Russia’s Bosco, official clothes supplier to International Olympic Committee, wants brand disassociated from Winter Olympics

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Bosco, the exclusive supplier of clothing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from next year, will ask the IOC not to use its brand at the forthcoming Winter Olympics, Mikhail Kusnirovich, board head for the group, told Reuters.

In an interview on Wednesday, Kusnirovich said that he took the decision because of the IOC’s decision to ban Russia from the Games which are due to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February.

The IOC banned Russia after saying it had found evidence of an “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system, an allegation Moscow denies. The IOC left the door open for clean athletes to compete as neutrals however.

“I think that in the near future, I will come up with a proposal to the IOC… to deactivate our rights… Even such beautiful chic clothes – let them keep them, but the Bosco brand and what we own… I will ask for that not to be activated.”

Diouf calls for unity at struggling Stoke


(Reuters) – Stoke City players must fight together to improve results for the stuttering Premier League club, striker Mame Diouf has said ahead of Saturday’s crunch match against fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion.

Stoke have won just two and lost seven of their 11 league games since the start of October and sit one point above the relegation zone in 17th position and on a three-game losing streak.

“We’ve got to come back out against West Brom and do everything right,” Diouf told the Stoke Sentinel. “We have to play together. We have to defend together and attack together, do everything together as a team.

“If we play as a team then hopefully the luck will come with us and we can turn things around.”

Diouf, who has scored four goals in 17 league appearances this season, said Stoke’s players will continue to fight for the club and their manager.

“You can see it on the pitch we are really pushing on. We push on in all games,” said the 30-year-old.

“We have to keep fighting. We know we can do better than this and we have to make sure we do.

“We’re always going to battle. We know our qualities and we know what we are capable of doing. We are going to battle until the end.”


Boosting the region’s Internet economy

RIDE-hailing and e-commerce have galvanised South-East Asia’s Internet economy, which will reach US$50bil this year and potentially exceed US$200bil by 2025.

A report by Google and Temasek also found that all four sectors of this economy have experienced “solid growth” this year.

The stars were e-commerce and ride-hailing, with a compound annual growth rate of over 40% from 2015.

Online travel has shot up 18%, while online media expanded with a compound annual growth rate of 36%.

E-commerce sales will hit US$10.9bil in gross merchandise value this year – double the US$5.5bil in 2015, and growing at 41% a year.

South-East Asian mobile Internet users are among the most engaged globally – spending on average 140 minutes a month on regional e-commerce platforms, versus just 80 minutes on the top platform in the US.

The report did not name these platforms, but cited Lazada, Shopee and Tokopedia as leading players in South-East Asia.

Ride-hailing services will reach US$5.1bil in gross merchandise value this year, more than double the US$2.5bil in 2015.

Over six million rides per day were booked on the region’s top apps – Go-Jek, Grab and Uber – in this year’s third quarter alone, up more than fourfold since 2015.

The report said- “The acceleration of ride-hailing services reflects steep pent-up consumer demand, attractiveness for drivers as a viable job opportunity, and product innovation leading to improved user experience.”

It noted that ride-hailing players are fast expanding to food delivery, courier services and digital payments.

South-East Asia’s Internet economy will account for 2% of the region’s gross domestic product this year and is projected to reach 6% by 2025, said the report. This puts it “on a solid trajectory to exceed US$200bil by 2025”, it added.

There are seven Internet unicorns – firms valued at over US$1bil – in South-East Asia, with four of them based in Singapore, namely, Grab, Lazada, gaming firm Razer and Internet firm Sea.

The other three are based in Indonesia: Go-Jek, travel firm Traveloka and e-commerce firm Tokopedia. — Singapore Straits Times/ANN