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Sep 29, 2011

Stocks & Markets in The News: China September PMI points to flat activity

Five lessons from Gasp’s customer complaint disaster, House prices slip again, Google’s new analytics tool, EFTPOS owner slammed by Federal Court: Smartcompany News & Analysis:

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Today on SmartCompany we extract five lessons from the unfortunate response by clothing retailer Gasp to a customer complaint, look at the latest Google Analytics gadget that webmasters will love and ask why electronic payments group ePal has been slammed by the Federal Court. Plus in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson looks ahead to this weekend’s footy Grand Final with a lesson from the AFL.

For all this and more, head to our home page.

How I
How I rescued Hire a Box from administration
Brett Epstein took a big punt when he bought Hire A Box out of administration, but his move is starting to pay off. BY PATRICK STAFFORD.
How I

Marketing Strategies
How customers adopt innovation
It is important that we understand how customers perceive risk in innovations and address that in our marketing messages. BY TOM MCKASKILL.

Aunty B
I’ve sacked my manager for stealing. Should I go to the police?
The right thing to do is to collect the evidence and take it to your accountant. Once you're sure you can prove the theft, head to the cops.
Aunty B

Online sales
Chris Thomas

Tracking phone calls that come through as a result of people visiting your website is getting easier.
Chris Thomas

Selling strategies
Trent Leyshan

Never, ever, doubt yourself under pressure against a more successful rival. They have more to lose than you.
Trent Leyshan

The Futurist
Colin Benjamin

Despite all the talk of gloom and doom all the fundamentals are sound.
Colin Benjamin

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson

One player’s decision to rule himself out of tomorrow’s AFL Grand Final poses an interesting question for entrepreneurs.
James Thomson

The Economist Business This Week: Highlights of news coverage from 24th - 30th September 2011

The EconomistBusiness this week
» The European Commission unveiled proposals for a levy on financial transactions, to take effect in 2014 and ensure what it calls "a fair contribution" by the financial sector at a time of fiscal consolidation. The commission hopes that the proposed rates, of 0.1% for stock and bond trades and 0.01% for derivatives contracts, would raise €55 billion ($75 billion) a year. Opponents of the so-called Tobin tax fret that it will lead to greater market volatility and drive securities trading out of Europe. See article
» Markets continued to gyrate amid fears of a euro-zone meltdown and rumours of a political solution. Metals in particular experienced some of the biggest moves in decades. Silver plummeted to a seven-month low, before rallying slightly. Gold plunged to its lowest level since the beginning of August; it then rebounded, only to fall again. Industrial metals, like copper and zinc, also saw considerable swings.
» The board of LcH.Clearnet agreed to a €500m ($680m) offer by the London Stock Exchange for a majority stake in the clearing-house. LSE outbid Markit, a financial-information firm, to clinch the deal, making up for a failed merger with TMX, a Canadian bourse, earlier this year.
» Oswald Grübel stepped down as boss of UBS. The decision follows allegations that a rogue trader at the Swiss bank recorded a loss of perhaps $2.3 billion. Mr Grübel received unanimous backing from the board to remain as chief executive after that incident, but then reportedly fell out with its members over strategy.
» Berkshire Hathaway's slumping share price soared after its board decided to buy back some of the firm's own stock. The move is a rare one for Berkshire and signals that Warren Buffett, the venerated billionaire investor at its helm, believes it is undervalued.

Come fly with me, finally
» After years of delays, Boeing at last dispatched the first of its new 787 Dreamliners to All Nippon Airways. The aircraft-maker said it plans nearly to double production of the fuel-efficient, wide-body jet over the next six months and expects to break even by the end of the decade.
» Meanwhile the International Air Transport Association, a trade group, dismissed as "misguided" the European Union's latest plan to cap airlines' carbon emissions. Analysts reckon that the EU proposal could cost the industry, already struggling with high fuel costs, in excess of $1 billion next year alone.
» American house prices rose for a fourth consecutive month in July, according to Standard & Poor's Case-Schiller index. However, they are still lower than a year ago. With sales of new homes hitting a six-month low in August, after falling for the fourth time in as many months, a robust recovery in the housing market remains a distant prospect.
» BAE Systems, a British defence company, said it will have to shave nearly 3,000 jobs across Britain in order to remain competitive. As austerity measures, including cuts in defence spending, begin to bite, orders for its flagship Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft have waned."

Back in Africa
» Eni resumed oil production in Libya for the first time since it fled the fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi. The Italian oil giant, Libya's biggest producer, is hoping to restart exporting Libyan crude in October. The company's shares rose on the news.
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» In a move that is likely to delay its long-awaited initial public offering yet again, Groupon, an online-coupon website, cut its sales figures by more than half, from $1.52 billion in the first half of 2011 to $688m. The firm cited an "error in presentation" in previous filings as the reason for the change in the latest submission. It had wrongly taken its sales to include the amount it has to pay to merchants when its coupons are redeemed.
» As many had expected, Hewlett-Packard's board appointed Meg Whitman, the former boss of eBay, an online-auction site, as the computer firm's new CEO. Investors did not take kindly to the news: HP's share price dropped by 5% after the announcement. See article
» Tumblr, a fast-growing multimedia blogging site, has raised $85m in new funding, which values the company at $800m. The deal indicates that in spite of the current hiatus in initial public offerings of technology firms, the social-media boom continues apace.

On fire
» Jeff Bezos, the boss of Amazon, unveiled the company's much-anticipated rival to the iPad. The Kindle Fire will sport a seven-inch display, making it about two-thirds the size of Apple's popular tablet computer. At $199 it will cost about half as much. See article

Amazon's tablet won't set Oz on fire: PiNG - The Australian IT

Amazon's tablet won't set Oz on fire
Chris Griffith AMAZON'S long-awaited "Kindle Fire" tablet computer was showcased in the US yesterday and hailed as an iPad killer.
SAP cloud a 'work in progress'
Andrew Colley SAP has launched its enterprise applications into Telstra's cloud but says the licensing terms are still a work in progress.
HP pays Apotheker $US7.2m
HEWLETT-PACKARD disclosed it agreed to pay ousted CEO Leo Apotheker $US7.2 million ($7.36m) in severance.
New HP boss to work for $US1
Shira Ovide NEW Hewlett-Packard boss Meg Whitman is to take a base salary of $US1, while its ex-CEO is to receive $US7.2m in severance.
Consumers face charge to use Eftpos
Natasha Bita, Consumer editor SHOPS are set to start slugging customers to use Eftpos under changes to the electronic payment system.
Smartphone app 'improves' eyesight
A NEW smartphone app called GlassesOff could delay the need for reading glasses in older people, researchers said.
Morning is world's happy time: Twitter
PEOPLE around the world are happiest in the morning, according to a US study of hundreds of millions of messages on Twitter.
Nokia to slash 3500 jobs
Arild Moen NOKIA will cut 3500 manufacturing jobs, in addition to the 6800 research and development job cuts announced earlier this year.
Asia's IT industry robust: study
ASIAN economies are closing the gap on the West in terms of their IT competitiveness, an Economist Intelligence Unit study showed.
Net retailers push clothes offers
Teresa Ooi MANY online retailers are planning to ramp up their apparel offering to Australian shoppers to boost sales.
Holocentric seeks to double headcount
Paul Broekhuyse SYDNEY-based Holocentric has lured two senior consultants to its Canberra offices.
Prodigal son returns to HP
Paul Broekhuyse MIKE Jamieson has been appointed national retail sales manager for inkjet and web solutions at HP Australia.
Mystery buyer targets CSG
Andrew Colley A mystery buyer has put up a $340 million offer for Darwin-headquartered managed IT services specialist CSG.
Android tablets outpace iPad growth
Stuart Kennedy GOOGLE Android based tablets are starting to sneak up on Apple's dominant market share with local Android shipments tripling.
SAP awards Telstra cloud certification
Andrew Colley TELSTRA is set to make an assault on the enterprise software market after winning SAP's approval for its cloud infrastructure.
Sony did not breach privacy: report
Chris Griffith SONY did not breach the Privacy Act when it fell victim to a cyber-attack, Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has found.
Click here for all headlines

King's ransom may hit $31m: The Australian Business Briefing

King's ransom may hit $31m
Blair Speedy FORMER Leighton chief Wal King has walked away with $15m and could double it to $31m.
Macquarie aviation play heats up
Marietta Cauchi RBS is set to select second-round bidders for its aircraft-leasing business, with a Macquarie consortium still in the hunt.
BofA to charge monthly card fee
Andrew R. Johnson BANK of America plans to charge a $US5 monthly fee for its debit-card users to help recover lost revenue from new regulations.
New super rules to lift costs
Andrew Main HANDING regulator APRA tougher prudential powers over superannuation looks set to add to compliance costs in the short term.
Nokia to slash 3500 jobs
Arild Moen NOKIA will cut 3500 manufacturing jobs, in addition to the 6800 research and development job cuts announced earlier this year.
Santos expects gas price leap
Matt Chambers AUSTRALIA'S biggest domestic gas supplier, Santos, has given its most bullish prognosis yet for east coast gas prices.
'We are lagging behind in China'
Michael Sainsbury AUSTRALIAN business leaders in China say the government's planned white paper on Asia is long overdue.
Financial Markets
Copper takes a breather
Matt Day COPPER futures ended nearly flat as traders took a breather on upbeat US data and a brief rally in equities
Oil ekes gain in wild session
Gold shrugs off Europe progress
Financial Markets Coverage
Mining & Energy
Copper takes a breather
Matt Day COPPER futures ended nearly flat as traders took a breather on upbeat US data and a brief rally in equities
Oil ekes gain in wild session
Gold shrugs off Europe progress
More Mining & Energy