IndUS Business Journal

Gitanjali Gems stocks plunge 20% on $1.8 bn scam, PNB slips 2%

Feb 16, 2018 0

Mumbai– Following the $1.8 billion fraud detected by the Punjab National Bank (PNB), stocks of jewellery company Gitanjali Gems on Friday plunged almost 20 per cent — hitting its lower circuit — while PNB’s shares closed over 2 per cent lower.

Stocks of Gitanjali Gems, the luxury jewellery brand promoted by the main accused Nirav Modi’s maternal uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi, plunged 19.94 per cent to close at Rs 37.55 per share.

“Price-wise, the way the stock of Gitanjali Gems has slipped and the kind of circuit that we are seeing, probably the sequence may continue for some days. From a support perspective, Rs 29-30 is a support,” Sacchitanand Uttekar, Assistant Vice-President, Research for Tradebulls, told IANS.

“But with developments in the company going off-track, how much will it hold is something that time will decide,” he added.

According to market analysts, the stock prices fall to an effective level which gives the traders the chance to reinvest in the stock and arrest the fall.

“The stocks fall to a level where the current negatives seem fully discounted, prompting traders to re-enter. The exchanges keep changing the circuit limits, which typically cushions the rise or the fall in stock prices,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

The shares of PNB — the second largest public sector bank in India — started to decline after the bank detected a multi-crore fraud case in one of its branches in Mumbai on February 14, and authorities blamed billionaire diamond trader Nirav Modi for the fraud.

On a closing basis, scrips of PNB slipped by 2.10 per cent to Rs 125.65 per share, lower by Rs 2.70 from the previous close at Rs 128.35.

PNB on Wednesday told the stock exchanges through a regulatory filing that it detected fraudulent transactions at $1,771.69 million (around Rs 11,515 crore) in one of its branches in Mumbai, which is equivalent to eight times the bank’s net income of about Rs 1,320 crore ($206 million).

On the same day, the bank’s shares had plunged drastically following the news of the fraud to close lower by 9.81 per cent at the BSE. On Thursday, too, the scrips dropped by almost 12 per cent.

The fraud, which included money-laundering among other things, concerned the Firestar Diamonds group of Modi, in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal and uncle Choksi.

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate launched a nationwide raid on the offices, showrooms and workshops of Nirav Modi.

The CBI on Friday registered a FIR against the Gitanjali Group of companies based on a complaint registered by the PNB. (IANS)

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Government suspends Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi’s passports

Feb 16, 2018 0

New Delhi– Two days after the $1.8 bn fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) broke out, the government on Friday suspended passports of Nirav Modi and Mehul Chinubhai Choksi for four weeks.

“On the advice of the Enforcement Directorate, the Passport issuing authority in the Ministry of External Affairs has today suspended the validity of passports of Nirav Deepak Modi and Mehul Chinubhai Choksi with immediate effect for a period of four weeks u/s 10(A) of the Passports Act 1967,” the Ministry of External Affairs said here in a statement.

“Nirav Deepak Modi and Mehul Chinubhai Choksi have been asked to respond within one week as to why their passports should not be impounded or revoked under Section 10 (3) (c) of the Passports Act 1967. If they fail to respond within the stipulated time it will be assumed that they have no response to offer and the MEA will go ahead with the revocation,” the statement added. (IANS)

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40% of Indians prefer video ads on mobile phones: Survey

Feb 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– Owing to falling 4G data prices, a significant 40 per cent of Indians prefer to watch advertisement videos on their mobile phones over other media, finds a survey.

The survey, by mobile advertisement technology and data analytics company MoMagic Technologies, showed that most of the mobile advertisements were viewed while playing games and watching videos on platforms such as Youtube.

Over 28 per cent of the respondents watch mobile ads for winning credits in games, followed by ads while shopping online at 25.5 per cent.

“What we are witnessing is an increasing migration of video consumption including video ads by users in Tier I and II cities because of economical 4G data plans in a highly competitive mobile operators market which is pushing costs and inversely offering higher data limit packages,” Arun Gupta, CEO and Founder, MoMagic Technologies said in a statement.

The survey also showed that 37 per cent of the people view their mobile phones over six times in an hour due to high level of addiction fuelled by interrelated activities such as social media and online videos, etc.

This has led to rapid consumption of mobile ads as 56 per cent of the respondents see these ads at least two to three times a day.

This is already leading to an over 60 per cent digital ad spend that comes from mobile platform, the survey said.

In 2017, mobile ad spend increased at a rapid pace in India as it grew at a staggering rate of over 80 per cent.

Image-based text ads were found to be at 24 per cent, while text messages were at 11 per cent.

It is because mobile video advertisements generally lead to better story telling and effectively delivering a much better lead conversion rates for advertisers, the survey showed.

The results were based on a survey conducted on 35,000 people from Tier -I, II and III cities and aged between 18-40, across India. (IANS)

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Ex-Facebook India head Bedi joins Dailyhunt as President

Feb 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– Former Facebook India Managing Director Umang Bedi has joined local language news and entertainment aggregator Dailyhunt as President.

Bedi will report to Dailyhunt founder Virendra Gupta.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to drive scale via Dailyhunt’s ‘Made in India’ platform. The intention is to serve the unmet, under-served needs of Indians who live in tier 2, 3, 4 cities and rural areas and provide them with personalised, relevant, meaningful experiences,” Bedi said in a statement on Thursday.

Dailyhunt has 80 million users that spend over six billion minutes on the platform each month. The platform offers over 250,000 news articles in 14 languages licensed from thousands of content partners and contributors every day.

“Umang’s background in social media content and experience leading scaled teams generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues is a great fit with our plans,” said Gupta.

Facebook appointed Bedi in 2016 as Managing Director for India to build and maintain strategic relationships with top clients and regional agencies in the country.

An engineering graduate from the University of Pune and an alumni of the Harvard Business School, Bedi officially started at Facebook in July 2016.

Prior to joining Facebook, Bedi was Managing Director of South Asia region at Adobe. (IANS)

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Microsoft commits $500 mn for new startup initiative

Feb 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– Microsoft has committed $500 million for a new programme to help nurture start-ups, offering resources such as Azure credits and sales support.

“Microsoft for Startups” will deliver access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits to help startups grow their customer and revenue base.

“We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology and new community spaces,” Charlotte Yarkoni, Corporate Vice President, Growth and Ecosystems at Microsoft, said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

Microsoft has over 40,000 sales representatives and hundreds of thousands of partners.

The programme provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their Cloud solutions to enterprise organisations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organisation and partner ecosystem.

The programme provides startups with up to $120,000 in free Azure credits, enterprise grade technical support and development tools – supporting the languages of their choice.

“In addition, qualified startups also get access to productivity and business applications, including Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365,” the post said.

Microsoft “Reactorsa are physical spaces where entrepreneurs, developers, investors and the business community can come together to interact, learn and share.

“Over the next month (March), we will open the doors on new Microsoft Reactor spaces in London, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Shanghai and Beijing,” Yarkoni said. (IANS)

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Apple may introduce 3 new iPhones this year

Feb 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– Apple is reportedly gearing up to introduce three new iPhones this year and one of them will be more popular than the others, a top analyst with Taiwanese business group KGI Securities has said.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the most famous analyst with KGI Securities when it comes to Apple, the Cupertino-headquartered giant will aim to sell 100 million units of “a 6.1-inch iPhone it’s planning to release this year”.

“The 6.1-inch LCD iPhone will apparently resemble the iPhone X with a similar full-screen design, but at a more accessible price for customers. The analyst expects this new iPhone to be priced to replace iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, as cheap as $699,” 9to5Mac reported late on Wednesday.

“The replacement for iPhone X is believed to consist of a three-SKU 2018 iPhone lineup. A new iPhone X style device with improved internals, a larger ‘iPhone X Plus’ with a 6.5-inch OLED display and the 6.1-inch LCD model,” the report added.

Kuo also expects iPhone X to ship a total of 62 million units in its lifetime, adding the company will cease production of this particular model mid-year.

All three devices are expected to feature “Face ID” feature and lose the home button in favour of iPhone X’s gestural navigation.

The 6.1-inch iPhone device will not get a dual camera nor 3D Touch, according to a previous KGI report. (IANS)


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Amazon now world’s third-most valuable company

Feb 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– With a market cap of $702.5 billion, Amazon has become the third most valuable company in the world, racing past Microsoft, which has a market cap of $699.2 billion.

According to a report in The New York Post, Amazon stock surged 2.6 per cent on Wednesday, taking the company’s market cap ahead of Microsoft for the first time.

Apple tops the list with $849.2 billion market cap, followed by Google’s parent company Alphabet at $745.1 billion.

With $521.5 billion market cap, Facebook is at the fifth spot.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now the world’s richest man, not just at present, but of all time.

Both Bloomberg and Forbes have put Bezos on top of their billionaire lists. Bloomberg said Bezos’ net worth reached $106 billion while Forbes put it at $105 billion, Xinhua news agency reported.

The previous record was held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with $100 billion in 1999.

The majority of Bezos’ net worth comes from the 78.9 million shares of Amazon stock he owns. (IANS)

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Dyson launches in India, opens first demo store

Feb 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– Global technology company Dyson on Thursday said it has launched its latest products, including cord-free vacuum cleaners, hairdryers and its range of intelligent air purifiers, in India at its first demo store here.

The company, which is also the developer of high-performance machines, said it will invest over Rs 1,200 crore in India over the next five years and will expand at a fast pace opening a total of 20 stores in the country.

“We are launching a range of products using our patented technology which we believe will bring meaningful benefits,” said Jake Dyson, Chief Engineer and member of the Dyson Board.

Headquartered in Britain’s Malmesbury, the James Dyson-founded company holds 7,500 patents worldwide and is focused on combining hardware, software and algorithms to make intelligent machines. (IANS)

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Dip in food, fuel prices eases January’s WPI inflation

Feb 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– A dip in food and fuel prices decelerated the rise in India’s annual rate of inflation based on wholesale prices to 2.84 per cent in January, official data showed on Thursday.

According to the wholesale price index (WPI) data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the rate of inflation had risen by 3.58 per cent in December 2017 and 4.26 per cent during the corresponding month of last year.

On a sequential basis, the expenses on primary articles, which constitute 22.62 per cent of the WPI’s total weightage, edged higher by 2.37 per cent, from an increase of 3.86 per cent in December 2017.

Similarly, the prices of food articles dipped. The category has a weightage of 15.26 per cent in the WPI index. It rose by three per cent from an acceleration of 4.72 per cent.

In addition, the cost on fuel and power category, which commands a 13.15 per cent weightage in the index increased at a slower pace of 4.08 per cent from a growth of 9.16 per cent.

However, expenses on manufactured products registered a rise of 2.78 per cent from 2.61 per cent. (IANS)

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NDB to lend $100 mn for water project in Rajasthan

Feb 15, 2018 0

New Delhi– India has signed a second loan agreement for $100 million with the New Development Bank (NDB) for efficient use of water in desert areas of Rajasthan, an official statement said on Thursday.

“This is the first tranche loan of $100 million approved by the NDB under the Multi Tranche Financing Facility of $345 million for this project,” the Union Finance Ministry release said.

The loan agreement to finance Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for the Desert Areas was signed between Economic Affairs Department Joint Secretary Govind Mohan and NDB Project Financing Director General Shaohua Wu here on Tuesday.

The objective is to rehabilitate the 678-km-long Indira Gandhi Canal system built during 1958-63 to prevent seepage, conserve water and enhance water use efficiency as mandated by both national and state level policies on water use.

“The project implementation period is six years. The Rajasthan government will implement the project primarily through the Rajasthan Water Resources Department,” said the release.

The representatives of NDB, Central and state governments also signed Facility Framework Agreement under which NDB has agreed to provide Multi-Tranche Financing Facility for $345 million to the country for this project.

The project is aimed at arresting the seepage by refurbishing the canal, rehabilitation of waterlogged areas, modernisation of the irrigation management practices by involving water users’ associations, and strengthening of drinking water supply and irrigation facilities. (IANS)

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