KUALA LUMPUR: It has not been a particularly good year for Malaysia's palm oil industry, hammered first by dwindling demand from its traditional markets, and then in March, the European Commission (EC) concluded that palm oil would be phased out from use in transport fuels by 2030 due to environmental concerns.As the world’s second largest producer of palm oil, Malaysia has hit back, with politicians calling the EC’s decision protectionist and threatening retaliation.On the ground, low palm prices and sustainability are only part of the problems faced by smallholders. They also have to deal with pests and low yield; some are considering whether to repurpose their plantations. Mr Ibrahim Manap, 58, a smallholder in Hulu Selangor, said the declaration by the EC that palm oil is “unsustainable” is only a political excuse.“They can chop their forests down, but we are (supposed to be) oxygen suppliers. This is not fair,” Mr Ibrahim said.Mr … [Read more...] about Malaysia’s palm oil growers fall on hard times
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When Uber begins trading on Friday, it will cap one of the largest ever tech initial public offerings and join a crowd of big-name startups making their stock market debuts this year. Not since the dot-com boom have so many richly valued tech companies gone public in such short succession: Shares of Lyft and Pinterest are now trading, and Slack, WeWork and Palantir are expected to follow soon. But this crop of tech companies is markedly different from those that came up during the late 1990s. Many rode the rise of mobile connectivity and cloud computing in the last decade to multibillion-dollar valuations. They are more mature, having spent years as private companies building their businesses. But a number remain deeply unprofitable, and the time they spent in the private markets, increasing in size and value, has ultimately raised questions about where they go from here. By staying private for longer, tech startups have been able to avoid public scrutiny When Netscape, Yahoo and … [Read more...] about News How does Uber IPO differ from dot-com boom?
By Robert Cribb Investigative Reporter Marco Chown Oved Investigative Reporter Wed., May 8, 2019 Ticketmaster is the target of proposed legislation in California that would ban its scalper program for doing the same thing that bots do — help resellers buy and sell vast quantities of tickets and make it harder for fans to get in the door at face price. TradeDesk, a service the world’s largest ticket seller quietly markets to its high-volume customers, was the subject of an undercover investigation by the Star and CBC at a Las Vegas scalping convention last year that revealed how it allows scalpers to link dozens or hundreds of Ticketmaster accounts to gather vast quantities of seats in breach of ticket purchasing limits. “The article in the Star definitely prompted a look into this,” said Nathan Little, a senior legislative aide to Assembly Member Bill Quirk, who proposed the legislation. “It’s the goal of the … [Read more...] about California law would ban Ticketmaster’s scalper program
By Christopher Reynolds The Canadian Press Mon., April 29, 2019 MONTREAL - Canadian National Railway Co. saw first-quarter profits fall slightly short of analysts’ expectations as harsh winter weather worked to ramp up operating costs and offset a hefty increase in revenue. Chief executive Jean-Jacques Ruest said that a “very, very cold, bitter winter” demanded shorter train lengths — low temperatures impair a train’s air-brake systems — and higher snow-clearing costs. “When temperatures dropped to... -35 C, -40 F for about seven weeks, we were losing significant train capacity and in some instances we could not operate during part of three or four nights,” Ruest told investors on a conference call Monday. “Despite a prolonged period of historic cold temperatures in key segments of our network, CN railroaders delivered record first-quarter carload volumes, adding $350 million of top-line growth,” he added in a … [Read more...] about Harsh winter chills CN Rail’s record first-quarter revenues, boosted by crude
AMSTERDAM: Dutch health technology company Philips said on Monday it expects sales to accelerate in coming months on improved demand in Europe and the United States after a weak first quarter.A decline in demand for hospital equipment in Europe and flat sales in the United States capped overall comparable quarterly sales growth to 2.3 percent, even though results in China and other emerging markets were much more upbeat.The maker of healthcare products which range from high-tech toothbrushes to medical imaging systems, stuck to its target of 4 to 6 percent annual sales growth until 2020, saying demand in Europe and the U.S. will pick up rapidly."We expect much stronger growth in mature markets in the second and third quarter", Chief Executive Frans van Houten told reporters. The order book in those markets is strong and this will result in sales growth."Philips shares traded up 2.7 percent at 37.17 euros in Amsterdam at 0926 GMT."It is encouraging to see a better performance in … [Read more...] about Philips expects sales growth to accelerate after weak first quarter