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Optimism over business prospects has encouraged a few offshore companies in Singapore to boost yard capacity in the land-scarce island state.

Yard expansion appears to be high on the business agenda for a few offshore companies in Singapore, including Sembcorp Marine Ltd., one of the countrys biggest two players in the sector, as they equipped themselves to tap a larger slice of business opportunities in Asia and beyond.

The expansion seems timely as the global oil and gas industry is expected to boost capital expenditure on exploration and production (E&P) this year to $723 billion, 6.1 percent higher than last years $682 billion, Barclay Banks said in a Dec. 9, 2013 equity research report.

Oil and gas E&P expenditure in Asia is likely to track the global spending, albeit at a slower rate of 2.47 percent in 2014, the Barclays report indicated. Countries in the region are projected to spend around $124 billion, compared to $121 billion in 2013. The E&P estimates were derived from Barclays data as well as its research on firms like PetroChina Company Ltd., China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec), China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Oil and Natural gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) and others.

In Southeast Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia two major petroleum producers in the region are expected to invest more in the E&P sector. They are likely to have the greatest forecasted investment in oil and gas, due to increasing urgency of stemming production declines. Both countries are developing shallow water plays, while also moving to deepwaters, OCBC Investment Research said in a report highlighted in Singapores Business Times.

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Cheang has covered the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry for over a decade. Email Cheang at cheeyew.cheang@rigzone.com.

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Singapore Offshore Firms Expand Yards to Grow Business

Mar 242014

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has criticised those in government who abuse their power to enrich themselves. Speaking at a Women's Investment Portfolio Holdings at Sun City over the weekend, Business Day reports that Mbeki claimed many have forgotten about the cost of the struggle and were using the gift of liberation for personal aggrandisement.

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Freedom being abused – Mbeki



Freedom Financial | Investment Services in Derry
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and few things in life are achievable without a plan. At Freedom Financial we recognize that financia…

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Freedom Financial | Investment Services in Derry – Video

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – Oct 17, 2013) – Below is the September 2013 Monthly Update for the Liberty All-Star Equity Fund. (NYSE: USA)

Returns for the Fund are total returns, which include dividends, after deducting Fund expenses.

Performance will fluctuate with changes in market conditions. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data shown. Performance information shown does not reflect the deduction of taxes that shareholders would pay on Fund distributions or the sale of Fund shares. Shareholders must be willing to tolerate significant fluctuations in the value of their investment. An investment in the Fund involves risk, including loss of principal.

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Liberty All-Star(R) Equity Fund September 2013 Monthly Update

NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Three leading anti-slavery activists and donors, Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Walk Free Foundation, today announced plans to launch the Freedom Fund, an ambitious seven-year effort to raise and deploy $100 million or more to combat modern-day slavery. The announcement was made at the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York City.

The Freedom Fund is based on the investment approach of its founders and aims to leverage donor funds to significantly increase the impact of existing and new anti-slavery initiatives and enable the scaling up of successful programs globally.

The Fund will target specific areas of high prevalence using a ‘Hotspot’ funding model. It will also fund innovation through thematic program interventions which deliver impact across multiple regions. By coordinating the efforts and resources of actors throughout the sector, the Fund aims to measurably reduce modern-day slavery by 2020.

“Efforts to combat modern-day slavery have traditionally been driven by individual actors and organizations with limited funding, relative to the scale of this significant problem,” said Randy Newcomb, president and CEO of Humanity United, a human rights foundation. “Our goal with the Freedom Fund is to unite those working in isolation in order to create scalable, lasting change for the estimated 21 million people living under the oppression of modern slavery.”

The Freedom Fund will support a variety of actors in the non-profit sector, including international NGOs. There will be an emphasis on providing resources to grassroots organizations working on the front lines to free and rehabilitate survivors of trafficking. The official launch of funding is anticipated in 2014.

“People are surprised to learn that slavery still exists today. The Freedom Fund is a new abolitionist initiative that will work to finally eradicate this modern-day scourge. It will serve existing efforts, identify best practices and mobilize new resources,” said Alan McCormick, a managing director from Legatum. “The structure of this fund has the potential to break the cycle of slavery for millions of men, women and children globally.”

Humanity United, the Legatum Foundation and Walk Free Foundation have each committed $10 million to seed the Fund and will seek to extend the partnership to others who share the same passion and commitment to the cause. The partners’ initial funding will be used to establish the organization and quickly begin directing resources to areas of need.

“What has been missing in the fight against modern slavery is a collaboration of effective resources and targeted efforts focused on outcomes,” said Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free Foundation. “We invite those who share our vision to unite and become part of that solution.”

Prior to the official launch in early 2014, the Freedom Fund founding partners will hire a CEO and develop a set of guiding principles, as well as funding and governance structures.

Join us! To find out more about partnering with us or other ways to get involved in the Freedom Fund, please contact info@freedomfund.org.

Continued here:
$100 Million Freedom Fund to Combat Modern-Day Slavery

UK-linked tax havens are at the centre of a global financial system that encourages crime, corruption and aggressive tax avoidance in developing countries, reveals a new report by Christian Aid as part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign.

The report highlights for the first time the huge scale of foreign investment routed through the UKs tax havens to poor countries and the potential for abuse this causes.

The findings in Invested Interests: The UKs Overseas Territories Hidden Role in Developing Countries underline the urgent need for the G8 to agree a tax deal that benefits poor countries.

Report author Joseph Stead, Christian Aids senior economic justice adviser, said: ‘The UK as G8 chair has never been in a stronger position to end the grave injustices caused by tax havens if the UK succeeds in putting its own house in order first.

‘The Prime Minister must do everything he can to get UK havens agreed on a tax deal before he arrives in Northern Ireland, so he can push the G8 to end the tax scandal.

‘The G8 can start to put an end to tax haven secrecy by agreeing to public registers of the beneficial ownership of all companies and trusts, and making sure developing countries benefit from any tax information deal.’

The report reveals that the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Gibraltar, Anguilla and Turks and Caicos – all British Overseas Territories – together with the Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey are now the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment in developing countries.

The amount totalled US$556bn by 2011, the most recent year for which we have figures, and accounted for one in every ten US dollars of foreign direct investment made there.

This figure is concerning because investment is often structured through such jurisdictions specifically to enable tax dodging in poor countries. Other abuses they facilitate include the laundering of crime money, and round tripping, in which money originating in the developing country where it is to be invested is sent offshore and then returned disguised as foreign funds to qualify for major tax breaks.

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Clamp down on UK-linked tax havens key to success of G8

An important element in any SEO campaign is the ability to adjust strategy based on actualresults. Tracking the right data is essential not only to show the value of the investment andeffort in a campaign but also to help refine the campaign for even better results.

In order to implement results-based actions within an SEO or marketing campaign its importantthat the right metrics are recorded and analyzed. All campaigns are unique and have varyinggoals. Its vital, therefore, to identify the performance indicators that lead to those goals. Believeit or not, there are still SEO experts that gauge performance solely on organic traffic and/or(even worse) rankings. Unless the one and only purpose of a website is to generate traffic inorder to sell advertising space, a much deeper analysis into the SEO performance is needed.

Of course, rankings and traffic are still important metrics to track, but to truly be successful,measurement must go much deeper.

Segment Brand vs. Non-Brand Search Queries

In order to truly isolate organic search as a driver of business its important to look specificallyat the performance metrics generated from non-branded search. Overall organic metrics can beinflated due to other marketing efforts, such as offline, which can substantially increase trafficgenerated from branded organic queries. A spike in organic search traffic may be incorrectlyattributed to SEO if those tracking organic search are unaware of a recent TV spot, for example,that is causing consumers to search a brand name. Segmenting out non-branded searchqueries will provide better insight into performance specific to SEO efforts. This is easy to do byusing advanced filters with organic keyword reports in most analytics platforms.

Of course, SEO does affect branded search, especially for returning visitors who first interactedwith a brand via a non-branded search query. Therefore, branded organic traffic should not beignored from an SEO measurement perspective. An increase in branded organic search trafficfrom returning visitors can be a result of improved non-branded search performance and shouldbe analyzed.

Its also important to have good communication among other marketing channels in orderto identify other efforts that can be negatively impacting organic search numbers. Theseefforts should be recorded and taken into account when analyzing SEO performance. SEOdepartments should make themselves aware of any other marketing initiatives, as well as thetimelines of such. Entering annotations in organic search traffic graphs in Google Analyticsis a good way to track any other marketing efforts or events that could impact the data.

Engagement Matters

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Best Practices for Measuring SEO Success by @MarcPurtell

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Liberty Global plc (Liberty Global) (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) today announced that, following shareholder approvals, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Virgin Media Inc. (Virgin Media) (NASDAQ: VMED; LSE: VMED) in a stock and cash merger valued at approximately $24 billion.

Mike Fries, President and CEO of Liberty Global, said, This is a great day for customers, employees and shareholders of both Liberty Global and Virgin Media. Together we now provide over 47 million video, voice and broadband services to 25 million customers located principally in 12 European countries. With superior network capacity, the fastest broadband speeds and innovative digital TV platforms, we’ve never been more excited about the growth potential and strategic direction of our business. Virgin Media will continue to thrive under the leadership of Tom Mockridge who starts as CEO today, with the support of a fantastic management team which includes both Liberty Global and Virgin Media executives.

Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media, said, Virgin Media has become one of the UKs most powerful media brands thanks to both the loyalty of its customers and the energy of its employees. I am fortunate to be joining the company at this important inflection point in its development, and look forward to working closely with Mike and the broader Liberty Global team to deliver cutting-edge products and services that excite and inspire our customers.

As a result of the closing, Liberty Global, a public limited company organized under the laws of England, has become the new public parent company of Liberty Global, Inc. and Virgin Media. Liberty Globals Class A, Class B and Class C ordinary shares will begin trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on June 10, 2013 under the same symbols: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK. The shares of both Liberty Global, Inc. and Virgin Media will cease trading at market close on June 7, 2013 and will be deregistered under securities laws. The listing of Virgin Medias common stock on the Official List and the admission of those shares to trading on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange will be cancelled with effect from 8:00 A.M. London time on June 10, 2013.

About Liberty Global

Liberty Global is the largest international cable company with operations in 14 countries. We connect people to the digital world and enable them to discover and experience its endless possibilities. Our market-leading triple-play services are provided through next-generation networks and innovative technology platforms that connect approximately 25 million customers subscribing to over 47 million television, broadband internet and telephony services.

Liberty Globals consumer brands include Virgin Media, UPC, Unitymedia, Kabel BW, Telenet and VTR. Our operations also include Chellomedia, our content division, Liberty Global Business Services, a commercial division and Liberty Global Ventures, our investment fund.

For more information, please visit www.libertyglobal.com.

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Liberty Global Completes Acquisition of Virgin Media

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands–(BUSINESSWIRE)–

Six attorneys invited to partnership alongside senior counsel appointments

Walkers, the leading International Financial Centre law firm, is pleased to announce a number of lawyers across its global network have been invited to join the partnership, as the firm expands further in key markets to support the continued growth and requirements of its clients.

Six highly experienced individuals have been promoted to partner across five of Walkers’ international offices. With promotions in all of the firm’s main practice areas, this represents a significant expansion for Walkers, taking the firm’s total number of partners to 59.

Walkers’ new partners collectively represent some 75 years of legal experience and the promotions take place in the following jurisdictions and practice groups:

British Virgin Islands:

Julie Engwirda Partner, Dispute Resolution

Cayman Islands:

Matthew Goucke Partner, Dispute Resolution

Melissa Lim Partner, Investment Funds

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Walkers Expands With New Partners Across Global Network

Search engine optimisation (SEO), a long-time fixture in the daily operations of CIOs and IT managers, has finally broken through to New Zealand CEOs, who are embracing the business practice as the way forward for online promotion.

At the front of the SEO drive is Richard Conway, founder and manager of Pure SEO, the firm established by the web optimization specialist in 2009 after he emigrated with his wife from the United Kingdom.

The recent trend in uptake among CEOs, has not escaped Richards attention. “There is always an initial wave of early adopters – CIOs, CMOs, marketing and IT managers along with the people who live and breathe technology.

“What is happening now is that the benefits of search engine optimisation and being a Google top-ranked website have become apparent to CEOs and business owners who are looking for a greater return on their investment in online marketing.”

Growth in online marketing is predicted to continue, with data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau of New Zealand (IABNZ) showing that interactive advertising spending totalled $94.02 million in Q3 2012, an increase of 3% from Q2 2012 and a 5% increase year-on-year. Roy Morgan research shows that in the 12 months to October 2012, $5.6 billion was spent on online shopping and 68% of smartphone owners accessed the internet via mobile phone.

Explaining the ins and outs of SEO to those that arent familiar isnt straightforward, but Richard is leading the way by presenting an SEO workshop for the Marketing Association (Thursday 30 May).

The half-day course will include an introduction to SEO, link building and webmaster tools. With a practical session, Richard will explain the influence of keywords on search engine results and how stepping into the mind of a customer will reveal the best keywords for improved SEO – useful to marketing professionals and business owners/managers looking to make an impression online. Attendees should expect to complete the course with knowledge of some of the jargon and software used by SEO professionals and a clear idea of “black hat” techniques to avoid.

The Pure SEO SEO – Need to know workshop will be run through the Marketing Association.

See the article here:
SEO workshop for CEOs and business owners

ENGLEWOOD, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Liberty Global, Inc. (Liberty Global) (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB and LBTYK) will be presenting at the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 2:10 p.m. EST at the Crowne Plaza Times Square in New York, New York. Liberty Global may make observations concerning its historical operating performance and outlook. The presentation will be webcast live at www.lgi.com. We intend to archive the webcast under the investor relations section of our website for approximately 30 days.

About Liberty Global

Liberty Global is the leading international cable company, with operations in 13 countries. We connect people to the digital world and enable them to discover and experience its endless possibilities. Our market-leading triple-play services are provided through next-generation networks and innovative technology platforms that connect 20 million customers subscribing to 35 million television, broadband internet and telephony services as of March 31, 2013.

Liberty Globals consumer brands include UPC, Unitymedia, KabelBW, Telenet and VTR. Our operations also include Chellomedia, our content division, Liberty Global Business Services, our commercial division and Liberty Global Ventures, our investment fund.

For more information, please visit www.lgi.com.

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Liberty Global to Present at the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference



(O) Offshore Banking and Investment for Americans
offshore company, offshore banking – http://www.worldwideoffshore.com/

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(O) Offshore Banking and Investment for Americans – Video

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – May 20, 2013) – Below is the April 2013 Monthly Update for the Liberty All-Star Growth Fund, Inc. (NYSE: ASG)

Investment Approach

Fund Style: All-Cap Growth

Fund Strategy: Combines three growth style investment managers, each with a distinct capitalization focus (small-, mid- and large-cap)selected and continuously monitored by the Fund’s Investment Advisor.

Investment Managers: M.A. Weatherbie & Company, Inc. Small-Cap Growth | Matthew A. Weatherbie, CFA TCW Investment Management Company Mid-Cap Growth | Chang Lee and Mike Olson, CFA Large-Cap Growth | Craig C. Blum, CFA

The net asset value (NAV) of a closed-end fund is the market value of the underlying investments (i.e., stocks and bonds) in the Fund’s portfolio, minus liabilities, divided by the total number of Fund shares outstanding. However, the Fund also has a market price; the value at which it trades on an exchange. If the market price is above the NAV the Fund is trading at a premium. If the market price is below the NAV the Fund is trading at a discount.

Returns for the Fund are total returns, which include dividends, after deducting fund expenses. The Fund’s performance is calculated assuming that a shareholder reinvested all distributions and exercised all primary rights in the Fund’s rights offerings. Past performance cannot predict future investment results.

Performance will fluctuate with changes in market conditions. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data shown. Performance information shown does not reflect the deduction of taxes that shareholders would pay on Fund distributions or the sale of Fund shares. Shareholders must be willing to tolerate significant fluctuations in the value of their investment. An investment in the Fund involves risk, including loss of principal.

All data is as of April 30, 2013 unless otherwise noted. The Liberty All-Star Growth Fund, Inc. is a closed-end fund and does not continuously offer shares. The Fund trades in the secondary market, investors wishing to buy or sell shares need to place orders through an intermediary or broker by using the Fund’s ticker symbol: ASG.

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Liberty All-Star(R) Growth Fund, Inc. April 2013 Monthly Update

BOSTON, MA–(Marketwired – May 20, 2013) – Below is the April 2013 Monthly Update for the Liberty All-Star Equity Fund. (NYSE: USA)

Investment Approach

Fund Style: Large-Cap Core

Fund Strategy: Combines three value-style and two growth-style investment managers. Those selected demonstrate a consistent investment philosophy, decision making process, continuity of key people and above-average long-term results compared to managers with similar styles.

InvestmentManagers: Value Managers: Matrix Asset Advisors, Inc. Pzena Investment Management, LLC Schneider Capital Management Corporation Growth Managers: Cornerstone Capital Management LLC TCW Investment Management Company

The net asset value (NAV) of a closed-end fund is the market value of the underlying investments (i.e., stocks and bonds) in the Fund’s portfolio, minus liabilities, divided by the total number of Fund shares outstanding. However, the Fund also has a market price; the value at which it trades on an exchange. If the market price is above the NAV the Fund is trading at a premium. If the market price is below the NAV the Fund is trading at a discount.

Returns for the Fund are total returns, which include dividends, after deducting Fund expenses. The Fund’s performance is calculated assuming that a shareholder reinvested all distributions and exercised all primary rights in the Fund’s rights offerings. Past performance cannot predict future investment results.

Performance will fluctuate with changes in market conditions. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data shown. Performance information shown does not reflect the deduction of taxes that shareholders would pay on Fund distributions or the sale of Fund shares. Shareholders must be willing to tolerate significant fluctuations in the value of their investment. An investment in the Fund involves risk, including loss of principal.

All data is as of April 30, 2013 unless otherwise noted. The Liberty All-Star Equity Fund is a closed-end fund and does not continuously offer shares. The Fund trades in the secondary market, investors wishing to buy or sell shares need to place orders through an intermediary or broker by using the Fund’s ticker symbol: USA.

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Liberty All-Star(R) Equity Fund April 2013 Monthly Update

FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–

Freedom Bank of Virginia (Bank) (Bulletin Board:FDVA.OB) earned a Net profit before taxes of $300,596 for the quarter ending March 31, 2013, its sixteenth consecutive quarterly profit. Net profit at March 31, 2012 was $308,772. Improving asset quality, allowed less to be put in the Provision for loan losses, which helped offset increased salary expense from hiring additional lenders versus the prior year.

The Bank generated significant loan growth over the trailing twelve months. Gross loans receivable increased to $183,295,852, which was up 18.5% from $154,468,808 at March 31, 2012. According to CEO Craig Underhill, The Bank significantly increased the size of its lending staff in the second half of 2012 and is realizing significant loan growth from that investment. In addition to the staff hired in 2012, the Bank hired two more experienced commercial lenders in the first quarter of 2013 to continue to accelerate loan growth.

Total assets increased 10.4% to $239,780,059 up from $217,266,197 at March 31, 2012. Investment securities increased $8,154,889 (32.2%) to $33,485,453 and Bank Owned Life Insurance increased $1,058,422 (105.8%) during the same period, which along with loan growth increased these assets of the Bank by $37,860,355 (20.8%) since March 31, 2012. The growth in assets was partially funded by $20,670,596 (10.7%) growth in deposits. The Bank also decreased low yielding Federal Funds by $17,971,000 (-67.1%) to fund the growth of higher yielding assets compared with March 31, 2012.

Capital continues to be strong, growing $1,558,970 (6.5%) over the same period in the prior year to $25,555,169. Regulatory Capital minimums for Tier 1 Leverage Ratio, Risk Based Capital Tier 1, and Risk Based Capital Tier 2 were 5.0%, 6.0% and 10.0% respectively, to be considered well capitalized. At March 31, 2013 the ratios for the Bank were 10.59%, 13.28 % and 14.49% respectively, all in the well capitalized category. The Bank continues its tradition of maintaining a strong capital base to serve the needs of its customers and stockholders.

About Freedom Bank

Freedom Bank is a community-oriented, locally-owned bank with locations in Fairfax and Vienna, Virginia. For information about Freedom Banks deposit and loan services, visit www.freedombankva.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements, including our expectations with respect to future events that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from management’s projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations include: fluctuation in market rates of interest and loan and deposit pricing, adverse changes in the overall national economy as well as adverse economic conditions in our specific market areas, maintenance and development of well-established and valued client relationships and referral source relationships, and acquisition or loss of key production personnel. Other risks that can affect the Bank are detailed from time to time in our quarterly and annual reports filed with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. We caution readers that the list of factors above is not exclusive. The forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release, and we may not undertake steps to update the forward-looking statements to reflect the impact of any circumstances or events that arise after the date the forward-looking statements are made. In addition, our past results of operations are not necessarily indicative of future performance.

Investment securities available for sale, at fair value

Total Deposits

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Freedom Bank Celebrates 16th Consecutive Quarterly Profit

HOUSTON, April 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Liberty Energy Corp. (OTCBB:LBYE) (“Liberty” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce the launch of its expanded business plans in conjunction with the appointment of its newly formed board of directors and investor relations executive.

Liberty has made the following appointments:

Richard Webb as member of the Board of Directors.

Dennis Irwin as member of the Board of Directors and acting CFO.

David Sexton as Investor Relations executive.

Liberty’s renewed focus through its expanded business plan includes seeking partners to develop its oil & gas leases in oil rich counties of Bastrop, Caldwell and Eastland Counties as well as focusing aggressively on acquisitions within the upstream oil & gas segment including either exploration and production or oilfield service businesses.

As part of the expanded business plan the board of directors has set forth an aggressive communication program to connect David Sexton, Investor Relations Executive with Liberty’s shareholder base as well as open up discussions with the investment community.

Feel free to contact David Sexton directly at 1-832-708-3909 or email info@energy-liberty.com to request additional information and ongoing updates.

ABOUT LIBERTY: Liberty Energy Corp. (OTCBB:LBYE) is an Independent Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Company dedicated to the sourcing and production of fuel supplies in the United States. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the company has signed agreements to acquire leases and royalties in Texas, covering several leases with extensive potential for future development. In Texas, three leases — are identified as rich oil and gas sites based around numerous geological pay zones. Currently the company is targeting acquisitions within the E & P or oilfield services of the upstream oil & gas segment.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements are within the meaning of that term in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Liberty Energy Corp. bases these forward-looking statements on current expectations and projections about future events, based on information currently available. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release may also include statements relating to Liberty Energy Corp.’s anticipated financial performance, business prospects, new developments, strategies and similar matters. Liberty Energy Corp. disclaims any obligation to update any of its forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law.

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Liberty Energy Corp. Announces Expansion of Business Plan and Management

Mar 292013

Search sits at the core of online behavior. People spend more time on the Internet than watching TV. What customers put in the search bar is the expression of intent, said Seth Besmertnik, CEO of Conductor, and presenter at the SEO in the Boardroom: Tangible Search Metrics session at SES New York. The session emphasized the importance of executive buy-in when it comes to investing in organic search, and a wealth of tips on how to go about winning it.

SEO is about optimizing content so people can find it. Many people play a role in various stages of creating content, yet SEO often has no functional ownership of this process. It is imperative to get the C-suite engaged, said Besmertnik. Before traveling down the path of strategy and implementation, you must first sell the C-Suite on making the investment in SEO.

Organic search is the indisputable leader in driving traffic that will convert to a website. Yet, it remains among of the lowest funding priorities when it comes to the website or marketing budget. Search marketing often attracts more of the budget, despite the fact that organic search delivers a higher rate of lead to close conversion than paid search, referral, social media, or outbound marketing.

Despite the facts, organic search remains the most under-funded activity in web marketing, said Besmertnik. He referenced data provided by Forrester and comScore indicating that allocation of search engine budgets is upside down.

While a mere 8 percent of search engine clicks come from paid search, 89 percent of the search budget is invested in search engine marketing. Conversely, while 92 percent of search engine clicks are organic in origin, a mere 11 percent of the search engine budget is invested in organic search.

Besmertnik shared that when his organization inquired, organizations would reveal how little they invest in organic search. He used an example of a $100,000 per month budget where 10 percent spend on organic would be considered high, a mere 1 percent of the budget allocated to organic SEO is more the norm.

This could be discouraging to those championing SEO to the leadership team within their own organization, or that of a client. Fortunately, the facts are in the favor of SEO as a qualified investment. It is just a matter of communicating them to the right people, in a way they will understand and can respond to.

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Selling SEO to the C-Suite

27 March 2013 Last updated at 01:54 ET

Most of Northern Ireland’s beaches have excellent bathing water quality, according to the latest survey by the Marine Conservation Society.

Last year was one of the wettest summers on record, but 15 of the 23 beaches still managed to pass European guidelines.

That is just one fewer than the year before.

Only one NI beach, Newcastle, County Down, failed to meet a minimum European standard for bathing water quality.

Dr Robert Keirle of MSC said Northern Ireland (NI) Water had invested heavily over the last 10 years to improve its network of sewers and pumping stations and this investment appeared to be paying off.

“Despite Northern Ireland as a whole experiencing an exceptionally wet summer during 2012, today we can recommend the second highest number of beaches in the province,” he said.

“So the benefits of NI Water’s investment are starting to become apparent.”

MCS said that, nationally, 42 beaches (5.6%) failed to meet even a minimum European standard, or equivalent, for bathing water quality; 17 more than in last year’s guide.

Dr Keirle said just because this was the second best result on record for Northern Ireland’s beaches, it was no time for complacency.

View post:
NI beaches ‘excellent’ water quality

* Buys 12.65 pct stake in Ziggo for 632.5 mln euros

* Liberty already present in Netherlands through UPC

* Ziggo shares rise on speculation of full takeover bid

* Liberty already tied up with $15.75 bln Virgin Media (NasdaqGS: VMED – news) deal (Adds shares, analyst comment, background)

AMSTERDAM, March 28 (Reuters) – Cable operator Liberty Global extended its reach into the Netherlands by buying a 12.65 percent stake in Ziggo for 632.5 million euros ($808 million), prompting speculation it might eventually make a full bid.

Liberty Global (NasdaqGS: LBTYA – news) , which owns Dutch cable firm UPC, said on Thursday it bought the shares in the Netherlands’ largest cable operator for 25 euros apiece from Barclays Capital Securities.

Barclays (LSE: BARC.L – news) ended up with a 14.2 percent stake in Ziggo after failing to find enough buyers for the shares in a sale it ran last week.

Ziggo shares shot up 9.3 percent to 26.565 euros in early trading, valuing the whole company at about 5.3 billion euros.

Analysts said the rise was based on the idea Liberty could make a full bid, although they added it probably couldn’t in the short term because it was already planning to buy Britain’s Virgin Media Inc for about $15.75 billion.

“Ziggo shares should benefit from hopes of an eventual takeover by Liberty, but we think the shares are also seeing a short-squeeze following overhang from the recent placing,” said UBS Investment Research in a research note.

The rest is here:
UPDATE 1- Liberty pushes deeper into Netherlands with Ziggo stake

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Beaches area is home for three Irish pubs, but it was the Jacksonville Landing that saw an economic boom on St. Patrick’s Day.

Fireworks returned to the Landing last year for the first time in five years. And the investment was worth it. Property sales increased by a third over previous years.

It also didn’t hurt that Fionn MacCool’s Irish Pub opened just months before St. Patrick’s Day, too.

This year, the fireworks return and the party starts early. Live music is tonight through Sunday. On Sunday the schedule is live music 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Yappy Hour St. “Paw”ty’s Day Celebration for your pooch is 2-5 p.m. and the fireworks blast of for St. Pat’s on the St. Johns at 9:30 p.m.

At the beach, Lynch’s, Culhane’s and Fly’s Tie Irish Pubs will be in full swing, and that means an economic boost for them and surrounding businesses.

Culhane’s calls the day their Super Bowl with an increase of 50 percent in sales, and Lynch’s said they make a week and a half of income in one day.

Surrounding business, such as bars, restaurants and hotels are also noting increases.

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Beaches , Landing boast big bucks on St. Patrick’s Day



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Pierre Teilhard De Chardin




Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism

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