Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Will environment be forgotten in crisis? OMV says no.

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wolfgang_ruttenstorfer.jpgThere are some who say the economic downturn means ambitious plans to fight global warming should be put on ice.

But Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, the head of Austrian oil and gas group OMV, reckons cutting carbon emissions is inevitable in the long run, despite the financial crisis and its impact. 

“I think the price signals of the last two years will not be forgotten by consumers and politicians and therefore the thrust towards renewables will continue, maybe at a slightly slower pace,” he told the Reuters Central European Investment Summit. 

For some, going green is a luxury in harder economic times: Poland and Italy aren’t too happy about European Union legislation to fight climate change and say it could hurt their
economies at a time of slower growth.

A philosophical look at the habits of the super-rich

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rtx8vgi.jpgThe credit crisis may be hitting the man on the street hard, but spending by the “other half” on the latest super yacht or Damien Hirst work of art looks set to carry on relatively unaffected.

Super-wealthy individuals in commodity-rich areas such as Russia and the Middle East are reaping the benefits of a five-year boom in oil and other commodity prices.

Video – Car makers speed into Russia

U.S. and Asian automakers are rushing to lure Russian consumers to offset declining sales in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

U.S. and Asian automakers, facing declining sales in almost every market around the world, are speeding into Russia to try and gain market share as the growing middle-class expands and car sales appear set double in the next three years.

Ask a Car Maker …

 

The U.S. autos sector has hit a wall like some kind of crash test dummy – record gas prices, rising supply costs and sales hitting a 15-year low. Can car makers ride it out?

Reuters journalists will interview car companies, including some from the Big 3 , next week as part of our Autos Summit 2008. We will ask why investors should hang on, and is the sector about to hit the wall?

Paper makers bet on sector despite clouds ahead

metsopaper_head_web.JPGDespite the dark cloud hanging over the forestry sector, most industry leaders said they still see the paper business as a good investment.

Overcapacity has kept a lid on paper prices for years, while increasing costs of wood and energy have eaten into the paper makers’ already low margins.

Huhtamaki CEO tells how to lose one’s shirt

paper02_web.jpgCombining paper and packaging production may seem like the obvious union, but head of Finnish packaging maker Huhtamaki said it proved time and again to be a money loser and his company will not go that route.

Huhtamaki manufactures a wide array of food and beverage packaging and other packages for industry. It buys raw materials from forestry companies and converts them into packages.

No mangoes, no cappuccinos without packaging

huhtamaki_ceo2_web.JPGIf you think that packaging produces loads of unnecessary waste, think again, says head of ice-cream and fast-food packaging maker Huhtamaki.

Chief Executive Jukka Moisio told a Reuters Paper Industry Summit in Helsinki that packaging a product actually reduces the amount of waste used rather than creating it.

No gain without pain for European paper makers

The current slew of bad news was necessary to get European forestry companies to act, the head of the world’s top paper and board maker Stora Enso said on Wedstora_ceo_web.JPGnesday.

For years the European paper industry has suffered from overcapacity, which has kept a lid on prices, while increasing costs of wood and energy have eaten into already low margins.

Audio – The waiting is the hardest part

holliday1.jpgFor Marc Holliday, chief executive of SL Green Realty Group and Gramercy Capital Corp, the Tom Petty lyrics ring especially true.

Holliday, speaking at the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit, said on Tuesday that his company is waiting with bated breath to hear about which company has won the award to expand the gaming options at New York City’s borough of Queens-located Aqueduct Race Track.

Audio – Bubbles are fun — for awhile

schwartz.jpgSure thing, kids LOVE the bubbles. The blowing, the running around, the popping.

All the things that gives real estate investors and developers fits.

Any simple search on “real estate” in a news story for the past two years would more than likely also mention the word “bubble”. In fact, a quick Google search of “real estate” and “bubble” turned up 998 news stories — in the past month!

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