Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
Index Ventures partner Saul Klein is hoping to help create a longterm eco-system for European tech start ups with global aspirations.Though Klein concedes that Silicon Valley stands alone when it comes to providing support and investment for innovative technology companies, the former Skype Vice-President is playing an influential role in making Europe a more welcoming and dynamic environment for homegrown tech talent.
Matt Cowan reports.
SOUNDBITES: Saul Klein, Partner, Index Ventures
Nintendo’s Wii Fit game launches in the U.S. on Monday but will its success in the Asia and Europe translate to the U.S. market?
Looking to build on the enormous success of the Wii console, Nintendo is launching the U.S. version of Wii Fit. Analysts expect sales in the first week could top 1 million units.
OVERVIEW: TECHNOLOGY SECTOR – Q2 2008
Director, U.S. Earnings Research
In the S&P 500 Index, the Technology sector is expected to have the highest earnings growth of any sector at 15%. Over the past four quarters, the sector has recorded an average earnings growth rate of 16%.
On April 1st, the estimated growth rate for the sector was 18%. Since the start of the quarter, the mean estimate for 45% of the companies in the sector has decreased while the mean estimate for 24% of the companies in the sector has increased. The mean estimate for the other 31% of the companies has remained unchanged.
Mexican cell phone giant America Movil, which does business in 17 countries across Latin America and the United States, plans to add another 20 million subscribers this year to its client base.
Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia-Moreno chat with Reuters during the Latin America Investment Summit about keeping the doors open for more acquisitions outside its core region although he said the company is in no rush to do so.
America Movil is owned by Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world.
New technologies that enable a wider distribution of basic communications in Mexico are taking longer than expected to take off amid struggles between companies interested in accessing cheaper networks and high launch costs.
A vast fiber optic network owned by Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), good for transporting data all across the country, is currently used by just a handful of telephone firms seeking to bypass what they often criticize as very high fees from the dominant fixed-line phone company.
CFE’s chief Alfredo Elias Ayub told Reuters said during the Third Latin America Investment Summit that in a couple of months there could be news about fiber optic rentals to new companies.
He also shared his views about why power line communications, which carry information over the powerline, are stalled due to the high price of modems and the lack of sufficient research in countries like Mexico.
Mexico’s lax regulation has encouraged the unabashed growth of monopolies in the last few decades, ranging from telecommunications to beer empires. Cable television is no stranger to conflict as Televisa, the world’s biggest producer of Spanish-language content, sets its eyes on triple play amid cries from smaller rivals struggling to keep afloat.
Eduardo Perez Motta, the head of Mexico’s Federal Competition Commission, sat down with Reuters during the Third Latin America Investment Summit to talk about a much-expected decision on a Televisa acquisition that would give the broadcaster a key push in the triple play market, where companies can offer cable TV, Internet and phone services using a single broadband link.
Perez Motta set a series of requirements that Televisa should meet, including sharing its content with rivals, if it wants to buy a 49 percent stake in Cablemas, one of the biggest cable companies in Mexico.
When it comes to business, investors don’t fret much about Russia’s image, which has been damaged by events such as the Yukos affair, Russian investor Teijo Pankko told Reuters journalists in Paris. ”We regret what happened with Yukos. We feel that from a human point of view it is very unfortunate that it happened,” said Pankko, the Chief Financial Officer of Altimo, which is the investment vehicle of Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman. ”At the same time, being very rational and pragmatic, I think it’s a fact of life. We have to accept that. I don’t think that in the long run that this individual case would have any kind of consequence for any other businesses,” he added. ”You may have a lot of feelings about it and emotions but if you look at the statistics there are so many transactions that have been done increasingly, especially last year… I believe it’s impressive indeed. I think it says quite the opposite,” he said. “Money makes things happen.”
LG Electronics Inc., the world’s largest household air conditioner maker, said its appliances division will grow by about 30 perent this year.
Soon Kwon, VP of LG’s appliances business said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit that he hoped revenue this year would rise to $13.5 billion from $10.7 billion in 2006.
LG. Philips LCD said it would likely break even in the second quarter of this year and said that it will see profit growth in the second half.
The firm’s vice president in charge of TV panel sales Champ Shin also said TV panel prices could fall up to 15 percent this year, compared to 30 percent last year.
The world’s largest maker of flat-screen TVs, Samsung Electronics said in the difficult TV market, they hope to sell more larger sized televisions to boost its sales.
“The TV business is getting tougher in terms of price,” said Park Jong-woo, president of the company’s digital media division. “This year, US and Europe are growing but not as much as last year.”