AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
HANOI: Starbucks said on Thursday it would open its first store next month in Vietnam, seeking a foothold in the coffee-loving country as part of efforts to expand in Asia. The communist country’s first Starbucks café will be in southern Ho Chi Minh City, the US beverage giant said in a joint statement with its local partner, Hong Kong’s Maxim Group. “Vietnam is one of the most dynamic and exciting markets in the world and we are proud to add Vietnam as the 12th market across the China and Asia-Pacific region,” said Starbucks China and Asia Pacific president John Culver. Starbucks has been targeting growth outside of the stagnant US market, opening thousands of stores in China and across the Asia-Pacific region over the past few years. In October, it opened its first stores in India, in partnership with domestic giant Tata Global Beverages.
India’s IPO plans
MUMBAI: India’s stock market regulator is considering a plan that would see small investors reimbursed if they lose money buying newly issued shares in a bid to boost confidence in IPOs, a report said on Thursday. The Securities and Exchange Board of India is seeking to convince small investors to put money into initial public offerings (IPOs) after volatile flotations prompted suspicions of price manipulation, the Wall Street Journal said. “There was a feeling in this country that many IPOs are manipulated,” chairman of the board UK Sinha was cited as saying. The lack of confidence in share flotations — only a tiny minority of Indians currently put their savings into stocks — means companies are deprived of a huge amount of potential funding for investments. The regulator has reportedly proposed a rule that would give refunds to investors who apply of up to IRs 50,000 ($920) after IPOs that fall sharply.
Citilink to buy aircraft
JAKARTA: The budget arm of Indonesian flag carrier Garuda said on Thursday it has ordered 25 turboprop planes from Europe’s ATR, as it looks to tap the nation’s booming aviation sector in a deal worth about $500 million. “We’ve ordered 25 ATR 72-600s with an option to either lease or buy another 25 in 2015,” said chief executive officer of Citilink Arif Wibowo. “With these new propellers, we want to penetrate remote regions and provincial cities which have constraints on their runways.” The turboprops come with a price tag of more than $20 million each, which could push the order to $1 billion. Indonesians depend on air travel in the sprawling archipelago of more than 17,000 islands and the nation’s airlines are making some of the world’s most significant aircraft orders as its growing middle class fuels an aviation boom.