• World News Today... daily headlines and abstracts
  • Swiss Companies Form World's Fifth Largest Bank
  • Vietnam's Economic Growth Slows
  • S. Korea Accepts IMG Assistance
  • Thailand Committed to Financial Recovery
  • Canada's Economic Outlook is Strong
  • H.J. Heinz Expanding Russian Business
  • Beer Growth in Emerging Markets
  • Woolworth Sells Mexican Outlets
  • Take the Marketing Insights POLL
  • Share Your Thoughts About the NEWS
  • Last Minute Travel Bargains -- Discounted Air Fares
  • Upcoming Events Calendar -- conferences, trade fairs, seminars -- also add your own events!
  • QUICK SEARCH on PANGAEA.NET - by key word search
  • Search the news by key words -- thousands of topics! Sources not including PANGAEA.NET

    Up to of
    Search Help available.
  • check back for more news this month!
  • .....check back for more news this month!
  • Enter your e-mail address to be notified when this page is updated:

    ZURICH, Switzerland -- Two of Switzerland's leading banks (Union Bank of Switzerland and Swiss Bank Corp.) merged this month, forming the United Bank of Switzerland -- the world's fifth largest bank and among the largest asset managers in the world. Combined assets total 922 billion Swiss francs (US$592 billion).

    The following table shows the ranking of the world's top banks by market capitalization, after the merger:

    Search Site
    by key words
    May 1995
    June 1995
    July 1995
    August 1995
    September 1995
    October 1995
    November 1995
    Vietnam - special edition
    December 1995
    January 1996
    February 1996
    March 1996
    April 1996
    May 1996
    June 1996
    July 1996
    August 1996
    September 1996
    October 1996
    November 1996
    December 1996/
    January 1997
    February 1997
    March 1997
    April 1997
    May 1997
    June 1997
    July 1997
    August 1997
    September 1997
    October 1997
    November 1997
    January 1998
    February 1998
    March 1998
    April 1998
    May 1998
    June 1998
    July 1998
    August 1998
    September 1998
    October 1998
    November 1998
    December 1998
    January 1999
    February 1999
    March 1999
    April 1999
    May 1999
    June 1999
    July/August 1999

    HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam -- After a decade of reform in Vietnam, and great expectations, we are beginning to see a slowdown in Vietnam's economic growth. Asia's economic downturn is taking its tolls on Vietnam, where attention and investments return to local markets in the region. Foreign investment, particularly from Asian companies, as well as regional export requirements significantly accounted for Vietnam's fast-paced development.

    Now the Asian markets' demand for exports from Vietnam are expected to further weaken -- due to local economic pressures and the rising dong, making pricing less competitive from Vietnam. Foreign investment is declining; consumer sales are down (sales of electronic consumer goods fell 40% vs. last year), and there is hesitance among consumer products companies to develop their businesses in Vietnam due to many of the same issues that have plagued the country since the doi moi -- including enormously bureaucratic procedures and policies strongly in favor of state-owned enterprises, despite years of rhetoric that things were going to change. That's not to say that Vietnam doesn't hold promise for companies currently operating there, nor to say it isn't a good market in the coming years.... in fact, Proctor & Gamble has been in Vietnam since 1995 and continues to invest heavily in that market, with plans to add another US$50 - 70 million in local efforts.

    But according to one of PANGAEA's associates in the country, Nguyen Xuan Oanh, chief architect of the doi moi economic reforms and economic advisor to both governments of Vietnam, 'the ruling Communist party is allergic to reform.' "Communism equals socialism equals control," he said.

    Nevertheless, the long-term prospects for Vietnam are still promising, and the fundamentals are still evident. Despite a downturn in productivity, industrial production year on year grew 13.1% in 1997 (though this is lower than last year). The speed of change in Vietnam's earlier years may have created unrealistic expectations. While there has been a slowdown, and there are certainly many obstacles that must be overcome, Vietnam still moves forward.

    [Related Article; Related Books]

    SEOUL, S. Korea -- To ease S. Korea's financial crisis, the government of S. Korea agreed to an (International Monetary Fund) IMF-led rescue package of US$57 billion, just two weeks before their presidential election (on Dec. 18). As the world's 11th biggest economy, the global impact of a crisis and it's recovery are enormous. In exchange for this support, the government agreed to substantial changes in policy, including changes that allow foreign investors to take bigger stakes in domestic firms and local industry. Because of the pending election, the head of the IMF, Managing Director Michel Camdessus, talked with presidential candidates to declare their backing for the IMF reform program.

    Reader's Comments
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    BANGKOK, Thailand -- 56 of Thailand's 58 finance companies will be shut down by the government's Financial Restructuring Authority in compliance with an IMF agreement, in return for a US$17.2 billion rescue package of emergency bailout loans. It is expected that nearly 20,000 employees will be laid off throughout the industry.

    The only two firms judged sound enough to reopen are Kiatnakin Finance and Securities and Bangkok Investment. Both will be allowed to resume operations and have 90 days to comply with rehabilitation plans.

    The government is committed to recovery. Finance Minister, Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda, was quoted saying, "The sooner the financial system is restored to health, the quicker the economy will recover, making sustainable growth certain in the future."
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    OTTAWA, Canada -- Canadian industries are operating at near record capacity (at 86.2% of capacity in the third quarter of 1997), according to government officials. Canada's rosy economic outlook can be attributed to high foreign demand, strong business spending on plant and equipment, low interest rates yielding increased consumer spending. In fact, the leading US automobile makers -- GM, Ford and Chrysler -- note a 12.2% increase in their Canadian sales.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)
    MOSCOW, Russia -- H. J. Heinz has plans to build a ketchup and sauce factory in Moscow by the Year 2000, using locally produced ingredients and raw materials. They will invest around US$20 million. Heinz already produces baby food in Russia, which maintains a 17% market share. They began making cereal in Russia one and a half years ago, also using local ingredients.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)
    World -- Beer companies that are not selling in emerging markets are missing this decade's biggest growth opportunity. "Emerging markets account for all of the growth being seen globally," according to British investment banker Robert Fleming. Some of the leading factors that make the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America, Africa and eastern Europe so attractive for the beer industry include: young demographics, rising disposable incomes and market liberalization. Emphasis on exports is evident among the world's largest brewers. Heineken NV, the world's second largest, and South African Breweries Ltd. (SAB), the fourth largest, now export 80% and 34% of their beer, respectively. In fact, SAB's Castle brand is one of the fastest growing brands in the global market, with an average 17% increase in sales between 1990 - 1996.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

      [PANGAEA specializes in consumer marketing insights and integrates the full spectrum of business intelligence into thoughtful market launch strategies for its clients.]

    America -- US company, F.W. Woolworth Corp., completes its divestiture from the general merchandising business in North America with their recent sale of Woolworth Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. early this month. Their current strategy is to focus on athletic and specialty retailing and are converting at least 130 of its former U.S. general merchandise locations to Foot Locker and Champs Sports athletic outlets.

    Woolworth Corporation operates more than 7,100 retail stores in 12 countries throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

      NOTE: Reprints, downloads or copies of this issue are available for US$5.00 per copy, payable on the honor system to PANGAEA.
    Share Your Thoughts
    daily headlines and abstracts
    Please let us know what you think about the Interactive Global NEWSTM newsletter. Tell us what you like or dislike about it.

    Enter your e-mail address to be notified when this page is updated:

    Is this the first time you are reading the IGN?
    YES NO

    Are you interested in contributing news or articles to PANGAEA.NET(tm) for future issues?
    YES NO

    Would you like to subscribe to the newsletter annually via e-mail?
    US$36/year (US dollar payments only)
    US$48/year (non-USA originating payments)

    Please share your Comments/Questions:

    Thank you! [Press one time only]

    Feel free to share you comments with other readers in the Bulletin Board area. Please note that the Bulletin Boards are experiencing intermittent problems. If this is the case, send comments to and specify "IGN Comments" in the subject line.

    Keep up-to-date on general global business news and trends as they occur -- updated 24-hours per day, 7 days a week. PANGAEA.NET members have further access to country- and industry- specific news everyday.


    LAST MINUTE TRAVEL BARGAINS -- Special Discounted Fares

    American Airlines' Net SAAver International offers last minute travel bargains for travelers departing from the USA. You can schedule a last minute meeting or a weekend getaway to selected destinations throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Central America or South America each week and benefit from these discounted rates.

    Through this program, you can fly at discounted rates, as long as you can plan to travel on short notice. These low round-trip fares are good for travel only on the dates specified. They expire on Fridays. Check back each Monday for the week's destinations!

    From Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW) to:

  • US$235 -- Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL)
  • US$250 -- Leon, Mexico (BJX)
  • US$210 -- Mexico City, Mexico (MEX)

    From Miami (MIA) to:

  • US$320 -- Belize City, Belize (BZE)

    From New York Kennedy, NY (JFK) to:

  • US$259 -- Paris, France (ORY)

    From Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU) to:

  • US$249 -- London Gatwick, England (LGW)

    Discover Puerto Rico:
    From $63 per person double occupancy
    Vacation Package includes - 2 nights accommodations; does not include airfare.
    [Vacation prices valid through January 20, 1998.]

    [Restrictions apply. Check with American Airlines for details.]

    To take advantage of these fares, you must depart on Thursday or Friday, January 8 - 9, 1998. Thursday departures return anytime the following Monday and Friday departures return anytime the following Monday/Tuesday. To take advantage of these last minute bargains, or any travel needs, Call 1-800-715-4440 and ask for a Net SAAver International Fare. Be sure to give the agent this PIN#: 27035 to book your flight. Or send e-mail to, include your name and telephone number, please.

    You can also read the latest news about Travel & Tourism.

  • .....check back for more news this month!

    For more information about any of these topics in any foreign market, or if you would like an in-depth market study, contact PANGAEA, International Consultants. With an extensive network of marketing consultants, attorneys, ad agencies, research companies, logistics experts and more around the world, PANGAEA is uniquely qualified to offer hands-on, local marketing and management consulting services.

    (c) 1997 PANGAEACommunications. All rights reserved. Materials found on this website are for personal and non-commercial use; they are not for resale. No part of this domain or file (including but not limited to text, graphics, audio and video, utilities and other) may be directly or indirectly copied, rewritten, distributed, published, broadcast or disseminated in any medium in part or in whole without the express prior written permission of PANGAEACommunications

    Readers do not hold PANGAEA liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damage arising from any of the foregoing.

    This newsletter is available via e-mail Visa/MasterCard/American Express accepted. Contact us to subscribe.

    Reprints, downloads or copies of this issue are US$5.00 per copy, payable on the honor system. Send payments to PANGAEACommunicationstm.

    Internet Link Exchange
    Member of the Internet Link Exchange

    Updated 1/9/98