January 31st, 2012
05:39 PM GMT
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Doha (CNN) –  The building of Doha's new airport began eight years ago, in preparation for the city's rapid growth.  

It is being spear-headed by one of Doha's most influential businessmen - Akbar Al Baker. Now, as the airport nears completion, CNN's Richard Quest gets a tour.

Filed under: BusinessFuture Cities


January 31st, 2012
11:25 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) — Financial experts gathered together for a CNN discussion were hopeful that emerging markets could weather the financial storm over Europe.

Ali Babacan, deputy prime minister of Turkey, explained how his country’s economy was tied to Europe. “Forty-five percent of our exports go to EU member countries and also we get a lot of FDI from EU member states, so when things go in a bad direction in the EU we are affected through those two channels,” he said.

“But the good part of the picture is 55% of our exports goes elsewhere and those non-European markets are growing quite fast and that is playing a very good balancing role,” he added.

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Filed under: BusinessDavosGlobal Exchange


January 30th, 2012
06:17 PM GMT
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London (CNN) – After days of public outrage, Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Stephen Hester has agreed to waive his near £1 million ($1.5 million) bonus.

Fellow bankers say we should applaud his magnanimity. They point out that Hester isn’t the villain who drove the company to the brink; on the contrary he’s the hero, who took on the challenge of trying to save it. Besides, they say, he is paid far less than his peers.

Meanwhile, the average earner is incensed that a largely taxpayer-owned entity could even contemplate such a generous sum - one which comes on top of Hester’s already £1.2 million salary.
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January 30th, 2012
01:05 PM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) - Facebook may soon update its status from “private” to “public” in what will likely be the biggest tech IPO in history. Reports say the social network could file registration papers as soon as Wednesday, for an initial public offering this May.

The tech giant is aiming to raise a whopping $10 billion. That would eclipse the previous U.S. IPO tech record set by Google. In 2004, the search engine and e-mail provider, raked in just under $2 billion.

If that $10 billion goal is met, it would give Facebook a value of between $75 billion and $100 billion. FULL POST



January 27th, 2012
06:32 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – Mark Spelman, head of strategy at Accenture, says emerging markets are spurring innovation.

“I can point to retailers and consumer goods companies who I think are bringing innovation to many emerging markets, through supply chains, through the way they’re addressing consumer preferences in local markets,” he told CNN’s John Defterios.

“But at the same time, you’re seeing a lot of innovation taking place in emerging markets,” he added. “Look at Indonesia, with 50% of the population under 29, real innovation using social media, and that’s going to be leveraged elsewhere.”
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Filed under: BusinessDavosGlobal Exchange


January 27th, 2012
04:00 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) –
“Bazooka” is competing for word of the year so far. As in, Europe needs to bring out its big bazooka to deal with the debt crisis in which it has been embroiled for nearly two years now.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, head of the G20 group of countries, brandished the word with gusto at the World Economic Forum in Davos, declaring “we need to take out the bazooka immediately before the powder gets wet.”

Calderon compared the European situation to the economic crisis in Mexico in 1995. That crisis – referred to as “the first financial crisis of the twenty-first century” – exploded after a boom time and the influx of capital. The country was then bailed by the International Monetary Fund, and another country’s money – in this case the U.S. So far, so familiar.

Calderon pointed to the return of confidence that followed the international aid package, noting the same needed to occur in Europe. “The problem is not the money, the problem is the confidence,” he said.

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January 27th, 2012
10:18 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – Indian IT giant Wipro is expanding globally to avoid feeling the heat of any slowdown in its top markets – primarily the United States and Europe. But Wipro Chairman Azim Premji said he is not worried about the pace at which those economies are recovering.

“Irrespective of all the slowdown you hear about vis-a-vis the global economy as far as IT is concerned demand is still strong, particularly for global partnering,” Premji told CNN’s John Defterios.

“I think partly it is determined by the fact that U.S. companies are full of cash flow, they’ve established relationships and are growing relationships with global companies, and they’re willing to invest in transformational projects, keep-the-lights-on projects,” he added. FULL POST

Filed under: BusinessDavosGlobal Exchange


January 27th, 2012
04:18 AM GMT
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(CNN) - The delegates’ energy levels may be flagging, but there’s still plenty to get excited about on day three of the World Economic Forum, which begins with a report from the crucible of the Arab Spring by Hamadi Jebali, Prime Minister of Tunisia.

Jebali will then join Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and Egyptian presidential candidates Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Amre Moussa for a discussion of the future of governance in North Africa.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Barak will join Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, for an interactive session on how the world would respond to the news that Iran had successfully developed a nuclear weapon. And the heads of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and the United Nations World Food Program, Angel Gurria and Josette Sheeran, will join Sweden’s Minister of Finance, Anders Borg, for a televised debate on an issue which has been at the very heart of Davos 2012: fixing capitalism. FULL POST

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Filed under: BusinessDavos


January 27th, 2012
02:44 AM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) - To hear the European leaders in Davos you would think the eurozone crisis had only just occurred and there was an urgency to deal with it hitherto unforeseen.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and European economics commissioner Olli Rehn -– just about any leader in Davos - is now saying that time is of the essence –- that it is time to actually sort out the eurozone's problems. Forgive me. What on earth have the European leaders been doing and promising over the past three years?

Map: Europe in crisis

It is strange that now as we enter a new year they believe 2012 is the right moment to actually take the necessary decisions and implement the changes. And yet they were saying similar things in 2011, in Davos. So it is entirely understandable if we are now skeptical that they have the willpower and ability to put things right. FULL POST



January 26th, 2012
09:15 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) - It is perhaps not surprising that in a gathering of the elites at Davos, the issue of bankers’ bonuses is never far from the delegates’ minds.

But unlike in recent years - a time when bankers showed remorse over their high pay packets - there seem to be noises of a fight back.

Because with profits strong, the banking bonus culture is back - to the annoyance of many including the British Prime Minister David Cameron and the Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King. FULL POST



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