Deal sealed for free port development

Location (in red) of the Clark Freeport Zone w...

REAL ESTATE firm Megaworld Corp. has forged a deal with state-run Clark Development Corp. to build a P7-billion, mixed-use development at a free port in Pampanga, a disclosure to the local bourse yesterday showed.

The Andrew L. Tan-led developer signed a memorandum of agreement to develop portions of the Clark Freeport Zone and Clark Special Economic Zone totaling 550 hectares, the disclosure stated.

The Megaworld complex, located within the site of the former United States Air Force base in the Philippines, will feature office, commercial, and retail spaces, as well as leisure and entertainment, residential, health and wellness components.

These amenities would be able to cater to foreign and local business process outsourcing firms, retirement communities, and tourism enterprises beyond the company’s existing base in Metro Manila, Megaworld said.

Megaworld’s planned mixed-use development, which will start to be constructed next year,is seen to boost the Clark Freeport zone’s bid to be a major regional investment hub.

Megaworld, founded and incorporated in 1989, is engaged in the development of large-scale mixed-use planned communities or townships that integrate residential, commercial, educational, leisure and entertainment components in Metro Manila.

via Deal sealed for free port development

Change in depreciation reports higher profit

Clay accounting tokens, Susa, Uruk period.

A change in the policy of accounting for depreciation (from written-down-value method to straight-line-method) enabled tyre manufacturer MRF Ltd overcome the impact of high raw material (rubber) prices and rupee depreciation, and report a higher net profit for 2010-11. (The company follows October-September financial year.)

Net profit for 2010-11 stood at Rs 619.42 crore, against Rs 353.98 crore for last year, thanks to the exceptional item of Rs 404.23 crore, representing “excess depreciation of earlier years.”

via Change in depreciation accounting helps MRF report higher profit

Top retailers avoid BEE partners

Shoprite (South Africa)

Politically connected empowerment’s usual suspects are missing out on a combined market capitalisation of more than R160 billion as they are shunned by top JSE-listed retailers, which have chosen to rather give stakes to their staff and support struggling black entrepreneurs.

A snapshot Business Report survey shows that since the broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) codes were passed into law eight years ago, at least seven major retailers, most of them among the top 40 largest JSE-listed blue chip companies, have not had empowerment partners.

Shareholder activist Theo Botha inspired the survey.

The companies with no black partners include furniture chains Lewis Group and JD Group, clothing retailers Foschini and Truworths, supermarket groups Pick n Pay and Shoprite and personal care chain Clicks.

This could be because the retailing chains do not feel obliged to chase targets set by the Broad-based BEE Act as they do not rely on state contracts for their survival.

The retail sector, unlike other industries, does not have a transformation charter that would have set targets to be achieved by a particular date.

Suzanne Ackerman Berman, Pick n Pay’s transformation director, said it had always been Pick n Pay’s philosophy that its employees should be owners in the business and, to this end, the company instituted an employee share ownership scheme soon after its inception in 1970.

At the end of February, the Pick n Pay employee share trust held 3.4 million shares in the company. The company recently set up a transformation committee and appointed a senior manager to oversee its broad-base BEE strategies.

The retailer focuses mainly on the preferential procurement and enterprise development elements set out in the Broad-based BEE Act of 2003.

“We believe that empowerment strategies focus on areas where we are able to effect the most change. More than 33 percent of our franchise stores are exclusively black-owned, creating new business entrepreneurs, transferring skills and creating jobs,” she said.

via Top retailers avoid BEE partners – Business News

Brand thinking and entrepreneurship

Nando's take-away in Canal Walk Shopping Mall,...

Recently I had the honour of speaking at Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week, a four-day event that was held at the Cape Town City Hall. As per my usual style of presentation, it was made up of images that I spoke to, rather than words on slides. So since distributing my presentation won’t help, I wrote this summary to share what I spoke about.

My speech was based on how challenger-brand thinking can be used as a framework for entrepreneurship and some other thoughts. Challenger-brand thinking is based on Eating the Big Fish, a book by London-based business strategist Adam Morgan.

The book establishes eight credos or behaviours that are consistent across ‘challenger brands’ such as Nike, Apple, Pepsi and even Nando’s. I have adapted some of the credos to creating a more meaningful dialogue on entrepreneurship.

Behaviour 1…

via How challenger-brand thinking can be used for entrepreneurship

Lekki Free Trade Zone to generate 1m jobs

The president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, a...

The hope of generating more jobs through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will soon become a reality once the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ)  begins operation. It is expected to generate about one million jobs. This is the view of many stakeholders who shed more light on the advantage of the project.

Consistent with the strategic intent to make the LFTZ a major growth driver and  catalyst for socio-economic development, the Federal Government has pledged its unflinching support to the Lagos State Government, the consortium of Chinese investors and other stakeholders to ensure the take-off of the LFTZ in earnest.

Also, LFTZ management has recorded some significant developments, thus reinforcing the viability of the project as a kickstarter  for economic transformation.

The Executive Secretary, Africa Free Zones Authority (AFZA),  Chris Ndibe, said if properly managed, the project is capable of generating about one million jobs annually, which is in keeping with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Minister for Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga said this is in line with the Federal Government’s agenda to create jobs for Nigerians, especially, the youth.

via The Nation – ‘Lekki Free Trade Zone to generate 1m jobs’

Company registrations at JLT jump 38%

This is a photo showing the construction of Ju...

DUBAI — Jumeirah Lake Towers, or JLT, one of the fastest growing mixed-use free zones in the UAE, recorded a 38 per cent growth in company registrations during the first 10 months of 2011 compared to same period last year.

The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) Authority, the licencing authority for JLT, on Saturday announced that it has registered over 1,000 companies in the first ten months of the year, bringing the total number of registered companies to over 3,600. DMCC witnessed 725 company registrations from January to October, 2010.

The centre continues to attract companies to the JLT Free Zone from a wide-range of business sectors, industries and geographies. Of these new companies over 90 per cent are first time entrants to Dubai with registrations equally balanced between well-established multinationals like Diamdel (De Beers Group) and Harley-Davidson, and smal-l and medium- enterprises and entrepreneurs.

“Every year, we challenge ourselves to set new records and this year is no exception. Registering 1,000 new companies in just 10 months is testimony to the success of our business strategy,” DMCC chairman Ahmed bin Sulayem said in a statement.

Solid growth clearly highlights Dubai’s position as the leading business destination in the region, Bin Sulayem said, adding: “Going forward, we will focus on driving company registrations, introducing new and improved services and innovative products, as well as investing in JLT’s infrastructure and so pursuing our mission to enhance trade flows through Dubai.”

JLT-based companies enjoy attractive benefits under the free zone status, including a 50-year guaranteed tax holiday, 100 per cent business ownership, full ownership of business premises, and a secure, regulated environment.

via Business : Company registrations at JLT jump 38%

How to cover your small business

Glass: damage to shop fronts and sign writing at your premises could be costly to repair. Accidental damage to the glass would be covered;

Fidelity guarantee: this is where the business insures itself against losses as a result of employee fraud;

Accounts receivable: a business can insure possible losses if, for example, the business is destroyed in a fire, no records of accounts have remained and the business is unable to establish the amount due to them;

Goods in transit: many businesses transport and deliver goods produced or sold. Make sure that you are covered in the eventuality of accidents or hijackings that could damage or destroy the goods being transported.

via How to cover your small business – Business LIVE