By Satish Kanady I The Peninsula
The Qatari stocks are projected to maintain their earnings growth momentum in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4, 18). QNB Financial Services (QNBFS) expects Qatari stocks under its coverage to maintain their earnings growth momentum in the fourth quarter with a +18.3 percent year-on-year increase, despite some sequential softness.

Industries Qatar (IQ), Doha Bank and Vodafone Qatar are estimated to contribute positively to the YoY net income growth of stocks under its coverage. QNBFS in its ‘QSE Q4 Earnings Preview’ noted the Qatari Index has made a strong comeback in 2018 rising 36.0 percent and 43.0 percent on a total return or TR basis from its lows reached on November 30, 2017.

It also surpassed modestly its pre-embargo level on a price basis while gaining 11.2 percent in TR terms. Increased foreign ownership limit (FOL) and the resultant foreign flows led by QNB & QIB and higher average oil prices have been the primary catalysts driving the index to be the top GCC performer in 2018.

Going forward, the analysts believe, Qatari stocks may need positive earnings and dividends surprises to carry the rally into 2019 in the short-term. Longer-term, QNBFS remains bullish on the Qatari stock market given attractive fundamental drivers and a significant spending program that should provide tailwinds for growth.

According to QNBFS research note, the QSE equities offer attractive dividend yields vs. the region. Doha Bank offers one of the best yields (9.0 percent) in the region even with an estimated dividend cut to QR2.0 per share vs QR3.0 per share in 2017. Moreover, Al Khalij is yielding 6.4 percent, International Islamic (5.9 percent), GISS (5.8 percent), Nakilat (5.7 percent) and IQ (5.1 percent).

The banks under the QNBFS’ coverage, excluding QNB, are estimated to experience a YoY increase of 17.5 percent largely due to a base effect stemming from Doha Bank.

Excluding Doha Bank, the profitability is expected to increase by 11.1 percent, while the QoQ drop (12.5 percent) is generally driven by higher provisions. Doha Bank is expected to contribute positively to the YoY profitability performance based on QNBFS figures.

The analysts expect Doha Bank’s bottom-line to surge in Q4 2018 due to halving of its provisions as the bank booked large provisions in Q4 2017, largest in Doha Bank’s operating history. QNBFS expects Commercial Bank of Qatar to continue its positive performance as the bank has made a successful turnaround and significantly lowered provisions while trimming opex.

A YoY jump of 19.2 percent is expected in the bottom-line of diversified non-financials under coverage, while forecasting a marginal decline of 1.8 percent QoQ. Industries Qatar (IQ) is expected to record a significant growth in net income on a YoY basis followed by Vodafone Qatar. Regarding IQ, strength in urea prices should boost 4Q2018 results.

QNBFS cautioned that estimates can be impacted by one-offs, greater or lower provisions for banks and investment income/capital gains (losses). Volatile oil prices and geo-political tensions remains a substantial risk to regional equities and have a direct impact on stocks under coverage.

New York (CNN Business)The Federal Reserve’s rate hikes steal all the headlines. But behind the scenes, the Fed is conducting a $4.5 trillion experiment. And it’s unsettling global financial markets.

To revive the economy and the market, the Fed in 2008 took the unprecedented step of gobbling up vast amounts of government bonds and mortgage securities. The program, known as quantitative easing, was aimed at lowering long-term borrowing costs. Foreign central banks joined in as well.
Although economists debate the impact on the real economy, QE acted like a turbo booster for the stock market.

In October 2017, the Fed decided the economy was finally healthy enough to start shrinking its $4.5 trillion balance sheet. So-called quantitative tightening accelerated to $50 billion a month in the fourth quarter of 2018 — precisely when market volatility spiked.

Many market watchers believe that the balance sheet shrinkage — it’s down $500 billion from the peak — has at a minimum contributed to turbulence in financial markets.

“Once the Fed started quantitative tightening, the global stock market tipped over right on schedule,” legendary investor Jeff Gundlach said on Tuesday during a webcast.
“There is an eerie correlation,” said Gundlach, the founder of investment firm DoubleLine Capital.

Even Trump tweeted about QT

Global central banks, including the Fed, collectively purchased $9.1 trillion of assets between 2010 and 2017, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch. That phenomenon encouraged investors to plow money into credit funds, lowering borrowing costs and juicing stock prices.
But that powerful trend reversed in 2018, with global central bank balance sheets shrinking for the first time since the crisis, Bank of America said. Not surprisingly, it was the US stock market’s worst year in a decade.
And it’s no coincidence that the junk bond market has shut down. December marked the first month without a US high-yield bond being issued since November 2008, according to Dealogic.

“We strongly believe liquidity & credit [are the] ‘glue’ for bull market,” Michael Hartnett, Bank of America’s chief investment strategist, wrote to clients in a late December report.

Even President Donald Trump has vented about QT. “Don’t let the market become any more illiquid than it already is,” Trump tweeted to the Fed on December 18. “Stop with the 50 B’s. Feel the market, don’t just go by meaningless numbers.”

Fed tops list of fears

The recent market mayhem wasn’t principally driven by the Fed’s shrinking balance sheet.

The wave of selling on Wall Street was set off by fears of a recession, concerns about the US-China trade war and worries the Fed was raising rates more quickly than the economy could handle. Improvement on all three fronts have since unleashed a huge comeback in the stock market.
“If you rounded up all the obvious suspects to explain the selloff, I’d say the No. 1 suspect would be the Fed,” said Ed Yardeni, president of investment advisory Yardeni Research.

In hindsight, Yardeni said that the Fed added to investor angst by trying to simultaneously raise rates while significantly shrinking the balance sheet.
“Doing both backfired on them — and forced them to pause on raising rates,” he said.

Of course, some think the focus on the balance sheet is misplaced — especially because the real economy looked solid in recent months.
“We got spoiled with no volatility and the market going up. Now we’re seeking answers,” said Andres Garcia-Amaya, global market strategist at Zoe Financial, an independent wealth management firm.

Powell did a ‘full capitulation’

Still, Wall Street has clearly become much more sensitive to news about QE.
Consider how markets became unhinged on December 19 during Fed chief Jerome Powell’s press conference. In particular, investors got fixated on Powell’s comment that the balance sheet runoff would continue on “autopilot.” The Dow closed down 352 points that day, wiping out an early rally of as much as 382 points.

It became such a big issue that Powell later walked back his comments. On January 4, Powell pledged patience and flexibility. He even opened the door to tweaking the balance sheet strategy — if warranted.

“We don’t believe that our issuance is an important part of the story of the market turbulence that began in the fourth quarter of last year,” Powell said. “But, I’ll say again, if we reached a different conclusion, we wouldn’t hesitate to make a change.”

Why the Dow has spiked 2,000 points since Christmas Eve
Powell’s soothing words, along with a blockbuster jobs report, helped carry the Dow 747 points higher that day.

“Jay Powell did a full capitulation,” Gundlach said. “The markets have been throwing a party since then.”
The Dow has spiked more than 2,100 points, or nearly 10%, since Christmas Eve.

Vicious circle

Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, said it’s all part of a vicious circle between markets and the Fed after a decade of ultra-easy money.

“Fed tightens, markets have a hissy fit as any child does, financial conditions cramp up, the Fed then backs off,” Boockvar wrote in a note on Wednesday. “Market then rallies, financial conditions ease and the Fed is back in the game.”

Still, it’s sensible policy for the Fed to try to shrink its holdings. Historically low rates and a huge balance sheet give the central bank limited ammo to fight the next recession, which investors increasingly fear is around the corner.
The market’s sensitivity to the Fed’s balance sheet is a fresh reminder that this is all a grand experiment. No one really knows how it will turn out.

Global shipments of personal computers including notebooks and workstations fell by 3.7% in the last three months of 2018 compared with a year earlier, hurt in part by the rise in U.S.-China economic tensions, research firm IDC said in a statement today.

“The ongoing economic tensions between China and the United States continue to create a lot of uncertainty in the business environment in China,” Maciek Gornicki, research manager with IDC’s Asia/Pacific Client Devices Group said.

“As demand for Chinese products in the U.S. drops, this particularly impacts businesses of all sizes from the manufacturing sector in China, which, in turn, translates into a drop in IT purchases by these companies,” he said. “As a result,” Gornicki continued, “the PC market in China is expected to suffer bigger declines throughout the year.”

Aggressive industry stocking in the third quarter also influenced fourth-quarter business, IDC said.

China-headquartered Lenovo nevertheless ranked No. 1 in the fourth quarter, with shipments of 16.8 million PCs.  That was an increase of 1.3% from a year earlier, and represented 24.6% of the global market, IDC said. Following Lenovo were HP, Dell, Apple and Acer.

Doha: Qatar Chamber (QC) hosted yesterday a joint meeting with an industrial, business delegation from Kuwait headed by Director-General of the Public Authority for Industry (PAI) Abdel Kareem Taqi Abdel Kareem.

The meeting was chaired by First Vice-Chairman Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari in the presence of QC several board member including Ali Abdullatif Al Misned, Mohamed bin Ahmed Al Obaidli, Abdulrahman Al Ansari, Abdulrahman Abdul Jaleel Abdul Ghani as well as the Director-General Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi.

A number of leading businessmen from both sides and representatives of 20 Kuwaiti manufacturing companies attended the event. Officials from General Authority of Customs and QDB were also present.

The meeting touched on enhancing cooperation relations between both sides in all trade and industrial sectors, strengthening cooperation between businessmen, and combating all obstacles that face bilateral trade and investment.

It also reviewed the possibility of setting Qatari-Kuwaiti business council to boost private sector relations, opening an office for the PAI in Qatar and holding permanent exhibition for Kuwait products in Qatar as well as a joint exhibition for both sides’ products to be held in different countries.

First Vice-Chairman Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari said that relations between Qatar and Kuwait have significantly developed over the past few years under the wise leaderships of both countries.

Twar noted that the Chamber organised a businessmen visit to Kuwait last year where investment opportunities and cooperation relations aere reviewed. There is a strong wish of both sides to push forward relations to higher levels, he said and added: “Qatar-Kuwait Business Forum held in Kuwait contributed to expanding cooperation ties between both countries’ business sectors. It helped in setting up more joint ventures that will accordingly increase trade between them.”

Twar praised the role played by the Kuwaiti private sector during the siege, affirming that it helped its Qatari counterpart to overcome the siege through providing the Qatari market with needed goods and commodities.
He said that number of Kuwaiti companies operating in Qatar with 100 percent ownership reached 194 companies, while number of Qatari-Kuwaiti joint companies reached 332 companies, with a total number of 526 companies in 2018, registering a growth of 34% compared to 393 companies in 2017.

In his part, Director-General of the Public Authority for Industry (PAI) Abdel Kareem Taqi Abdel Kareem said that the Kuwaiti side is keenly interested to enhance cooperation relation with the Qatari party, noting that the delegation is headed by the government sector to assure that the private sector is a real partner in the economic development.

Abdel Kareem said that the historic relations between both countries urge both sides to increase their trade and strengthen cooperation in industrial sector which is backbone of any developed economy.

He praised Qatari businessmen’s interest to cooperate with their Kuwaiti counterpart, noting that they have a real desire to set up joint firms and factories for the benefit of both countries’ economies.

QC Board Member Ali Abdullatif Al Misned thanked Kuwait for its positive stance during the siege, noting that Qatar sought to attract more foreign investments, especially in the light of legislative reforms and laws recently issued such as Free Zones Laws.

Qatar’s budget for 2019 allocated QR212bn for infrastructure projects, he added, saying that this would pave the way for more partnerships and cooperation between both parties.

He suggested setting up a joint business council that helps ease procedures and boost communication and cooperation between businessmen from both brotherly countries. He also suggested establishing a representative office for the PAI in Qatar Chamber venue to link both sides’ manufacturers.

QC Board Member Abdul Rahman Al Ansari eluded Kuwaiti stance during the siege, noting that both sides have the desire to develop industry sector and increasing its contribution in the economy. There are many cooperation fields between both countries businessmen in new industries needed by each market, he added.

QC Director-General Saleh bin Hamad Al Sharqi said that both chambers continually communicate, noting that all issues revealed today will be discussed with the aim to remove all obstacles that face joint investment and ease procedures that ensure increasing trade between Qatar and Kuwait.

Deputy Director of Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry Hamad Garrah Al Omr said that Kuwaiti businessmen are eager to expand their cooperation with Qataris, find local agents for their products in the Qatari market and take part in tenders offered in Qatar.

He noted that the delegation comprised of several companies specialized in food and building material industries and other various industries.

He expressed Kuwait Chamber’s preparedness to provide Qatari businessmen with all data and information about business environment and investment opportunities available in Kuwait.

Qatar General Authority of Customs representative expressed the authority readiness to cooperate with the Kuwaiti side in order to streamline trade between both countries, while representative of QDB affirmed the bank’s readiness to provide finance for Qatar-Kuwaiti joint ventures.

WELLESLEY, Mass.Jan. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-seven million Americans are starting or running new businesses, based on data reported in the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor United States Report: National Entrepreneurial Assessment for the United States of America released today by Babson College.

Other findings include:

  • Nearly 14% of the U.S. adult population is pursuing early stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA).
  • 86% of U.S. entrepreneurial activity is motivated by opportunity.
  • Approximately one-third of U.S. startup entrepreneurs are non-White-Caucasian ethnicities.
  • Technology drives entrepreneurship. The rate of total entrepreneurial activity firms that compete within the technology sector with technology as a primary driver of business has grown from 0% in 2010 to 10% in 2017.
  • Information Technology and Finance make up over 18% of opportunities pursued by U.S. entrepreneurs.
  • For both men and women entrepreneurs in the United States, the rate of profitability increased dramatically between 2015 and 2016 by more than 25%. However, in 2017 the rate of profitability declined for both men and women although the decline for men was greater, 21% for men vs. 9% for women. This represents a narrowing of the gender gap to less than 5%, suggesting women are performing almost as well as their male counterparts.
  • 36% of U.S. entrepreneurs are developing and delivering an innovative product or service as their base offering.
  • U.S. entrepreneurs aged 35-44 are the most entrepreneurially active.
  • 20% of U.S. entrepreneurs expected to employ 20 or more people in their new ventures.
  • Over 50% of adults across the entire spectrum of age groups in the United States perceive opportunity.
  • 7.6% of working-age adults in the United States start a new business for their employers.
  • 30% of U.S. entrepreneurs exit a business to pursue another opportunity.
  • One-third of Americans state they personally know an entrepreneur.
  • 85% of established business owners in the United States expected to be profitable in the current year and 76% were employers.
  • Established business ownership activity levels are highest among those 55-64 in the United States, with substantial activity continuing among those 65-74.
  • African/African Americans are starting and running new businesses at the rate of 20%.

“Entrepreneurial activity has thrived,” said Babson Entrepreneurship Professor Julian Lange.  “As opposed to the years immediately following 2007 when the economic crisis began, almost all U.S. economic indices performed well throughout 2017. The markets responded with excitement and continuously closed at record highs. In addition, 2017 was a year of global growth that benefited the U.S. economy in return.”

In 1999, Babson College and the London Business School launched the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). GEM was the first and remains the only organization to measure annually the entrepreneurial ecosystem worldwide.  The latest GEM report is authored by Babson faculty Julian E. LangeAbdul AliCandida G. BrushAndrew C. CorbettDonna J. KelleyPhillip H. Kim, and Mahdi Majbouri.

Key Findings

Activity

U.S. entrepreneurship rates in 2017 continued the relatively high and stable rates reported over the past seven years. At nearly 14%, early stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) in the United States is 50% higher than the average of the 23 innovation-driven economies.

While most entrepreneurs globally cite opportunity rather than necessity as their main motivator even in less-developed economies, opportunity-driven entrepreneurship is more prevalent in the developed world. Across the 23 innovation-driven economies, 78% of entrepreneurs start businesses to pursue an opportunity. The United States tops this figure with 86% of entrepreneurial activity motivated by opportunity.

The TEA rate of all non-White-Caucasian ethnicities together adds up to approximately one-third of entrepreneurs in the United States. From 2016 to 2017, the TEA rate of each of these groups – African/African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, and Others – increased by 1% or 2%. Although the majority ethnicity involved in TEA in the United States remains the White Caucasian population, there was a decrease in the TEA rate from 2016 to 2017 for this ethnicity from 69% to 64%.

In the United States, 7.6% of working-age adults start a new business for their employers, demonstrating that entrepreneurs can have a broad impact in the United States operating across many domains.

The most common reason why U.S. entrepreneurs exit a business is to pursue another opportunity (30% for the United States vs. 12% for the average of the 23 innovation-driven economies). This circumstance could reflect the high level of opportunities perceived in U.S. society, and a willingness of entrepreneurs to leave any one venture to pursue something that may represent a more promising opportunity.

Impact

Entrepreneurs in all innovation and service-based countries are moving toward knowledge and technology opportunities, and U.S. entrepreneurs exhibit this trend. Personal/Consumer, Professional and Administrative Services combined with Health, Education, and Government opportunities together account for 40% of all opportunities in the United States and 39% in the peer group of similar economies.

Wholesale/Retail still accounts for the highest proportion of TEA in the United States (21%), which is dramatically lower than the average of the 23 innovation-driven economies (31%).

As the developed world shifts toward a creativity economy that combines elements of the information and knowledge economy with today’s creative class, the United States continues to shift toward start-ups that rely on technology and creativity for competitive advantage. Information Technology and Finance make up over 18% of opportunities pursued by entrepreneurs in the United States, more than 7% higher than the 10.6% average of the 23 innovation-driven economies.

Technology drives entrepreneurship. The percent of nascent firms leveraging technology to produce an offering and/or to deliver a product or service has remained constant for several years at about 10%. The rate of TEA firms that compete within the technology sector with technology as a primary driver of business has grown from 0% in 2010 to 10% in 2017.

U. S. entrepreneurs are among the world’s leaders in offerings of new technology and innovation with 36% of entrepreneurs developing and delivering an innovative product or service as their base offering, compared with 31% on average for the 23 innovation-driven economies.

In 2017, almost 44% of U.S. entrepreneurs expected to employ six or more people in the next five years, the second highest rate in nearly two decades, and 85% of nascent entrepreneurs expected to create jobs for others. Additionally, 20% of entrepreneurs expected to employ 20 or more people in their new ventures.

With a large and willing national market, U.S. entrepreneurs are not “born global” as they do not necessarily need to pursue sales outside their own borders to break even. However, exports from U.S. entrepreneurs are rising. In 2016, only 10.4% of entrepreneurs expected 25% or more of their sales to come from customers living outside the United States. In 2017, this number increased to 17%.

Age

While intentions rates and TEA rates are strong overall by age group, one outlier is the 65-74 age group. For this age group, the intentions rate increased from 2016 to 2017 from 5.0% to 6.6%, but the TEA rate decreased from 4.0% to 2.1%. While the decrease in TEA rate may reflect a voluntary shift in this age group, it is possible that gains from the booming economy were not experienced equally by the oldest entrepreneurs.

The younger and older segments of the U.S. population display higher TEA rates relative to the average of the 23 innovation-driven economies.

When all forms and stages of entrepreneurship are taken into account (TEA, EEA, and Established Business Ownership), U.S. entrepreneurs aged 35-44 turn out to be the most entrepreneurially active. This age group also experiences the highest level of business discontinuation, with the primary reasons being pursuit of other opportunities (30.2%), personal reasons (21.1%), or bureaucracy (20.0%). In other countries, the biggest reason for discontinuation is unprofitability. In contrast, unprofitability and lack of finance together account for only 13% of U.S. exits compared to 38% on average for peer economies.

In 2017, necessity-driven entrepreneurship in the United States is highest among the 18-24 age group at 15%, perhaps because of fewer opportunities in the job market due to lack of credentials or experience. The next highest level of necessity-driven entrepreneurship is age 55-64 at 13%, followed by age 45-54 at 12%. Necessity-driven entrepreneurship in the 45-64 age group may indicate that age bias in the job market and/or lack of up-to-date technology skills have narrowed the options.

Over 50% of adults across the entire spectrum of age groups perceive opportunity. The 18-24 age group perceives itself less likely to have the skills necessary to take advantage of opportunities than other age groups. Among the 65-74 age group, skills confidence is lower than among some other age groups, but is still high at 49%. Adults age 25-44 who perceive opportunity are most likely to know an entrepreneur (39%). For those perceiving opportunity, the fear of failure rate vacillates in the relatively high range of 32% to 37% among those 18-54, and the oldest group 65-74 has the lowest fear of failure rate at 18%.

In every age category, the TEA rate for men is higher than the TEA rate for women, except for the 65-74 age group, where the TEA rate for men is 1% and the TEA rate for women is higher at 3%. Among those age 35-44, TEA rates are almost equal, 17% for men and 16% for women. The youngest group age 18-24 maintains a substantial gender gap, with fewer women at younger ages (7%) engaging in early stage entrepreneurial activity than men (15%). The biggest gender gap in early stage entrepreneurial activity is among those age 25-34 with women at 12% and men at 23%, resulting in an 11% gender gap.

Gender

TEA rates have risen for men and women entrepreneurs with a slight widening of the gender gap.  For early stage entrepreneurship, which combines nascent and new entrepreneurial activity, the rate for men is 16.7% in 2017. The rate for women is 10.7%, resulting in a gap of 6% between men and women.

The rate of perception of opportunity for women is 59% in 2017. This is the highest rate ever reflected in the U.S. GEM study and a 15% increase for women since 2015. Although the number of women perceiving opportunity has increased, the rate of perception of opportunity among men is rising even faster, with a current gender gap of 10%. This raises a question about the types of opportunities available. The top opportunities may be in areas less associated with female businesses.

There has been a distinct, persistent gap between men and women relative to their perceived capabilities to start a business. The rate of capability perception has fluctuated since 2011 from 61% to 65% for men and from 46% to 50% for women. This rate of capability perception is consistent with data from other innovation-driven economies.

Women have a greater fear of failure than men, following a trend consistent over the past several years. From 2016 to 2017, women’s perceived fear of failure rose but men’s declined, resulting in a 7% gender gap. This trend is consistent with greater perceived fear of failure for women in other innovation-driven economies.

The data for 2017 show a surprising increase in men’s entrepreneurial intentions from 13% to 19% with women’s entrepreneurial intentions remaining constant at 11% over the past two years, resulting in a gender gap of 8%, which is the highest in the history of the GEM study.

In 2017, only 3.9% of women started information and communications technology businesses, compared to 11.5% for men. Only 3.2% of women considered their businesses to be in medium or high technology sectors compared to 8.2% of men. However, women were almost as likely to use new technology in their businesses: 8.9% compared to 10.3% for men.

In 2015, 8.3% of women reported more than 25% of their sales from customers living outside the United States. In 2016, the percentage rose slightly to 8.6%. In 2017, it nearly doubled to 14.1%. For men, the figure was 14% in 2015, 11.3% in 2016, and 18.5% in 2017. While growth has not been steady in one direction, the overall trend shows more internationalization for start-up businesses.

In 2017, a slightly higher percentage of both men and women discontinued businesses in the past year: 4.7% for men and 3.3% for women. This represents about a 0.6% increase over the previous year for both men and women. The trend was consistently low for both men and women, but women showed an overall lower rate of discontinuance than men.

For both men and women entrepreneurs, the rate of profitability increased dramatically between 2015 and 2016 by more than 25%. However, in 2017 the rate of profitability declined for both men and women although the decline for men was greater, 21% for men vs. 9% for women. This represents a narrowing of the gender gap to less than 5%, suggesting women are performing almost as well as their male counterparts.

Established Business Ownership

The GEM 2017 survey shows that 85% of established business owners in the United States expected to be profitable in the current year and that 76% were employers, suggesting the value of start-ups that become ongoing businesses.

Established business ownership activity levels are highest among those 55-64 in the United States, with substantial activity continuing among those 65-74. This finding highlights the role of older Americans in established business ownership.

GEM reports that White Caucasian Americans are starting and running new businesses at the rate of 12% and running established businesses at the rate of 9%. African/African Americans are starting and running new businesses at the rate of 20% and running established businesses at the rate of 4%. Hispanic Americans are starting and running new businesses at the rate of 12% and running established businesses at the rate of 5%. Asian Americans are starting and running new businesses at the rate of 17% and running established businesses at the rate of 7%. Further study may be warranted to determine what factors influence patterns of each ethnic group in the United States.

The most popular industry sector for mature business owners is construction and mining. Construction and mining as a single sector accounts for 22% of established business but only 6% of total early stage entrepreneurial activity.

Established business owners have impact beyond their own businesses. A full 10% of established business owners report starting or running a new business, and 12% report that in the past three years they have invested in other entrepreneurs. Established business owners provided a median amount of $10,000 in their last investment, lower than that of early stage entrepreneur investors who provided a median amount of $23,653 but higher than non-entrepreneurs/non-business owners who invested a median amount of $3,000.

Attitudes

Among the U.S. adult population, 75% believe that entrepreneurs receive high status in society, a higher figure than the average of the 23 innovation-driven economies; and almost 75% think media attention for entrepreneurs is positive, a figure also higher than the average of the 23 innovation-driven economies. Positive societal attitudes such as these contribute to a culture that celebrates and supports entrepreneurs.

Among Americans, 64% believe there are good opportunities for starting a business near where they live, the highest level reported since GEM’s first survey in 1999. Adults age 18-64 in the United States are more likely to perceive opportunities than their peers across societies at a similar development level.

Among Americans, 63% believe that entrepreneurship is a good career choice. While this is greater than the average of the innovation-driven economies, nine economies show higher levels than the United States on this indicator.  Still it is especially significant that the majority of Americans consider entrepreneurship a viable or attractive career since the 2017 economy was prosperous, and Americans had a variety of alternative job choices.

Perceived capability among the adult population age 18-64 in the United States is higher than the average of the 23 innovation-driven economies. More than half (54%) have high capability perceptions, and only one-third (33%) of those perceiving opportunities cite fear of failure as a limiting factor in pursuing opportunities.

One-third of Americans state they personally know an entrepreneur.  The abundance of entrepreneurs provides visibility and also inspiration in terms of serving as role models and

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader of Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.


Source from: Babson College

Tech giant Samsung Electronics has flagged its first quarterly profit drop in two years, painting a grim outlook amid growing competition from Chinese smartphone makers and declining chip prices.

The South Korean firm, the world’s top maker of smartphones and memory chips, has enjoyed record profits in recent years despite a series of setbacks, including a humiliating recall and the jailing of its de facto chief.

But operating profit during the October to December period was expected to be around 10.8 trillion won ($9.8bn), down 28.7 percent from a year earlier, Samsung said in an earnings estimate on Tuesday.

The figure was below market consensus of about 13.5 trillion won (rouhgly $12bn), according to market researcher FnGuide.

Sales dropped more than 10 percent to 59 trillion won (roughly $52.5bn) in the period, Samsung said.

It cited “lacklustre demand in the memory business and intensifying competition in the smartphone business” for the dismal outlook.

“Memory earnings fell significantly … due to weaker-than-expected demand amid inventory adjustments at data-centre customers,” which led to a “greater-than-expected” drop in chip prices, it said.

“We expect earnings to remain subdued in the first quarter of 2019 due to difficult conditions for the memory business but strengthen in the second half.”

But analyst Kim Sun-woo of Meritz Securities said worsening supply and demand conditions for semiconductors and the structural challenges facing Samsung’s smartphone business will drag down the firm’s profits throughout 2019.

Demand for DRAM memory chips “will hit a low in the fourth quarter of 2019”, he told AFP news agency.

Samsung’s weaker earnings add to worries for investors already on edge after US tech giant Apple last week took the rare move of lowering its quarterly sales forecast, citing poor iPhone sales in China.

“If Apple’s not selling, then is it Samsung that’s selling well? It is not. The smartphone market is already saturated,” senior analyst Greg Roh at Hyundai Motor Securities told Reuters news agency.

“Apple’s iPhones have not been selling well in China at least since Huawei’s chief finance officer was arrested. That’s even worse for Samsung because that would drag its chip prices down,” Roh said, referring to Apple as a Samsung chip client.

Canadian police arrested Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, on December 1 at the request of the United States. US prosecutors have accused Meng of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the lenders at risk of violating Washington’s sanctions. She denies wrongdoing and China has demanded her release.

Samsung withholds net profit and sector-by-sector business performance data until it releases its final earnings report, which is expected later this month.

For 2018, the firm expects operating profit to reach 58.9 trillion won (roughly $52.4bn), up nearly 10 percent from the previous year, and sales to inch up 1.6 percent to 243.5 trillion won (roughly $217bn).

Shares in Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of the Samsung Group that dominates South Korea’s economy, were down 0.4 percent in mid-morning trading.

‘Losing ground’

While Samsung leads the global smartphone market with a 20 percent share, it faces mounting competition from Chinese rivals like Huawei – which surpassed Apple to take second place last year – offering quality devices at cheaper prices.

“Samsung is losing ground to Huawei, Xiaomi and other Chinese rivals in the huge China and India markets,” Neil Mawston, executive director at market researcher Strategy Analytics, said in a report.

Samsung once also had a 20 percent market share in China but has seen its sales tumble to less than one percent of the world’s largest smartphone market in the third quarter, and last month announced the closure of its factory in Tianjin.

It will reportedly roll out a new line-up of its flagship Galaxy handsets at next month’s World Mobile Congress in Barcelona as it seeks to regain a competitive edge in a market segment it once dominated.

Samsung is also set to introduce the world’s first bending smartphone in the first half.

The tech giant’s reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016, which cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image.

It also took another hit after the bribery conviction of Lee Jae-yong – the son and heir of the group’s ailing current Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

The 50-year-old scion was a key figure in the scandal that removed former South Korean President Park Geun-hye following massive nationwide protests, and was sentenced to five years in jail last year.

But he was released from jail in February last year after several of his convictions were quashed on appeal.


Source from: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

The year 2019 is expected to be the period to reap the positive results of multiple achievements of the projects and strategic services launched in the country, a number of experts have pointed out in interviews with local Arabic daily Arrayah.

The new year would witness the accomplishment of many infrastructure projects, besides the expansion of Hamad International Airport, creation of huge logistics infrastructure, more hassle-free procedures for investment and new businesses to achieve higher levels of self-sufficiency in different sectors such as the pharmaceutical industry and livestock and agriculture production. Rashid al-Muhannadi, a Qatari consultant in the field of human affairs and community development, stressed that the Gulf crisis has increased the power and stability of the country and helped in expediting development. He hoped for more support for technological research projects and the new ideas of young people to encourage their creativity and innovation that could further revitalise the economy.

Saood al-Hinzab, former chairman of the Central Municipal Council, pointed out that the blockade imposed on the country by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt since June 5, 2017 has failed completely in delaying the pace of development in Qatar due to the efforts of the wise leadership and the initiatives of the government. “Many new projects initiated during the past two years have considerably improved the life of people in the country with more good results hoped for the new year,” he said. Qatari businessman Ahmed al-Khalaf expected that 2019 would see unprecedented economic progress in the country. The country has overcome the blockade with astonishing success, he declared.

Al-Khalaf expects that Qatar could be pioneer in the Middle East with its small and midsize industries providing more than 450mn consumers with various consumer products. Qatari businessman Saeed al-Hajiri pointed out that the services sectors in the country should be modernised and updated to keep pace with the great economic leaps in the country. Accordingly, more focus should be given to these sectors in 2019. He said that hopes are very high that the new year would see unprecedented development in the health sector in the country.

Tourism expert Tariq Abdulatif expected that the new year would see more developments with the help of the private sector to attract more tourists to the country, in addition to the easy access for nationals of 80 different world countries. “The prospects of tourism industry in the country looks bright and promising, especially with the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup,” he added.


Source from: Gulf Times

Toyota has argued that self-driving car technology still has lots of hurdles to clear before it’s ready for widespread consumer use, but that the artificial intelligence and sensor research going into it can be leveraged earlier to cut down on crashes. As it moves toward introducing that capability for its own vehicles, the auto giant wants to provide it to rivals to help make roads safer.

Rather than drive the car autonomously, the purpose of the company’s “Guardian” system that’s been in development for the past two years is to actively monitor road conditions and driver awareness and step in when needed to brake, swerve or accelerate through dangerous circumstances, the company said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Silicon Valley-based Toyota Research Institute that’s working on perfecting both this system and Toyota’s self-driving tech, didn’t say precisely when Toyota cars will start getting Guardian capability but said that it’s on the way.

“We believe in it so much, we would like to see it on every car on the road, not just Toyotas,” Pratt said at Toyota’s press conference on Monday. “And today we are announcing that we will offer it to the industry.”

TRI has already “had talks with many different players” about the system, Pratt said, without elaborating. Likewise, Toyota hasn’t yet figured out whether it would license the technology to other companies or even provide the needed hardware or software required. “What we are willing to say is that we will not keep it proprietary to ourselves only,” he said.

Whether Toyota’s rivals in the highly competitive auto industry actually take up its offer remains to be seen. More than a decade ago, Toyota offered to provide the hybrid-electric powertrain system developed for the Prius to competitors but found few takers beyond its affiliated companies.


Source from: www.forbes.com