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Business news

Macro-economic data, monsoon, quarterly numbers to determine stock market

Trading sentiment in the stock market this week would be determined by announcement of macroeconomic data, progress of good monsoon and last leg of quarterly numbers from blue chips like Coal India, L&T and NTPC, say experts. This week, the market could trade sideways since it is already at a high and further movement only could come on the back of early arrival of pre-monsoon shower along with better GDP number, said Abnish Kumar Sudhanshu, Director and Research head, Amrapali Aadya Trading & Investments. Major earnings due this week are from BPCL, Coal India, NTPC, L&T, Power Grid, Hindalco Industries and Mahindra & Mahindra. "With corporate earnings now nearing an end, focus will shift to how implementation of GST pans out. Of course, progress of monsoon will be another key factor to watch out in the coming days. Expectation of continued improvement in earnings coupled with strong inflows will continue driving the market," said Vijay Singhania, Founder Director, .

May 28th, 2017 08:42

We will not be listing; we like our freedom: Zoho Corp President

California-based Zoho Corporation, a Software as a Service major with its major development operations in Chennai, has been moving towards integrating its different products and services to address the changing market requirement. The company has recently integrated its offerings under ManageEngine, the comprehensive IT management software and Zoho.com, an operating system for business. Raj Sabhlok, President of Zoho Corporation in an interaction with Gireesh Babu, elaborates on the company's plans in terms of its product offering, its rationale for abstaining from inorganic route, among others. Edited excerpts:Zoho has recently integrated its ManageEngine and some of the products in Zoho.com. What was the idea behind it?With technology increasingly intertwined with the business, and in the last couple of years there are more technologies in the form of applications to run various activities. The question is how do you connect these technologies with the legacy systems, where there ...

May 28th, 2017 05:26

New 4 MTPA steel capacity at Angul to help JSPL turn around: Naveen Jindal

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) chairman Javeen Jindal said, the commissioning of 4 million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel capacity at the company's Angul facility in Odisha today would contribute a lot in the financial turnaround of the company.The newly built 4 MTPA facility has taken the total steelmaking capacity at Angul to 6 MPTA and the total steel capacity of the company to 10.75 million tonne, making it the fourth largest steel producers in the country.The company was already operating a 2 MTPA unit at Angul since 2015 which produced steel through coal gasification - DRI route.The full 6 MTPA plant of JSPL was dedicated to the nation by Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today.Talking to media persons after the inauguration, Jindal said, his initial plan to come to Angul was to produce steel using the path breaking coal gasification route. But the cancellation of coal block in 2014 was a big jolt following which he has set up the second module of 4 MPTA at Angul using ...

May 27th, 2017 15:45

JSPL's Rs 6 mn tonne integrated steel plant, Odisha's biggest, commissioned

The biggest integrated steel plant of Odisha was made operational today with the commissioning of the country's largest blast furnace. Inaugurating the state of the art six mtpa steel plant of JSPL, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said it would provide direct employment to around 30,000 people and indirect jobs to many others. JSPL Chairman Naveen Jindal said the plant was set up at an investment of about Rs 33,000 crore and it would enable the company to overcome its loss in the aftermath of the coal block cancellation. He said Jindal Steel & Power Limited would start earning and play significant role in the development of the state. The plant with its 4,554 cubic meter blast furnace will make Odisha the fourth largest steel maker in the country. With this, JSPL also becomes the first company to complete this mega steel project as per its commitment in the memorandum of understanding with the government of Odisha. The company had installed two mtpa .

May 27th, 2017 10:02

IFC to invest $60 mn in Biological E to develop vaccines, expand capacity

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of World Bank, will be infusing $60 million into Hyderabad-based Biological E (BioE) to help the company to expand its vaccine manufacturing capacity with a new plant and introduce new products.The proposed investment by IFC involves an "A" loan to, and subscribing to Non-Convertible Debentures of, BioE, aggregating $60 million (or equivalent in Indian Rupees) to part-finance the Project, said IFC.IFC's invesment will support the company to diversify its product range and increase access to good quality affordable vaccines in India and other developing countries, create direct and indirect jobs and increase manufacturing capacity in India, said the World Bank's investment arm.The Company has five manufacturing facilities in India and Research and Development facilities in India and France. The corporate loan is to scale up its product offerings including the launch of four new vaccines to be manufactured at company's existing vaccine ..

May 27th, 2017 05:50

Significant price erosion in US takes toll on Sun Pharma

After the disappointment by Taro (Sun Pharma's US subsidiary) earlier this week, the stage was set for a weak show by Sun Pharma in the March 2017 quarter (Q4). With premium pricing of products, Taro had so far driven US sales and margins of Sun Pharma, which faces delayed product approvals and launches on the back of the Warning letter issues by the US FDA to its Halol plant. With Taro's portfolio, primarily dermatology, under pricing pressure, Sun was bound to see pressure in US sales. However, Sun's results were way below expectations and hence, after Monday's cut due to Taro (Kotak Institutional Equities had cut FY18/19 estimates by three per cent each) analysts could further cut their earnings estimate.Taro contributes more than half to Sun's US sales, and saw revenues decline 26 per cent year-on-year in Q4; fall in operating and net profit was steeper at 44 per cent and 28 per cent. Sun's US sales at $381 million, thus fell by 34 per cent. Excluding Taro, the pressure on US ...

May 26th, 2017 19:41

Ola kicks off pilot of its electric mass mobility project in Nagpur

India's largest taxi aggregator Ola has kicked off a pilot project to demonstrate mass electric mobility in partnership with carmaker Mahindra and the government of India in the city of Nagpur, Maharashtra. Ola will aggregate electric cars, buses, rickshaws and autos on its platform, allowing customers to book them in a manner similar to how they hail gas-powered cabs today. Initially a fleet of 100 Mahindra e2o plus hatchbacks, along with another 100 vehicles from manufacturers such as Tata Motors, Kinetic, BYD and TVS will be available to customers in Nagpur. "India has the need as well as the potential to set a global example on electric adoption to power its mobility needs. We believe that Electric Mobility in a multi-modal format, will be key towards realizing our mission of building mobility for a billion Indians," said Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO at Ola. Ola says it has already invested Rs 50 crore in procuring electric vehicles for the pilot and setting up 50 ...

May 26th, 2017 16:05

GIFT IFSC business grows by 400% in 6 months: MoS Finance Meghwal

Visiting the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), Union Minister of State in Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India, and Chairman of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) Task Force, Arjun Ram Meghwal said that the project had seen business transactions rise by 400 per cent in six months. Meghwal had visited GIFT City to interact with the IFSC units and to understand the regulatory and business progress from the entities operating at GIFT IFSC. The IFSC transactions at GIFT City covering banking, insurance, and capital market services have increased 400 per cent from US $ 1 billion to US $ 4 billion in last six months. While IFSC units (IBUs) of the Banks have done business worth US $ 3 billion, insurance companies have clocked in USD $ 1 billion worth transactions. Bombay Stock Exchange's (BSE) International stock exchange within GIFT IFSC has seen single day trading of around $100 million. In addition, 13 new units have recently received ...

May 26th, 2017 15:40

Sun Pharma Q4 net declines 14% to Rs 1,223 cr, warns of fall in FY18 sales

rmaceutical Industries has guided for a single digit decline in sales owing to regulatory challenges following a 14 per cent decline consolidated net profit in fourth quarter FY 18.Net profit for quarter dropped to Rs 1223 crore as against Rs 1416 crore in same period last year. Total revenue including other income fell 6.3 per cent to Rs 7361 crore on a year on year basis.Increased competition, pricing pressure and regulatory challenges continue to impact sales in US market and sales from the geography declined 34 per cent on a year on year basis. Sun Pharma's subsidiary Taro also reported a weak result and its sales were lower by 26 per cent. Also Sun Pharma's fourth quarter sales in last fiscal were boosted by contribution from its top selling anti leukemia drug Gleevec for which it had six months sales exclusivity.Sun Pharma's managing director Dilip Shanghvi said FY 18 will be a challenging year for the company and the company may see a single digit decline in revenue over FY ..

May 26th, 2017 15:12

US suspicions worry Indian seafood exporters

New trouble is brewing for Indian seafood export, valued at $4.7 billion annually, with the US taking 30 per cent of this.American Shrimp Processors Association (Aspa) has named India, along with Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, China, and Malaysia, as seven of the 13 countries with which the US ran a significant overall shrimp trade deficit in 2016. The US trade deficit in shrimp was nearly $4.5 bn in 2016.An 'Omnibus Report' has been called for by the US administration. It is to analyse the effects of the trade relationship on US employment and wage growth, and identification of import and trade practices that might be impairing the country's security."For decades, our shrimp industry has faced surging import of farm-raised shrimp produced overseas. As a result, the US trade deficit in shrimp is substantial and growing," says David Veal, executive director of Aspa. He has testified at public hearings there to address this situation. Aspa says the deficit of $3.4 bn with these ..

May 26th, 2017 13:51

Tech Mahindra Q4 net dips 31% to Rs 588 cr; LCC restructuring hits margins

IT services major Tech Mahindra said fourth quarter profits declined by 31 per cent to Rs 588 crore as it saw project cancellations in its communication business amidst restructuring of Lightbridge Communications Corporation (LCC), a US firm it acquired in 2015. Margins, calculated on sales minus revenue, stood at 12 per cent, the lowest in two years and the weakest among the top five Indian IT services firms. Tech Mahindra saw revenues grow 8.9 per cent to Rs 7,495 crore in the January to March quarter. Market analysts maintained a Buy rating for Tech Mahindra despite the dip in profitability in fourth quarter. "EBITDA margin performance was way below expectation, 12.0 per cent versus our estimate of 15.5 per cent, led by LCC restructuring, wage hike and higher SG&A expenses. We maintain our positive view based on possible recovery in telecom, bottoming out signals in LCC, continued growth in enterprise business led by BFSI and Manufacturing and margin expansion with ...

May 26th, 2017 13:50

ITC Q4 net up by 12% to Rs 2,669 crore

Marginally beating street estimates, Kolkata based FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) major, ITC Ltd posted a 12.3 per cent increase in its net profit at Rs. 2,669.47 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 while its income from operations rose by 6.15 per cent at Rs. 15,008.82 crore for the same period.The company's net profit in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal year stood at Rs. 2,380.68 crore while the total income income from operations was registered at 14,510.01 crore.Analysts said that the street was expecting a 1-2 per cent decline in cigarette volume, however, the company was able to hold ground.The cigarettes business, which contributed nearly 61.55 per cent of its annual earnings in the last fiscal year, saw an increase of 4.79 per cent in its topline at Rs. 8954.94 crore during the quarter under review while the gross profit from this segment grew by 7.96 per cent at Rs. 3258.76 crore.This segment's consolidated revenue growth for the 2016-17 fiscal year, ...

May 26th, 2017 13:28

Facebook seeks to up-end digital payment market

Facebook has filed an application with the Indian Patent Office for a digital wallet that will be baked into its instant messaging platforms.The company is preparing to enter the country's fast growing digital payment space. It owns two of India's most popular messaging platforms, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The former has 200 million users; parent social network Facebook has 184 mn who use its service at least once a month, with half of them logging in every day. The company does not give numbers for its FB Messenger in India. In contrast, Paytm, the country's largest digital payments wallet. with a disproportionate share of the market, has 220 mn registered users. Japanese investment giant SoftBank had earlier this month invested $1.8 billion (Rs 11,600 crore) in Paytm, for a 20 per cent stake in the company. Facebook's entry into digital payments could spark an upheaval in the segment here, currently dominated by digital wallet apps, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and .

May 26th, 2017 13:15

ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar draws Rs 7.85 crore in FY17

Chanda Kochhar, the head of country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank, has drawn Rs 7.85 crore as total remuneration in 2016-17, a jump of over nearly 64 per cent from a year ago. ICICI Bank MD & CEO Chanda Kochhar's basic salary increased over 15 per cent to Rs 2.67 crore during the fiscal ended March 2017, as per bank's annual report. Calculated on daily basis, her cost to the company was Rs 2.18 lakh. During the year, she took home performance bonus of Rs 2.2 crore. However, the bank had not not given performance incentive in 2015-16 due to weak financial status. Her total cost to the company was over Rs 4.79 crore in 2015-16 and basic salary was Rs 2.32 crore. The total remuneration included perquisites as well as retiral benefits. Furnished accommodation, gas, electricity, water and furnishing, club fees, group insurance, use of car and telephone at resident, reimbursement and leave travel concession, provident funds are among the major heads of ...

May 26th, 2017 12:53

HPCL Q4 net up 31% at Rs 1,819 cr on higher throughput, better sales

State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) hasposted a 31 per cent rise in net profit for the fourth quarter of the financialyear 2016-17 ended on March 31 to Rs 1,818.79 crore, as against Rs 1,387.91crore during the same period in 2015-16. The gross sales for the January to March period in 2016-17 stoodat Rs 58,668 crore as compared to Rs 48145 crore for the fourth quarter lastyear. "The growth in profit is mainly due to increased refining throughput,higher domestic market sales, better operating efficiencies and inventory gains,"said MK Surana, chairman and managing director of HPCL. For the financial year 2016-17, the net profit for thecompany zoomed 66.6 per cent to Rs 6209 crore, while in 2015-16 it was Rs 3726crore only. "In 2016-17, we had an inventory gain of Rs 2374 crore compared toan inventory loss of Rs 1201 crore in 2015-16," he added. On the other hand forthe fourth quarter of the financial year under review, the inventory gainsstood at Rs 743 crore agains Rs ..

May 26th, 2017 12:17

IPO mart revs up in Modi govt's three years, garners Rs 45,000 cr

In the three years since Narendra Modi was sworn in as prime minister, the mood in the primary market has improved. Fifty seven Initial Public Offers of equity (IPOs) have hit the market in this period and collectively garnered about Rs 45,000 crore. In this period, the benchmark indices surged 24 per cent.Of these offers, 16 had an issue size in excess of Rs 1,000 crore. The biggest IPOs were of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance (Rs 6,057 crore), InterGlobe Aviation (Rs 3,025 crore), PNB Housing (Rs 3,000 crore) and Equitas Holdings (Rs 2,177 crore). Investment bankers say strong liquidity, particularly from mutual funds and foreign institutional investors, supported the IPO market. Nineteen companies hit the market in 2015, with a total issue size of Rs 13,000 crore. The year 2016 saw 26 companies coming to the market and collectively mop about Rs 27,000 crore, the best for IPOs in six years. However, the bulk of the amount mobilised through IPOs in the past three years was via ...

May 26th, 2017 12:16

Effective coal prices to fall by Rs 100-150 under GST

The effective coal prices for the consumers are likely to decrease by Rs. 100-150, as the country heads towards a uniform tax regime under the Goods and Services Tax (GST).Preliminary estimates done by Coal India suggest that the coal consumers were effectively charged 11-11.5 per cent for the coal procurement which is going to decrease to five per cent under the new tax rules. Moreover, the stowing cess of Rs. 10 per tonne, paid by coal consumers, in addition to the effective value added tax (VAT) and excise duty rates will be done away with. Nevertheless, the additional cess of Rs. 400 per tonne will continue to remain in place.A Coal India official said that although the company will be appointing a consultant to "deeply understand and analyse the financial implications on the company", internal estimates suggest that prices are going to reduce."Although the net effect on the company is yet to be understood, Coal India's revenue will not take any hit as the tax was passed on the ...

May 26th, 2017 12:04

NMDC Q4 standalone net profit up 11.5% at Rs 512 crore

BS ReporterHyderabad, 26 May Public sector iron ore mining company NMDC posted a 11.5 per cent growth in its standalone net profit at Rs 511.88 crore during the quarter ended, March 2017 as compared with Rs 459.08 crore in the corresponding quarter previous fiscal.The company's total income from operations grew 87.6 per cent at Rs 2,871.60 crore in the quarter under review from Rs 1,530.14 crore in the year ago period. Its overall expenses increased 67.2 per cent at Rs 1,970.51 crore during the quarter.The company's consolidated net profit has come down marginally to Rs 2,544 crore in 2016-17 as compared to Rs 2,546 crore in previous fiscal. Its consolidated income rose 37 per cent at Rs 8,829.64 crore and expenses grew 38 per cent to Rs 5,432.22 crore in 2016-17 over the previous year.The board of directors of the mining company has recommended a dividend of Re 1 per equity share of face value of Re 1 each for the financial year 2016-17. It has paid an interim dividend of Rs 4.15 ...

May 26th, 2017 11:52

Larsen arm LTHE inks pact with ICT to build ethanol plants

L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering has signed an agreement with Institute of Chemical Technology to build ethanol plants based on indigenous technology. "Today, India is producing about 3 per cent bio-ethanol blending with ethanol derived from molasses, which is called generation (1G) ethanol. There is huge impetus from the government to set up second generation (2G) ethanol plants in order to achieve the ambitious target of 20 per cent blending bio fuels," the company said in a statement. "L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) to build ethanol plants based on fully indigenous technology by ICT," it said. The technology is capable of processing a variety of feed stocks and offers one of the lowest project life cost, it added. 2G ethanol is defined as that derived from agricultural waters that do not much impact human and animal food ...

May 26th, 2017 09:53

IiAS' report on J K house sale based on 'incorrect' information: Raymond

Raymond today said proxy advisory firm IiAS' report on the move to sell its premium property 'JK House' in Mumbai to its promoters and their extended family is based on incorrect and incomplete information, and not understood in correct manner. Yesterday, IiAS in a report claimed sale of JK House to Raymond's promoters and their extended family will result in loss of over Rs 650 crore for the company and its shareholders. Following the IiAS warning, Raymond stock came under huge selling pressure, plunging nearly 10 per cent in early trading session yesterday. The stock later recovered the losses. Raymond Chairman & Managing Director Gautam Hari Singhania said, the company is committed to protect interest of all its shareholders and is taking all appropriate steps, including legal measures, towards this objective. "As also mentioned in the notice, the company will raise all defences in the legal proceedings that have been initiated and will undertake all steps to protect and ...

May 26th, 2017 07:57

Google's India head Rajan Anandan appointed IAMAI Chairman

Google's vice-president for South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan has been appointed new chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). He took over charge from FreeCharge's co-founder and chief executive officer Kunal Shah. MakeMyTrip Chairman & Group CEO Deep Kalra has taken over as vice chairman from music app Saavn co-founder and President Vinodh Bhat. Facebook's Managing Director - India & South Asia, Umang Bedi has been elected as the new Treasurer of the Association. Subho Ray continues to be the President of the Association, IAMAI said in a statement. The tenure of the new council is for two years. "Anandan assumes office at a time when the industry is going through a growth trajectory with more than 400 million Internet users and with more than 300 million mobile Internet users," the statement said. In Rural India, with an estimated population of 906 million, have only 156 million Internet users. "Thus, there are potential 750 million users ..

May 25th, 2017 18:58

Mercedes, BMW lower prices, announce benefits before GST kicks in

Luxury car makers, hit by diesel ban in the national capital region and demonetisation in recent times, are treading cautiously in the run up to the GST. Country's largest luxury car maker, Mercedes Benz, has lowered prices by up to nine per cent with immediate effect to ensure that customers do not postpone purchases to wait for a price benefit that kicks in from July. BMW is offering discounts and benefits until actual price cut happens to keep sales intact. Companies do not want to take any hit on sales.The minimum price cut on a Mercedes car is two per cent and in some cases it goes up to nine per cent in certain cities (where taxes were higher). The company said on an average the price has been cut by four per cent. In Delhi, ex showroom price of CLA 200 sedan is being cut by Rs 1.40 lakh (approximately) to Rs 30.60 lakh. The price of S Class Mayback S 500 is being cut by Rs 7 lakh to Rs 1.8 crore (approximately). The CLA 200 price in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar could come down by ...

May 25th, 2017 18:48

Nalco's revenue pegged at Rs 8,100 crore in FY18

State run aluminium major National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Union ministry of mines, setting higher targets in production, productivity, turnover and Capex for 2017-18.As per the pact, the target for revenue from operations has been fixed at Rs 8100 crore (net of excise) which is Rs 700 crore more than the previous year.Nalco has also set 100 per cent targets for production of both bauxite and alumina i.e 6.825 million tonnes and 2.1 million tonnes respectively.Aluminium production target of Nalco is set at 0.44 million tonnes for 2017-18.The MoU was signed between Arun Kumar, secretary, Ministry of Mines and Tapan Kumar Chand, Nalco's chairman & managing director.The targets are an all time high for the company and is expected to push the profitability of Nalco despite increase in expenses on account of enhanced electricity duty, RPO (renewable purchase obligation), employee wage revision and power & fuel oil, the ..

May 25th, 2017 17:59

Cipla's loss narrows to Rs 62 crore, scales down biotech biz

Cipla its scaling down its biotech business after a weak fourth quarter which saw Rs 61.79 crore loss. In the same quarter last fiscal the company had posted Rs 93 crore loss.While the loss declined on a year on year basis the result was way below street estimates which was anticipating Rs 200-300 crore quarterly profit. Income from operations rose 8 per cent to Rs 3582 crore largely led by growth in the US market but sales slowed down in India and other emerging markets.Impairment charge of Rs 260 crore in relation to its biotech business and litigation for certain products in the US contributed to the loss."Operationally the quarter was in line with our guidance ," Cipla's chief executive officer Umang Vohra said. He added that the reported 14 per cent Ebidta margin included the one off impact of impairment and forex loss. Vohra said the company will not manufacture biosimilars and will outsource production of or look for inlicensing opportunities. The company has also put on ...

May 25th, 2017 16:45

IOC's Q4 net profit jumps 85% to Rs 3,720 cr on high inventory gains

State-run Indian Oil Corporation has posted 85.5 per centnet profit for the fourth quarter of the financial year 2016-17 ended on March31 to Rs 3720.6 crore, as compared to Rs 2005.9 crore during the same periodlast year mainly owing to higher inventory gains. The company has also posted a 25 per cent rise in its totalincome from Rs 99,460.8 crore as against Rs 1,24,344.6 crore during the periodunder review. Meanwhile, for thefinancial year 2016-17, IOC's net profit zoomed by 70 per cent to Rs 19,106.4crore, while it was Rs 11,242.23 crore in2015-16. "The major reason for the zoom in quarterly and yearlyprofit was due to the higher inventory gains that we got. We had an inventorygain of about Rs 2634 crore during the fourth quarter against an inventory lossof Rs 3417 crore during the January-March quarter last year," said B Ashok,chairman of IOC. For the company, theaverage gross refining margin (GRM) for the financial year stood at $7.77 perbarrel against $5.06 per barrel in ...

May 25th, 2017 16:24

Reliance Communications under bear attack, stock down 21% in two weeks

Reliance Communication (RCom), part of the Anil Ambani group, is under renewed pressure on Dalal Street over its financial health.The stock is down 21 per cent in two weeks on the BSE exchange, after credit downgrades by domestic rating agencies. In the period, the Bharti Airtel stock price was flat (up one per cent), while Idea Cellular was down 13 per cent; the benchmark Sensex was up 1.7 per cent.Early this week, CARE downgraded RCom from the earlier A- to BB. And, said it would be on a credit watch, citing the operational risk in view of the growing pricing pressure in the sector. The agency says the high debt level at RCom, coupled with lower cash accrual and imminent repayment obligations, had increased the financial risk.This followed a similar downgrade by rating agency ICRA early this month. It had downgraded the long-term rating to BB, from BBB, and reaffirmed its earlier negative outlook. ICRA said the revision took into account the persisting pressures and weakening ...

May 25th, 2017 15:54

Jewellers to take 12-18 months to stabilise post GST: World Gold Council

Although the forthcoming GST regime from July this year is poised to usher the country in a more transparent taxation structure, besides assuring tax uniformity across states, the gold industry is likely to take an immediate hit and will take atleast 12-18 months to recover.Since the organised segment in the entire industry comprises only 30 per cent with the major portion of the trade accounting from the unorganised sector, time has to be given for the transition."Behavioural change is necessary in both the consumer and the trade and the inherent complexity of the supply chain will need to be factored in during any such major transition. It will also depend on the final tax impact and regulations", Somasundaram PR, managing director of India at the World Gold Council (WGC) said.However, although the trade will be disrupted for 12-18 months, Somasundaram said GST will prove to be "extremely good for the industry". His argument is based on the fact that the new taxation system will ...

May 25th, 2017 15:43

Liquidity gush keeps equity MFs busy

Amid a gush of liquidity, equity fund managers have been doing a lot of timely stock buying, while faring less well in sale of holdings.The year started with the most buying in Infosys, the favourite information technology stock of fund managers. However, they took a sell call on peer Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). The following month, the latter rallied 11 per cent and Infosys by nine per cent.Fund managers' sell call on Axis Bank, Grasim Industries and HDFC Bank did not turn out well. All these counters gained quite a lot. Rather, on Axis and Grasim, fund managers continuously failed with their sell calls. They soon reversed strategy on HDFC Bank and after selling the counter in February, infused nearly double the amount. On an aggregate level, of the 20 buy calls taken during January-April (tracking the five most bought stocks per month), 16 of these rewarded the fund managers; only four went wrong in the short term. But, of 20 selling decisions, they proved wrong on 13 ...

May 25th, 2017 15:27

Ashok Leyland seems in top gear with market share, margin gains

Ashok Leyland ended FY17 on a strong note, delivering better than estimated financials for the quarter ended March. The strong results saw the stock gain 4.6 per cent in trade on Thursday. Boosted by higher volumes and realisations, net sales at Rs 6,618 crore were up 11 per cent over the year-ago quarter and better than the consensus estimate of Rs 6,515 crore. A major part of the volume gain came from the medium and heavy commercial vehicle (M&HCV) segment, which grew by nearly 10 per cent. Light CVs, lagging, were up two per cent. The higher M&HCV volumes were largely due to the pre-buying of BS-III emisison standard vehicles in March, with the company selling about 15,000 units, highest for a month in a little over two years.The company also outdid analyst expectations on the operating front, reporting a profit of Rs 727 crore. Operating profit margin at 11 per cent for the quarter were better than the 10.3 per cent pegged by analysts. Gopal Mahadevan, chief financial ...

May 25th, 2017 14:42

Cognizant allays layoff fears, says local hiring to continue as before

IT major Cognizant Technology Solutions' has reached out to employees to say that the firm is not planning layoffs and dismissed concerns among engineers in India that they were being eased out in favour of hiring more resources in the US.In an internal letter to the employees, Rajeev Mehta, president of Cognizant, said that in line with industry best practices, the company conducts performance reviews each year to ensure it has the right associate skillsets to meet client needs and achieve its business goals. "Resulting actions are performance-based and generally consistent year to year. Our performance management is based on having the right skill mix to succeed in the digital economy, globally. We are committed to being a meritocracy. We believe that's good for all our associates around the world," he wrote in the mail reviewed by Business Standard. "You may also have also seen media reports that associates are being counselled out of Cognizant to allow us to hire more US-based ...

May 25th, 2017 14:12

Delhi HC refuses to hear TV Today's plea against Arnab Goswami's Republic

The TV Today Network on Thursday withdrew a petition filed in the Delhi High Court against Republic TV, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) after the court refused to entertain an action against the airing of the Arnab Goswami led channel in more than one category on television.The TV Today petition had come soon after Republic TV was hailed by the (Barc) India's most watched news network - a move that prompted the exit of English news channels affiliated to the News Broadcasters Association from the council last Thursday after Barc disregarded their requests not to release the contentious figures. According to the Barc figures, Republic TV had a 51.9 percent news viewership with 2.11 million impressions in its debut week, while the figures for Times Now and India Today (which is owned by the TV Today Network) were around 26 percent and 8.2 percent respectively.Lawyer for Barc, senior advocate Sandeep Sethi began the day's by ...

May 25th, 2017 14:00

Britannia Q4 net profit up 6% to Rs 211 crore

Britannia Industries' net profit grew six per cent over a year in the March quarter, to Rs 211 crore, the food and beverages company said. Net sales were Rs 2,302 crore, up 6.2 per cent.During the quarter, cost of materials rose 11.7 per cent, due to price inflation of key commodities of above 10 per cent. However, changes in inventories and marginally lower other expenses offset the impact; it also cut advertising cost.The dairy business saw subdued growth as it shifted focus towards products that should generate higher profit margin. Growth in its international business remained under pressure due to "deteriorating geopolitical situation and currency fluctuations in geographies like the Middle East and Africa", said Varun Berry, managing director. Adding: "It has been a good quarter in the face of a challenging market environment and sluggish demand scenario post demonetisation. We expect the situation to slowly improve over the next three to six months with the measures announced .

May 25th, 2017 13:55

Karnataka launches Elevate programme to help startups scale operations

Karnataka is looking to reach out to over one thousand startups from smaller towns over the next two months as part of its Elevate programme which aims to identify a hundred of the most innovative startups across sectors in the state. The state is partnering with organisations such as the Deshpande Foundation and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) to help reach out and select startups for the programme. Once identified, these startups will be able to avail funding either directly from the state or through venture capitalists or angel investors. "We're trying to identify the top 100 innovative companies and see how we can help them. Whether in the form of funding, in the form of mentoring, legal help or anything else that they would want," said Priyank Kharge, IT and Tourism Minister of Karnataka in an interview. "I know most of them will be looking for funding so we are trying to bring in local venture capitalists as well as HNIs and some people from the private ecosystem." The Elevate ...

May 25th, 2017 13:52

Sugar mills worried over hike in fair and remunerative price of sugarcane

Union Cabinet approving 10.87% hike in Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane to Rs. 255/- per quintal for sugar season 2017-18 has made sugar milling industry worried as normal monsoon this year is expected to see bumper cane crop and sugar production could also rise sharply from last season's 20.3 million tons which is lowest after 2009-10 season. In current decade sugarcane FRP has increased 80 per cent while average sugar price has increased only 80 per cent.T Sarita Reddy, President Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA)said, "sugar prices are not rising in sync with sugarcane prices and with bumper sugar output possible in 17-18 season on the back of normal monsoon projections, sugar price likely to come down next season. At that time if price payable to farmers go up, it will be difficult to manage. We want farmers to get their remunerative price but also want sugarcane price linked with sugar price according to Rangarajan formula."Despite very low sugar production this .

May 25th, 2017 12:16

Moody's downgrades IDBI bank; lender says govt support continues

MOODYS-IDBI-DOWNGRADEThe rating actions reflect the significant deterioration in IDBI's financial profile, driven by asset quality issues and the heightened risk to its solvency position, the ratings agency said in a statement.The local and foreign currency bank deposit ratings has been downgraded to 'Ba2/Not Prime' from 'Baa3/Prime-3', Moody's said, adding the ratings are under review for further downgrade.Separately, IDBI Bank said the government, which has infused Rs 1,900 crore in the lender this year, continues to support it.The bank added it plans to raise capital through sale of non-core assets and churning of corporate loan book.Moody's said over the next 12-18 months, asset quality issues of IDBI bank are likely to persist, which will put pressure on the bank's profitability and limit its ability to generate internal capital.At the end of March 2017, IDBI's impaired loans (non- performing loans plus standard restructured loans) ratio rose to 29 per cent versus 19 per cent a ..

May 25th, 2017 10:19

India's plan to ban Chinese firms will backfire due to cyber threat: Report

India's plans to ban Chinese power firms due to concerns over cyber-attacks could backfire on India even though the move would cause losses to companies from China, a report in a state-run daily said today. "India's reported move to block Chinese companies in the power sector seems to be new evidence of the country's overly suspicious attitude toward China, but this could backfire given that India is still plagued by electricity shortages and unstable supply," an article in the Global Times said today. The article was commenting on the remarks by Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers' Association Director General Sunil Misra that ban on Chinese equipment would protect India "from cyber-attacks because the power sector is increasingly software driven with intelligent technology and control systems being used." Referring to criticism that China does not allow for overseas investment in its electricity grid, the article said, "the reciprocity argument is unreasonably ...

May 25th, 2017 08:29

IiAS slams Raymond's bid to sell JK House to promoters at throwaway price

Proxy firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services (IiAS) has slammed textile major Raymond for its move to sell valuable real estate to pr omoters. Estimating the move will cost over Rs 650,crore in opportunity lost, IiAS has asked shareholders to vote against a resolution that is coming up for vote on June 5.In its forthcoming AGM on 5 June 2017, Raymond Limited has presented a resolution to make an offer to sell its premium real estate at throw-away rates to its promoters and their extended family. Resolution 10 of the AGM said : " "RESOLVED THAT in compliance with and subject tothe provisions of Section 188 and other applicableprovisions of the Companies Act, 2013 and theRules framed thereunder (including any statutorymodification(s) or re-enactment thereof for thetime being in force) and the SEBI (Listing Obligationsand Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 asmay be applicable from time-to-time, and subjectto Memorandum of Association and Articles ofAssociations of the ..

May 25th, 2017 06:34

Rubber Board targets 1 million tonne output

Output of natural rubber (NR) in the country last month, the first of the current financial year, showed a rise of 23.1 per cent from the same period a year before, at 48,000 tonnes from the earlier 39,000 tonnes.. "If this trend continues, production of NR during the fiscal (year) will reach the anticipated 800,000 tonnes," said A Ajith Kumar, chairman, Rubber Board, and a million tonnes (mt) next year.Current annual demand in the domestic market is around 1.1 mt.The Board said it had focused on improving the input supply chain, to ensure it reached farmers in time. Another focus was on bringing more untapped areas into production (last year, the production area rose by eight per cent). To improve quality and production, around 10,000 tappers were trained last year and this has helped to improve the productivity by 25 per cent.Kumar said all these measures had pushed the overall production to 690,000 tonnes in 2016-17, as against its target of 654,000 tonnes. The Board has given a ...

May 24th, 2017 18:29

Govt capital infusion in IDBI on course

The government's plan for infusing capital in ailing public sector lender IDBI Bank are on, despite the Reserve Bank (RBI) putting it under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) and the rating downgrade after the Mumbai-based lender posted a net loss for 2016-17.Senior IDBI Bank officials said it was in discussion with the government, the majority owner, for a turnaround plan. That would mean agreed-on milestones and commitments from the bank in areas like cost control, reorganisation of structure and improving the financial profile. This would form the basis for a capital infusion, for meeting capital adequacy norms and business growth. IDBI's stock has taken beating after it reported a net loss for a second year. It closed 6.4 per cent down at Rs 61 on the BSE exchange. The government held 73.98 per cent of the bank's equity at end-March. The bank is also readying an agenda for monetising of stake in some subsidiaries and strategic investments, an executive said. On Tuesday, rating ...

May 24th, 2017 17:46

SBI jumps onto hackathon bandwagon with Code For Bank

Coding enthusiasts have another hackathon to look forward to with SBI flagging off Code For Bank (#C4B2017) to drive digital banking innovation. The hackathon is open to developers, startups and students in teams of up to five members.Teams can register their ideas by 29th May for the hackathon that will be held between 6th to 20th June. Applications have to be developed using SBI's internal APIs (code), external APIs and a combination of both. Finalists stand a chance to win monetary rewards between1 lakh to 5 lakh, said the bank in a statement. SBI had conducted the hackathon internally earlier and this is the first time that it has been opened for the general public."We will further engage with the winning teams to co-develop solutions and collaborate on IP. Scope of work and collaboration model will be decided at a later stage, " said an SBI spokesperson in an emailed response regarding future use of the developed APIs..Previously, Axis Bank, National Payments Corporation of ...

May 24th, 2017 16:06