Kenshin Oshima making money out of money

For seven years, Kenshim Oshima had a very good job at the firm Mitsui and Co. But, at the age of 29, he did something very rare for a Japanese manager in his position - he resigned.

Oshima earned a good salary at Mitsui, but he wanted to make a lot of money, and to be very rich he needed to have his own company. He couldn't afford to start a company immedi­ately, but during his years at Mitsui he spent very little money, and saved as much as he could.

In 1978, he invested his money, $236,500 in total, in his new company, Shohkoh Fund and Co. Shohkoh Fund specialized id lending money to businesses, but in small sums. This decision was a risk, as money-lending by private companies was not a re-

oectable job in 1978. His first client was a firm in Tokyo, which paid back the money that it owed at an interest rate of 24%.

But his idea was good: his profits rose by 25% a year, and reached $38,5 million in 1992. He owns 80% of Shohkoh, and his shares in the company are now worth $997 million.

So, Oshima is now a billionaire, or nearly, but his strategy for the company is still the same: even now he specializes in smaller loans (a typical client borrows only $40,000), and he personally examines the references of every new client.

a) When did Kenshin Oshima join Mitsui and Co.?

1. At the age of 22.

2. At the age of 29.

3. In 1978.

b) How much money did he invest in his new company?

1. $800

2. $236,500

3. $376,800

c) What was the rise of his profits?

1. 30%

2. 10%

3. 25%

d) What are his shares in the company now?

1. $997 million.

2. $888 million.

3. $643 million.

18. Channel Tunnel Quiz

a) Here are some questions about the Channel Tunnel between Great Britain and France. Can you guess the an­swers? (Each of the answers is one of the numbers in the list below).

50 15,000 220 l0 bn 575 1,200 10 45  

1. What was the total cost of the project? (... pounds)

2. How many workers died during the project?

3. How deep is the tunnel below the sea-bed? (... me­tres)

4. How many companies supplied equipment?

5. How long is the total amount of railway track in the tunnel? (... kilometres)

6. How long is the tunnel? (... kilometres)

7. How heavy were the drilling machines? (... tons)

8. How many workers built it?

b) Now read this article from the Engineering Times and check your answers.

"The greatest engineering project ever"

The Channel Tunnel is not just one tunnel; it consists of three tunnels, each thirty miles (about 50 km) long. It is the second long­est tunnel in the world. The longest is the Seikan tunnel in Japan, but the Channel Tunnel has a longer under-sea section. Fifteen thousand workers built it (ten died in accidents) and 1,200 compa­nies supplied equipment. It cost ten billion pounds to build.

One team began drilling in France and the other in England. The biggest problem for the builders was ensuring that the tun­nels met at exactly the same place under the sea in the middle of the Channel. The drilling machines were the heaviest ever made, each weighing up to 575 tons. In the opinion of Roger Dobson, Director General of the Institute of Civil Engineers, "The Channel Tunnel is the greatest engineering project ever".

The tunnel itself is an average of 45 m below the sea-bed and has 220 km of railway track. It has the most sophisticated railway control system in the world, and will be the busiest rail­way track in Europe, with one train every three minutes.

19. Linda Dawson is a buyer for Marks & Spencer. She chooses the suppliers for some items which Marks & Spencer sells. Read the text about Linda's working day. Describe your own working day in the same way.

A day in my life

I get up at about six and plan my day. I leave the house at 7.00 a.m. and catch the 7.15 to London. I get to work at about 8.30 and spend an hour dealing with my mail. From 9.30 to 12.00,1 telephone our suppliers. I usually have lunch in the can-

teen between 12.30 and 2.00. We have a general meeting from 2 00 to 3.00, and then, from 3.00 until about 5.00, I look at sam­ples and discuss possible new suppliers. I leave at about 5.30 and set home at about 7.00. It's a long day, but I love the job. Be­fore I became a buyer, I was a fashion designer. I enjoyed de­signing, but I wanted a change. At home, I like to paint and lis­ten to music. It helps me to relax. In the future, I would like to run my own clothes business. Or perhaps I can be a supplier for Marks & Spencer!

20. Read and discuss the text about Vancouver City Guide to Vancouver.

The City of Vancouver, in the province of British Columbia, is only just over 100 years old (1886). The population of British Colombia is 2.5 million, and more than half lives in Greater Vancouver. It is the third largest city in Canada. It has a beauti­ful location with water on three sides. Vancouver has a mild climate. You can get to the ocean, the beach or the mountains very quickly. It is only 25 miles from the border with the U.S.A. Vancouver is a major North-American port (the second largest in America). It's the largest port on the West Coast. It's also a major center of tourism. The most famous building is Canada Place (1986). Canada Place is the terminal for cruise ships to Alaska.

a) Write a similar text about San Diego. Use this information: San Diego / state / California

more than 220 years old (1769)

population 2.5 million


dry, sunny climate

ocean, mountains, desert

San Diego Zoo - largest in the world

18 miles / Mexico

tourism 3rd largest industry (1st = manufacturing, 2nd = U.S. military)

building - Mission San Diego de Alcala (1769)

b) Talk about your town.

The Verb

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