Sectors & Industry

Lithium as the 'New Gasoline'

With lithium prices skyrocketing beyond wildest expectations, talk heating up about acquisitions and mergers in this space and a fast-brewing war among electric car rivals, it's no wonder everyone's bullish on this golden commodity that promises to become the "new gasoline".

Featured Articles

Apple vs. FBI: Fight!

Apple has been ordered to help FBI investigators access data on the phone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook. The technical solution proposed by the FBI appears to undermine Apple’s earlier claim that they would be unable to help.

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The CEO Made How Much?

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has earned an eye-popping pay rise. He was awarded US$199m in shares, according to a recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It makes him the highest-paid chief executive in the US and though he sits at the top of the pile, news of his or any CEO’s big pay rise will come as little surprise to many.

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Global Production Networks Transformative Characteristics

Slowing growth in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) – the world’s second largest economy – is grabbing the headlines with some suggesting a third wave of the 2008 global financial crisis. While this topic deserves attention because of its global economic implications, there is insufficient analysis of firms in global production networks (GPNs), which were at the forefront of the economic transformation in PRC and the rest of East Asia, and lessons for latecomers to GPNs.

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Can Tobacco Companies Be Part of the Solution?

Making and selling cigarettes may not be an edifying business, but it is a very lucrative one. In 2013 the profit of the world’s top six tobacco companies was US$44.1 billion – equivalent to the combined profits of Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, General Mills, FedEx, AT&T, Google, McDonald’s and Starbucks. The problem is that this profit is made almost entirely from a product that kills many of its long-term users.

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QR Code to Barcode...Step Aside

The ubiquitous barcode has revolutionised the retail industry since its arrival on a packet of Wrigley’s chewing gum in 1974. The black and white striped sticker encodes information about the product that can be easily scanned, speeding up checkout and making logistics easier.

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Oops! I Invented Something Amazing

Accidents will happen – and as far as innovation is concerned, that’s a good thing. While much of any businessperson’s attention is focused on bringing new ideas to market or making systematic and strategically targeted changes, there are some occasions when fate takes a hand.

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Riding the Storm Out on the North Sea

The oil price is struggling to stay above $30/barrel, little more than a quarter of the price 18 months ago. Recent forecasts for the UK industry have become much gloomier as a result. As recently as three months ago, industry association Oil & Gas UK predicted 79 platforms would close by 2024.

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Oil's Geopolitical and Economic Connection

The price of crude oil resumed its slide this week, falling below US$29 a barrel and approaching the 12-year low reached last month.  The International Energy Agency is warning oil’s fall has further to go. So what factors suggest the price of oil will continue to drop? In addition, what will be the economic and geopolitical fallout? The answers to these two questions go hand in hand, as we shall see.

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When You Have to Translate English into English

Language skills are often trumpeted as a cornerstone of social integration, allowing citizens to participate fully in their host communities. British Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced a £20m fund for English language lessons to tackle radicalisation in the UK, for example.  Similarly, US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has called for assimilation and English-speaking in the US.

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The Steel Industry Offers a Fantastic Macro-economic View

Few industries offer a picture glass window to see numerous macroeconomic forces as steel does.   Excess capacity, trade policy, and the yuan all intersect when looking at the steel industry.  Moreover, it also shed light on why the drop of energy and other commodity prices, such as iron ore, have not bolstered the steel industry, let alone the general economy, as many expected.

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The (Corporate) View from the Outside (CEO)

Companies in distress often recruit a new chief executive officer (CEO) from outside the firm. It looks like Woolworths is currently heading down this path, as could the National Rugby League. It has also been a succession strategy at telecommunications giants Vodafone and Telstra.

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