Category Archives: startups

ITB Berlin begins its 51 th edition next 8-12 march 2017

itb-2016-1This fair remains the unavoidable number in the world, for its 51 th edition the 26 halls already displays a full reservation despite the difficult economic situation of the tourism sector in the world

The organizer also announces a number of professional visitors never reached. The sector is currently in a deep geopolitical crisis or some countries
Suffers from a lack of tourism such as Tunisia, Egypt. Germany is undoubtedly one of the most important markets for international tourism.
International decision makers take advantage of the fair to sign new contracts. The 2016 edition already had more than 10,000 exhibiting companies from 187 countries and regions and attracted more than 120,000 visitors. The contracts reached more than 6.7 billion euros at the last show.
Dr. Christian Göke, President and CEO of Messe Berlin, said that it had never received so many professional visitors in the halls of the event and already enjoyed a greater affluence for the next edition. The next edition will have numerous exhibitors from 5 continents, 187 countries, 1000 qualified Top Buyers, 10,000 exhibitors, 26,000 Convention Visitors, 60,000 Private Visitors, 120,000 Trade Visitors, on a surface of 160,000 Square meters and 7 Bn.Euro Turnover.
The country of honor guest will be Bostwana offering tremendous wealth resources.

It’s all a question of technology.

Efficient technological solutions are increasingly becoming a decisive factor in successful travel industry business



The ITB Berlin segment Travel Technology features four halls where providers present their global distribution systems (GDS), tour operator databases, reservation systems, travel agency software and calculation programs. The main focus in Hall 5.1 is on software for tour operators and travel agencies. In halls 8.1 and 10.1 the focus is on technology providers for the hotel industry.

The Social Media, Big Data and Mobile Travel Services areas can be found in the – e travel World – in Hall 6.1.

8-12 March, 2017 –  Messe Berlin  – Messedamn, 22 –  14055 Berlin – Germany

Investing in Japan – Thematic investments in light of the Pokémon Go craze




Unless you’ve been living under a rock during the past few weeks, you must have heard about the Pokémon Go phenomenon that has taken the world’s attention by storm. The release of the smash-hit app by Niantic Inc. has not only resulted in global hype, but has also had significant repercussions on the stock market. Shares of Nintendo, which has a small stake in Niantic and a 32% stake in The Pokémon Company (the company that owns the rights to the Pokémon franchise), have been on a rollercoaster ride and their average daily turnover on the Tokyo stock exchange has multiplied by a factor of 30 after the release of Pokémon Go. The share price more than doubled during the first few days, then plummeted after the company had to play down the financial impact of the game’s success.

Source: 123RF

Other stocks have also been impacted by Pokémon fever: McDonald’s Japan, which distributes Pokémon characters with its Happy Meals, jumped by 25% after the game’s release. First Baking, the baker of “Pokémon Bread”, saw its share price increase by 23% and Fuji Media Holdings, which owns a small stake in Niantic, was also up by more than 20%. Sanoyas Holdings, an engineering company whose leisure arm runs Pokémon themed facilities, saw its share price temporarily skyrocket by more than 300%, while shares of Imagica Robot, a producer of Pokémon cartoons, briefly gained almost 200%.

Share prices of Nintendo, Sanoyas and Imagica Robot (ytd)

Source: Bloomberg

While the jury is still out on the potential impact of the game’s success and the Pokémon craze on the financial results of these companies, it is clear that riding these kinds of waves on the stock market means taking big risks. Getting the right timing for such investments (“bets” would probably be a more appropriate term) can turn out to be very frustrating, as short-term news flows result in big market swings. Often investments made during these volatile times are merely speculation on short-term trading gains and are rarely made for the purpose of establishing long-term holdings. As such, company valuations tend to be ignored and prices paid for the investments often prove to be too high over the long run.

Short-term investment themes on the Japanese stock market

Riding such thematic waves is a more common phenomenon on the Japanese stock market than other markets. After decades of disappointments, the mood of many investors has veered away from fundamental investing. Even after the nice rally we’ve enjoyed in the past three years, most global investors are underweight on Japan and shy away from long-term commitments. To gain exposure to the Japanese market, they tend to play certain themes for a while, without paying too much attention to company fundamentals or valuations. The recent Pokémon frenzy, although extreme, is just an example of many others in the past.

In 2003 for example, the SARS outbreak hit Asia and Japanese investors rushed to buy makers of masks and dumped travel-related stocks. In 2008, the spike in crude oil prices prompted investors to buy companies that were somehow connected to the theme of alternative energy. In 2012, the spread of smartphones and the proliferation of social games led to a strong rise in the share prices of game-related companies. In recent years, the rise in foreign tourists visiting Japan has increased demand for transportation and consumer stocks. Although some themes have influenced investor behaviour more than others, they have often resulted in big market swings and unfulfilled expectations.

At BLI – Banque de Luxembourg Investments, we are not trying to capture and ride these waves. Our investment approach leads us to buy companies which benefit from a competitive edge that allows them to create shareholder value over the long term

We also put a big emphasis on company valuation in order to avoid falling into the trap of overpaying for our investments. We do not base our investment decisions on short-term themes and tend to avoid over-hyped stocks that are buoyed by growth expectations that are not sustainable.

Thematic investments at BLI

However, while we don’t actively follow the trend on short-term themes, our individual investments often profit from certain interesting long-term trends:

For export-orientated companies, our Japanese equity fund BL-Equities Japan holds several companies that respond to the themes of industrial automation and the growth in mobile data communication. Industrial and chemical companies like Fanuc, Keyence or Nitto Denko, which have been described in detail in a previous blog entitled “Automation for the people”, are well positioned to benefit from these structural growth themes. Another long-term theme is the rapidly growing middle class in emerging countries, where companies like Pigeon, a leading producer of baby bottles and dummies , and Unicharm, Japan’s leading producer of baby nappies, are well positioned to benefit.

Among companies exposed to the domestic market, the fund’s portfolio includes several companies that are boosted by consolidation in Japan’s retail sector. Ain Holdings, ABC-Mart or Don Quijote are some of the retailers mentioned in an earlier blog entitled “New adventurers in retail”, which gain market share at the expense of smaller competitors. Demographic change is also an important theme in Japan. Secom for example, a virtual monopolist in security systems, benefits from the ageing population as it has expanded its product range to offer services for the elderly.

A key recurring theme on the Japanese stock market is the rotation between sectors more exposed to exports and those more exposed to the domestic economy. Investment switches between these segments are generally based on the outlook for the global economy and the Japanese yen. They can occur suddenly, continue over longer periods of time and heavily influence stock performance. As predicting parameters like currencies, economic data or investor sentiment influencing this sector rotation is very difficult, we have decided that our Japanese fund must always keep a sound balance between domestic and export-orientated companies. This decision is essentially a risk-control measure, as it prevents the fund from being too heavily exposed in either direction. It is the only top-down decision made for the portfolio, the choice of companies included in the two categories being purely based on bottom-up stock picking.


Themes and their impact on fund performance

Apart from this structural choice to balance export and domestic companies, fund performance over the short term can still be heavily impacted by many other themes that influence investor behaviour on the Japanese market. For example, in 2013, the main investment theme playing out in Japan was the monetary policy aspect of Abenomics, resulting in a depreciation of the yen and a decrease in investors’ risk aversion, as I noted in an earlier blog entitled “The impact of Abenomics“. Investors have consequently been on the hunt for high-beta and highly leveraged stocks, small caps, and stocks in sectors like brokerage or real estate. None of this played into our hand as our exposure to these categories is structurally low. As a result, BL-Equities Japan trailed the market during this period.

BL-Equities Japan vs. MSCI Japan NR since launch

Source: Bloomberg

Over the short term, it is always possible for performance to be negatively impacted by theme-driven markets but over the long term, we are convinced that stock markets reflect economic realities and that our approach consisting of buying quality companies at reasonable valuations pays. Since the beginning of 2014, BL-Equities Japan has been able to make up the ground lost in 2013, and since its inception in 2011 it has significantly outperformed the market.

Theme-driven markets can also play in your favour: for instance, during the last two years, the focus of Japanese investors has been on the theme of “improvements in corporate governance and shareholder returns”. I described the reasons for this trend in past year’s blog entitled “an Emerging Interest in Corporate Governance”. Profitable companies that generate large amounts of free cash flow have become the focus of investors’ interests and demand for quality growth stocks has increased. As these are the kind of companies that are the preferred investment candidates for BL-Equities Japan, this theme has certainly helped to contribute to the fund’s excellent performance during this period.

Theme-driven markets as opportunities for investors

As we have seen, in the short term, markets do not always reflect economic realities. On the one hand, stocks can fall out of favour for simply not being in tune with a certain theme, while on the other hand, markets can drive up stock prices purely based on short-term news flow and sentiment. At BLI, as fund managers with a long-term view, we try to use these market movements to our advantage. We can seize opportunities that arise when unloved companies with attractive and sustainable long-term growth prospects become cheap for the wrong reasons. And we can take profits on those popular companies in our portfolio whose valuations have been driven up too far, just because they were responding to a favourable theme. With this contrarian approach, investors might miss out on some short-term investment opportunities and sometimes be on the wrong side of the equation when certain themes play out. But over the long term, this approach should turn out to be reasonably rewarding for investors and help them register better and more sustainable returns than those achieved by following the herd in theme-driven markets.

Steve GlodEquity Fund Manager


Source : Banque of Luxembourg


Universal Press



Fujitsu World Tour 2016: Interview with Mr. Yves de Beauregard, Managing Director Fujitsu Benelux

On 16th June in Brussels the Fujitsu World Tour 2016 in collaboration with its expert partners, Fujitsu covered a fascinating range of ICT topics in keynote and breakout sessions.

By working with its customers, Fujitsu seeks to leverage the power of human centric innovation to change the way we work, think and collaborate. Through a series of expert talks, breakout sessions and technology showcases, Fujitsu demonstrate new ways of using ICT, including the Internet of Things, Big Data, mobile and other digital technologies, to benefit business and society as a whole.

Mr. Yves de Beauregard, Managing Director Fujitsu Benelux explained: “The principal of the world tour within Fujitsu is to have the ability to bring on the local market the power and innovation of Fujitsu group. At the World Tour people can experience the upcoming innovations of Fujitsu and how much the impact will be on their business and daily life.”   


MVI_6333.MOV.Still005Last year’s Fujitsu World Tour – the largest roadshow of its kind – was a resounding success. More than 10,000 experts came to the 18 events over five continents, eager to learn how human centric ICT can create a safer, more prosperous and sustainable world.

Here are the main topics covered:

Digital Transformation – Navigating big data, the IOT, social media and process orchestration, whilst leveraging such delivery platforms as cloud and mobile, requires careful planning and prioritization.

Hybrid IT – As organizations seek the benefits delivered by cloud adoption, they are increasingly faced with the task of striking a balance between the many conflicting demands placed on the IT infrastructure.

Mobilizing the Enterprise – While businesses may understand the benefits of a mobile workforce, it can be a balancing act between empowering employees, while keeping data safe and standardizing the technology and services.

Business-Centric Infrastructure – Integrated servers and storage provide the solid ICT foundations an enterprise needs if it is to be consistent and flexible and so remain competitive.

The social impacts of digital transformation were another important aspect faced: “We look at the social impacts of digital transformations in a very positive way. The technology that is not dedicated to make our life better, has no chance to go through.” Added Mr. de Beauregard. “People adhere to technology makes their life better. Human centric innovation, is basically say the innovation and technology we are working on, is there to sustain a better life in a better world.”



Huawei P9 and Leica: Change the way you see the world


For the launch of those new models, Huawei challenged the professional photographer Frederik Herregods.

On 12th May in Brussels Huawei launched the P9 series co-engineered with Leica.

PIC_0253_first.MP4.Still001The new smartphones P9 and P9 Plus indeed arranges double objective developed in association with “Leica”. The photography by smartphone professionalizes with a user-friendliness, an intuitively and a disconcerting ease of use. Frederik Herregods was fooled by the ease of handling of the camera and tested all its features: he was impressed by its level of quality. The Belgian ambassador of Leica directly recognized the traditional specificities of the Leica devices : the pallet of colors and its contrasts, its clear details, the shooting in RAW mode, the capacity of the stretchable memory. The additional benefits are the double objective of the camera and the sensor of fingerprint for perfect selfies. In brief, professional devices which puts itself in pocket to be always at hand.

Products and services of Huawei are available in more than 170 countries and are used by a third of the world population, classifying in the third world rank for the deliveries of mobile phones in 2014. The company account sixteen centers Research & Development implanted among others in the United States, in Germany, in Sweden, in Russia, in India and in China. Huawei Consumer is being member of three commercial units of Huawei and covers smartphones, mobile devices wide band, the domestic devices and the cloud departments. The world network of Huawei is built over 20 years of expertise of the industry of telecommunications and dedicates to deliver the last technological breakthroughs to the consumers of the entire world.

The new Huawei P9 and P9 Plus were tried by worldwide considered photographers: Mary McCartney, David Guttenfelder and Frederik Herregods. Why not you?

For specifications:  

We discovered with Paul Dirk Pauwels country manager of Huawei Belgium, the features of the new P9 series.

Art. Oliver Bulto

Interview: Henry Borzi

Video: Angelo Cera

Henry Borzi

Les nouveaux produits de Nest arrivent sur le marché belge #nest #technologie #belgique

nest_thermostat_insteon-800x420Nest, avec neuf mois de présence en Belgique, vient de présenter ses deux nouveaux produits qui seront mis sur le marché ce juillet: «Nest Cam» et la dernière version de «Nest Protect».

Cette entreprise née à Californie il y a déjà 5 ans, a toujours voulu faire de nos maisons un endroit intelligent, capable de s’autogérer, de façon à rendre plus confortable notre vie. Ainsi, ils ont créé le «Nest thermostat», leur premier produit, qui peut s’autoprogrammer, et qui aide à économiser de l’énergie grâce à son mécanisme novateur composé par plusieurs senseurs.

Après le succès de ce thermostat intelligent, ils sont développé son «Nest Protect», un avertisseur d’incendie, et très tôt on aura la possibilité d’acheter sa nouvelle version, caractérisée pour distinguer les différents types de feu, ou pour avoir un design plus élégant.nest-protect-2

Par ailleurs, le «Nest Cam» sera aussi prêt pour ce mois de juillet. Ce nouveau produit offre une caméra avec une précision extrême, capable d’émettre des messages vocaux, et avec une vision nocturne très précise.

En effet, Nest a atteint son but d’avoir une maison qui fait plus pour nous que ce qu’on fait pour elle avec ces trois produits. De plus, ils sont parvenus à les interconnecter entre eux, et avec le «cloud», de manière à obtenir tout un système innovateur qu’on peut facilement se contrôler avec notre portable.

Esperanza Revuelta

Grootste #CruiseEvent in #Antwerpen #sea #travel


Dat Belgen steeds meer interesse hebben in cruisereizen is bekend. De groeicijfers op de cruisemarkt zijn in dit verband bijzonder illustratief: in 2014 kozen maar liefst 73.000 Belgen voor een cruisereis en dat betekent een forse stijging van 6 % tegenover het jaar daarvoor. In die zin is het ook niet verwonderlijk dat er op 26-27 september e.k. weer een Cruise Event wordt georganiseerd. Opnieuw in Antwerpen, waar de ganse cruisewereld verzamelt en waar de cruisereiziger alle gewenste info kan sprokkelen.

 De groeitrend in de cruisewereld heeft beslist te maken met feit dat de reizigers zich steeds meer realiseren dat cruises niet alleen zijn weggelegd voor een exclusief publiek, dat cruises best betaalbaar zijn en dat ze jong en oud, gezinnen en singles, avonturiers en zij die tuk zijn op luxe kunnen aanspreken.

 Op het event in Antwerpen zullen de bezoekers kennismaken met het brede gamma van reisproducten uit de cruisewereld, het rijke en gevarieerde aanbod van cruisereizen die door diverse operatoren worden aangeboden. Wat het event in Antwerpen beslist zal duidelijk maken is dat een droomcruise voor veel meer reizigers is weggelegd dan we denken.

 Rederijen en reisorganisatoren zullen present zijn om de bezoekers daarvan te overtuigen en te informeren over het gevarieerde aanbod. Alle mogelijkheden en alle reisbestemmingen vind je tijdens het tweedaagse evenement. En of je nu uitkijkt naar een cruise met een groot schip of naar een meer intiemere, meer luxueuze reis op een zeilschip of een mega-yacht, je zal altijd door experts mét reiservaring worden geholpen. De aanwezige rederijen zullen via een reeks boeiende presentaties hun producten voorstellen aan de bezoekers. Daarnaast is er ook een platform waar ervaren cruisereizigers aan het woord zullen komen, de perfecte gelegenheid om al uw vragen te stellen.

 Tijdens het Cruise Event Antwerpen kun je de cruise van je dromen samenstellen, zelfs à la carte op basis van je eigen wensen en je eigen budget. Misschien wil je met een groep rondzeilen in de Caraiben of met je gezin langs de Griekse eilanden varen, misschien heb je zin in een fabelachtige reis met een van de mooiste zeilschepen van de wereld of een cruise waarbij regelmatig aan land gaat om beroemde historische steden te verkennen.

 Op al die vragen zal je tijdens het Cruise Event een antwoord krijgen. Daarom hou je het weekend van 26 en 27 september vrij (van 10 tot 17u) om naar Antwerpen te gaan (Waagnatie, Rijnkaai 150) en er de start te beleven van wat misschien de allermooiste (cruise)reis van je leven wordt ! Kinderen tot 17 jaar hebben gratis toegang. Wie zich vooraf registreert krijgt 50 % korting op de toegangsprijs, d.w.z. € 5 i.p.v. € 10.



Un cercle d’affaires s’installe à la Chapelle musicale de Waterloo #business #waterloo #brabantwallon




Bernard de Launoit et André Van Hecke (Cercle de Wallonie) ont présenté lundi, à la Chapelle musicale à Waterloo, le nouveau “cercle Chapel” qu’ils ont fondé et qui sera lancé le 17 septembre prochain.

Ce cercle d’affaires ( vise à tisser plus de liens entre les mondes de l’entreprise et de la culture.

Le but du cercle est de proposer aux chefs d’entreprise, dans un lieu d’exception, des activités à caractère économique ou culturel pour développer leur réseau.

Un comité stratégique composé de grands patrons belges et de figures du monde de la culture (Bernard Foccroule, Paul Dujardin, Gille Ledure, Peter de Caluwe, Luc Bertrand) parraine et accompagne la naissance du cercle, qui vise 500 membres pour sa première année de fonctionnement.

Les membres pourront notamment profiter chaque midi du restaurant et des terrasses de la Chapelle musicale, en bordure de la forêt de Soignes et à 20 minutes en voiture du centre de Bruxelles.

La Baie de Tanger propose un superbe business lunch. #uccle #cuisine #food #gastronomie #business



Tous les midis du lundi au vendredi, un lunch 3 services vous est proposé au restaurant LA BAIE DE TANGER, pour 11,90€

Entrées :
– Harira (soupe marocaine)
– brick au thon
– assortiment de 3 salades marocaine

Plats :
– couscous brochette mixte
– tajine de poulet aux citrons confits et olives
– grillade de merguez avec salade et pommes de terre au four

Thé menthe au café.

La baie de Tanger, chaussée d’Alsemberg 705 à 1180 Uccle. 02/3459285 ou 0485/734615.

Le business lunch de restoTadema à Halle. #halle #vlaamsbrabant #food #gastronomy


Les thermes Tadema à Halle sont un lieu de relaxation bien connu pour les hommes d’affaires qui ont besoin de repos, de massages et de se reconnecter avec leur corps.

Ce qui est moins connu, c’est le restaurant intimiste, accessible à tous ceux qui ne viennent pas nager et qui offre un excellent business lunch chaque jour à tous ceux qui se trouvent à Halle.

Resto Tadema offre en semaine un business lunch servi de 12h à 15h

L’entrée + le plat principal + verre de vin à €25 OU le lat principal + dessert + verre de vin à €25. Le menu change chaque semaine

Resto Tadema, Ninoofsesteenweg 661, 1500 Halle.  02/3611020.