Featured Posts

Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

Read more

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

Read more

Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

Read more

Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

Read more

UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

Read more

Go Capital Provides Update on QT With Focus Celtic Gold Corporation

Category : Stocks, World News

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – May 14, 2013) – Go Capital I, Inc. (“Go Capital“) (TSX VENTURE:GOC.P), a capital pool company as defined under Policy 2.4 of the TSX Venture Exchange (the “Exchange“), is pleased to provide this press release to update shareholders and others with respect to its proposed “qualifying transaction” with Focus Celtic Gold Corporation (“Focus Celtic“) previously announced on February 19, 2013.

The rest is here: Go Capital Provides Update on QT With Focus Celtic Gold Corporation

Post to Twitter

Stora Enso Oyj (SEOAY: OTCQX International Premier) | Stora Enso treasury shares cancelled and share conversion registered

Category : World News

Stora Enso treasury shares cancelled and share conversion registered


In accordance with a decision of Stora Enso’s Annual General Meeting on 23 April 2013, 918 512 treasury R shares (approximately 0.12% of the issued shares) have been cancelled. The cancellation of these treasury shares was recorded in the Finnish trade register today, 15 May 2013.

In addition, during the 6 February – 30 April 2013 conversion period there was one conversion and a total of 400 A shares were converted into R shares. The shares were recorded in the Finnish trade register today, 15 May 2013, and trading in the new R shares will start on 16 May 2013.

Breakdown of shares after cancellation and conversion:

< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

A shares

177 146 372

R shares

611 473 615


788 619

Post to Twitter

Let’s Gowex S.A. (LGWXY: OTCQX International) | GOWEX expands international reach to the French Riviera resort of Nice

Category : Stocks, World News

expands international reach to the French Riviera

resort of Nice

Post to Twitter

BG Group Plc (BRGYY: OTCQX International Premier) | BG Group Strategy Update – 14 May 2013

Category : Stocks, World News

BG Group Strategy Update

Post to Twitter

Be flexible – and boost your efficiency

Category : Business

The work-life balance of small business owners is out of kilter, research shows. Time to tweak how your SME operates

Against the backdrop of a tough economic climate, many small business owners are feeling the strain and working harder than ever. We conducted some research to find out the real pressures that Britain’s small businesses are currently facing. Turns out, it’s pretty tough out there.

The results revealed that nearly half of small business workers now forgo a work-life balance. Business admin in particular is eating up too much time, with many forced to get jobs done outside of working hours. Worse still, almost a third feel stressed and under pressure and one in five admit that, as a result, customer service, as well as their personal relationships, are suffering.

Small businesses may be the engine of the economy but there’s no doubt it’s an extremely challenging time to own, run or work in a small and growing organisation. I believe that big businesses have a responsibility to lend better support by listening to the challenges, understanding the issues and offering practical services to give small businesses back some of that valuable time. No one has all of the answers – but there are some simple things your small business can do to regain a sense of balance.

Adopt a remote working culture

The adoption of mobile and the rise of connected devices mean we can stay connected, anytime and anywhere. Consumer devices are infiltrating the four walls of the workplace and, as a result, traditional “business” devices are no longer necessarily seen as an attractive option – employees want one device, one point of contact, and the latest technology.

At O2, we launched a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programme in December 2011, which is now used by almost 2,000 employees – 60% of our Slough HQ workforce. This number continues to grow.

Employees are empowered by the ability to access the network via their personal devices. This is helping to improve their productivity, but most importantly work-life balance, by allowing them to shape their own ways of working on the devices they like best. Plus, it saves us money as a business.

The advantages of BYOD initiatives can be hugely favourable for businesses as employees feel supported to work in the way that fits their work style best, which can result in improved business agility, cost savings and enhanced productivity. If we can do it as a big business, think what a difference it’ll make to a small growing company – removing the pressure of managing multiple devices and giving staff some flexibility.

If you are considering implementing a BYOD policy, security is a key area to be clear on, so make sure that employees have passwords on their devices. You could also put in place software so that you can remotely wipe anything that is business-related should you need to protect it.

Enlist specialist help

Outsourcing to specialist businesses for help with web design, accounting or recruiting new staff means you can spend more time focusing on the critical needs of your business and what it requires to grow.

To make sure you get the right fit first time, it’s important to consider working with other companies of a like-minded culture. When deciding which operations you should outsource, think about the areas that are core to your business and those that aren’t.

Another option is to outsource complicated paperwork and contracts, such as health and safety management and employment law, to a specialist HR company. The benefit of this is not only more time, but also peace of mind that you have somewhere to seek advice if you need it.

Ultimately, outsourcing is a great way to reclaim some time, providing you select partners in the right way.

Flexible working practices will only become more prevalent as 2013 progresses as more employees use their own devices for work, so it’s worthwhile putting in place systems to help staff get better connected now. Alongside bringing in specialist help, you will be well on your way towards recovering time to concentrate on what you do best: running your business.

Paul Lawton is head of the small business division at O2

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. To receive more like this you can become a member of the Small Business Network here.

Housebuilder upbeat as sales rise

Category : Business

Housebuilder Springfield suggests confidence is returning to the housing market, after posting strong first-quarter results.

More here: Housebuilder upbeat as sales rise

Post to Twitter

Post offices face ‘uncertain future’

Category : Business

A survey of sub-postmasters finds less than one in five say they can see a strong future for their business as their incomes fall.

See more here: Post offices face ‘uncertain future’

Post to Twitter

Priceline (and Shatner) can’t lose: Stock up 4%

Category : Stocks

Priceline hit a new 52-week high on strong first quarter results. Investors were willing to forgive a weaker forecast.

See the original post: Priceline (and Shatner) can’t lose: Stock up 4%

Post to Twitter

Allianz SE (AZSEY: OTCQX International Premier) | Allianz to redeem its 2 billion US-dollar 8.375% undated subordinated callable bonds

Category : Stocks

Allianz SE announced today that it intends to call for redemption effective June 15, 2013 (the “Redemption Date”) all of its 2,000,000,000 US-dollar 8.375% undated subordinated callable bonds (CUSIP: 018805200; ISIN: US0188052007) (the “Bonds”).

The Bonds will be redeemed in accordance with their terms and conditions. The redemption price for the Bonds will be the principal amount plus any interest accrued to and including the Redemption Date and will be paid in cash on Monday, June 17, 2013.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

Forward-looking statements
The statements contained herein may include prospects, statements of future expectations and other forward-looking statements that are based on management’s current views and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or events may differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements.

Such deviations may arise due to, without limitation, (i) changes of the general economic conditions and competitive situation, particularly in the Allianz Group’s core business and core markets, (ii) performance of financial markets (particularly market volatility, liquidity and credit events) (iii) frequency and severity of insured loss events, including from natural catastrophes, and the development of loss expenses, (iv) mortality and morbidity levels and trends, (v) persistency levels, (vi) particularly in the banking business, the extent of credit defaults, (vii) interest rate levels, (viii) currency exchange rates including the Euro/U.S. Dollar exchange rate, (ix) changes in laws and regulations, including tax regulations, (x) the impact of acquisitions, including related integration issues, and reorganization measures, and (xi) general competitive factors, in each case on a local, regional, national and/or global basis. Many of these factors may be more likely to occur, or more pronounced, as a result of terrorist activities and their consequences.

No duty to update
The company assumes no obligation to update any information or forward-looking statement contained herein, save for any information required to be disclosed by law.

Originally posted here: Allianz SE (AZSEY: OTCQX International Premier) | Allianz to redeem its 2 billion US-dollar 8.375% undated subordinated callable bonds

Post to Twitter

Eye-catching PR for your small business needn’t be costly

Category : Business

Startups can do the job of raising awareness of their business in-house. All they need to do is put in a bit of time and creativity

PR can be a valuable tool in promoting your business. However, you must put a great deal of thought into the way you approach PR: it is really important, before plunging into a spate of activity and promotion, that you have an interesting story to tell.

Coverage in the press will raise awareness of your business. To a consumer, reading an article about your business in a well-regarded publication can indicate endorsement.

To budding entrepreneurs who have just established their startup, all minor achievements or successes are likely to equate to pivotal milestones. Whenever a milestone is reached, it is tempting to shout each success from the rooftops and send press releases out to every publication at every opportunity in a somewhat scattergun approach.

This can be an error, though. I would advise that you sit down and think about whether your achievements are significant and valuable enough to publicise. Given that there are thousands of business stories every day, ranging from large corporates launching new products to exciting young entrepreneurs that have caused a stir, a press release regarding the launch of your website is unlikely to capture the attention of a journalist.

So, how do you make your milestones newsworthy? How do you identify that angle that will capture people’s attention? You think outside the box. Think about what is trending in the press and how you can link your business to that angle.

Experiential marketing agency Cult Events, one of the Start-Up Loan Company’s recipients, have spent a great deal of time thinking about what angle will capture journalists’ attention. Hugo and Ian, the founders behind Cult, have decided to build memorable niche events, theming them around a concept relevant to current trends or brand campaigns. To help publicise Cult Events they have conceptualised Pisco Fuego, a pop-up Latin American dining experience which takes the pop-up trend back to its “blink and you’ll miss it” origins. These days, there are pop-ups that last for years, some that have developed into pop-up franchises and still more seem to scrawl the word pop-up on a chalkboard outside their restaurant in fear of missing out. Pisco Fuego will pop up for a few days at a time in various London locations, leaving people wanting to know and find out more. This story is far more likely to be picked up by journalists over an article about what Cult Events is, outlining the fact they are hosting an event.

Once you have the angle, then you can start utilising PR techniques. As a startup you are unlikely to have the required budget to allocate a substantial sum to PR, but with limited experience you may be tempted to approach a PR firm. In my experience, entering into lengthy retainers with PR firms isn’t necessarily the best option. There is no guarantee they will get you in the press. I learned the costly way when I established Hamilton Bradshaw that you can hire the best PR firm, but the lack of a decent story will result in you not making the papers.

If you are prepared to work hard, PR can be free. Undertake research on the internet. There are numerous free resources out there that provide advice on how best to devise a strategic PR campaign. Use all the contacts that you have in the industry. Work hard on producing concise and interesting press releases. Make direct contact with journalists. Partner with carefully selected complementary businesses. Cult Events has assisted at events at cost price when it knows that there will be press exposure at these events. One good media placement can lead to increased sales or growth. The PR around Cult Event’s Pisco Fuego has resulted in an increase in traffic to its website and 10% of these visitors have converted into ticket sales through its Facebook page. This is a great example as to how a well thought-out, thorough PR campaign can be cheap yet effective.

James Caan is chairman of the Start-Up Loans Company

Each fortnight James will be tackling a different business issue; keep up to date by visiting the network and signing up to our weekly newsletter. We’d welcome your suggestions for future topics and questions for James regarding your own business. Please share them in the comments thread below

This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. To receive more like this you can become a member of the Small Business Network here.