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The Economist

  • Korean Air’s “nut rage” sisters step down
    by The Economist online on April 23, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    FOUR years ago, Cho Hyun-ah, an executive at Korean Air made headlines around the world when she threw a fit because she was served macadamia nuts in their packaging rather than on a serving dish in first class on the airline. She reportedly insulted the cabin crew, threw documents at them, and forced them to kneel and beg forgiveness. At the time, she was a company vice president, and she made the plane return to its gate in order to remove the offending flight attendant. After spending several months in prison for breaking aviation-safety laws, Cho Hyun-Ah was able to return to her father’s conglomerate, this time managing hotels rather than Korean Air. But a new scandal may have finally accomplished what “nut rage” could not. This month, police opened an investigation into Hyun-ah’s younger sister, Hyun-min, a marketing executive at Korean Air....Continue reading […]

  • Americans will no longer have to sign for credit-card purchases
    by The Economist online on April 19, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    AMERICANS, and people who travel to America, have good reason to celebrate this month. By the end of April, the four major credit-card networks in the country will all stop requiring retailers to collect signatures from customers when completing transactions. Visa, the world’s biggest credit-card issuer, announced in January that signatures would no longer be required from this month for retailers in North America with chip-card readers. For Mastercard, the second-largest, the same change became effective on April 13th, covering purchases in the United States and Canada. American Express, in third place, is dropping the signature requirement this month for retailers around the world. Discover, the fourth, is Continue reading […]

  • How Heineken beer survives in Congo
    by The Economist online on April 19, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    THE Bralima brewery in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is an island of modernity in a city where chaos is the norm. Inside a building near the docks where barges begin the journey up the Congo river, conveyor belts rattle as thousands of glass bottles are washed and filled with amber liquid. A generator hums to power the new brewing machinery, creating enough booze to fill 28,000 crates every two days.Yet the real achievement of Bralima, which is owned by Heineken, a Dutch brewer, is not making the beer. It is what happens when it leaves the factory. Congo is one of the worst-connected, most dysfunctional countries on Earth. Four times the size of France, it has almost no all-weather roads. In large parts of eastern DRC, the state is a fiction and rebels control the roads. Yet there is scarcely a village where it is impossible to get a beer.Bralima was founded in 1923. Its main competitors, Bracongo and Brasimba, both owned by Castel, a...Continue reading […]

  • Sir Martin Sorrell leaves WPP in a sorry state
    by The Economist online on April 19, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    DURING his spectacular rise from London beancounter to the globe-trotting boss of WPP, the advertising powerhouse he created out of a backstreet wire-basket and trolley company, Sir Martin Sorrell was rarely sentimental. The man who helped turn a ramshackle but chic industry into a global force poached accounts mercilessly and often pitted his own firms against each other in the quest for clients.Not for nothing did the late David Ogilvy, one of the industry’s founding patriarchs, reputedly describe him as an “odious little shit” when WPP came after the Ogilvy Group in the late 1980s at the dawn of its decades-long acquisition spree (see chart). But Ogilvy later became WPP’s non-executive chairman, and the company turned into the world’s largest marketing conglomerate with more than $20bn in annual revenues. In business, Sir Martin charmed as well as cajoled.Continue reading […]

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