Top 7 Most Powerful Business People in Asia

Fortune Magazine has a new list: The Most Powerful People in Asia. Considering that in the western regions the world is mostly in  recession, it is now becoming more important to know who are the people who rules the business in the the only side of the world which is actually growing. But if you  think that Japan, the Asia’s superpower, rules this list, think again (only one person from Japan made our Top 7 list!). Here please find an excerpt of the list with the Top 7 Most Powerful Business People in Asia:

1. Akio Toyoda

Company: Toyota Motor

Country: Japan

Title: CEO

Age: 55

Toyoda presides over Asia’s largest company — and perhaps its most influential. When Toyota Motor stumbles, as it did in 2010 when safety problems forced the company to recall several of its bestselling models, millions of consumers around the world feel the impact. And when it innovates, the rest of the auto world takes notice — and often follows suit. So 14 years after the arrival of the Prius, Toyoda is pushing the company to produce a lineup of 10 new hybrid models by 2015. He’s also keenly focused on growing in emerging markets such as China and India, which account for 40% of Toyota’s $223 billion in annual sales. Toyoda, who has been CEO for two years, has already shown he’s powerful; he survived the recall scandal despite speculation that he would be pushed to resign. Now shareholders hope he can steer the auto giant — safely — to more growth.

2. Ratan Tata

Company: Tata Sons

Country: India

Title: Chairman

Age: 73

If anyone can bring coffee culture to tea-crazed India, it is Ratan Tata, whose Tata Group conglomerate spans industries ranging from autos to steel to telecommunications. Tata recently inked a deal with Starbucks aimed at bringing the Seattle chain to India — the latest in a string of alliances that have helped the group grow from a loose federation of companies primarily serving their home country into a $67 billion multinational powerhouse. Joint venture partners include Lockheed Martin, AIG, and Cummins. But Tata also has acquired well-known businesses such as Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s Tetley Tea, and New York City’s Pierre Hotel. It takes chutzpah to buy such storied brands. To turn them around as Tata has done takes persistence — and power.

3. Mukesh D. Ambani

Company: Reliance Industries

Country: India

Title: Chairman and managing director

Age: 53

Reliance Industries CEO Mukesh Ambani has a reputation as a dealmaker, and indeed, he’s gobbled up assets in telecom, petrochemicals, and energy as part of a strategy to rapidly expand the $45-billion-a-year conglomerate. But Ambani’s dealmaking works both ways: Earlier this year he persuaded British oil giant BP to invest $7.2 billion for a 30% stake in 23 oil and gas assets controlled by Reliance — the largest foreign direct investment India has seen to date. Ambani’s wealth (he’s worth an estimated $27 billion and recently moved into what’s believed to be the world’s first billion-dollar mansion, as you can check in our Top 7 Most Expensive Houses in the World post) makes him a popular subject in the local press, but his business prowess is earning him accolades abroad. To wit: Bank of America in March nominated Ambani to be the first non-American on its board of directors.

4. Kun-Hee Lee

Company: Samsung Group

Country: South Korea

Title: Chairman and CEO

Age: 69

Chairman Kun-Hee Lee transformed Samsung Electronics from a peddler of low-end gadgets to a global leader in cellphones, televisions, and computer chips. The $137-billion-a-year electronics company is most often compared with Hewlett-Packard, but in many ways Samsung is the Apple of South Korea, revered in its home country for its design and innovation as well as its financial performance (profits last year climbed 65% to $14.3 billion). As a result Lee enjoys tremendous clout — despite a corruption scandal that forced him to resign as chairman of Samsung in 2008. In December 2009, President Lee Myung-bak pardoned Lee for a tax-evasion indictment; a few months later the executive returned as chairman.

5. Ren Zhengfei

Company: Huawei Technologies

Country: China

Title: CEO

Age: 67

The public knows little about Ren Zhengfei, the former military officer who runs Huawei, China’s largest telecom equipment maker. But lack of visibility hasn’t stopped Ren from building a global empire that’s playing an increasingly important role in running the world’s phone and Internet networks: The company estimates it grew 28% to $28 billion in revenue last year. Roughly two-thirds of sales come from non-Chinese customers, including Britain’s BT. Huawei’s products and services help keep phone and Internet networks around the world up and running. But security concerns have largely kept Ren and his company out of the one market he covets: the U.S. A new R&D center in California may increase Huawei’s American presence, but analysts expect Ren himself to maintain his usual low profile.

6. Terry Gou

Company: Foxconn Technology Group

Country: Taiwan

Title: Chairman and CEO

Age: 60

If Apple CEO Steve Jobs is one of the most powerful people in business, then Terry Gou, the man who keeps Jobs supplied with iPads and iPhones, might not be that far behind. Gou’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Corp. (and its Foxconn subsidiary) is now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electronics. Customers include Apple, of course, but also HP, Dell, Sony, and others. Though Foxconn garnered negative publicity for worker suicides in 2010, Gou eventually responded, doubling wages at his largest factories and relocating workers closer to their homes. Foxconn’s clients apparently have been satisfied with Gou’s actions: Hon Hai’s consolidated revenue for the first nine months of last year climbed 51% to $64.1 billion — and the full year looks to be just as strong thanks to demand for the Apple gadgets that Foxconn plays an indispensable role in producing.

7. Gao Xiqing

Company: China Investment Corp.

Country: China

Title: President and chief investment officer

Age: 57

Gao, China’s most powerful fund manager, oversees $332 billion in assets for China’s wholly state owned sovereign wealth fund, CIC. The fund was set up in 2007 with a mandate to earn a higher return for the government. Gao has been instrumental in transforming the fund from one that invested conservatively in public securities to direct private equity investments in foreign companies. In 2010, CIC spent $1.58 billion for a 15% equity interest in AES Corporation, a U.S.-based power company. This year it set up its first foreign representative office in Toronto, looking to invest in Canadian resources and infrastructure. CIC’s growing global investment portfolio returned about 12% in 2009, and the fund’s net income was up 80% to $41.6 billion.

Source: Fortune
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Top 7 Countries With Highest Prosperity Index in 2010

For those who follows economics and how this influence in the wellbeing of the citizens of a country, this is a pretty interesting article. The Legatum Prosperity Index is one of the world’s global assessment of wealth and wellbeing; unlike other studies that rank countries by actual levels of wealth, life satisfaction or development, the Prosperity Index produces rankings based upon the very foundations of prosperity those factors that will help drive economic growth and produce happy citizens over the long term. Based in the latest study available (for the year 2010), these are the Top 7 Countries With Highest Prosperity Index:

1. Norway


Economy: 1

Entrepreneurship & Opportunity:6

Governance: 12

Education: 4

Health: 4

Safety & Security: 2

Personal Freedom: 2

Social Capital: 1

2. Denmark


Economy: 4

Entrepreneurship & Opportunity: 1

Governance: 2

Education: 5

Health: 17

Safety & Security: 6

Personal Freedom: 6

Social Capital: 2

3. Finland


Economy: 9

Entrepreneurship & Opportunity: 4

Governance: 7

Education: 3

Health: 10

Safety & Security: 3

Personal Freedom: 12

Social Capital: 7

4. Australia


Economy: 8

Entrepreneurship & Opportunity: 13

Governance: 8

Education: 2

Health: 15

Safety & Security: 13

Personal Freedom: 4

Social Capital: 4

5. New Zealand


Economy: 17

Entrepreneurship & Opportunity: 14

Governance: 4

Education: 1

Health: 19

Safety & Security: 7

Personal Freedom: 3

Social Capital: 3

6. Sweden


Economy: 7

Entrepreneurship & Opportunity: 2

Governance: 6

Education: 10

Health: 9

Safety & Security: 8

Personal Freedom: 5

Social Capital: 11

7. Canada


Economy: 5

Entrepreneurship & Opportunity: 10

Governance: 5

Education: 12

Health: 11

Safety & Security: 16

Personal Freedom: 1

Social Capital: 8

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Top 7 Oil Producers

Since last month we all follow what happened in Egypt, ending last week with the resignation of Hosni Mubarak as president of the Country for the last 30 years. Unfortunately, one of the first consequences of these type of acts is the rise of oil prices, in this case because Egypt is strategically located close to the top oil producing countries. This brought me an opportunity to work in a post regarding the top oil producers. After I started this investigation, the information I found was very interesting because there is a slight difference in the raking for the Largest Oil Producing Countries and the  Countries With Largest Oil Reserves,  and I also found interesting the ranking about the oil consumption, so for this post I will try to show the most accurate information I found about these rankings. Measures are made by bbl (oil barrel= 42 US gallons; 158.9873 l):

1. Russia

Production: 10 120 000 bbl/day (2010)

Oil reserves: 60 000 000 000 bbl (2010)

Ranking: 8

Reserve life (years): 17 (reserve to production ratio)

Consumption: 2 916 000 bbl/day

Ranking: 5

Population: 140 000 000

bbl/year per capita: 7.6

2. Saudi Arabia

Production: 9 764 000 bbl/day (2009)

Oil reserves: 266 800 000 000 bbl (2010)

Ranking: 1

Reserve life (years): 127.5

Consumption: 2 376 000 bbl/day

Ranking: 8

Population: 25 000 000

bbl/year per capita: 33.7

3. United States of America

Production: 9 056 000 bbl/day (2009)

Oil reserves: 21 000 000 000 bbl (2010)

Ranking: 12

Reserve life (years): 8

Consumption: 19 497 950 00 bbl/day

Ranking: 1

Population: 314 000 000

bbl/year per capita: 22.6

4. Iran

Production: 4 172 000 bbl/day (2009)

Oil reserves: 138 000 000 000 bbl (2010)

Ranking:  4

Reserve life (years): 95

Consumption: 1 741 000 bbl/day

Ranking: 13

Population: 74 000 000

bbl/year per capita: 8.6

5. China

Production: 3 991 000 bbl/day (2009)

Oil reserves: 16 000 000 000 bbl (2010)

Ranking: 13

Reserve life (years): 11

Consumption: 7 831 000 bbl/day

Ranking: 2

Population: 1 345 000 000

bbl/year per capita: 2.1

6. Canada

Production: 3 289 000 bbl/day (2009)

Oil reserves: 179 000 000 bbl (2010)

Ranking: 3

Reserve life (years): 188

Consumption: 2 261 360 000 bbl/day

Population: 33 000 000

bbl/year per capita: 24.6

7. Mexico

Production: 3 001 000 bbl/day (2009)

Oil reserves: 12 000 000 000 bbl (2010)

Ranking: 17

Reserve life (years): 9

Population: 109 000 000

bbl/year per capita: 7.1

Source: CIA, Wikipedia, Aneki
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Top 7 Property Markets

Real estate markets worldwide are stabilizing and showing signs of tentative recovery, according to a recent report from London-based global property consultancy Knight Frank. Unlike during the first quarter of this year, when many countries continued to suffer double-digit declines in average home prices, the second quarter saw upticks in half of the countries tracked by Knight Frank, compared with the previous three months. (Year-over-year prices are still down across the board.) Among the remaining countries, none saw a decline of greater than 10%.

The strongest region was the Nordic countries, where prices rose 5.3% in Norway, 3.9% in Finland, and 3.6% in Sweden. The U.S. also saw a rebound, with a 1.7% quarterly increase in average prices. The worst-hit places? Dubai and Bulgaria, where residential property prices fell 7.5% and 9.7%, respectively.

Which countries around the world saw the greatest price increases? Check the list…

1. Norway

Quarterly Price Change: 5.3% (Change in average price, second quarter 2009 vs. first quarter 2009)

Annual Rank: 11

Annual Price Change: -1.5% (change in average price, second quarter 2009 vs. second quarter 2008)

There has been a sharp slowdown in the number of houses under construction in Norway, with new starts falling to their lowest levels since 2000. Given the country’s tight housing supply, prices have been pushed up. Norway posted a strong quarterly gain in the second quarter of 2009, up 5.3% from the second quarter of 2008, marking the country’s second successive quarterly increase after a 4.1% hike in the first three months of the year. Real estate taxes have also remained relatively low in this oil-rich country.

2. Australia

Quarterly Price Change: 4.2%

Annual Rank: 10

Annual Price Change: -1.4%

Home prices have bounced back in Australia since the start of this year thanks to a commodities boom that has fueled strong demand for exports to Asia. But price growth in Sydney’s residential market remains relatively lackluster, compared with other state capitals. Over the past year, the country’s financial capital has witnessed softening demand in its commercial real estate sector and increased numbers of tenants subleasing space.

3. Israel

Quarterly Price Change: 4.0%

Annual Rank: 1

Annual Price Change: 12.5%

Israel remains the best performer worldwide on an annual basis and is the only country to have recorded double-digit growth over the past year despite the onset of the financial crisis. Housing prices were driven up thanks to a steady stream of foreign investment by wealthy individuals, particularly Americans, who have strong ties to the country and remain keen to invest there.

4. Finland

Quarterly Price Change: 3.9%

Annual Rank: 15

Annual Price Change: -2.9%

Finland is among the other Nordic countries holding up relatively well despite the economic recession, as prices didn’t increase to the same extent as other areas during the property boom. Housing prices in Finland increased in the second quarter of 2009, up 3.9% from the first quarter.

5. Sweden

Quarterly Price Change: 3.6%

Annual Rank: 13

Annual Price Change: -2.0%

There has been a sharp slowdown in the number of houses under construction, keeping housing supply down and prices up. In Sweden, construction started on 45% fewer houses in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. The country’s real estate market has been recovering well, as prices didn’t skyrocket out of proportion compared to other European countries during the property boom.

6. Netherlands

Quarterly Price Change: 2.7%

Annual Rank: 24

Annual Price Change: -10.3%

Though the overall office vacancy rate remains high in the Amsterdam market, availability is limited in prime central markets. Vacancy rates in sought-after areas like central Amsterdam and South Axis were below 5% at the end of 2008. The country’s small supply pipeline will likely keep vacancy rates in check and prices firmer.

7. Switzerland

Quarterly Price Change: 2.1%

Annual Rank: 2

Annual Price Change: 6.1%

Switzerland was less harmed by the economic recession than many of its European neighbors. With demand from domestic and international buyers outstripping the country’s relatively constrained housing supply, real estate prices mounted.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
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Top 7 Most Expensive Cities in the World in 2010

If you think $43 is too much to pay for lunch, you shouldn’t live in Oslo. According to “ECA International”, a global human resources company, that’s how much an average lunch costs in Norway’s capital. But Oslo is only the second-most expensive city on ECA’s ranking of 399 global locations. And while the price of an average lunch in Tokyo is a comparatively modest $17.86, other costs, such as a $22 movie ticket and an $8.47 kilo of rice, earn it the dubious honor as the world’s most expensive city.

ECA’s ranking is based on a basket of 128 goods that includes food, daily goods, clothing, electronics, and entertainment, but not rent, utilities, and school fees, which are not typically included in a cost-of-living adjustment. ECA researchers and local partners gathered prices in September 2009 and March 2010 for domestic and imported brands that are internationally recognized—such as Kellogg’s cereal or Sapporo beer. While lower-priced goods and services are available in these markets, the study estimated the cost of supporting the standard of living expected by expatriate employees, says Lee Quane, ECA’s regional director for Asia. Some of the cities, such as Seoul and Stockholm, jumped up in the ranking as the local currency strengthened against the U.S. dollar. Quane says that while a slowdown in business may tempt employers to scale back compensation, “recessions only last so long” and retaining top talent in these places is critical to companies’ success when the global economy recovers.

1. Tokyo, Japan

Rank in 2009: 2

FOOD: Lunch at a restaurant: $18

Can of beer from grocer: $3.37

One kg of rice: $8.47

One dozen eggs: $3.78

ENTERTAINMENT: Movie ticket: $22

APPLIANCES: Washing machine: $879

The strength of the yen has brought Tokyo back to the No. 1 spot on ECA International’s ranking for the first time since 2005. In addition to the costs above, rent for a two-bedroom apartment for expats is typically more than $5,000 per month in Tokyo, according to data from EuroCost International. While visitors need more pocket money here than in any other city, the monthly consumer price index in Tokyo’s wards has actually dropped year-on-year for 14 straight months as of May 2010, based on figures from Japan’s statistics bureau.

2. Oslo, Norway

Rank in 2009: 8

FOOD: Lunch at a restaurant: $43

Can of beer from grocer: $4.71

One kg of rice: $5.66

One dozen eggs: $6.72

ENTERTAINMENT: Movie ticket: $16

APPLIANCES: Washing machine: $880

Oslo rose above Copenhagen as the most expensive city in Europe when the kroner strengthened against other currencies. ECA International says an upward trend in oil prices, a short recession, and Norway’s reputation as a safe haven for investors contributed to the kroner’s rise.

3. Luanda, Angola

Rank in 2009: 1

FOOD: Lunch at a restaurant: $47

Can of beer from grocer: $1.62

One kg of rice: $4.73

One dozen eggs: $4.75

ENTERTAINMENT: Movie ticket: $13

APPLIANCES: Washing machine: $912

Angola’s capital slipped to third place this year as the kwanza depreciated. Prices in Luanda have actually increased in the past year, but currency changes offset any inflation, according to ECA International. In addition to everyday goods, EuroCost International estimates that the average expat pays more than $3,500 per month for a two-bedroom flat in Luanda.

4. Nagoya, Japan

Rank in 2009: 3

FOOD: Lunch at a restaurant: $19

Can of beer from grocer: $3.08

One kg of rice: $9.14

One dozen eggs: $3.33

ENTERTAINMENT: Movie ticket: $20

APPLIANCES: Washing machine: $621

Japan’s fourth most populous city, Nagoya is also among the country’s most expensive. The city ranks No. 1 for the cost of rice: $9.14 per kilogram, according to ECA International data. As Japan’s auto hub, the Nagoya area is an important center of business: about 44 percent of automobiles produced in Japan are made here, according to the Greater Nagoya Initiative Center. Such companies as Toyota, Honda, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, and General Motors have headquarters, manufacturing operations, or distribution points in the Nagoya

5. Yokohama, Japan

Rank in 2009: 4

FOOD: Lunch at a restaurant: $17.39

Can of beer from grocer: $3.26

One kg of rice: $6.54

One dozen eggs: $3.72

ENTERTAINMENT: Movie ticket: $19.50

APPLIANCES: Washing machine: $630

About half an hour by commuter train from Tokyo, this port city has active shipping, biotechnology, and semiconductor industries. Yokohama is one of the world’s most expensive cities, but companies here enjoy lower operating costs compared with the nearby capital. Nissan opened a new headquarters in Yokohama this year and reportedly will sell its office in Tokyo to cut costs.

6. Stavanger, Norway

Rank in 2009: 14

FOOD: Lunch at a restaurant: $33

Can of beer from grocer: $4.76

One kg of rice: $5.71

One dozen eggs: $6.34

ENTERTAINMENT: Movie ticket: $15.50

APPLIANCES: Washing machine: $749

This small seaside city earned its riches from oil in the North Sea and has become known as Norway’s petroleum capital. says food expenses in Norway are about 50 percent higher than the EU average: A can of soda is about $2.80, and a beer at a bar can be $12.

7. Kobe, Japan

Rank in 2009: 6

FOOD: Lunch at a restaurant: $16

Can of beer from grocer: $3.09

One kg of rice: $8.57

One dozen eggs: $2.81

ENTERTAINMENT: Movie ticket: $20

APPLIANCES: Washing machine: $470

The city has one of Japan’s largest ports and has become home to many heavy machinery, iron and steel, and food product companies. According to the Japan External Trade Organization, 117 foreign and foreign-affiliated companies have offices in Kobe. As the price of Kobe beef, the style of high-grade meat named after the city, suggests, food is costly here, as are other living expenses.

Source: ECA International
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