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Archive for February 2nd, 2016

CPA Australia: China’s Small Businesses Confident, Innovative and Tech Savvy

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MELBOURNE, Australia /PRNewswire/ — New survey data released today by CPA Australia showsChina’s small business sector is maintaining a positive economic outlook, with a strong focus on innovation, e-commerce and social media — all key drivers of economic growth.

The findings, from CPA Australia’s annual Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey, follow extensive surveying of nearly 3,000 small business operators in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealandand mainland China.

CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley says the survey results show there is real strength in the small business sector in China, with confidence higher than it was last year and appearing set to continue for some time.

“We surveyed small business operators in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing. The results show thatChina’s small businesses have had a successful 12 months, with 77 per cent of respondents reporting that they grew over this period,” Malley says.

“Looking to 2016, the results are even more positive, with 78 per cent of small businesses expecting to grow in the year ahead.

“Confidence in China’s economy is also very high, with 71 per cent of respondents expecting the economy to grow in 2016.

“This positive outlook is translating into jobs, with 43 per cent of China’s small business sector reporting that they increased employee numbers in the past 12 months.

China’s small businesses are the second most likely of the markets surveyed to innovate, with 32 per cent of respondents definitely expecting to innovate through the introduction of a new product, service or process in the next 12 months that is unique to China or the world. This result is well above the survey average of 22 per cent.

“Small businesses across China are also taking advantage of the large and growing online marketplace and with their nearly universal uptake of social media, are well-placed to out-compete less nimble and tech savvy competitors.

“The range of initiatives China’s government has implemented or is implementing to encourage growth and innovation, such as the Belt and Road initiative, the promotion of mass entrepreneurship and innovation, and the ‘Made in China 2025′ plan should further inculcate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst China’ssmall businesses. Such a culture should help drive the next phase of China’s economic growth story.”

Key findings from the survey for China include:

  • 97 per cent of respondents use social media for business purposes, compared with the survey average of 81 per cent
  • 36 per cent of respondents expect to grow their e-commerce presence to a large extent, compared with the survey average of 32 per cent
  • 90 per cent of respondents earned revenue from online sales, compared with the survey average of 69 per cent

The CPA Australia Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey provides annual insights into the views of small businesses across the region and forms part of a longitudinal study that began in 2009.

Media contact: Stuart Dignam on +61-434-003-911 or media@cpaaustralia.com.au

Source: CPA Australia

Written by asiafreshnews

February 2, 2016 at 6:33 pm

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Boredom or Love till the Very End: A Novel and a Recipe for Keeping Love Ablaze

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RIGA, Latvia /PRNewswire/ — These days, half of all marriages end in a divorce, with sexual frustration often being cited as the main reason. That’s what the research undertaken in France, UK and the USAshows.

To view the Multimedia News Release, please click:
http://www.multivu.com/players/uk/7710151-boredom-or-love-till-the-very-end/

Is there a solution, or is it really true that love lives for three years, and there’s nothing to be done about it? The author of a new novel, Andrey Rider, believes that there is a solution – a way of bringing the passion back to the family bedroom.

Rider’s novel, Boredom or Love till the Very End, focuses on a most important theme: intimacy in marital life. How does sex help to preserve the stability of a relationship? How should we deal with our partner’s infidelity? Boredom is a straightforward, provocative book that offers a reliable recipe — a recipe for preserving family. Most permanent couples have to deal with this challenge; ladies who want to be the only ones for their partners will find the book interesting.

The plot centres on Daria, a psychologist; gender relations are within the scope of her professional interests. Then comes a point when her own love begins to fade fast. Unwilling to resign to it, she goes into action, totally unaware where it is going to take her…

This book is for adults only. The e-version is available for purchase in English, German and Russianlanguages, from the online store at andreyrider.com.

About the Author

Andrey has long been working in the sphere of intimate relations of permanent couples. Apart from writing fiction, he has developed a number of self-help strategies for strengthening intimate marital relations. The strategies have been used for eight years; tens of thousands of couples have benefited from them.

Learn more about Andrey Rider at andreyrider.com.

Contact: E-mail – info@andreyrider.com

Video: http://www.multivu.com/players/uk/7710151-boredom-or-love-till-the-very-end/

Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160125/325704

Source: Valento Projects SA
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February 2, 2016 at 6:11 pm

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive Skins G2A.COM!

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RZESZOW, Poland, LONDON and HONG KONG  /PRNewswire/ — G2A    the worlds fastest growing digital gaming marketplace have expanded their portfolio today to allow for the trading, acquiring and discussion on Game Skins and their role in customizing a game for increased user enjoyment.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160121/324812)

Co-founder and CMO, Dawid Rozek said that this development came about because of their recent birthday celebrations when guests expressed a keen interest in seeing a library selection of skins for their games. He added: “We had to create a response to the interests of hard core gamers who like variety.  G2A Winter Wonderland Party – Celebrating the Birthday of the G2A.com Marketplace

Game Skins are visuals, covering game item appearance weapons or characters and are activated directly in-game. Skins are in effect, customized graphics that allow gamers to stand out from each other within the game.  In 2007, Team Fortress 2 launched their own collectibles hats. Later came the era of free 2 plays with only non-invasive skins (no advantage in the game apart from cosmetic so players are still equal). Today, such game titles as TF2, CS:GO, LoL have their business model based on allowing their creators to develop their product endlessly, through the use of skins.

Dawid said that while Game skins don’t affect in-game performance, they do prove that the gamer is a dedicated player “who is dedicated to the game and enjoys customizing their visual stimulation within the game.”

G2A.COM identified the demand for game skins for the most popular e-sport game, Counter Strike: Global Offensive . Millions of satisfied customers along with the best e-Sport teams and organizations such as: Virtus.PRO and Natus Vincere already work with G2A, to ensure that gamers can enjoy their games in a very special way and style because of the safe, fast accessorizing of their games.

Visit: https://www.g2a.com/?g=15

For further information: http://www.g2a.co/press

Source: G2A.com
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February 2, 2016 at 5:51 pm

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Global Tablet Market Falls 8 Percent in 2015

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-Q4 2015 shows weakest year-on-year ever at 11 percent decline

BOSTON /PRNewswire/ — The global tablet market ended 2015 with its worst year-on-year performance ever. Shipments fell 11 percent to 69.9 million units during the fourth quarter and fell 8 percent to 224.3 million units for the full year of 2015, according to the new “Preliminary Global Tablet Shipments and Market Share by Operating System: Q4 2015” report from Strategy Analytics’ Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies (TTS) service. Bright spots in the tablet market continued to be in the 2-in-1 Tablet and Windows Tablet segments while Traditional Slates continued their downward slide.

The associated report is published here: http://sa-link.cc/4Q15Tablets

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130207/NE56457LOGO-b

Peter King, Research Director, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service said, “Apple suffered big setbacks this year as a lack of innovation during the last several years caught up to iPad sales. Instead, Apple has focused on its MacBooks, iPhone 6/6+, and Apple Watch releases. The launch of the iPad Pro failed to meet expectations during the quarter. While we see real long-term potential for iPad Pro in the enterprise and verticals, there was not enough demand to move the needle in Q4.”

Eric Smith, Senior Analyst, Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies service added, “2-in-1 Detachable Tablets have reached an inflection point in 2015 as computing needs continue to trend more and more mobile and Tablets with Windows 10 can compete against iOS in the premium and high price bands and equally well against Android in the mid and lower price bands. The Q4 2015 launch of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book was met with many “Surface clones” by Microsoft’s OEM partners at lower price points. This variety of devices will bolster momentum of Windows Tablets going forward.”

Exhibit 1: The Global Tablet Market Was Challenging for Most Major Vendors

Source: Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies Service.
Source: Strategy Analytics Tablet & Touchscreen Strategies Service.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160129/327552

2-in-1 Tablet shipments grew at a 379 percent year-on-year growth rate in 2015 while Traditional Slate shipments fell 11 percent during the same period. Although 2015 growth has been explosive for 2-in-1 Tablets, it is on top of a small base and cannot make a major directional difference for the wider tablet market yet. Similarly, Windows Tablet shipments grew by 59 percent year-on-year in 2015. Android fell 7 percent and iOS dropped the most at 22 percent during the same period.

About Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides the competitive edge with advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for emerging technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, Strategy Analytics delivers insights for enterprise success.www.StrategyAnalytics.com

US Contact: Eric Smith, +1 617 614 0700, esmith@strategyanalytics.com

UK Contact: Peter King, +44(0) 1908 423 615, pking@strategyanalytics.com

Photo – http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20160131/8521600639

Source: Strategy Analytics

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February 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm

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Banco Bradesco 4Q15 Results

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OSASCO, Brazil /PRNewswire/ — The main figures obtained by Bradesco (BM&FBovespa: BBDC3; BBDC4, NYSE: BBD) in the year of 2015 are presented below:

1. Adjusted Net Income(1) for the year of 2015 stood at R$17.873 billion (an 16.4% increase compared to theR$15.359 billion recorded in the same period of 2014), corresponding to earnings per share of R$3.55 and Return on Average Adjusted Equity(2) of 20.5%.

2. As for the source, the Adjusted Net Income is composed of R$12.584 billion from financial activities, representing 70.4% of the total, and of R$5.289 billion from insurance, pension plans and capitalization bonds operations, which together account for 29.6%.

3. In December 2015, Bradesco’s market value stood at R$100.044 billion(3).

4. Total Assets, in December 2015, stood at R$1.080 trillion, an increase of 4.6% over the December 2014balance. The return on Average Total Assets was 1.7%, an increase of 0.1 p.p. over December 2014 (1.6%).

5. In December 2015, the Expanded Loan Portfolio(4) reached R$474.027 billion, up 4.2% over December 2014. Operations with individuals totaled R$147.749 billion (an increase of 4.5% over December 2014), while corporate segment operations totaled R$326.278 billion (up 4.0% over December 2014).

6. Assets under Management stood at R$1.510 trillion, a 5.9% increase over December 2014.

7. Shareholders’ Equity totaled R$88.907 billion in December 2015, 9.1% higher than in December 2014. Basel III Ratio, calculated based on the Prudential Consolidated stood at 16.8% in December 2015, 12.7% of which was classified as Common Equity / Tier I.

8. A total of R$6.035 billion was paid to shareholders as Interest on Shareholders’ Equity and Dividends for the profit generated in 2015, of which R$1.981 billion were paid in monthly and interim installments and R$4.054 billion, as complementary, whose payment will be made on March 1, 2016.

9. The Interest Earning Portion of the Net Interest Income stood at R$54.777 billion, an increase of 15.3% compared to the year of 2014.

10. The Delinquency Ratio over 90 days stood at 4.1% in December 2015 (3.5% in December 2014).

11. The Operating Efficiency Ratio (ER)(5) in December 2015 was 37.5% (39.2% in December 2014), while in the “risk-adjusted” concept, it stood at 46.5% (47.9% in December 2014).

12. Insurance Written Premiums, Pension Plan Contributions and Capitalization Bond Income totaled R$64.612 billion in the year of 2015, up 15.1% when compared to the year of 2014. Technical Reserves stood at R$177.835 billion, an increase of 16.0% compared to the balance in December 2014.

13. Investments in infrastructure, information technology and telecommunications amounted to R$5.720 billion in the year of 2015, up 14.4% over the same period in the previous year.

14. Taxes and contributions paid or recorded in provision, including social security, totaled R$25.763 billion, of which R$12.401 billion were related to taxes withheld and collected from third parties, and R$13.362 billion were calculated based on activities developed by Organizacao Bradesco, equivalent to 74.8% of the Adjusted Net Income(1).

15. Bradesco has an extensive Customer Service Network in Brazil, with 4,507 Branches and 3,511 Service Points (PAs). Customers of Bradesco can also count on 736 ATMs located on a company’s premises (PAEs), 43,560 Bradesco Expresso service points, 31,527 Bradesco ATMs, and 18,940 Banco24Horas Network ATMs.

16. Payroll, plus charges and benefits totaled R$12.507 billion. Social benefits provided to all 92,861 employees of Organizacao Bradesco and their dependents amounted R$3.150 billion, while investments in education, training and development programs totaled R$145.135 million.

17. In December 2015, the addendum to the contracts for the Offer of Credit Cards and other related financial services was firmed with Via Varejo S.A., related to the “Casas Bahia” brand, and the Services Contract as Banking Correspondent in the country, related to the correspondent activity provided by Via Varejo to Bradesco.

18. In January 2016, Bradesco informed the market that Central Bank approved the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of HSBC Bank Brasil S.A. – Banco Multiplo and HSBC Serviços e Participacoes Ltda. (“HSBC”). The completion of the operation is subject to the approval of the other competent regulatory authorities and in compliance with the legal formalities.

19. In January 2016, Bradesco signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with Banco do Brasil S.A., Banco Santander (Brasil) S.A., Caixa Economica Federal and Itau Unibanco S.A., in order to create a holding company of credit intelligence (“GIC”), which will develop a database with the goal of adding, reconciling and handling database and credit-related information, of individuals and legal entities, which expressly authorize their inclusion in the database, as required by the applicable rules.

20. Major Awards and Acknowledgments in the period:

– Considered the best Brazilian bank of 2015 of The Banker Awards (The Banker / Financial Times);

– Largest private group in the country, with revenues of R$201.2 billion, in the ranking “Valor Grandes Grupos”, which lists the 200 largest groups that operate in Brazil (Valor Economico);

– For the 11th consecutive year, the common and preferred shares are on the list of the Indice de Sustentabilidade Empresarial (ISE – Corporate Sustainability Index) of BMF&Bovespa;

– Grupo Bradesco Seguros was the highlight of the Award “Cobertura Performance 2015” (publisher Editora Cobertura);

– Highlight in three important rankings of efficiency in people management: “Best Companies to Work For inBrazil” (Guia 2015 Voce S/A – The 150 Best Companies to Work); “The best in People Management” (newspaper Valor Econômico in partnership with Aon-Hewitt); and “50 Best Psychologically Healthy Companies” (publisher Editora Gestao e RH);

– It was one of the highlights among the best fund managers of Brazil (Revista Exame/Fundacao Getulio Vargas(FGV)); and

– Featured among “The Best Companies for the Consumer 2015”, according to the survey Epoca Reclame Aqui, appearing as champion in the categories “Banks”, “Banks and Financial Services”, “Cards and Insurance”.

Organizacao Bradesco is fully committed to internationally recognized sustainability and corporate governance initiatives, particularly: Global Compact, PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment), and Equator Principles. We set our guidelines and strategies with a view to incorporating the best sustainability practices into our businesses, considering the context and the potential of each region, thus contributing to the generation of value in the Organization. Our management process adopts economic and socio-environmental indexes developed in Braziland abroad, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE, of BM&FBovespa), and the Carbon Efficient Index (ICO2, also of BM&FBovespa), as well as the guidelines and indexes of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

With a broad social and educational program in place for 59 years, Fundacao Bradesco operates 40 schools across Brazil. In 2015, a R$502.721 million budget benefitted 102,182 students enrolled in its schools at the following levels: basic education (from kindergarten to high school and higher secondary technical-professional education), youth and adult education; and preliminary and continuing vocational training, which focuses on creating jobs and income. In addition to being guaranteed free quality education, over 42 thousand students enrolled in the Basic Education system also receive uniforms, school supplies, meals, and medical and dental assistance. With regard to the distance learning system (EaD), it is estimated that more than 590 thousand students were benefitted from it, through its e-learning portal Escola Virtual (Virtual School). These students concluded, at least, one of the various courses offered in its schedule, and another 22,990 students will benefit from projects and initiatives carried out in partnership with Centers for Digital Inclusion (CDIs), the Educa+Acao, and from Technology courses (Educar e Aprender – Educating and Learning).

The Financial Statements can be found on Bradesco’s Investor Relations website at bradesco.com.br/ir.

(1) According to the non-recurring events described on page 8 of this Economic and Financial Analysis Report; (2) Excludes mark-to-market effect of Available-for-Sale Securities recorded under Shareholders’ Equity; (3) Number of shares (excluding treasury shares) multiplied by the closing price for common and preferred shares on the last trading day of the period; (4) Includes sureties and guarantees, letters of credit, advances of credit card receivables, co-obligations in loan assignments (receivables-backed investment funds and mortgage-backed receivables), co-obligations in rural loan assignments and operations bearing credit risk – commercial portfolio, which includes debentures and promissory notes; and (5) In the last 12 months.

Contact: Ivani Benazzi de Andrade +011-55-11-2194-0924, 4823.ivani@bradesco.com.br or Carlos Tsuyoshi Yamashita, +011-55-11-2194-0920, 4823.carlos@bradesco.com.br both of Banco Bradesco.

Source: Banco Bradesco S.A.

Written by asiafreshnews

February 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm

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TS College Tours Opens Customized Programs for International Students

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SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — Singapore American School (SAS) Summer Semester is pleased to announce its continued relationship with its longtime partner, TS College Tours, the leading provider of college and university tour programs for international students. During the summer, TS College Tours (www.tscollegetours.com) will offer unique tour programs to some of the top universities across the United States and the United Kingdom.

2016 programs include:

  • Northeast College Tour A and B, which begins in Boston and ends in Washington DC, with visits to several highly-selective Ivy League universities;
  • California Tour, which tours 14 colleges and universities popular with international students, such as UC Berkeley, Stanford University, Pomona, Claremont McKenna, and Harvey Mudd;
  • Midwest College Tour, geared towards students interested in science and engineering, with visits to University of Chicago, Northwestern University, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame, and University of Michigan, among others;
  • Art College Tour, a coast-to-coast tour of the country’s 10 best art colleges, from Rhode Island School of Art and Design to Savannah College of Art and Design to California Institute of the Arts;
  • UK University Tour, a sample of the UK’s premier educational destinations in London, Exeter, Bristol, Bath,Oxford, and Cambridge.

TS College Tours was established to serve international school students who plan to attend university in the United States and the United Kingdom. It distinguishes itself from its competitors by hiring highly experienced college counselors from international high schools or university admissions officers who have an understanding of and ability to connect with students with international backgrounds. TS College Tours’ counselors maintain strong working relationships with admissions representatives at many leading universities.

According to Trevor Sturgeon, director of TS College Tours and Singapore American School high school counselor, TS College Tours offers more than a simple college tour. “We do a lot of work in evenings and on the bus on different aspects of the college application process,” he says. “We conduct two sessions on the college essay. We have participants complete the US Common Application. We talk about what sort of questions to ask. At the colleges we visit, almost everyone says, ‘Wow, your kids ask excellent questions!’ in part because we also encourage them to do research ahead of time.”

Participants receive a pre-departure package that includes inventories and activities to complete before the tour commences. During the tour, current college students lead guided tours of each campus and share their own experiences, providing details about programs and services, and admissions officers hold information sessions with a broad overview of the college and its academic and extracurricular opportunities. And each evening, tour leaders assist students in reviewing and processing their experiences and to prepare for the next day, and conduct sessions on college admission topics including essay writing, interview practice, and application strategies.

“Families invest anywhere from $150,000 to $400,000 for a college education,” adds Sturgeon. “It’s like buying a house. Who goes and buys a house without actually walking through it? You don’t go online and buy a house. Visiting colleges gives students a better sense of what is a good match, and just as importantly, what is not a good match.”

Learn more about SAS Summer Semester at http://www.sas.edu.sg/summersemester.

About Singapore American School

Singapore American School (SAS) is an independent, non-profit, coeducational, college preparatory day school offering an US curriculum with an international perspective for students in preschool through grade twelve. SAS has the largest Advanced Placement program outside of the United States, is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in the US, and offers the American High School Diploma at the senior level. Established in 1956, the school primarily serves the American and international expatriate communities of Singapore. For more information, please visit www.sas.edu.sg or contact the SAS communications office atcommunications@sas.edu.sg or +65-6360-6031.

Media Contact

Vanessa Spier (vspier@sas.edu.sg)
Strategic Director of Communications
Singapore American School
40 Woodlands Street 41 Singapore 738547

 

 

 

Source: Singapore American School

Written by asiafreshnews

February 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm

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IBM Closes Deal to Acquire The Weather Company’s Product and Technology Businesses

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-Cloud Data Platform to be Foundation for IBM IoT, Supporting Tens of Millions of Users and Billions of Interactions Per Day
-Global Expansion of weather.com Aims to Dramatically Expand User Base
-The Weather Company CEO David Kenny to Lead IBM Watson Unit

ARMONK, N.Y. and ATLANTA/PRNewswire/ — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it has closed the acquisition of The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web-properties, weather.com,Weather Underground, The Weather Company brand and WSI, its global business-to-business brand. The cable TV segment was not acquired by IBM, but will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term contract.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160129/327467LOGO
Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160129/327397
Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160129/327398
Video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsdR_w2ITOg&feature=youtu.be
Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090416/IBMLOGO

The combination of technology and expertise from the two companies will serve as the foundation for the WatsonIoT Cloud platform, building on a $3B commitment IBM made in March 2015 to invest in the Internet of Things. The deal broadly extends the scale and capability of IBM’s cloud data services platform and expands The Weather Company’s enterprise services capabilities and consumer reach to a global scale, including plans to bring weather.com to new major markets such as China and India.

“The Weather Company’s extremely high-volume data platform, coupled with IBM Cloud and the advanced cognitivecomputing capabilities of Watson, is unsurpassed in the Internet of Things,” said John E. Kelly, IBM’s senior vice president, cognitive solutions and research. “This rich platform provides our clients significant competitive advantage as they link their business and sensor data with weather and other pertinent information in real-time. We can arm entire industries with deep multimodal insights to help enterprises gain clarity and take action on the oceans of data being generated around them.”

At the close of the acquisition, IBM announced a number of related initiatives:

Beyond Weather: The Weather Company Cloud Data Platform to Serve as Backbone for Watson IoT

The Weather Company’s dynamic cloud data platform, which powers the fourth most-used mobile app daily in the United States and handles up to 26 billion inquiries to its cloud-based services each day, will run across IBM Cloud data centers globally and serve as the technology backbone of IBM’s data services and Watson IoT businesses.

Leveraging one of the world’s most scalable, high performance and flexible data platforms, IBM can now collect an even larger variety and higher velocity of data sets from billions of IoT sensors around the world while also serving out real-time information and insights to tens of millions of users worldwide. The new platform offers developers greater flexibility to access, store and analyze IoT sensor data and to create new apps with richer and deeper insights powered by IBM Watson.

IBM is dedicating more than 2500 developers worldwide to help its clients and partners collect, analyze and act upon entirely new forms of IoT data resulting from the proliferation of automobile and airplane telematics, building and environmental sensors, wearable devices, medical implants, weather stations, smartphones, social media, manufacturing lines and supply chains, among others.

weather.com to Expand Globally

IBM announced plans to expand weather.com into five new major markets, including China, India, Brazil, Mexicoand Japan, with the goal of increasing its global user base by hundreds of millions over the next three years. The company plans to leverage local media partnerships and the IBM Cloud network of over 45 data centers to drive much more local and personalized content to each region.

CEO David Kenny to Lead IBM Watson Unit

David Kenny, who was chairman and CEO of The Weather Company, and previously president of Akamai Technologies, assumes leadership of the IBM Watson platform business. He brings deep expertise in building platforms used by tens of millions of people daily as IBM continues to scale the Watson technology platform. He will oversee the build out of the Watson partner and developer ecosystem, key APIs and emerging solutions powered by Watson. He joins Harriet Green, formerly CEO of Thomas Cook, who leads Watson IoT, Education and Commerce, and Deborah DiSanzo, formerly CEO of Philips Healthcare, who leads Watson Health.

Michael Rhodin, who launched the Watson business and drove the formation of Watson Health and Watson IoT, will now lead Watson Business Development. He will identify and incubate the next major industries and domains for Watson and will oversee related acquisition strategy.

The Weather Company will be led by Cameron Clayton, who was most recently its president, product and technology, and becomes part of IBM’s Data and Analytics Platform business unit.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

WSI, The Weather Company’s business-to-business brand, will now be known as The Weather Company, an IBM Business.

For more information visit http://www.ibm.com/ibmandweather.

Media contact:
Vineeta Durani
VP, Communications, IBM
(917) 855-2680
vineeta.durani@us.ibm.com

Source: IBM

Related stocks: NYSE:IBM

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February 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Indulge in the Legendary Charm of the Brand New Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa

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HUA HIN, Thailand /PRNewswire/ — Hua Hin, a prestigious seaside getaway, is a favorite destination for many. This March 2016, get ready to turn your vacation desires up a notch for the opening of the brand new Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa.

Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa is centrally located along Hua Hin beach with direct access to the heart of the premier beach town in Thailand
Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa is centrally located along Hua Hin beach with direct access to the heart of the premier beach town in Thailand

Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa has been completely re-constructed to fit the needs of the modern travellers, offering comfort, convenience, and magical memories at the gorgeous beach of Hua Hin. The modern architecture blends beautifully with Colonial-Thai style interior, exuding a dynamic vibe. Brilliant hospitality awaits you from the moment you step into the resort. Guests arrive at the spacious lobby lounge, designed to strike a wondrous first impression. The sophisticated guestrooms, indulgent dining outlets, a lagoon shaped loop swimming pool meandering throughout the resort, an adult-only pool and extensive kid’s facilities, an exclusive spa and innovative meeting facilities are ready to offer a memorable experience for both leisure and business visitors.

Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa occupies 22-rai (3.52 hectares) of land, at one of Hua Hin’s nicest strips of beach. All of the 322 guestrooms come with a private balcony or terrace for guests to enjoy the scenic beauty of the sea and lush landscaped garden. A picturesque walkway connects guestrooms to the lagoon-style swimming pool. Amongst others, highlights of the resort are the Presidential and Ambassador Suites. Located ocean front on the top floors with breathtaking sea views, the suites offer a warm and inviting atmosphere living area, dining area, kitchen and bar for ultimate comfort. The generously sized havens are perfect for total relaxation, with a sweeping view of the vast ocean and unobstructed sky from its balcony.

Food aficionados can rejoice over a glorious myriad of food at the resort’s restaurants, bakery, and bar. Amber Kitchen, the all-day dining restaurant serving Thai & International cuisine, is located by the loop pool and provides indoor and outdoor seating. Seafood fans will love Big Fish & Bar, the signature grill and seafood restaurant, located by the beach with the stunning views of the ocean from inside and outside. For a chill-out or party vibe, the Pool Bar offers a panoramic view of the beach whilst enjoying amazing signature cocktails. Siam Bakery, located at the front of the resort, is a classic pastry shop featuring interactive open work space with unique coffee concepts, fresh juices and fresh baked products by the hour.

Revitalize your senses at Quan Spa, a luxurious spa oasis, offering tranquil or rejuvenating treatments by skilled therapists. Other facilities include a well-equipped fitness center which opens 24 hours a day, an adult-only swimming pool in private and secluded setting and separate extensive kid’s facilities, including a beach front kid’s club, kid’s pool & water park, water slides and a tree house to enhance the family experience and vacation.

Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa is also a perfect meetings & events venue. A state-of-the-art technology ballroom with 4.9m ceiling height, numerous breakout rooms, and an outdoor event location in the heart of the resort, provide the ideal setting for creative meetings, a private party or a beach wedding on one of the most beautiful beaches in Hua Hin.

The resort is located approximately 200 km from Bangkok, typically only two and a half hours drive from Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Discover a unique experience and a brilliant art of hosting at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, the prestigious seaside getaway, making a graceful return this March.

For more information or reservations, please contact Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa at +66 (0) 32 904 666,huahin.reservations@marriott.com or visit www.huahinmarriott.com

About Marriott Hotels

With 500 hotels and resorts in more than 50 countries around the world, Marriott Hotels is evolving travel through every aspect of the guest’s stay, enabling the next generation to Travel Brilliantly. Boldly transforming itself for mobile and global travelers who blend work and play, Marriott leads the industry with innovations, including the Great room lobby and Mobile Guest Services that elevates style & design and technology. All Marriott hotels participate in the award winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay. For more information, visit Marriott Hotels website. To join the ongoing Marriott conversation, like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/Marriott) and follow us on Twitter (Twitter.com/Marriott, @Marriott).

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,300 properties in 85 countries and territories.  Marriott International reported revenues of nearly $14 billion in fiscal year 2014. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com

Photo – http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20160201/8521600656

Source: Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa

Written by asiafreshnews

February 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Updated Guess Statement: Guess?, Inc. Announces New Policy on use of Angora Fiber

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LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ — During 2015, while developing our sustainability practices and publishing our first sustainability report, GUESS evaluated our practices related to the use of angora fibers. As a result of this process, GUESS is implementing a program to eliminate angora fiber from our future collections available in retail stores worldwide. GUESS Chief Executive Officer, Victor Herrero stated “While in the past, GUESS has worked to ensure the minimal amount of angora used was ethically sourced, we feel the decision to eliminate angora moving forward is just the right thing to do.”

CONTACT: Rachael Matican
GUESS?, Inc.
212.852.0513
rmatican@guess.com

Source: Guess?, Inc.

Related stocks: NYSE:GES

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Written by asiafreshnews

February 2, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

CropLife Asia Encourages all to ‘Thank a Farmer’ this Festive Season

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-Plant Science Contributions to Asian Agriculture Highlighted this Lunar New Year

SINGAPORE /PRNewswire/ — With Asia and the world preparing to usher in the ‘Year of the Monkey’ and celebrate the Lunar New Year, CropLife Asia took the opportunity to raise awareness of the critical role regional farmers play in ensuring Asia’sfood security and sustainability — as well as ensuring the delicious and auspicious foods we enjoy during this festive time of the year are available for everyone.

The Lunar New Year, also known in Chinese culture as the Spring Festival, is celebrated through a variety of traditions across Asia.  The history of the festival is deeply rooted in the cyclical pattern of agriculture in ancient China, with farmers relying on the lunar calendar to predict seasonal changes for crops.

“While the customs, practices and way we celebrate the Lunar New Year vary across Asia, this is a very special season across all cultures and borders in our part of the world,” said Dr. Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director of CropLife Asia.

“At the center of the celebrations are the food and special dishes we prepare, share with friends and family, and look forward to enjoying all year long.  Whether it’s the lo hei of Singapore, banh chung during Tet in Vietnam, the mandarin oranges of China, or a host of other culinary treats synonymous with the season — the importance of food in marking the festive season is the cultural common denominator.

“This Lunar New Year, we at CropLife Asia express our genuine gratitude to Asia’s farmers who not only grow the crops essential for the food we enjoy during Lunar New Year — but help ensure our region’s food security every day of the year as well.  The plant science industry remains committed to providing our farmers with the agricultural tools and technology to meet the demands of a changing world, growing population, and diminishing resources.”

Estimates indicate the world’s population will exceed nine billion inhabitants by the year 2050.  Asia alone is projected to have roughly one billion more people calling it home.[1]  The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has also estimated that roughly two-thirds of the world’s hungry presently live in Asia and the Pacific.

According to the FAO, growers around the world will need to produce as much as 70% more food than today to meet the expected needs of our population in 2050.  The innovations of plant biotechnology and crop protection continue to drive greater production globally towards the realization of this goal in the years ahead.

Crop protection products prevent nearly 40% of global rice and maize harvests from being lost every year.[2]  Meanwhile, plant biotechnology increased crop yields 22% and increased farmer profits 68% during the 20-year period of 1995 to 2014.[3]  Over the past 50 years, plant science technologies have helped farmers realize a 283% increase on production levels.

[1] United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision, medium variant (2011)

[2] Oerke, E.C., 2006, “Crop losses to pests”, Journal of Agricultural Science, vol. 144

[3] International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), Brief 49 – 2014

About CropLife Asia

CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry.  We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture.  CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by nine member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development.  For more information, visit us at www.croplifeasia.org.

For more information please contact:

Duke Hipp
Director, Communications and Outreach
CropLife Asia
Tel: +65-6221-1615
duke.hipp@croplifeasia.org  

Logo – http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20160201/8521600647LOGO

Source: Corplife Asia

Written by asiafreshnews

February 2, 2016 at 3:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized