemint gum. The company has extended its reach into almost every corner of the country. In fact, Wrigley has probably the widest distribution and sales network of any food manufacturing and consumer packaging company in China, with a staggering one million sales outlets - 30,000 in Shanghai alone. Wrigley's share of China's chewing gum market is an astounding 60%. Although the company has competitors - primarily South Korea's Lotte and Italian company Perfetti Van Melle - no other gum company, foreign or domestic, comes close to Wrigley's market share or sales volume.

Since 1999, China has become Wrigley's second-largest market, behind only the United States. If ever there was an American company that has actually cashed in on the mythic slogan, "if every one of China's billion people bought just one ... ", it is Wrigley's. As a matter of fact, they buy more than one: Chinese, on average, buy 10 sticks of gum a year. That's far behind the American average of 160 or Taiwan's 70-80. But with China's population five times that of the US, there is plenty of room for growth.

LINK to rest of article

Posted by Becky at 4:34 PM