Monday, February 21, 2011

$1 Billion Yandex IPO Set For This Summer

Anyone who would like to invest in Russia's most successful search engine may want to start saving pennies and talking to his (or her) stockbroker.  Reports indicate that Yandex, which has had little trouble fending off Google in its home market, will go public and try to raise $1 billion this summer.

A post on the Quintura Blog stated today, "The leading Russian search engine and contextual advertising company, Yandex plans $1 billion IPO on NASDAQ in June - July 2011, reported newspaper Vedomosti.  The company hired investment banks Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to manage the IPO."

It's possible a serious rush will result.  Yandex's search engine has a market share of about 64 percent, which is seriously impressive given the competition.

Yandex's finances aren't in bad shape, either, considering that the company reported a 43 percent increase in revenue between 2009 and 2010.

Then there's the simple fact that the move's well timed in relation to the overall economy, since investors are starting to take their money out from underneath their mattresses once again.

It should be interesting to see what happens.  Unfortunately, no additional details are available at this time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Whose Kingdom for some saving grace?

It has been well said that the true mettle of leaders is tested by a baptism of fire. People in positions of power and authority who perform well under trying and testing circumstances are more likely to be remembered kindly by history as well as their subjects. Grace under pressure. Mercy like a river. Power with passion and purpose. Wait, don’t turn that page!

This is not empty prose. It is meant to provoke, challenge, stimulate. How you respond, dear reader, will test your heart. And mind. And resolve to act. Rather than merely pontificating and laying the blame for the tragedies unfolding around us at the feet of the state and a generation of lazy, wasteful, crooked, corrupt politicos…

Where is the need the greatest?

Unless you have been living in cloud cuckoo land these past few weeks and months, you could not have failed to notice that large tracts of your country are under water. If you are hoping that this will all go away soon enough so that you can enjoy the Cricket World Cup in peace – go ahead, and please shut the door after you when you flip the page to more appealing sections of your favourite weekly newspaper. What? Are you still here? Good…

Whom are you seeking to benefit?

Chances are that if you’re still with us (look around, folks, at this faithful little remnant), you’re more than a mere spectator. You belong to that rare and select breed whose heart is moved by the misfortune of their brothers and sisters. Hope springs eternal that even the handful of you who are awed by the forces of nature and shocked by the devastation it has wreaked in the recent past are do-gooders, not onlookers. Those who will recognize where the neediest segments of our populace live, identify with their need, and respond in a tangible way. They’re at their wit’s end, standing in a foot of mud and gunk and slime – and but for grace it could have been you in a camp…

Why me? Why you? Why us?

Because if you’re lazing it out on a balmy Sunday morning such as this, cocooned in creature comforts in your urban condo or luxuriating on the lawn or verandah of your suburban bungalow, then need I say more? You’re literate, worldly-wise, pampered and cosseted, probably spoilt for choice, wealthy, privileged, dutiful, noble – all right, I don’t need to rub it in! Noblesse oblige, dears – and don’t be the kind of noble folks who don’t oblige! We have too many of those passenger-patriots and pseudo-democrats as it is, no?

What do you have that is of value?

In addition to the riches itemized above, there’s your money and your contacts and your influence and your other resources. So let’s spare the “my kingdom for a horse” business, shall we? Everyone except the taxman knows how much booty you have stashed away… you keep telling us often enough, eh. But there’s no point flaunting it in words, dear, it’s deeds that count in the short to medium turn. As that nice economics-minded man said, “In the long run, we are all dead.” So get with it. Pronto.

When is the time to act?

See above. Pronto! Get with it… If you had a penny for every time someone blamed the state of the nation on the nature of its statesmen, how many pennies would you have? Now the buck stops with you!!

Which way should we be moving?

Go east, young man (and woman, and child). And north and south and wherever else an ill wind has blown your island). The media these days will give you a clue as to the lie of the land (submerged, washed away, harvests devastated). But lest the flesh faint and the spirit be weak, neither fear nor fail. Even if you can’t go in person (which would be ideal but unrealistic perhaps), your treasure can, must, and shall follow your heart. The state is reputed to be waking from its traditional stupor to lend a helping hand. The private sector has a public agenda in playing the Good Samaritan. And you too can get in on the act. Donate. Encourage others to do so. Contribute with skill and discernment. You don’t want to throw good money after bad, do you?

How have you responded to the soul-searching above? Are you a mere reader only… or is the leader in you stirred to action? The fate of millions of your fellow citizens is literally in your hands! Now, not merely the elected and appointed representatives of the people can let the population down. You, too, have a hand in the destiny of the nation!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Salem schools join Pasta for Pennies fund raiser

City schools are participating in the Pasta for Pennies program sponsored by the Olive Garden.

The program supports the fight against blood-related cancers, helps fund important life-saving initiatives and provides critical services to patients and their families according to the Olive Garden website.

Both Chelsey Hostetter and her daughter, Karlie, 5, who was diagnosed with leukemia last Feb. 7, attended Monday's kickoff assembly at Buckeye Elementary School to share their story with the school.

"And," Hostetter said, "to help everyone know the importance of this, what it is like to have cancer and the importance to donate to this program."

Along with 38 other kids, Karlie is an honored hero for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Northern Ohio, Hostetter said.

Buckeye Principal Denny Niederhiser said Karlie will be a Buckeye student next year and for all the children in the assembly to see her there, someone who has been diagnosed and is being treated for leukemia, it really hit home.

"So next year, she'll be one of our kids," Niederhiser said. "It was good for our kids ... it was a learning experience."

There are 420 schools registered to participate in the campaign to raise money to help patients like Karlie and fund to research and find a cure for blood cancers.

The goal is to raise $378,000 from all of the schools from this campaign.

"Since 1994, Pasta for Pennies has raised more than $53 million to fight leukemia and lymphoma and to provide a wide range of services to patients and their families.

Each year, schools choose a three-week period when students fill collection jars in their classrooms with donations of spare change.

The class collecting the most money at each school is awarded a pasta party delivered to their classroom by their local Olive Garden restaurant. The program will run through Feb. 25.

Niederhiser said students have collection jars with thermometer charts so they can track their contributions.
Hostetter said it's a great way to spread awareness

"I am proud to say that all of the Salem schools will be participating in this program." Hostetter said.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fill Your Bellies But Save Some Pennies

Exeter City are introducing a number of food and beverage special offers ahead of the busy home fixture schedule in February in a bid to help fans save a few precious pennies. 

Whereas the club's loyal fans have, on average, a single home game to budget for every other week, due to postponements this season and the club progressing to the area final of the Johnstones Paint Trophy, the Grecians have no fewer than five home games during the next month. 

"Ideally of course the fans would like to see a reduction in gate prices," said marketing manager Ross Trant.

"However, it is a very difficult situation. It was a monumental effort to get the game against Sheffield Wednesday played, but due to the extreme weather conditions the attendance was significantly smaller, add the Boxing Day postponement of the Swindon game into the mix and we have taken a fair old hit in the budgeted gate income. 

"That is the reality of the situation. We have a lot of games coming up and many fans will not want to miss out. If you are a family attending the park, it may only be a couple of pounds saving as you walk away from the kiosks, but over five games it suddenly stacks up. 

"It is important that we do something, however small, to recognise that our fans will be stretching their wallets and purses in order to watch us during the next month, which potentially on the pitch could be very exciting."