IndUS Business Journal

Lenovo India appoints new CMO for Asia Pacific

Jun 11, 2018 0

New Delhi– Lenovo India on Monday appointed Bhaskar Choudhuri as the new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of the Asia Pacific region.

He was previously Lenovo India’s Head of Marketing and succeeds former regional CMO Nick Reynolds who has now been appointed the company’s global Head of Marketing for Digital, Web and Social Media.

Bhaskar is tasked with expanding the brand’s footprint in the Asia Pacific region and and driving sales for PCs, tablets and smart devices across diverse markets covering Japan, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

Prior to this appointment, he led the marketing team in India for the last five years, wherein he was responsible for the marketing strategy and aligning marketing to the overall business objectives.

Under his leadership, Lenovo India launched its smartphones in the market as well as many new initiatives were taken in the digital marketing space, the company said in a statement.

Bhaskar reports to Ken Wong, President of Lenovo Asia Pacific. (IANS)

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Britain assures India of cooperation in extradition of Nirav Modi, Mallya

Jun 11, 2018 0

New Delhi– Britain on Monday assured India to fully cooperate in the extradition process of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and liquor barron Vijay Mallya who are accused in separate multi-crore bank loan defraud cases, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said.

Meanwhile, government sources said that British Minister for Counter Terrorism Baroness Williams also confirmed to Indian authorities that Nirav Modi, the billionaire jeweller at the heart of a more than Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, is reportedly residing in her country – an admission coming in the wake of reports about him seeking political asylum there.

At a counter terrorism dialogue held here, Williams guaranteed Rijiju of Britain’s support in the process to extradite Nirav Modi and Mallya to India.

“I had a very useful meeting with UK Minister, Baroness Williams. We discussed about India-UK joint efforts to deal with terrorism and extremism. We also agreed to cooperate in the matters of extradition and sharing of information,” Rijiju said after the meeting.

“We have put across the government of India’s demands that anybody who is wanted by Indian agencies or an Indian court, we seek the cooperation from the UK authorities (on extradition).

“The (UK) minister has assured to give full cooperation whether it is Vijay Mallya case or Nirav Modi or anybody,” he said.

Nirav Modi left India with his family a month before the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a criminal case against him on January 31 after PNB, India’s second-largest, state-run bank, lodged a case alleging him and his uncle Mehul Choksi to defraud it by raising credit from overseas branches of other banks using illegal guarantees issued by rogue PNB staff at a Mumbai branch over several years.

India is already seeking the extradition of Mallya, a liquor and aviation tycoon, over unpaid loans to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman and co-owner of the Formula One Force India team moved to Britain in March last year. Mallya, who has been staying there for over a year now, has been accused of defaulting on loans worth thousands of crores.

Rijiju further said there is a good understanding between the Indian and British governments and that the two leaders reiterated they would cooperate with each other and address each other’s concerns over other issues.

Besides extradition of Nirav Modi and Mallya, Rijiju discussed issues related to anti-India movement being carried out by pro-Khalistan Sikh Federation with the British minister.

“…there are certain elements who are misusing the UK territory to propagate or also conduct activities which is anti-India.

“So, I have requested the minister that using the UK’s territory for anti-India agenda must be curtailed. We are not against the freedom of speech. UK is a liberal country, so are we. We are also a democratic country and we cannot curb the freedom of speech. But the freedom of speech cannot be misused to abuse the country’s image. So, we are very clear that UK should not be a country where anti-India activities can be conducted without any kind of restriction or check,” Rijiju said.(IANS)

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Private sector investments needed for UN development goals: Lajcak

Jun 11, 2018 0

By Arul Louis

United Nations– UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak has called for mobilising investments from the private sector to finance the world organisation’s development goals because government aid from developed countries alone cannot be expected to fund them.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by UN members in 2015 require $5 trillion to $7 trillion annually and to achieve this “bigger and better partnerships with the private sector” is crucial, Lajcak said at a high-level meeting on Financing for SDGs on Monday.

“We need to try new means and mechanisms – from blended financing to domestic resource mobilisation,” he said, adding that not enough was being done to achieve this.

Lajcak cited a study by the consulting company, Deloitte, that found that while 92 per cent of business executives supported the SDGs, only 17 per cent of them have any plans or policies for it.

“We need to sell the SDGs” by showing how they could benefit everyone, he said. “We cannot just put our hands out – and expect the investments to come.”

Taking up just climate change requirements, he said: “Developed countries have committed to come up with $100 billion per year, by 2020, to ensure developing countries can meet their climate-related needs. But, so far, nothing close to this has been raised.” (IANS)

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Allahabad Bank focuses on recovery, refers 65 NPA accounts to IBC

Jun 11, 2018 0

Kolkata– State-run Allahabad Bank, which referred 65 stressed accounts involving around Rs 12,566 crore to the NCLT for IBC resolution during last fiscal, is focusing on recovery and rebalancing its loan book with emphasis on small, micro, agriculture and retail advances.

The lender also said the number of “wilful defaulters” declared by the bank stood at 257, a two-and half-fold jump from March 2017 figure of 101.

Allahabad Bank. (Photo: Facebook/@AllahabadBankOfficial)

“Taking into account the optimistic outlook of the economy and its different sectors, the bank will align its business objective to maximise its gains.

“The bank shall primarily focus on aggressive recovery drive, further build-up in CASA (current account and savings account), rebalancing of loan book with focus on SMARt (small, micro, agriculture and retail) loans thereby increasing its share to the loan book supported by technology,” its latest annual report said.

The Kolkata-headquartered lender would also look at different avenues to raise capital with simultaneous reduction in risk weighted assets.

“Bank has referred 65 Non-Performing Assets borrowal cases involving an amount of Rs 12,566.11 crore to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for resolution under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) during FY18.

“A separate — NCLT Cell — at Head Office for exclusive monitoring of NCLT referred cases is being formed,” it said in the report.

At the end of the 2017-18, gross NPA of the bank stood at Rs 26,562.76 crore as compared to Rs 20,687.83 crore in FY 17 (2016-17) and Net NPA remained at Rs 12,229.13 crore as on March 31 as against Rs 13,433.51 crore in FY17.

According to it, FY18 was a challenging year for the Indian banking industry due to continued stress faced in asset quality on account of various macroeconomic and other factors.

The lender has nine Asset Recovery Management Branches (ARMBs) which function exclusively for resolving NPAs and it organised 12 recovery camps in the previous year (one camp in each month) involving all the branches.

“This step was very successful in terms of recovery that amounted to Rs 3564.55 crore,” it said.

According to lender, it sold 216 stressed accounts and assets worth Rs 2,539.21 crore to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) during the last financial year. (IANS)

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Profit taking, global cues subdue equity indices to end flat

Jun 11, 2018 0

Mumbai– Profit booking and weak global markets subdued the key Indian equity indices to close Monday’s volatile trade session on a flat-to-positive note.

According to market observers, the key indices ceded most of their gains during the last hour of Monday’s trade session, as metal, oil and gas and realty counters came under heavy selling pressure.

In the afternoon trade session, both the NSE Nifty50 and the S&P BSE Sensex made significant gains, with the barometer Sensex rising over 200 points, on the back of buying support in the consumer durables, banking and capital goods stocks.

Index-wise, the wider NSE Nifty50 ended the day’s trade at 10,786.95 points, up 19.30 points or 0.18 per cent from its previous close of 10,767.65 points.

Similarly, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 35,472.59 points settled a tad higher. It closed at 35,483.47 points — up 39.80 points or 0.11 per cent — from the previous closing level of 35,443.67 points.

Besides, the intra-day trade saw high volatility as the Sensex swung from a high of 35,704.84 points to a low of 35,444.49 points.

The BSE market breadth was slightly tilted towards the bulls with 1,529 advances against 1,147 declines.

“Markets ended with modest gains after a sharp sell-off in the late afternoon session wiped out most of the morning gains,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

“Traders and investors seemed to be cautious as they are awaiting a series of domestic and global events this week.”

According to Tradebulls’ Director and Chief Operating Officer Dhruv Desai: “Sensex and Nifty closed flat as investors await the landmark meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled tomorrow.”

On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated by nine paise against the US dollar to 67.42, from its previous close at 67.51 per greenback.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,156.77 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 1,062.82 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durable index gained 210.82 points, the healthcare index was higher by 68.74 points and the FMCG index ended 41.50 points higher.

On the other hand, S&P BSE metal index was down by 48.23 points, followed by the oil and gas index which fell 31.88 points and the realty index was down 15.64 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Bharti Airtel, up 3.19 per cent at Rs 388.75; Sun Pharma, up 1.29 per cent at Rs 535; Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 0.90 per cent at Rs 2,081.45; Maruti Suzuki, up 0.84 per cent at Rs 9,021.05; and IndusInd Bank, up 0.76 per cent at Rs 1,904.50 per share.

The top losers were Tata Steel, down 1.79 per cent at Rs 588.75; Power Grid, down 1.21 per cent at Rs 196.10; Coal India, down 0.72 per cent at Rs 287.80, Hero MotoCorp, down 0.60 per cent at Rs 3,612.55 and Yes Bank, down 0.56 per cent at Rs 335.70 per share. (IANS)

 

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BJP hits out at Congress for calling wheels of economy ‘punctured’

Jun 11, 2018 0

New Delhi– The BJP on Monday hit back at Congress for calling “wheels” of the Indian economy “punctured” and accused it of making “baseless and irresponsible” allegations against the government.

“Allegations labelled by (former Finance Minister P.) Chidambaram are baseless and irresponsible. He has raised the issue of growth rate while we have emerged today as the fastest growing economy in the world.

“This quarter (4th of FY 2018), the growth rate was 7.7 per cent. It was more than that of 2014 when they (UPA) left the government. We maintained the pattern of growth rate even when the situation in the world was different,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters here at a press conference.

Attacking the Congress, he said that it was their record that growth rate was always low while the rate of inflation was always high.

“Our government has changed it. The growth rate has increased while the rate of inflation has gone down,” he said.

Javadekar was responding to Chidambaram’s remarks in which he said that three out of the four wheels – exports, private investment, capital formation – of the national economy have been “punctured” and held the BJP government’s “administrative incompetence”, “reckless decisions” and “policy blunders” responsible for the rising farm distress, unemployment and economic failure.

He said the only tyre that seemed to be inflated was government expenditure.

“But here too, the government’s options are getting limited because of the pressure on the current account deficit (CAD) and the fiscal deficit (FD),” he said.

Chidambaram said the gross NPAs (Non-Performing Assets) had risen in the last four years from Rs 2,63,000 crore to Rs 10,30,000 crore and would rise further.

Responding to the charges on NPA, Javadekar blamed Congress for the NPA crisis.

He said that the government is working seriously on long term solution over the hikes in rates of petrol and diesel prices. (IANS)

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Congress questions Modi government’s silence on ICICI bank ‘fraud’

Jun 4, 2018 0

New Delhi– In view of fresh allegations levelled by a whistleblower against ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar over fraud loans, the Congress on Monday questioned Modi government’s “silence” and “non-interference” on the issue, asking why it didn’t order a probe.

“Instead of oversight, audit, regulations and protection of interests of account holder’s depositors, stakeholders and shareholders, Modi government is busy protecting its crony friends,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told media persons here.

“Why did the government not order a thorough probe when the news reports and whistleblower’s letters to the Prime Minister emerged as early in March this year?

“What explains the complete silence and the declared non-interference of the Modi government in this saga of ICICI Bank frauds?” he asked.

Khera also asked if acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal, who himself has been accused of conflict of interest and impropriety, would order an investigation asking every private bank CEP to declare their relationship with any loanee.

Noting that the government itself has admitted that NPAs have risen by 230 per cent – from Rs 2,51,054 crore in March 2014 to Rs 8,31,141 crore in December 2017, he said that lack of oversight and regulatory mechanisms have precipitated into massive bank loot scams worth Rs 61,036 crore and have eroded the trust of the common people in banks.

“The Rs 2,849 crore exposure of the ICICI Bank and the behind the scenes murky deals questions the role of its CEO in one such saga of banking fraud,” he added.

“Media reports and whistleblowers alike have alleged that the ICCI Bank CEO and her family have invested Rs 325 crore in subsidiary of a large consortium – which on record has a loan default and a large NPA.

“After much delay, SEBI has given a show cause notice to the ICICI bank’s CEO and said that it didn’t adhere to its code of conduct, which required the disclosure of any conflict of interest in the case involving Videocon Group and NuPower Renewables, a firm owned by her husband,” he said.

Noting every bank goes through four stages of audit – statutory, internal, and concurrent audits and RBI inspection, he said that despite this, the entire fraud escaped everybody’s attention and sought to know why the audits had not uncovered it. (IANS)

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Caution over monetary policy review pulls equity market lower

Jun 4, 2018 0

Mumbai–  The key indices of the Indian equity market — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — ended in the negative territory on Monday after a volatile trade session.

According to market observers, both the key indices had gained nearly a per cent each during the initial trade hour but failed to sustain the northward trajectory as caution over Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) second monetary policy review of the fiscal eroded investor’s risk-taking appetite.

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI began its three-day meet from June 4 to 6 here on Monday.

Accordingly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the day’s trade in the red. It closed lower by 67.70 points or 0.63 per cent to 10,628.50 points from its previous close.

The Sensex of the BSE, which opened at 35,503.24 points, closed at 35,011.89 points, 215.37 points or 0.61 per cent lower from the previous session’s close at 35,227.26 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 35,555.59 points and a low of 34,982.25 during the trade session.

“Markets corrected further on Monday after a positive morning session led by banking and realty stocks,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research for HDFC Securities.

“Investors turned cautious ahead of RBI monetary policy review meet which began today. Broad market indices like the BSE Mid Cap and Small Cap indices fell more, thereby underperforming the main indices.”

Geojit Financial Services Head of Research Vinod Nair said: “Market erased early gains despite positive momentum in the global market as investors are gradually factoring a rate hike ahead of RBIs monetary policy.”

“As the result season is over, market participants are keen on macros, the movement of oil price and rupee will remain the key trigger. On the other hand, the tailwinds caused by prognosis of good monsoon and uptick in economic activity in Q4FY18 will boost consumption led story and rural economy.”

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened against the US dollar to 67.11-12, from its previous close at 67.06 per greenback.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index fell by 422.97 points, the consumer durables index was down by 376.37 points and the capital goods index ended 236.38 points lower.

On the other hand, S&P BSE IT index gained 55.34 points followed by the metal index which rose by 31.70 points and the TECK index ended 22.53 points higher.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Dr Reddy’s Labs, up 2.86 per cent at Rs 1,996.95; Infosys, up 1.59 per cent at Rs 1,239.60; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.45 per cent at Rs 914.60; Tata Steel, up 1.18 per cent at Rs 566.95; and Reliance Industries, up 1.09 per cent at Rs 939.35 per share.

The top losers were HDFC Bank, down 2.99 per cent at Rs 2,046.55; Bharti Airtel, down 2.81 per cent at Rs 371.85; Adani Ports, down 2.47 per cent at Rs 377.60; PowerGrid, down 2.06 per cent at Rs 201.65; and Hindustan Unilever, down 1.73 per cent at Rs 1,562.20 per share. (IANS)

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Tata Motors creates electric mobility vertical

Jun 4, 2018 0

Mumbai– Tata Motors on Monday said that it has created an electric mobility vertical and appointed Shailesh Chandra to lead it in addition to his current responsibility.

According to the company, the creation of the new business vertical will enable Tata Motors to deliver on “its aspiration of providing innovative and competitive e-mobility solutions”.

“Tata Motors is optimistic about the future of electric vehicles and would play a leading role in the electric mobility evolution in the country,” Tata Motors’ Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Guenter Butschek said in a satement.

“We will also leverage on the capabilities of other Tata Group companies to develop the full ecosystem and fast track the adoption of e-mobility.”

As per the statement, Chandra has been promoted as President-Electric Mobility Business and Corporate Strategy with immediate effect and will continue to be a member of the Executive Committee. (IANS)

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Pradhan rules out review of dynamic transport fuel pricing

Jun 4, 2018 0

Dahej (Gujarat)– Ruling out a review of the daily dynamic pricing regime for transport fuel introduced last June, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday however said the government was concerned about rising fuel prices and is working on a long-term solution to the problem of price volatility.

In face of the recent surge in petrol and diesel prices, Pradhan also appealed to state governments to tax these within a “reasonable and responsible” band.

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

“There is no review of daily price mechanism,” Pradha” told reporters here after receiving the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipment from Russia under a long-term contract at the import terminal here on Monday.

“We are thinking of a long-term solution. We are concerned about prices and about the plight of the common man. Government of India is taking a holistic view,” he said.

The Minister also said that state governments should cut sales tax, which because of their levy ad valorem leads to rise in revenues of the state governments when prices rise.

“We cannot push states but only appeal to them.

“I have already categorically stated several times that the present oil price hike is due to three main factors. Hike in the international price of crude, fluctuation in the dollar and Indian currency ratio, and some of the tax issues are also there,” he added.

State-run oil marketing firms marginally lowered petrol prices for the sixth consecutive day on Monday under the dynamic pricing regime although the rates continue to rule at unprecedented levels following the resumption of daily price changes after a 20-day suspension of the system last month owing to the Karnataka elections.

As per prices announced by largest retailer Indian Oil Corp, petrol per litre in Delhi on Monday cost Rs 77.96, down from Rs 78.11 on Sunday.

Similarly, in Mumbai and Kolkata, petrol prices were at Rs 85.77 and Rs 80.60 a litre respectively, while in Chennai petrol fell by 15 paise on Monday to Rs 80.94 per litre.

Diesel sold on Monday in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai for Rs 68.97, Rs 71.52, Rs 73.43 and Rs 72.82 per litre, respectively.

“Today will be seen as the golden day for India’s energy roadmap,” Pradhan said referring to first LNG ship from Russia, adding that the government is committed towards transforming India into a gas-based economy.

“To bring Russia’s LNG in India is a big achievement in our energy roadmap. In next 20 years, $25 billion worth gas will come to India and nearly $1.5 billion worth of LNG will be bought from Russia every year. It is a successful deal between India-Russia,” he said.

“Four years back, we were importing LNG from only Qatar. Today we are getting LNG from Australia, US and now Russia,” he added.

State-run gas utility GAIL has signed a 20-year contract with Russia’s energy giant Gazprom for purchase of 2.5 million tonnes of natural gas a year.(IANS)

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