May 20, 2020

Australian Wine proves fruitful with $2.89bn in exports

wine
Food & Drink
Prateek V
2 min
Australian Wine proves fruitful with $2.89bn in exports

Wine exported from Australia has bounced back from the lows felt in 2017 as lower volumes and higher values contribute to profits.

The Australian wine industry has added more weight to its reputation as a global influencer in the sector as profits of AU$2.89bn were announced. The announcement is a 7% increase on last years profits, as the industry grows globally, only Europe felt a decline in exported value.

The average price for litre went up to $6.79 in the 12 months preceeding September 2019, as exports see increased attention from China, Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium and South Korea. Export volumes saw a decline of 8% down to 774mn litres and unpacked wine felt a similar decline as values fell by 3% to AU$512mn and volumes fell by 10%. With all factors considered, Wine Australia have said the average value of unpacked wine has actually increased by 9% per litre FOB.

“The positive numbers also reflect that the average value of bottled wine to all but three of our top 20 destinations are in growth and nearly all the major global regions imported more Australian wine in the past year, with the exception of Europe, which declined by 3%.” Said Andreas Clarke, CEO of Wine Australia. He added, “Global Trade Atlas figures for the year ended August 2019 showed that overall wine imports declined by 11 per cent in value [AUD], with French wine being the biggest contributor to the decline. Australia’s long-term growth trend, coupled with France’s sudden decline, has led to Australia becoming the number one source for wine by value in China’s imported market for the first time.”

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Wine Australia has spoken about the decreasing volumes adding to the value of wine coming out of Australia. The market supply could see pressures ease as the vintage from 2018 had a much larger yield than the previous year, as 2017 had the Australian Wine industry suffer a drought, leading to hugely reduced volume over the year.

The heat and rocky soil of Australia can make for the perfect environment for certain grapes. As rocky soil holds the heat from the sun to keep grapes warm through the night and ample space give opportunities for businesses to grow.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

hoching
legend
singapore
Temasek
3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.

 

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