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Bitcoin breaks above $20,000 for first time

December 16, 2020 - 8:09pm
LONDON: Bitcoin smashed through $20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, its highest ever.The cryptocurrency jumped 4.5% to move as high as $20,440. It has gained more than 170% this year, buoyed by demand from larger investors attracted to its potential for quick gains, purported resistance to inflation and expectations it will become a mainstream payment method.Bitcoin's blistering rally has seen a massive flow of coin to North America from East Asia, fuelled by hunger for bitcoin among bigger and compliance-wary U.S. investors.The rally in bitcoin, which some investors have seen as a potential safe-haven, has coincided with spot gold's drop in recent months.Some investors such as hedge funds and family offices have in the past been deterred by the opaque nature of the crypto market. Tightening oversight of the American crypto industry has helped soothe some of those concerns.
Categories: Business News

Next round of spectrum auction gets nod

December 16, 2020 - 5:09pm
The Union Cabinet has approved the next round of spectrum auction, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday.The minister said that the cabinet has approved relief for sugarcane farmers, improvement in electricity infrastructure in North Eastern states and the auction of spectrum.The Digital Communications Commission, the apex decision making body of the Department of Telecom, in May approved the spectrum auction plan subject to the cabinet approval.The DoT is yet to come out with any notification for the next round of auction in which airwaves worth Rs 5.22 lakh crore are to be sold.According to Jio, spectrum worth Rs 3.92 lakh crore is lying unused with the DoT for auction.The telecom ministry gets an average revenue share of 5 per cent as spectrum usage charge from telecom operators which is calculated based on their spectrum holding and 8 per cent as licence fee from the revenue earned by them from sale of communication services.
Categories: Business News

Cabinet clears pact between India, US for exchange of information in electricity sector

December 16, 2020 - 5:09pm
New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a pact between India and the US for exchange of information in areas of mutual interest in the electricity sector. "Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission's (CERC) proposal for entering into an MoU...(with) the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, United States of America, for exchange of information and experiences in areas of mutual interest," according to an official statement. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) will help in improving regulatory and policy framework for developing efficient whole sales power market and enhancing grid reliability, according to the statement. The activities to be carried out under the MoU include identifying energy-related issues and developing topics and possible agendas for the exchange of information. It also includes to participate in seminars, visit and exchanges. It provides for development of programmes of mutual interests and where appropriate hold these programmes locally to enhance participation. It also includes that when practical and of mutual interest, provide speakers on energy issues and other personnel (management or technical).
Categories: Business News

IFFI will showcase best of cinema with 'world, Asia and India' premieres: Javadekar

December 16, 2020 - 5:09pm
NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said the 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) from January 16 to January 24 will showcase the "best of cinema with World, Asia and India" premieres.The nine-day film gala, which was previously scheduled to take place in Goa from November 20-28, was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.Javadekar said on Twitter that the "51st @IFFIGoa from 16-24th January will witness the best of cinema with World, Asia & India" premieres."The festival will showcase 47 films in the Indian panorama section, 26 in feature & 21 in Non feature section. A total of 224 films will be screened under different sections," he added.The festival will be held in a hybrid format that will be both virtual and physical, Javadekar said in September.All COVID-related protocols will be strictly enforced in accordance with festivals convened recently in the international film festival circuit, he had said.
Categories: Business News

Market Movers: Burger King trebles from issue price, realty stocks jump; 66 counters flash buy

December 16, 2020 - 5:09pm
MUMBAI: Robust gains in HDFC twins and IT majors drove benchmark equity indices to new highs on Wednesday. During the session, Nifty formed a small positive candle with a long lower shadow, indicating an upside breakout of the small range at 13,600.Barometer Sensex rose 0.87 per cent to 46,666.46 points, while peer Nifty advanced 0.85 per cent to 13,682.70 points.Realty stocks saw a spike as investors expect the pick up in residential sales to continue into a solid recovery, while Burger King India trebled from its issue price, and is showing no signs of slowing down. “Indian market is effortlessly rallying to record highs on a daily basis tracking firm global markets. Increasing prospects of US stimulus measures, hopes of an effective vaccine and a conclusive Fed meeting to announce a positive policy are lifting market sentiments across the globe,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial services.Here is a lowdown on what happened in Wednesday’s trade:Burger King on a relentless uptrendThe latest debutant on the bourses, Burger King India, climbed another 20 per cent to hit a high of Rs 199.25. With this, the stock is now 232 per cent higher or 3.3 times from the issue price of Rs 60. Realty stocks jumpBSE Realty index was the top sectoral gainer and it rose 5.03 per cent, on hopes that a recovery in residential sales was here to stay after it picked up in the country’s top cities. Indiabulls Real Estate, DLF, and Sobha led the gains as they advanced 12.42 per cent, 9.62 per cent and 4.86 per cent, respectively. Oberoi Realty and Godrej Properties added 4.41 per cent and 4.05 per cent, respectively.PNB tanksState-run lender Punjab National Bank plunged 6.54 per cent to Rs 37.90 after it set the floor price for its proposed Rs 7,000 crore qualified institutional placement (QIP) at Rs 37.35 per share. The stock fell as the QIP price was set at a 7.9% discount to Tuesday's closing price of Rs 40.55.Mrs Bectors IPO sees robust responseThe Rs 541-crore initial public offer (IPO) by Mrs Bectors attracted more than 8 times subscription on Day 2 of the bidding process so far. By 3.30 pm, the issue received bids for 11,06,27,500 shares, which was 8.36 times the issue size of 1,32,36,211 shares.Designated person/promoter action: YES Bank, Mangalore ChemicalsA designated person Vinod Khot, and an immediate relative, collectively bought 92,000 shares of YES Bank in July-August. The stock rose 3.12 per cent to Rs 18.85.Promoter & Director Akshay Poddar bought 33,178 shares of Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers on December 14. The stock dropped 0.90 per cent to Rs 43.85.Stocks that scaled 52-week highA total of 325 shares logged 52-week highs on the BSE. These included 3i Infotech, Adani Enterprises, Adani Ports, Affle India, Asian Paints, Ashok Leyland, Butterfly, Gandhimathi Appliances, Equitas Small Finance Bank, Godrej Properties, Havells India, IndiaMART InterMESH and Hindustan Copper, among others.Stocks that hit upper circuitAs many as 474 stocks rose by their daily limit on the BSE. These included Tejas Networks, Himatsingka Seide, Inox Wind, Suven Life Sciences and 3i Infotech, among others. Stocks that flash buyA total of 66 stocks flashed ‘buy’ signal on BSE, as they crossed above the Signal Line on the MACD indicator. These included Indiabulls Real Estate, HDFC, Bombay Dyeing, Havells India, Westlife Development, Voltas and Dollar Industries, among others.Where is Nifty headed?According to Ashis Biswas, Head of Technical, CapitalVia Global Research, the market's short-term technical condition shows an upward shift in the prevailing market range, and it is likely to range between 13,550 and 13,780.“We expect the market to gain momentum, leading to an upside projection till the 13,780 levels,” Biswas added.
Categories: Business News

STEER appoints Subodh Jindal as Chief Executive Officer

December 16, 2020 - 2:07pm
Kolkata: STEER, a manufacturing solutions provider for advanced materials technology operating in the fields of polymer compounding, plastics recycling, pharmaceutical, and food processing, has appointed Subodh Jindal as Chief Executive Officer effective December 16.In this role, Jindal will be responsible for business strategy and plant operations for the engineering business with focused attention to fast-emerging fields of pharmaceutical continuous manufacturing solutions, plastic recycling solutions, and the food processing industry. He brings in 25+ years of business management experience in leadership roles in various industries including life-sciences, industrial, automotive, auto aftermarket, infrastructure, and consumer goods. Until recently, Jindal was Senior Director of Thermo Fischer Scientific and a member of its board for the South Asia Region. He has also held leadership roles in Stanley Black and Decker Inc & 3M. Jindal holds a master’s degree in management studies from Sydenham Institute of Management and a science degree in Chemistry.
Categories: Business News

FCA to invest $150 million to set up Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad

December 16, 2020 - 2:07pm
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Wednesday announced an investment of $150 million (approx Rs 1100 crore) to set up a Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad, Telangana. FCA’s new innovation and technology development facility is the company’s largest Digital Hub outside of North America and EMEA. The investment significantly expands the automobile manufacturing group’s presence in the country.FCA ICT India will create nearly 1,000 new cutting-edge technology jobs by the end of 2021 and has plans to increase hiring over the next two to three years. The newly recruited employees will work on products and concepts that will define the future of mobility at FCA. The Global Digital Hub will serve as a ‘transformation and innovation engine’ for FCA and drive global IT strategy, and deliver excellence through a robust platform, technology and service centers of excellence. The Global Digital Hub will focus on building strategic competencies in niche technology areas such as connected vehicle programs, artificial intelligence, data accelerators, and cloud technologies, among others, the company said in a statement. Mamatha Chamarthi, CIO, FCA, North America and Asia Pacific, said, “One of the key objectives of FCA ICT India is to digitalize every aspect of FCA’s automotive operations globally and within India, and to shift from legacy to digital through adoption of emerging technologies.”The availability of talent coupled with a culture of innovation and pro-business policies played a major role in FCA’s decision to set-up the facility in Hyderabad. The Global Digital Hub will also expand FCA’s relationships with several ecosystem partners, including strategic partners, start-ups, digital accelerators and universities, to accelerate our innovation agenda.“We are working closely with strategic technology partners to accelerate our talent and competency ramp-up at FCA ICT India,” Karim Lalani, Director and Head of FCA ICT India. “We are also aggressively hiring, and the response has been overwhelming. I am excited to see the new ideas and technologies our talented engineers and data scientists will develop for our customers. We foresee our Global Digital Hub driving innovation in multiple areas, including customer safety, connected mobility and digital showroom experience. We are excited to build a truly pioneering, global digital hub that will strengthen FCA’s position as a global mobility leader.” global mobility leader.”FCA has a presence in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, with headquarters in Mumbai and employs over 3,000 people. With the Global Digital Hub, FCA will be expanding its presence in Telangana. The company has a joint venture vehicle and powertrain manufacturing facility in Ranjangaon, Maharashtra. The company’s engineering and product development operations are located in Pune and Chennai.“The $150 million investment to set up a Global Digital Hub in Hyderabad, Telangana cements our continued commitment to India and our customers,” said Partha Datta, President and Managing Director, FCA India. “FCA ICT India will be our technology backbone that will not only help us develop products for future mobility but will also sharpen our efforts to enhance customer-centricity. This is a significant step forward in realizing our vision to make our Indian operations more capable to develop digitally-driven products and technologies locally for India and also for the world.“
Categories: Business News

SBI Research raises FY21 GDP estimate

December 16, 2020 - 11:05am
State Bank of India (SBI) Research has tempered its projection of India’s FY21 growth contraction to 7.4% from -10.9% earlier, on account of its nowcasting model which includes 41 high frequency indicators. Over half or about 58% of these indicators, such as revenue earning of freight traffic, weekly food arrival and petrol and diesel consumption showed acceleration in the third quarter, the report released on Wednesday said. The state-run lender’s research wing also lowered its estimate of this year’s fiscal deficit to 8% of gross domestic product (GDP) from 10.3% before, to reflect the compression in government expenditure in the current and previous quarter, according to the report. While the model estimates marginal positive growth in the ongoing quarter at 0.1%, FY22 would see 11% growth, primarily due to the base effect, it said. The revision aligned its forecast with that of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the market’s revised projection post-Q2, but the report noted that its projections were predicated on the absence of another wave of infections. The RBI raised its forecast for FY21 growth to -7.5% from -9.5% earlier while global rating agency S&P revised its expectations of India’s FY21 GDP contraction to -7.7% from -9% before. “The decline in government expenditure has been quite significant to Rs 3.62 lakh crore in Q2 FY21 from Rs 4.86 lakh crore lakh crore in Q1 FY21,” the report said, adding that data for October showed overall expenditure fell further compared to September. From its analysis of official expenditure data, SBI Research felt the Centre could rationalise about Rs 80,000 crore of budgeted expenditure which would result in a fiscal deficit of around Rs 15.8 lakh croreEven so, GDP growth showed a positive surprise, instilling hope that the Centre might be able to improve expenditure in the final quarter of the fiscal to boost growth, it said while lowering its fiscal deficit estimate. According to the report, it would take another five quarters from the ongoing one for the economy to reach pre-pandemic levels, implying a permanent loss to output at 9% of GDP. It pegged the total output loss in the first two quarters of this fiscal at Rs 13 lakh crore.
Categories: Business News

State government plans to usher in PPP model in healthcare

December 16, 2020 - 11:05am
BENGALURU: Karnataka has planned to bring in public-private-partnership in healthcare by allowing private players to invest in district government medical colleges and hospitals, in the backdrop of the state reeling under fiscal stress.“There are no government medical colleges in about 10 districts. To begin with, we want to let private healthcare investors establish and run medical colleges in these districts and use our existing district public hospitals as teaching centres to their colleges,” health and medical education minister K Sudhakar told ET.He said it will save a huge amount to the state exchequer, while also benefiting private players and people. “Investors can get returns through admission in colleges and also by charging private patients in government hospitals. As for the government, it will save the capital investment and the recurring cost of running hospitals and medical colleges. Since the private players have accountability to the state, we are of the view that it will also lead to better services,” the minister said.The state could reserve 30% of the seats in the new medical colleges to students from the government quota and is hoping that this could add 500 more seats.Karnataka spends about Rs 600 crore to establish a new medical college and the annual recurring cost to run government medical colleges is close to Rs 1,000 crore. Although government hospitals are located in all 30 districts, less than 20 districts have state-run medical colleges. Districts like Vijayapura, Bagalkot, Tumakuru and Davangere lack medical teaching institutes.The government may offer to give land to set up colleges depending on the availability. “But private partners should invest, maintain and manage our colleges and hospitals,” Sudhakar said, adding that the government may invite expressions of interest soon. At present, the state has partnered with private firms to provide dialysis services.Manipal Hospitals chairman Dr H Sudarshan Ballal said the initiative will create more doctors and also result in improved services. “The government and private establishments joining hands to run 300 beds district hospitals, can improve the healthcare of the district,” Dr Ballal said, citing the example of an already existing arrangement between the government Wenlock Hospital and Kasturba Medical College in Mangaluru.Besides public-private-partnership, he said there was also a great opportunity for private-private-partnership, where private medical colleges can sign up with charitable hospitals to provide healthcare services.
Categories: Business News

Tata Sons not a family-run venture to be led only by a Tata: SP Group

December 16, 2020 - 11:05am
NEW DELHI: Shapoorji Pallonji Group told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that Tata Sons was not a family-run enterprise to be headed only by a Tata and emphasised that to end oppression of minority stakeholders in the corporate giant controlled by Tata Trusts, Cyrus Mistry needed to be appointed as a director on the company’s board.“We still maintain that we do not want reinstatement of Mistry as executive chairman of Tata Sons,” SP Group counsel C A Sundaram told a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian. Mistry was sacked as executive chairman in 2016, ostensibly because of his differences with his predecessor Ratan Tata, who remained chairman emeritus of the company. 79751760Senior advocate Sundaram said Tata Sons was not a family held business for the largest shareholder, Tata Trusts, to dictate the agenda and intrude in every major decision.“The majority shareholder cannot say my way or the highway. The interest of all shareholders, particularly the minority group, must be protected. Differences arose and led to sacking, mainly because Mistry was opposed to Tata Group’s deal with loss-making Corus and continuance with the Nano car project, which was bleeding the company,” he said.The bench said these were not examples of oppression by the majority group. “It is not that these deals were designed to make the minority group alone lose money. If it was a loss, then it hurt both majority and minority shareholders equally,” it said.Sundaram said he was making precisely that point, that a board must ensure protection of all stakeholders.Sundaram said Tata Sons was a public company, which carried the hopes and aspirations of myriad shareholders whose investments needed protection through prudent decisions.“If Tata Trusts thinks that Tata Sons needed a Tata or a person with Tata family links to lead the company or be involved in decision-making, then Cyrus Mistry too has it. His sister is married to Ratan Tata’s half brother Noel Tata,” Sundaram said.The SP Group’s argument that it was not seeking Mistry’s reinstatement as executive chairman of Tata Sons made the CJI-led bench recount its January 10 observations during the first hearing of appeal by Tata Sons against the NCLAT order reinstating Mistry as its executive chairman and converting the private limited company into public limited company.“We are completely surprised by some of the legal aspects of this case. Does NCLAT have suo motu powers to reinstate Mistry as executive chairman when that is not even sought? Apparently it does not have suo motu powers. Even a civil court does not have suo motu powers. That is the most amazing part, to reinstate Mistry as executive chairman when it was not even sought,” the bench said.Arguments will continue on Wednesday.
Categories: Business News

Global litigation financiers plan India entry

December 16, 2020 - 8:05am
MUMBAI: They punt on winning big court cases, investing litigation costs upfront while the payoff is the court financial award. They put money into legal battles they have no involvement in, bar the prospect of a good RoI. Their targets — big companies, institutions and banks, governments and their agencies, and even the odd football club. Long a Western niche business, where the investor loses money if the party it has backed loses the case, litigation financiers are now coming to India.Four of the largest global litigation funds — Australia-based Omni Bridgeway, UK-based Innsworth Capital and Profile Investment, and UAE-based Phoenix Advisors — are together creating an India-focused litigation financing platform. These players, along with Mumbai-based Singularity Legal as well as UK-based risk advisory firm Marsh, have created the Indian Association of Litigation Funders (IALF).Globally, these firms have financed cases involving Volkswagen, Mastercard, Oracle, Salesforce and Petrofact, among others. Indian law doesn’t bar litigation financing by third parties. However, protracted legal proceedings were a disincentive for litigation funders, who would have to wait for years or decades for a payoff. Now, with some heavy-duty commercial disputes involving businesses — such as those under the insolvency code — being heard under pre-fixed deadlines, a market is opening up. Arbitration is another opportunity for these financing firms.Litigation financiers are also looking for cases, people familiar with the matter said, where a potential litigant, say, a group of consumers targeting a big institution, is disincentivised by the costs involved. These litigation financiers are looking at some two dozen cases, people quoted earlier said. The principle on which litigation financing is based is called champerty, which is legally a bargain struck between someone who’s filing a suit and an unrelated individual or firm. The latter bears the litigation expenses.“Recent bank frauds, along with amendments allowing sale of illiquid assets under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, have invigorated the litigation funding market in India,” said Prateek Bagaria, partner, Singularity Legal.Wider Adoption“This is opening doors to insolvency and collective action claim financing,” said Bagaria of Singularity. Omni Bridgeway, which says it is the global leader in litigation funding, told ET it is already dealing with several India-related international cases. It “expects to see much wider adoption (of litigation funding) by corporations and financial institutions… to better manage their risk, cash flow and balance sheets.”Sindhu Sivakumar, senior investment manager at Innsworth Advisors, said, “India is a major player in the global economy. It is a major destination for cross-border investment in a wide range of sectors. Indian companies, of course, have a long history of being significant outbound investors… Such cross-border activities inevitably give rise to complex, high-value, cross-border disputes of the type Innsworth specialises in investing in.” “I think we will see a sharp and steep rise in the number of disputes, specifically the number of funded disputes,” said a global head of Marsh. “Litigation funding will create opportunities to Indian businesses to pursue good claims where they may otherwise have not bothered. I think we will also see a quick evolution of the Indian market as companies look to take assignment of claims as well as of funding them.”
Categories: Business News

Oaktree seeks to insure DHFL offer with alternative investment fund Plan

December 16, 2020 - 8:05am
Mumbai: American asset manager Oaktree Capital, which is in a fierce race to acquire the bankrupt mortgage lender Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), plans to use an alternative investment fund (AIF) for taking over DHFL’s life insurance venture Pramerica and comply with India’s foreign ownership rules in the insurance industry.AIF is the regulatory term for pooled private investment vehicles like private equity and venture capital funds. Even if investors in an AIF are foreign, the fund’s equity stake in an Indian company is treated as domestic holding as long as the AIF’s asset management company is locally owned and controlled.Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Indian insurance companies is capped at 49%. DIL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DHFL, and the group’s promoters together own 51% stake in Pramerica. 79750593CoC to Take Final DecisionUS-based Prudential International Insurance Holdings own the rest in the joint venture.If Oaktree eventually acquires DHFL, the interest in the insurance company — which would change hands with the parent DHFL — can be housed in the AIF vehicle without breaching FDI norms.Oaktree declined to comment.“Oaktree has outlined this in the resolution proposal. Similar vehicles have been used by others. The committee of creditors will take the final decision. AIFs diversified holdings and are regulated by Sebi,” a banker told ET. Even though there can be a single investor in an AIF, the fund cannot hold more than 25% of its corpus in one stock.NYSE-listed Okatree’s ₹1,000 crore offer for the full business is higher than that of Piramal and Adani, which bid ₹300 crore and ₹200 crore for it, respectively. About ₹1,500 crore, according to Oaktree’s proposal, would be set aside in an escrow account in order to meet any tax liability arising from any potential sale of the DIL’s shareholding in Pramerica.HOLDBACK PROVISIONOaktree’s rivals are believed to have told lenders that Pramerica could run into a regulatory hurdle if the US fund acquires DHFL, thereby further delaying the exercise. They claim Oaktree’s proposal includes a “₹1,500 crore holdback” (escrow mechanism) to meet contingencies arising on account of investment in the insurance business. This holdback is proposed to be carved out from the amount belonging to financial creditors and is in gross violation of the RFRP. Additionally, since the holdback is for indefinite period, the same should not be considered for the NPV calculations; and excluded from upfront cash payment.However, sources directly involved say unlike previous rounds, Oaktree’s fourth round offer submitted on Monday is unconditional. “As long as the fund manager and sponsor are residents, it fulfils regulatory requirement of a domestic entity, and its possible shareholding in Pramerica would not be considered as foreign holding,” said a lawyer who is not an advisor to any of the parties in the DHFL deal. A sponsor in an AIF chips in 2.5%or ₹5 crore, whichever is lower, of the fund corpus.DHFL entered insurance by buying out DLF’s stake in DLF Pramerica Life Insurance in 2013. The insurance business got dragged into controversy after EY, which was supposed to have run a separate sale process did not do so and instead chose to club it to the main business – a move that a few argue led to lowball offers for it by potential bidders.On Monday, Oaktree Capital and Piramal Enterprises trumped Adani Properties in the fourth round of bids for DHFL.
Categories: Business News

Wistron assured of speedy probe into plant violence

December 16, 2020 - 8:05am
New Delhi: India assured Apple contract manufacturer Wistron of a speedy and fair investigation into Saturday’s violence at its Bengaluru iPhone plant, said officials with knowledge of the matter. A high-level meeting chaired by the cabinet secretary on Tuesday took stock of the incident as the government reached out to all stakeholders to quickly resolve the issue and restart production.The Centre wants to limit damage to the country’s image as it’s pushing for big-ticket investments in manufacturing with new production-linked incentive schemes lined up for various sectors, the officials said.The Karnataka government has been asked to complete the enquiry expeditiously and the Centre has also reached out to Apple to offer the assurance that all issues will be resolved quickly, they said. “The ground-level situation was ascertained from state officials,” said one of them.79750539Optimistic About Future: Wistron"They have been asked to ensure that the issues, if any, are resolved expeditiously and a fair and speedy enquiry is conducted," said the official. They have also been asked to ensure production resumes quickly.Wistron told the state government in a letter that it had been distressed by the violence but is "optimistic" about the future."In this difficult hour, we appreciate the support we have got from the government of Karnataka. We are working closely with (it) to ensure such incidents do not recur and support the police investigations," Sudipto Gupta, managing director, innovation business group, Wistron Smart Devices, said in the note. "We bring the best of practices worldwide to our plant and operations and want to protect workers’ interests. We will work together with the state government to ensure plant operations are resumed at the earliest."Wistron said it was committed to India, which is key to its global plans, and will look to expand its presence in this "very important" market. A mob of about 7,000 people that included workers damaged the iPhone maker’s Narasapura plant on Saturday, angered by delayed wages and overtime, which should have been paid to them by third-party contractors, police officials said. Police have arrested about 150 people in connection with the incident.Senior officials from the Niti Aayog, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Karnataka government were present at the meeting chaired by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba to ascertain the ground-level situation."At a time when India wants to become a global manufacturing hub, we cannot have such incidents of vandalism and need to assure investors of fair and speedy investigation as well as safety and support to carry out their operations without fear," another senior government official told ET.Karnataka officials spoke to the Taiwan company’s management on Tuesday evening, assuring it of a speedy investigation and safety. DPIIT and the Niti Aayog have been in regular touch with state authorities and Wistron since the incident. The labour ministry has also sought a report from local authorities on the incident, ET reported on December 15. “Both the state government and the Centre are working together to get the production line restarted,” said a third official.The state’s preliminary findings suggest that that the row may have been sparked by software programmed for eight-hour shifts not recognising longer stints, resulting in payment delays, said people familiar with the matter.Apple has also launched its own inquiry and is said to be examining whether Wistron violated vendor guidelines.India has been moving aggressively to turn itself into a global manufacturing hub, not just for smartphones but also for other electronic products such as laptops, tablets and servers. The production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones has already attracted billions of dollars in investment and production commitments from iPhone contract makers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron, besides South Korean giant Samsung. In a bid to meet its first-year PLI target, Wistron scaled up its investments and hirings rapidly. Thus, there may not have been enough time to conduct thorough background checks on hires, which could have played a role in the incident at the Narasapura facility, said some of the people.
Categories: Business News

Partly paid shares outshine ordinary shares at Tata Steel

December 16, 2020 - 8:05am
Mumbai: The partly-paid shares of Tata Steel have outpaced the company's ordinary shares in the recent run-up, resulting in their spread narrowing to less than a per cent on Tuesday. Tata Steel’s partly-paid up shares have surged 497 per cent since March 23 as against the 134 per cent in ordinary shares during the period, thanks to the improving outlook for metals worldwide.“Tata Steel shares have gained in the last few months because the steel cycle is turning positive and we have seen price hikes and volume growth in the last three to four months. That is the reason why we are seeing action in steel stocks,” said Hemang Jani, Head of Equity Strategy, Broking and Distribution at Motilal Oswal. “The debt reduction plan is progressing. When the ordinary shares go up, the partly paid shares go up more because more people are interested in buying lower-priced stocks as initial capital investment is low,” said Jani.Tata Steel partly paid-up shares ended up 3.85 per cent at Rs 180.55 on Tuesday and Tata Steel ordinary shares gained 1.36 per cent to close at Rs 635.20. Tata Steel had allotted partly paid-up shares in March 2018 and took 25 per cent of Rs 615 per share upfront, which was Rs 153.75 apiece. Investors must now pay Rs 461 per share when the company calls for the balance amount. The outperformance in partly paid-up shares has led to the spread between them to converge to 0.94 per cent ((Rs 461+180.55)-635.2) from 80 per cent on March 23 and 93 per cent in April. “The spread had become extreme till 93 per cent but now it has narrowed to less than 1 per cent because metals stocks are in demand led by unprecedented uptick seen in global steel prices,” said Abhilash Pagaria, Senior Management, Edelweiss Alternative Research. 79747141Tata Steel was supposed to take the rest 75 per cent as a first and final call within 12 months but later on, the company took special permission from the Securities and Exchange Board of India for deferring the time horizon till indefinite period. “The company is yet to collect 75 per cent of Rs 615 of Partly Paid-Up Shares as in 2019 they took special permission from SEBI for an extension till indefinite period for collection of remaining payment,” said Pagaria. Indian steel spreads have risen around 25 per cent in the third quarter and are at a three year high. They are expected to remain strong on the back of domestic demand recovery and higher regional prices.
Categories: Business News

How to use commodity derivatives as an asset class

December 16, 2020 - 8:05am
Commodity derivatives are one more asset class that can be accessed by retail or institutional traders and investors on Indian stock exchanges, through registered intermediaries. ET provides a glimpse of this asset class and how investors can trade in itWHEN DID COMMODITY DERIVATIVES TRADING RE-COMMENCE IN INDIA? Futures trading in commodities re-commenced during the early 2000s. The government allowed establishment of national level online commodity exchanges that could offer trading in multiple commodity futures during 2002-03. WHO REGULATES THIS MARKET? The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has regulated the commodity derivatives market in India since September 28, 2015. Prior to that, the market was regulated by the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), which was merged into SEBI.HOW DIFFERENT IS COMMODITY DERIVATIVES TRADING FROM , SAY, EQUITY DERIVATIVES TRADING? Commodity derivatives are contracts to buy/sell specific quantity of a specific commodity at a future or later date. They are similar to stock, currency and index derivatives, but the underlying happens to be commodities instead of stocks, currency and indices. Commodities, including precious metals (gold & silver), base metals, energy products (crude oil, natural gas) and agricultural commodities are traded on the Indian commodity derivatives market. The types of commodity derivative products traded on recognised stock exchanges includes futures, options (on futures), options (in goods) and commodity index futures. HOW DOES AN INVESTOR OR TRADER PARTICIPATE IN COMMODITY DERIVATIVES SEGMENT? IS A SEPARATE KYC AND ACCOUNT NEEDED? KYC is a one-time exercise while dealing in securities markets. Once KYC is done through a SEBI-registered intermediary (e.g. stock broker), you need not undergo the same process again when you approach another intermediary. Similar to equity F&O, market participants are required to pay margins to buy or sell a commodity derivatives contract. To trade in commodity derivatives, it is not necessary to possess the physical commodity. The delivery is only marked at the time of expiry of the contract if buy/sell positions of the market participant are kept open. Therefore, only a small fraction of trades result in actual delivery of any commodity.
Categories: Business News

Public WiFi may not be viable way to boost broadband penetration: Analysts

December 16, 2020 - 2:03am
Kolkata: Public WiFi is unlikely to be a viable way to boost broadband penetration in an era of dirt cheap mobile data rates, nationwide 4G networks, generous data allowances and rising smartphone penetration, say industry executives and analysts.The public WiFi model, they said, had also lost much of its utility for telcos in tackling network congestion as the latter now have adequate spectrum to address the problem directly, with the situation likely improve with another airwaves sale likely in early-2021.Last week, the Union Cabinet cleared a proposal floated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to boost broadband penetration through the public WiFi route.“India’s data tariffs are the lowest worldwide and operators have nationwide 4G coverage and most smartphone users also have a daily allowance of 1-1.5GB/day in their bundled plans, which reduces the utility and viability of public WiFi,” said Kunal Vora, senior telecom analyst at BNP Paribas.Ram Narain, ex-senior deputy director general in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), agreed with the industry experts, especially with the low mobile data rates. “But it (public WiFi) could become relevant if mobile data rates were to suddenly rise, given that telcos have been demanding a floor on grounds that current data rates are unsustainable.”
Categories: Business News

Not just Air India, Interups interested in Indian aviation; plans to invest $9 billion in 5 years

December 16, 2020 - 2:03am
New Delhi: Air India has received expressions of interest from four potential bidders, one of which, a US-based firm that invests in stressed assets, Interups Inc, plans to invest $9 billion in India’s aviation sector over the next five years irrespective of the Air India deal.“We are bullish on India’s aviation sector and plan to invest $9 billion in it over the next five years, as we see a lot of growth potential in the sector over a period of time,” Laxmi Prasad, chairman of Interups Inc, told ET.Prasad said Air India would be its second airline investment, as the company is already in the process of investing Rs 1,800 crore in another airline. He refused to reveal the name and the region of the airline the company is investing in.Interups started as a tax practice and moved to investing in gold as a tax saving product after the 2008 global financial crisis.Prasad said Interups has split the opportunity between residential real estate investment trust (REIT) assets, pharmaceuticals and aviation. For instance, it has invested in a pharma company that is in active discussion to produce Russian Sputnik Covid vaccine.Interups, the Tata Group, an employee consortium and SpiceJet, have shown interest to buy 100% stake in Air India.After a failed attempt in the past to sell 76% in Air India in 2018, the government on Monday received interest from four parties to buy 100% stake in the national carrier. The Air India offer includes its low-cost international subsidiary Air India Express as well as a 50% stake in ground-handling unit AISATS.the company plans to reduce the flab of the airline by monetising the assets that come with the airline and focus on running the airline by restructuring the existing management structure. Interups has said it will offer Air India employees a 51% stake in the national carrier without having to invest any capital.“Willing and continuing employees will be offered 51% in the consortium that acquires the airline. No capital investment is required,” Prasad told ET.Prasad said the company plans to reduce the flab of the airline by monetising the assets that come with the airline and focus on running the airline by restructuring the existing management structure. “We can monetise aircraft in the fleet through sale and lease back and the money earned through it can be used to clear aircraft debt. We will monetise other assets too. We will need to fund the working capital, which can be arranged easily,” he said.Analysts, however, said Interups may not have the financial wherewithal as much as the Tata Group. “Looking at the profile and assets under management, Interups does not come across as an investor with pockets deep enough to run Air India, which would need at least $2 billion immediately after the sale to stabilise operations,” said an industry insider, who did not wish to be identified.Prasad said the impact of Covid-19 has brought down the valuation of aviation assets across the globe, including India, making it the best time to invest.“The proposal (interest in Air India) would not have been a hot favourite for bidding in 2018, but now aviation sector valuations have gone for a toss the world over... We are confident of passenger traffic growing exponentially and with Air India predominantly owning some premium landing rights across the globe, it will still be a leader among Indian carriers in the international waters,” said Prasad.797266697972673079724038
Categories: Business News

India to produce 100 cr mobile phones: Prasad

December 15, 2020 - 11:03pm
New Delhi: Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said the country aims to produce 100 crore mobile phones, five crore television sets and five crore IT devices like laptops and tablets in the next five years. Prasad also said 4G is working in the country and trials for 5G will also start soon. "In the coming five years, India is going to start producing one billion mobile phones, 50 mn television sets and 50 mn IT hardware devices like laptops and tablets. That is our vision in electronics manufacturing for the coming five years," Prasad said at a CII virtual event. He added that the country wants to scale up the digital economy in the coming five years to USD 1 trillion. According to industry body India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), India has the potential to scale up its cumulative laptop and tablet manufacturing capacity to USD 100 billion by 2025 through policy interventions. In a joint report with EY, ICEA said scaling up laptop and tablet manufacturing can take the country's share in the global market to 26 per cent from the current 1 per cent. Besides, it will generate 5 lakh new jobs and lead to a cumulative inflow of foreign exchange to the tune of USD 75 billion and investment of over USD 1 billion by 2025, ICEA said in a report on opportunity for making laptops and tablets in the country. The National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE) envisages the electronic manufacturing turnover of USD 400 billion by 2025, out of which USD 190 billion is expected to come from the mobile phone segment. The domestic market will account for around USD 170 billion by 2025, and there is a need to look at export markets for the rest of USD 230 billion to meet the target of NPE 2019. "India must become a good centre of manufacturing as a part of the global supply chain. That is our focus," Prasad said.
Categories: Business News

Restarting stalled mines can help achieve $5-trillion economy target: Anil Agarwal

December 15, 2020 - 11:03pm
New Delhi: Metals and mining magnate Anil Agarwal on Tuesday said around 500 mines in the country are currently not operational due to various disputes, and restarting them would help achieve the target of India becoming a $5 trillion economy. Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources, was speaking at an Assocham session on 'Future of Manufacturing in India'. "The maximum revenue comes from the natural resources. Today we are just at the tip of the iceberg... We have today 500 mines which (are) not operating for some dispute. "Let the production go on. Let the production be doubled. If the production is doubled, there is no question we will not have our 5 trillion dollar target...," he said. Agarwal also pitched for "self-certification" as seeking clearances took years. "You make a huge penalty if we don't follow the norms but going through the process of getting clearances takes years. Somebody wants to increase the production, that itself takes years of time. "(Through) self-certification, people can increase their production to at least to double...," he said. Agarwal also said "phenomenal" wealth would be generated if 20 divestments happen yearly, unlike the present one or two every year. "The kind of wealth which you will get will be phenomenal," he said. Advocating privatisation, he said "nowhere in the world government runs the business." Stating that the country's discoms were not operating well, Agarwal pitched for their privatisation and digitalisation.
Categories: Business News

NBCC invites bids from consultants for developing a 70-acre hub in East Delhi

December 15, 2020 - 11:03pm
New Delhi: State-run NBCC has started the process to develop 70 acres of land into a hub in east Delhi with a mix of commercial, residential and retail assets at a cost of Rs 1,400 crore, according to an NBCC official. The project will have 30 residential and commercial towers around Delhi Metro’s Pink and Blue Line corridors and will be developed in phases.NBCC has invited bids for selection of a company which will carry out a detailed valuation of the east Delhi hub.The scope of work includes master planning of the entire project and construction of residential units, external amenities, infrastructure services and other developmental works. “The proposed usage of the site is mixed use and 70% of the 30 hectare land will be residential, 20% commercial and 10% will be for civic facilities. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between NBCC and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in this regard was signed in 2015 but the conditions of MoU were revised last year keeping in mind the Transit Orient Development policy,” said the NBCC official. The entire project will be developed in 6 million sq ft, of which 1 million sq ft will be developed in the first phase. The project will have two and three BHKs of different sizes with a parking for over 7,000 vehicles.The consultant will also explore the development for commercial and volume of commercial space development with corresponding sale rate in Rs per sq ft of saleable area.“This hub would not only cater to the capital functions but will also include multi-sector facilities in trade and commerce, residential and other areas in order to make it a vibrant and dynamic hub, which should be self-sustaining, with state of art physical, social and economic infrastructure. The site has very good connectivity with direct access to Vikas Marg and the two Karkardooma metro stations (Blue & Pink line) located within the site area and the nearby Anand Vihar metro station, ISBT and railway terminal,” the NBCC official added.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will also monetise about 200,000 sq ft at Karkarduma and Anand Vihar metro stations in a bid to increase revenue. The two metro stations are in close proximity to the proposed site.DMRC has also invited tenders for leasing of approximately 9,563 sq mt area at Karkardumametro station of Pink line for commercial development.
Categories: Business News

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