Nestlé Nigeria restated its commitment to responsible sourcing at its last Suppliers’ Day event held in Lagos.
 
The event united all key players who supply raw materials, packaging materials, services and indirect materials to Nestlé.
 
This was an opportunity to consolidate existing relationships as well as ensure best practices in sourcing. With about 80% local sourcing reached in 2018, the company is poised to increase the percentages where possible in the coming years.
 
“We work with more than 1,000 direct suppliers, 700 of which are local suppliers,” said Nestor Finalo, Supply Chain Manager for Nestlé Nigeria at the event.
 
“We hope to invest more in local suppliers who are able to meet with the quality requirements of Nestlé,” he continued.
 
Responsible sourcing has always been at the core of Nestlé Nigeria’s operations, especially in a society where consumers and stakeholders increasingly want to know what is in their food, where it comes from and how it is made.
 
Nestlé Nigeria has responded to these demands by ensuring transparency and compliance in its supply chain. The company continues to urge its suppliers to adhere to the highest ethical standards and procedures.
 
“All our suppliers must imbibe and adhere to good ethical practices whether in terms of labour laws, working hours or relationship with the environment. We have also put structures in place to ensure that quality is not compromised,” Mr. Finalo said.
 
On their part, suppliers at the event reaffirmed their trust in Nestlé while identifying opportunities for improvement to better meet the company’s requirements.
 
Commenting, one of the key players said, “We are confident that we will be able to reach and surpass Nestlé’s standards on quality. We are happy about our partnership and hope to do more with Nestlé in the coming years.”
 
In her welcome address, the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager for Nestlé Nigeria, Victoria Uwadoka said, “The Suppliers’ Day presents a unique opportunity for us to celebrate everyone who supplies the products or services that help us produce high quality nutritious products. We are certain that this relationship will be sustained in the long-term as we work together to meet consumer expectations by ensuring responsible sourcing practices.”
 
Nestlé Nigeria reiterated its commitment to work together with its suppliers to ensure that they have all the support they need to continue to grow their businesses while contributing to the company’s growth. This is in line with Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value principles.
 
To strengthen supplier relationships, Nestlé Suppliers’ Day will continue to be held annually going forward. There will also be opportunities for training, skills and capacity building for the company’s top suppliers.
 
“This event will be carried out yearly to keep you abreast of the company’s best practices and to develop even stronger partnerships. We will also hold workshops and joint trainings to improve quality of deliveries and empower you, our esteemed suppliers,” said Mr. Nestor Finalo in his closing remarks at the event.
 
Attendees at the event included top management executives of all Nestlé Key suppliers.
 
 
Source: PmNews
The New York Police Department said the bomb threats that have been reported around the country Thursday afternoon were emailed by someone demanding bitcoin.
 
Following the news, bitcoin slumped to fresh lows, down more than 6%.
Bitcoin has lost half of its value since 
 
Bitcoin plunged more than 6% to near $3,300 a coin after the New York Police Department said that bomb threats that have been emailed around the US were made by someone demanding bitcoin. Thursday's selling had the cryptocurrency contending with its lowest level in over a year.
 
"Please be advised - there is an email being circulated containing a bomb threat asking for bitcoin payment," the NYPD said in a tweet. "While this email has been sent to numerous locations, searches have been conducted and NO DEVICES have been found."
 
The NYPD added that these threats are meant to cause disruption or obtain money, and that the threats do not appear to be credible. The threats were made across the country, according to the FBI. At least 13 threats were made in New York City.
 
Bitcoin, the largest digital currency by market value, has lost half of its value since November 14, making a difficult year for crypto investors even worse.
 
Investors in the digital currency saw its price explode in 2017 as cryptomania swept over the world. Bitcoin began 2017 worth less than $1,000 a coin before soaring more than 2,000% to a high of $19,511.
 
This year has been a different story, however, with the cryptocurrency's value having plunged by 75%.
 
 
Source: Business Day
Last week, some of its most ardent fans discovered that Carling Black Label is, in fact, originally Canadian.
This did not go down well. The beer has been around for almost a century in various markets. To the shock of some of its fans, the beer of the South African working man has been outed as Canadian on Twitter last week.
 
"The only black to succeed under apartheid is not even South African," a Twitter user lamented.
 
It's not clear why the beer's origins were suddenly a topic of discussion, but this much is certain: Carling Black Label was first brewed almost a century ago in Ontario by the Canadian Carling brewery.
 
Originally known as Black & White Lager, in the 1920s it was rebranded as Black Label, and distributed in the US and UK.
 
The beer – affectionately known here as Zamalek - was introduced in South Africa in the late 1960s by SA Breweries, which bought the rights to brew it in South Africa. 
 
Over the decades, SAB launched various macho campaigns – many featured cowboys - to associate it with hard work and masculinity.
 
Its strongman image was fortified by its high alcohol level – 5.5%, compared to Castle (5%) and Hansa Pilsener (4.5%).
 
The name Zamalek dates back to the 1990s, when an Egyptian football club – which shares the beer label’s colours of black, white and red – thoroughly trounced local soccer team Kaiser Chiefs. According to Urban Dictionary, local fans then claimed that the Zamalek club was as strong as Carling Black Label.
 
The lager is described by SAB as having  “a spicy hoppiness complemented by lightly kilned malted barley”.
 
Most recently, Carling Black Label has backed down from its ultra-masculine advertising with a large campaign to stop gender violence.
 
Carling Black Label, owned by the US group Molson Coors, is still available in Canada and the US. But there is no business link with the South African beer, says Grant Lake, brand manager of Carling Black Label Africa. 
 
Carling (which has an alcohol level below 4%) - which also originated from the Canadian Carling Black Label brand - is one of the most popular lagers in the UK.
 
 
Source: The EaglesNews
China's November industrial production growth eased sharply from 5.9% to 5.4%, the lowest level since 2009. Global stocks plunged.
Retail growth also eased, growing at 8.1%, which is the weakest pace in 15 years.
Cracks are also continuing to show in Europe, with Italy, Germany, car sales, France, and Brexit all weighing on sentiment.
Fear has taken hold in equity markets after China's industrial production plummeted, sparking a selloff that spread globally. Cracks in the European economy are also continuing to show, weighing on those region's equities.
 
China's November industrial production growth eased sharply from 5.9% to 5.4%, the lowest level since 2009. The data pointed to weak performance in key export sectors such as computers, electronics and autos.
 
Retail growth also eased, growing at 8.1%, which is the weakest pace in 15 years, says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
 
China's November trade data indicated signs of weaker growth in the rest of the world. Export growth declined from 15.5% to 5.4% with shipments to the EU and ASEAN countries showing weakness while exports to the US dropped to 9.8% from 13.2%, according to Societe Generale.
 
"There have been some troublesome figures coming out of China in 2018 and another batch has now served to drag down markets in Asia and Europe," Mould said. "China is finding it hard to sustain high levels of economic growth. There is some concern that the impact of the US-China trade war has yet to be properly felt, suggesting that China's economic data could be in for more shocks in early 2019 unless the countries secure a permanent truce."
 
Problems are also rumbling in Europe. Fears about Italy's budget remained front and center on Friday after the European Union suggested there was more to be done on the country's budget deficit. British Prime Minister Theresa May was rebuffed by EU leaders in her attempts to renegotiate her Brexit deal. Germany's problems continued with composite PMI numbers sliding in December.
 
It follows an already subdued mood in Europe. The European Central Bank announced Thursday that it cut its economic growth forecasts and would end its bond buying stimulus program. France's yellow-vest protests are harming the country's economy.
 
Here's a roundup of markets:
 
The JSE was down 1% and the rand slumped 1.5% to R14.37/$ early afternoon on Friday.
In Asia, the Shanghai Composite closed down 1.7%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.3%. Japan's Nikkei also fell 2% Friday.
 
The Euro Stoxx 50 down 1.1% as of 10.20 am in London (5.20 am EST). The DAX, FTSE, and CAC were all down more than 1%.
US stock index futures are following suit. The Nasdaq, S&P 500 and Dow 30 all down about 1% in premarket.
 
China's woes weighed on commodities. Copper futures are down 1% while Brent crude continued to tumble despite agreed OPEC and Russian cuts last week. Oil is down 0.6%.
 
European car stocks also plunged after data showed new EU licenses fell 8.0% year-over-year in November following a 7.3% fall in October. Renault is down 3.6% while Volkswagen, Peugeot, Daimler are trading down 2.4%. Germany's BMW is down 1.9% and Fiat Chrysler is down 2%. Full year car sales are expected to drop to 2% in 2018, down from 5% in 2017.
 
US dollar index futures are up 0.5%.
 
 
Source: Business Insider

Social media giant Facebook has agreed to pay more than 100 million euros ($114 million) to end a fiscal fraud dispute, Italian tax authorities said Thursday. 

Italy has already drawn similar agreements from Amazon, Apple and Google, joining EU neighbours seeking a bigger tax take from multinationals previously able to use loopholes allowing the booking of profits in countries with more favourable tax regimes.

The accord aims to “end the disagreement relating to tax inquiries undertaken by the financial police (GdF) at the behest of the Milan prosecutor for the period 2010-2016,” Italy’s tax authority said in a statement.

The authority added that Facebook Italy would be “making a payment of more than 100 million euros.”

Online retail behemoth Amazon agreed on a similar deal last December while in May last year Google agreed to pay 306 million euros to end a dispute relating primarily to 2009-2013 profits booked in Ireland.

Ireland has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the European Union.

Apple had earlier, in December 2015, agreed to make payment of more than 300 million euros on Italian-generated profits dating back to 2008. (AFP)

 

Source News Express

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has put the global debt at $180 trillion, warning highly indebted emerging-markets and low-income countries against what it termed pro-cyclical fiscal policies.
 
IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, in a statement issued at the conclusion of the Group of 20 (G-20) Summit in Buenos Aires, called for collaborative action by G-20 leaders as global growth moderates and risks increased.
 
Ms Lagarde emphasised that global growth remained strong, but that it was moderating and becoming more uneven.
 
She said pressures on emerging markets had been rising and trade tensions have begun to have a negative impact, increasing downside risks.
 
“Another urgent issue is the excessive level of global debt – about $182 trillion by the IMF’s estimate.
 
“It is important, particularly for highly indebted emerging-market and low-income countries, to rebuild buffers and reverse pro-cyclical fiscal policies.
 
“Increasing debt transparency, such as on the volumes and terms of loans, by borrowers as well as lenders, is as important as supporting debt sustainability,’’ Lagarde said.
 
According to her, choosing the right policy is, therefore, critical for individual economies, the global economy, and for people everywhere.
 
“The choice is especially stark regarding trade.
 
“We estimate that if recently raised and threatened tariffs were to remain in place and announced tariffs were implemented, about three-quarters of one per cent of global GDP could be lost by 2020.
 
“If instead, trade restrictions in services were reduced by 15 per cent, global GDP could be higher by one-half of one per cent.
 
“The choice is clear: there is an urgent need to de-escalate trade tensions, reverse recent tariff increases, and modernise the rules-based multilateral trade system.’’
 
To meet the challenges facing the global economy, the IMF chief made several policy recommendations to the G-20 leaders.
 
“First, fix trade – this is priority number one to boost growth and jobs.
 
“Continue to normalise monetary policy in a well-communicated, gradual, data-driven manner and with due regard to potential spill-over effects.
 
“Address financial risks, using micro and macro-prudential tools to tackle problems related to the leveraged ending, deteriorating credit quality and high exposure to foreign currency or foreign-owned debt.
 
“Use exchange rate flexibility to mitigate external pressures, avoiding tariffs and other policies that could weaken market confidence.
 
“Finally, eliminate legal obstacles to the participation of women in the economy which is key to tackling high and persistent inequality and would add to the growth potential of all G-20 countries,’’ Lagarde said.
 
She said she was encouraged by the G-20’s continued commitment to strengthening the global financial safety net, with a strong and adequately financed IMF at its centre.
 
“It is important that the G-20 leaders have pledged to conclude the 15th General Review of Quotas by our Spring Meetings and no later than the Annual Meetings in 2019.’’ 
 
 
Source: NAN
Oil marketer Libya Oil Kenya Limited (LOKL), which operates under the trade name OiLibya has rebranded to Ola Energy.
 
The oil marketer said its new brand will be effected on all its outlets in 17 countries across Africa.
 
Oil marketer Libya Oil Kenya Limited (LOKL), which operates under the trade name OiLibya has rebranded to Ola Energy.
 
Ola Energy Kenya general manager Duncan Murashiki said the rebranding is part of the firm’s expansion strategy that will see more fuel stations opened across the country. The new name is a short form of Oil Libya Africa. “By the end of 2019, we expect to have more than 100 stations in Kenya with more resources being dedicated to our lubricant market as well as liquified petroleum gas,” said Mr Murashiki.
 
Ola Energy started the distribution and marketing business in Kenya in December 2006 after signing an agreement with ExxonMobil Corporation.
 
The firm did not readily disclose how much it would spend to brand its 1,100 stations spread in 17 African countries but regional board chairman Elmarimi Kashim said they will be keen to gradually phase out the OiLibya tag during the transition expected to be completed by mid-2020.
 
“You will still see a little symbol of OiLibya in our stations as we transit because it’s a brand we have built and we don’t want anyone to imagine we are a new company with no experience in this market,” Mr Kashim said.
 
 
Source: Daily Nation
 
Trump is about to embark on a trip that could end the trade battle with China — or send the US into an economic Cold War.
 
The future of the US-China trade war will be decided during a meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump.
 
President Donald Trump is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday and Saturday at the G20 summit in Argentina. At the top of their agenda: the US-China trade war.
 
The US and China have implemented tariffs on $360 billion worth of goods flowing between the two countries.
Prospects for meaningful progress are dim as the two sides remain far apart on major issues.
 
Trump's mood could also determine the outcome. The moment of truth for President Donald Trump's trade war with China is fast approaching.
 
Trump is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday and Saturday.
 
The meeting with Xi could determine whether the US and China can ultimately resolve their differences and lower tariffs affecting more than half of all trade between the two countries. Or, the outcome could be that the two sides will remain locked in a still-burgeoning trade war with no end in sight.
 
And you may ask yourself, how did we get here? The trade fight between the US and China has been brewing for decades, as Beijing's economic and political ascendance has threatened the US' dominance on the world stage. Trump, a longtime proponent of tariffs, seized on China's growing strength during the 2016 campaign.
 
After a year of courting China as an ally in negotiations with North Korea, Trump turned on Beijing in March with the announcement of tariffs on Chinese goods. The administration argued that the tariffs were a necessary measure to punish China for alleged theft of US intellectual property and would force the ruling Communist Party to reform their economic policies.
 
After a few months of unsuccessful negotiating, Trump imposed the first round of tariffs against China in July. The resulting back-and-forth has led to the current state of affairs: US tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and Chinese tariffs on $110 billion worth of American goods.
 
Economists have warned that escalation of the trade war or allowing the tariffs to remain in place for an extended period of time would be seriously damaging for the US economy. US companies have warned that the tariffs are harming their businesses, and American farmers are getting whacked by China's retaliatory measures.
 
If Xi and Trump are unable to reach a deal, the two countries would enter what some experts have called an "economic Cold War."
 
The US would also likely move forward with tariffs on the remaining $255 billion worth of Chinese goods not subject to tariffs. That round of tariffs would squeeze many popular consumer products, and retailers like Walmart have warned the move would likely result in higher prices for customers.
 
A dim dealmaking outlook ...
While economic concerns and the summit have brought the two leaders together in Buenos Aires, most experts agree that the Trump-Xi meeting will produce little, if any, results.
 
Stewart Patrick, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the G20 meeting "offers the prospect of a Band-Aid fix at best."
 
"Given current mistrust, even a truce seems unlikely," Patrick added.
 
At most, experts say, the two sides could agree to delay the implementation of even more tariffs. Ed Mills, a policy analyst at Raymond James, said there could be some upside in the form of a rough outline of a deal.
 
"Officials on both sides have been rhetorically setting the stage over the past week without any indication that either side is willing to back down from the dispute," Mills said. "The two nations remain far apart on a negotiated solution, increasing the chances of deterioration and continuing tariff escalation in 2019."
 
But the sheer size of issues to discuss likely means that any agreement that could come out of the meeting will be preliminary and not take the larger threat — the so-called economic Cold War — off the table.
 
"We caution that fundamental issues relating to intellectual property and subsidization appear intractable at this stage, which suggests that the broader threat of Chinese trade tensions will persist," said Isaac Boltansky, a policy analyst at research and trade firm Compass Point.
 
Trump acknowledged in an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week that a deal to prevent the tariff rate from increasing in January is "highly unlikely." The president also appeared to express misgivings about a possible deal while talking to reporters on Thursday.
 
"I think we're very close to doing something with China, but I don't know that I want to do it, because what we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes," Trump said.
 
Most of Trump's advisers also seem to be urging caution ahead of the meeting.
 
But the increasing pain from the tariffs could compel Trump to agree to some sort of preliminary deal, said Matthew Goodman, senior adviser for Asian economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
 
"My personal guess — and I'm sticking my neck out here — is that there will be some kind of ceasefire agreed to largely because I think President Trump and President Xi both have an incentive to put this dispute on hold," he said in a recent press call.
 
Goodman argued that the recent US-stock-market woes and China's slowing economy have put enough pressure on the two sides to make some progress.
 
… but Trump is a wild card.
But knowing exactly what will happen when the presidents are face-to-face is impossible because of Trump's infamous unpredictability.
 
For one thing, Trump's international trips — the G7 summit, the recent trip to Paris, and more — have been anything but predictable.
 
These trips were marred by fights with other world leaders, Twitter tirades, and refusals to sign on to ceremonial communiqués with other nations.
 
"This binary catalyst will be hugely influenced by Trump's mood after a long flight to a foreign country at a multilateral summit that will be filled with world leaders whose voters tend to have an extremely negative view of Trump," Chris Krueger, a strategist at Cowen Washington Research Group, said.
 
 
Source: Business Insider
Nigeria has lost its most valued crude oil buyers, even as its erstwhile gas customers are now competing with it, the Department of Petroleum Resources said on Monday.
 
The Director, DPR, Mr Mordecai Ladan, said the oil and gas industry seemed to be under a new threat, which he described as the renewed dislike and global war against fossil fuels and the quest for renewable and cleaner energy.
 
“Over the years, the threat against fossil fuels had always been on paper, but today, it is more real than ever, based on some clear evidence I like to draw our attention to,” he said at the 18th edition of the International HSE Biennial Conference on the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria.
 
He said three among the biggest technology companies, including Google and Apple, had made attempts at electric cars to replace petrol and diesel engines, with that of Tesla taking the world by surprise.
 
Ladan said, “Not only did the first two releases of Tesla outsell sales forecasts, they were actually oversubscribed, and the demand keeps rising while new models are being added. As we speak, some of the big international oil companies here seated are funding gigantic researches into alternative fuels, which include the use of cheap, common algae.
 
 
 
Source: PunchNg
Central African Republic landed a windfall on Tuesday, at least on paper, when Russian state bank VTB reported it had lent the country 12 billion dollars.
 
However, the bank then said it was a clerical error and there was no such loan.
 
The loan was mentioned in a quarterly VTB financial report published by the Russian Central Bank.
 
The report included a table listing the outstanding financial claims that VTB group had on dozens of countries as of October 1 this year.
 
In the table next to the Central African Republic was the sum of 801,933,814,000 roubles (12 billion dollars) — more than six times the country’s annual economic output.
 
When asked about the data by media, the bank said the loan to the former French colony did not, in reality, exist.
 
“VTB bank has no exposure of this size to any foreign country.
 
”Most likely, this is a case of an operational mistake in the system when the countries were being coded,” the lender said in a statement sent to Reuters.
 
VTB did not say who was responsible for the mistake or how such a large figure could have been published without being spotted.
 
CAR government spokesman Ange Maxime Kazagui, when asked about the Russian data, said: “I don’t have that information.
 
”But it doesn’t sound credible because $11 billion is beyond the debt capacity of CAR.”
 
“We are members of the IMF (International Monetary Fund). When a member of the IMF wants to take on debt, it has to discuss that with the IMF.”
 
There was no indication in the data published by the Russian central bank of who was the recipient of the loan, the purpose of the loan, or when it was issued and on what terms.
 
CAR is a nation of five million people emerging from sectarian conflict, with a gross domestic product of 1.95 billion dollars, according to the World Bank.
 
Muscling aside former colonial power France, Moscow has provided arms and contractors to the Central African Republic military, and a Russian national is security advisor to President Faustin-Archange Touadera.
 
 
(Reuters/NAN)
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