Hitachi CEO: Still in talks on Lithuania nuclear project

Updated 26 December 2012

Hitachi CEO: Still in talks on Lithuania nuclear project

TOKYO: Japan’s Hitachi Ltd. remains in talks with Lithuania over its plans to build a nuclear plant after the European country’s new center-left government said it could shelve nuclear projects, the company’s top executive said.
Hitachi, a century-old conglomerate that designs and builds nuclear power plants with General Electric Co. in two joint ventures, has shifted its focus overseas as Japan shuns nuclear energy in the wake of the worst radiation crisis in 25 years at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant last year.
Hitachi’s nuclear joint venture had been lined up to supply a nuclear energy plant to Lithuania under the country’s previous government, which lost power in October.
“There might be a slight lag in the time period, but the talks have not been completely suspended,” Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chief Executive of Hitachi, said at a press briefing.
Nakanishi said he did not think the worldwide market for nuclear energy would shrink, but said it was impossible to form a sales outlook for Hitachi’s nuclear business before Japan’s own energy policy has been concluded.
The company has previously said it aimed to reach 360 billion yen ($ 4.25 billion) in sales in the nuclear business by fiscal year 2020. Hitachi’s power systems division, which includes its thermal and nuclear power business, logged 832.4 billion yen in sales the year ended March.
The December election victory of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, headed by incoming prime minister Shinzo Abe, has fueled speculation that the new government would take a friendlier stance toward nuclear power.
Nakanishi is credited with a sweeping cost-cutting initiative at Hitachi. The firm is consolidating its 900-plus subsidiaries as it tries to take on global rivals like GE and Siemens AG.
The company most recently merged its thermal power division with that of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and executives from both firms have said they are open to working together on nuclear power.
Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy compete against Toshiba Corp. in thermal power projects in Japan. The three companies are also rivals in nuclear power projects overseas. Most recently, Hitachi beat Toshiba and its subsidiary Westinghouse to a $ 1.1 billion deal in October to build six nuclear plants in Britain.
In a further sign of consolidation, company subsidiaries Hitachi Metals Ltd. and Hitachi Cable Ltd. have said they will merge their businesses next April. Nakanishi said on Tuesday Hitachi Transport System Ltd. and Hitachi Capital Corp. should remain listed separately.
Shares in Hitachi ended up 0.4 percent at 484 yen on Tuesday, against a 1.4 percent rise on Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei average.

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 27 April 2018

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.

In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.