banks

FILE PHOTO: The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney leaves after a news conference at the Bank of England in London
FILE PHOTO: The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney leaves after a news conference at the Bank of England in London, Britain February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool/File Photo

April 24, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is searching for a new governor of the Bank of England to succeed Mark Carney in early 2020.

Finance minister Philip Hammond is hoping that concerns about Brexit will not deter potential applicants.

Below are possible contenders to run the BoE which oversees the world’s fifth-biggest economy and its huge finance industry.

ANDREW BAILEY

The former deputy BoE governor was tipped by analysts as Carney’s most likely successor. But delays to the search, after Carney extended his time in London, have raised questions about whether Hammond sees him as the best candidate.

Bailey, 60, was deputy governor with a focus on banks before becoming chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, a markets regulator.

While at the BoE, Bailey helped to steer Britain’s banks through the global financial crisis.

Heading the FCA is fraught with risks. Lawmakers criticised Bailey for not publishing all of a report into alleged misconduct by bank RBS. Bailey cited privacy restrictions.

As FCA boss, Bailey sits on important panels at the BoE that oversee banks. Although he has never been interest-rate setter, he once ran the BoE international economic analysis team.

RAGHURAM RAJAN

Rajan, 56, headed the Reserve Bank of India from 2013 to 2016, and was chief economist at the International Monetary Fund between 2003 and 2006 when he warned of the risk of a financial crisis.

Now a professor at Chicago Booth business school, Rajan has published a book on dissatisfaction with markets and the state – touching on some of the underlying issues behind Brexit.

Rajan unexpectedly did not seek a renewal of his three-year term at the RBI, having faced hostility from some sections of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party who disliked his less nationalist stance and brief forays into political territory.

Rajan declined to comment when asked by Reuters last week whether he would consider a return to active policymaking.

MINOUCHE SHAFIK

Egyptian-born Shafik, 57, was a BoE deputy governor between 2014 and 2017, in charge of markets and banking, including the central bank’s asset purchase programme. She quit the job early to become director of the London School of Economics.

Between 2008 and 2011 she was the top civil servant at Britain’s ministry for overseas aid and was then deputy managing director at the International Monetary Fund, where she represented the fund in the Greek debt crisis.

Shafik would become the first woman to head the BoE, and was only its second female deputy governor.

BEN BROADBENT AND DAVE RAMSDEN

Broadbent, 54, and Ramsden, 55, are deputy governors for monetary policy and for markets and banking respectively.

Broadbent, a former Goldman Sachs economist who trained as a classical pianist, is respected for his economic analysis but has less experience on banking oversight.

Ramsden was the Treasury’s chief economic advisor.

The two other BoE deputy governors, Jon Cunliffe and Sam Woods, are less likely contenders. Woods focuses mostly on financial regulation while Cunliffe – a former British ambassador to the European Union – would be aged 66 at the start of the term which usually runs for eight years.

SHRITI VADERA

Vadera, 56, has no central banking experience but is seen as a contender due to her current role as non-executive chairwoman of Santander UK, one of Britain’s biggest banks, and her time as a junior business minister during the financial crisis.

Vadera served as a minister from 2007 to 2009 after a career in investment banking and a period at the finance ministry.

In 2008, she was part of a small group of ministers and officials who devised a plan worth hundreds of billions of pounds in loan guarantees to keep high-street banks in business.

ANDY HALDANE

The BoE’s chief economist, Haldane has developed a reputation for floating unconventional ideas, including the possibility that music apps such as Spotify and multiplayer online games might give central bankers just as a good a sense of what is going on in the economy as traditional surveys.

In 2012, he praised the anti-capitalist Occupy movement for suggesting new ways to fix the shortcomings of global finance. Haldane has experience of both sides of the BoE, having served as executive director for financial stability, overseeing the risks to the economy from the banking system. But he might be seen as too much of a maverick to take the job of governor.

A LABOUR PARTY GOVERNOR?

The prospect of the left-wing Labour Party taking power has grown as Prime Minister Theresa May struggles to break the Brexit impasse.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his would-be finance minister John McDonnell are socialists and have in the past proposed that the BoE should fund investment in infrastructure, a big change from its current focus on inflation.

Former members of Labour’s economic advisory committee included U.S. academic and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz and Ann Pettifor, a British economist who is an austerity critic, and former BoE rate-setter David Blanchflower.

(Writing by William Schomberg and David Milliken, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO - The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO – The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company’s space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

April 24, 2019

By Ebru Tuncay and Birsen Altayli

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs is in talks with Turkish banks and companies to buy large distressed loans following a wave of corporate restructurings in the country last year, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.

The sources, who requested anonymity, did not specify the size of the restructured loans but said Goldman was looking at those valued in the range of $2 billion to $6 billion.

Turkish banks, grappling with fallout from a recession and a weak lira, could be interested in selling loans to bolster their stressed balance sheets and to gain access to liquidity, the sources said. One of the Turkish government’s priorities is to relieve banks of bad loans.

One of the sources said that non-performing loans specialists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc, as well as at certain large London-based banks, were in “intense talks right now” over restructured Turkish loans.

A representative for Goldman Sachs in Turkey declined to comment.

Since Turkey’s currency crisis last year, where the lira halved in value at one stage, companies constrained by the currency weakness have sought to restructure their debts.

The weaker lira, which has fallen another 10 percent this year, has made it difficult for Turkish companies to service foreign-currency debts.

“They (Goldman Sachs) are not interested in complicated situations. They are interested in good loans for which the bank could provide a relative hair cut,” or discount, a second source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Some of the big corporate loans in Turkey that have been restructured or are being restructured include a $5.5 billion loan taken out by Yildiz Holding, which owns Godiva chocolates; a 2 billion euro ($2.2 billion) loan from restaurant group Dogus Holding; and a $4.75 billion loan for Turk Telekom’s previous shareholder OTAS.

Restructured loans make up more than 100 billion liras ($17 billion) of the loans in Turkey’s banking sector, which total 2.5 trillion lira, Finance Ministry data showed.

The non-performing loan ratio at banks rose to 4.2 percent in the wake of last year’s crisis and is expected to reach 6 percent by year-end, according to the ministry data.

The potential for big returns from distressed debt deals has already attracted attention in the financial markets.

Earlier this month, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said it was ready to help with Turkish banks’ non-performing loans. In March, sources told Reuters that Japan’s Orix and U.S.-based Bain Capital were in talks to buy problematic loans from Turkish banks.

“Investment banks can talk to (Turkish) banks and take over these loans with a hair cut,” a distressed asset trader in London said. “But what is important here is how much of a hair cut there will be. It may take some time to be agreed upon,” he said.

As part of a reform plan announced this month by Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, loans in the energy and construction sector would be taken off banks’ balance sheets.

The Treasury will also issue 5-year debt instruments worth a total of 3.7 billion euros to strengthen the capital of state banks, it said on Monday.

(Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Jane Merriman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO - Man uses traditional ATM in Bucharest
FILE PHOTO – A man uses a traditional automated teller machine (ATM) in Bucharest May 17, 2013. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

April 24, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Paying a subscription fee for financial services like checking accounts and investment advice may become more common, Ernst and Young says in a new study that found interest among U.S. consumers ages 25 to 34.

The consulting firm found that a majority of the group was willing to pay for subscriptions that bundle products and services like saving accounts and life insurance and financial advice especially when tied to major life events like getting married or saving for college.

Many banks already provide incentives to bundle their services like lower interest rates and free perks, but few charge a monthly or annual fee for the convenience. Switching to a subscription model, which has gained popularity in the technology sector, could have a significant impact on revenue growth in banking, wealth management and insurance.

Some companies, like brokerage and bank Charles Schwab Corp, have already begun implementing the subscription model, but many banking institutions remain skeptical that the model can be successful because tight regulation of the industry, Ernst and Young principal Nikhil Lele told Reuters.

Lele said, however, that regulators would likely be supportive of the switch if the subscription provides sufficient value because it is more transparent than providing products for free up front, then imposing a wide range of charges like overdraft and ATM fees.

“Most consumers just aren’t aware enough to be able to manage the intricacies of financial pricing across every product,” he said. “This is a price certainty model.”

Consumers surveyed by Ernst and Young also showed a high willingness to pay for similar subscription bundles from technology companies.

“This is a matter of urgency for the industry because if the tech player were to come in, it could be a disruptive force for the financial sector,” Lele said.

(Reporting by Imani Moise in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

Source: OANN

Five years ago, ISIS reigned over 34,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria and collected billions of dollars in taxes and oil revenues as well as from looting banks. Today, its so-called caliphate is virtually gone. And yet on Sunday, Peter Bergen writes, the continued influence of ISIS’ ideology became gruesomely apparent: A terrorist attack, one of the most lethal since 9/11, killed at least 321 people at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka.

Read Full Article »

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks during the Gulf Intelligence Saudi Arabia Energy Forum in Riyadh
FILE PHOTO: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks during the Gulf Intelligence Saudi Arabia Energy Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 8, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer

April 24, 2019

By Stephen Kalin and Saeed Azhar

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer, will remain active in the debt markets after its debut $12 billion bond earlier this month, which was “only the beginning”, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday.

Falih, speaking at a financial conference in Riyadh, also said Aramco would access the equity markets earlier than expected after the company gained exposure among investors through the bond sale.

Many saw the debt deal as a relationship-building exercise with international investors ahead of Aramco’s planned initial public offering, aimed at raising money for the government as Saudi Arabia looks to cut its budget deficit and diversify its economy.

Saudi officials have said the new planned listing date is 2021, but Falih told the conference on Wednesday that the share sale “could slip or come forward a little bit”.

Aramco received more than $100 billion in orders by April 9 for its debut bond – even after its prospectus said the kingdom would not guarantee Aramco’s notes – but chose to sell only $12 billion.

The bond came on the heels of Aramco’s planned $69.1 billion acquisition of a 70 percent stake in petrochemicals firm Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) from the Saudi sovereign wealth fund.

JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Citi, Goldman Sachs and National Commercial Bank were the bonds’ bookrunners.

JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, along with other banks, worked on the planned stock market listing of Aramco before the move was postponed last year.

(Reporting by Stephen Kalin and Saeed Azhar; Writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Davide Barbuscia; Editing by Dale Hudson)

Source: OANN

The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

April 24, 2019

By Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh

(Reuters) – European shares edged lower on Wednesday as signals that China has put broader stimulus on hold overshadowed strong earnings from the likes of SAP and Credit Suisse.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0920 GMT – though the benchmark index has notched gains in the past eight consecutive sessions, and shown a tendency to rebound from a weaker open.

“The market is taking some cue from the slowing of stimulus in China,” said Stefan Koopman, Market Economist, Eurozone, Rabobank.

“For the European markets to get some traction in the upcoming months we really need to depend on what’s happening in China.”

Most major regional bourses were in the red though the slew of upbeat earnings helping German and Swiss indexes advance.

Business software company SAP soared to an all-time high and boosted the DAX after the company set ambitious new mid-term targets and as activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.35 billion) stake in the company.

Top performer was Wirecard which climbed 8 percent after the payments company confirmed Japan’s Softbank Group Corp will buy a 5.6 percent stake in the firm.

STMicro shrugged off a gloomy prediction by bigger rival Texas Instruments and posted a broadly inline update, which sent its shares up more than 3 percent.

SAP and STMicro drove the tech sector up 2.5 percent to its highest since July 2018.

Kicking off the first-quarter balance sheet assessment for banks in the region, Swiss lender Credit Suisse rose 2.5 percent after posting a surprise profit and saying it was cautiously optimistic about the second-quarter following a challenging start to the year.

Results from Credit Suisse will be followed by UBS Group AG and Barclays on Thursday and Deutsche Bank on Friday.

Healthcare stocks got a boost from Novartis’ gains as the Swiss drugmaker raised its 2019 guidance after a first-quarter earnings and sales beat.

Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo rose after reporting a better-than-expected first-quarter operating profit on the back of stronger pricing and easing supply chain constraints.

Auto stocks dropped 0.7 percent, led by Renault after its Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co slashed its full-year profit forecast to its lowest in nearly a decade due to weakness in the United States.

Also weighing on the benchmark was the oil and gas sector which pulled back after a 2 percent jump in the prior session as crude prices retreated from 2019 highs. [O/R]

Online gaming company Kindred Group plc landed at the bottom of STOXX 600 after profits for the first-quarter were significantly impacted by a new local license in Sweden.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Credit Suisse logo is pictured on a bank in Geneva
FILE PHOTO: The Credit Suisse logo is pictured on a bank in Geneva, Switzerland, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

April 24, 2019

By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse set a positive tone for this quarter’s European bank results on Wednesday, lifting its net profit as gains in equities and deeper ties between trading and private banking helped offset lower revenue.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank bucked market expectations of a profit dip and said it gained market share in equities trading during a quarter in which major U.S. rivals such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley saw revenue slides in this business.

Its Global Markets trading unit, the focus of much criticism in recent years, increased equity trading, with Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam saying Credit Suisse was “moving up the ranks in equities”. But a slide in its Asian unit brought overall group revenue from equities sales and trading down by 5 percent.

Wednesday’s results also included a forecast that Credit Suisse was cautiously optimistic about the second quarter.

Although Credit Suisse last year wrapped up a three-year overhaul with its first annual profit since 2014, volatile earnings and high headcount in its trading division meant it faced questions over whether it was downsized enough.

“Global Markets has been the main cause of consensus earnings downgrades over the past year and with these results has now shown signs of stabilizing,” Citi analysts said.

However, in the first quarter Credit Suisse said the unit increased equity sales and trading by 4 percent, while fixed-income sales and trading fell by just 2 percent, notably less than at U.S. investment banks.

Credit Suisse shares rose by more than 3 percent to a six-month high following the results, in which it confirmed its full-year profitability target but noted it would need supportive markets, and a pickup in revenues, to hit its goals.

Last month Swiss rival UBS forecast first-quarter revenues would fall by about a third in its investment bank and by 9 percent in wealth management, its largest business.

UBS is looking to cut costs further as CEO Sergio Ermotti sounded a pessimistic note on profitability for the year.

Analysts expect first-quarter profit at UBS, which is Switzerland’s biggest bank, to have nearly halved when it reports on Thursday.

(This story corrects net profit figure to 749 million Swiss francs in first bullet point, adds dropped word “group”, paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields and Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

A cargo train loaded with coal dust, moves past the port area near City Station in Karachi
A cargo train loaded with coal dust, moves past the port area near City Station in Karachi, Pakistan September 24, 2018. Picture taken September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

April 24, 2019

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – People living in countries along China’s new “Silk Road” favor investment in renewable energy over the construction of coal-fired power plants, according to a poll released on Wednesday ahead of a major summit in Beijing.

Environmental group E3G, which commissioned the poll, said the results showed there was little support for investment in coal, despite China’s role as a major funder of new plants.

“China should now work with governments, business and investors at the upcoming forum to make sure these demands are met,” said Nick Mabey, chief executive of E3G.

The survey was released ahead of China’s second international forum on its 2013 Belt and Road initiative, which is designed to build infrastructure and encourage trade and economic cooperation along the old Silk Road route connecting China to Europe and elsewhere.

According to a draft communique seen by Reuters, world leaders attending the summit will call for sustainable financing that promotes green growth.

But concerns have been raised that China is using the program to export substandard polluting technologies, even as it boosts the share of renewable power at home in a bid to cut smog and climate-warming greenhouse gases.

The YouGov poll of more than 6,000 people covered Indonesia, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam, which are among the top 10 locations for the construction of new coal-fired power plants, with many backed by Chinese developers.

Over 85 percent of those surveyed said they favored investment by foreign governments, banks and companies in renewable projects, while less than a third said they favored investments in coal.

More than 90 percent said solar power should be a priority. Coal-fired power was less popular than nuclear in four of the six countries.

In a separate announcement on Wednesday, a coalition of Chinese environmental groups urged Beijing to draw up green guiding principles for investment in Belt and Road countries.

“The host country’s climate objectives and the long-term impact of investment activities on the local environment must be taken into consideration,” said Yang Fuqiang, a senior climate advisor with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

(Reporting by David Stanway; editing by Richard Pullin)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

April 24, 2019

(Reuters) – European shares pulled back from eight-month highs on Wednesday as worries over China putting policy-easing measures on hold offset upbeat earnings in the region from Credit Suisse and SAP.

The pan-regional STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0732 GMT. The benchmark index has notched gains in the past eight consecutive sessions, with a trend of rebounding from a weaker open.

Asian shares were also weak despite the S&P 500 hitting an all-time closing high overnight on boosts to earnings, as investors worried over Beijing slowing the pace of policy easing for the world’s second-largest economy. [MKTS/GLOB]

Germany’s DAX eked out a gain ahead of the country’s Ifo business climate data, due at 0800 GMT, while all other major regional bourses were in the red.

Auto stocks dropped 1 percent, led by Renault after its Japanese partner Nissan Motor Co slashed its full-year profit forecast to its lowest in nearly a decade due to weakness in the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said European Union tariffs facing motorcycle manufacturer Harley Davidson Inc were “unfair” and vowed to reciprocate, but gave no other details.

Online gaming company Kindred Group plc landed at the bottom of STOXX 600 after profits for the first-quarter were significantly impacted by a new local license in Sweden.

The oil and gas sector pulled back after a 2 percent jump in the prior session on the back of higher crude prices.

Kicking off the first-quarter balance sheet assessment for banks in the region, Swiss lender Credit Suisse rose 3 percent after posting a surprise profit and saying it was cautiously optimistic about the second-quarter following a challenging start to the year.

Results from Credit Suisse will be followed by those from UBS Group AG and Barclays on Thursday and Deutsche Bank on Friday.

Top performers on STOXX 600 was payments company Wirecard and business software company SAP which also kept the Germany’s DAX afloat.

Wirecard jumped 8 percent after a Bloomberg report said Japan’s Softbank was looking to invest about 900 million euros ($1 billion) to pick up a minority stake in the company.

SAP climbed 6 percent and drove tech sector 1.9 percent higher as the company set ambitious new mid-term targets to boost profit margins after reporting a first-quarter operating loss that chiefly resulted from a restructuring charge.

Healthcare stocks got a boost from Novartis’ gains as the Swiss drugmaker raised its 2019 guidance after a first-quarter earnings and sales beat.

Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo rose after reporting a better-than expected first-quarter operating profit on the back of stronger pricing and easing supply chain constraints.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Source: OANN

Yuki Kanayama, Chief Innovation Officer of Zozo Technologies, poses with a Zozosuit after an interview with Reuters in Tokyo
Yuki Kanayama, Chief Innovation Officer of Zozo Technologies, poses with a Zozosuit after an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan, March 20, 2019. Picture taken March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Sam Nussey

April 24, 2019

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – For Japan’s Zozo Inc, a brash online fashion retailer, 2018 marked a turning point, but not in the way that anyone had hoped.

Its body-measuring Zozosuit, which was supposed to put the firm at the cutting edge of made-to-order fashion, failed to drive sales. Executives came under fire in the media for wildly optimistic targets and the company said in November it was phasing out the product.

Adding to its woes, fashion brands that helped make the reputation of Zozo’s billionaire founder and CEO Yusaku Maezawa became increasingly unhappy with what they saw as excessive discounting at its core Zozotown online mall. Japanese apparel firms like Onward Holdings Co Ltd and Right On Co Ltd left the site.

The turmoil forced Zozo to slash its profit outlook in January. Soon after, publicity-loving Maezawa, known for signing up to be the first private passenger on Elon Musk’s SpaceX voyage around the moon, said he was taking a hiatus from Twitter to concentrate on his “real job”.

According to Yuki Kanayama, chief innovation officer at unit Zozo Technologies, the Zozosuit was no failure – just the first iteration of the company’s made-to-measure business.

The next stage for made-to-order services “is still under debate internally” while Zozo concentrates on shoring up its online mall, he told Reuters in an interview.

The dropping of the suit, however, underscores the challenges in making mass-customization a fashion industry reality. Numerous retailers, from startups to giants like Amazon, are pushing forward with body measuring technology including in-store scanners and apps that capture data via the smartphone. None have had break-out success.

To bolster its mall business, Zozo is recruiting engineers to make shopping online more tailored to a user’s preferences as well as to work on areas such as advertising, said Kanayama, who started up fashion tech company Vasily before selling it to Maezawa in 2017.

Zozo Technologies, the firm’s research and development hub, hired just under 100 people in the past financial year, most of them engineers, lifting the unit’s headcount to 280. This year it plans to hire another 100 people or more, also mostly engineers.

“It’s about search. When you have more products, search becomes more difficult, so it’s about things like personalization and discovery – not only things you want but things that get recommended and that you discover.”

How Zozo, which secured a 15 billion yen ($135 million)commitment line from banks in late March, can rebuild its image and finances will be a key focus when it reports annual earnings and guidance for the current financial year on Thursday.

It has said it expects operating profit to have dropped to 26.5 billion yen, down by a third from an earlier estimate and 19 percent below the previous year’s results. Cash and deposits have also fallen sharply, to 8.2 billion yen as of end-December, down by two-thirds compared to nine months earlier.

Zozo’s problems have seen its stock slide almost 60 percent since its peak last July, valuing the company at 653 billion yen ($5.8 billion).

The company has, however, seen the number of shops on Zozotown climb by roughly a 100 to 1,200 over the past year, as it attracts more inexpensive brands like Shimamura Co Ltd. Zozo also has moved to make discounts less visible to users.

UNSUITED

Michael Causton, an analyst at JapanConsuming, describes the Zozosuit as a nice idea but “very badly executed.”

The first version, launched in late 2017, used embedded sensors to upload data via a smartphone but was afflicted with high costs and production problems. Zozo quickly abandoned that approach in favor of an easier-to-manufacture polka-dot version that used a smartphone camera to capture data.

But a bigger problem soon became apparent: customers who received one of the one million bodysuits distributed for free did not order many clothes and some did not even upload their data in the first place.

“It was a hassle for them,” said Kanayama, adding that positive results from test customers ahead of the bodysuit’s launch fed into Zozo’s overly optimistic sales targets.

“That’s a big point of reflection for us,” he said.

Zozo compounded the problems by extending its made-to-order offerings beyond basics like t-shirts to far more ambitious items like business suits, leading to delivery delays and complaints about poor sizing.

Zozo is, however, not going to abandon its bold approach to business, said Kanayama, who like Maezawa, used to be in a rock band and helps cultivate the firm’s unconventional image with his penchant for cowboy boots.

“Zozo will not mature,” he said, dismissing the idea that 2018 represented a rambunctious teenage period for a firm that needed to grow up. “We are still punk.”

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Jonathan Weber and Edwina Gibbs)

Source: OANN


Current track

Title

Artist