IndUS Business Journal

Equity indices slump around 1% on weak global cues, depreciating rupee

May 23, 2018 0

Mumbai– Persistent outflow of foreign funds along with weak global cues and a depreciation in the rupee led to the key Indian equity indices plunging on Wednesday.

According to market observers, rise in domestic transportation fuel prices as well as renewed global geopolitical tensions and trade disputes between the US and China eroded investor sentiments.

Consequently, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,430.35 points, down 106.35 points or 1.01 per cent from the previous close of 10,536.70 points.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE tumbled nearly one per cent. It opened at 34,656.63 points and closed at 34,344.91 points — down 306.33 points or 0.88 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 34,651.24 points.

In terms of intra-day trade, Sensex touched a high of 34,668.47 points and a low of 34,302.89 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,587 declines and 1,168 advances.

“Markets corrected sharply on Wednesday after witnessing a minor bounce on Tuesday. The weakness came on the back of weak global cues as investors were concerned about trade tensions, the possible cancellation of North Korea summit planned in June, economic issues in Turkey and commodity prices fall,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

“Major Asian markets have closed on a negative note, barring the KOSPI and Jakarta indices. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX are trading in the red.”

Geojit Financial Services’ Head of Research Vinod Nair said: “Market edged lower amid pessimism on global trade talks and below par fourth quarter earnings.”

“Metals sank while PSU bank outperformed and prevented the market from a nose dive correction. Investors expect that the worst is over related to PSU banks NPA with adequate provisions and expectation of recapitalisation from government.

“On the other hand, rupee continued to fall and the fear of inflationary pressure may lead the market to consolidate,” Nair added.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 38 paise against the US dollar to 68.43, from its previous close at 68.05 per greenback.

Besides, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 311.11 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 789.78 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index and the capital goods index gained by 62.06 points and 10.54 points respectively.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE metal index plunged by 534.27 points, followed by the oil and gas index, which receded by 491.72 points and the auto index that ended lower by 130.31 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were State Bank of India, up 3.56 per cent at Rs 263.20; NTPC, up 0.82 per cent at Rs 166.35; Larsen and Toubro, up 0.55 per cent at Rs 1,327.20; Tata Motors, up 0.49 per cent at Rs 309.25; and Mahindra and Mahindra, up 0.05 per cent at Rs 831.25 per share.

The top losers were Tata Steel, down 6.57 per cent at Rs 539.25; ONGC, down 4.75 per cent at Rs 175.55; Dr Reddy’s Lab, down 2.92 per cent at Rs 1,955; IndusInd Bank, down 2.80 per cent at Rs 1,856.70; and ITC, down 1.92 per cent at Rs 273.45 per share. (IANS)

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India-Russia ties will continue to scale newer heights: Modi

May 21, 2018 0

Sochi (Russia)–  Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that ties between India and Russia will continue to scale newer heights following an informal summit he held with Russian President Vladimir Putin here.

“Extremely productive discussions with President Putin,” Modi tweeted.

“We reviewed the complete range of India-Russia relations as well as other global subjects,” he said.

“Friendship between India and Russia has stood the test of time. Our ties will continue to scale newer heights in the coming years.”

Earlier, Modi said that his informal summit with Putin will take bilateral ties to a new level.

“I am happy that today I got the opportunity to be a guest of President Putin and that too in Sochi,” Modi said after being received with a warm hug by Putin at his summer residence, Bocharev Creek, in this resort city on the Black Sea coast.

“Russia has always remained a true and fast friend of India,” he said.

“We have been regularly holding bilateral meetings but I am grateful to President Putin for inviting me for an informal summit which has taken our relationship to a new level.”

On his part, Putin said that there is no need to explain Russian-Indian relations, since these have deep roots.

“However, we have been able to create additional momentum recently. Last year, our trade saw a significant increase, adding another 17 percent since the beginning of this year,” he said.

Stating that Russia and India are proactive in their foreign policy cooperation, including within international organisations such as the UN, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and now the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Putin said: “We have established close contacts and collaboration between our defence agencies. All this is indicative of the high level of strategic relations between our countries.”

Modi arrived here earlier on Monday on a nine-hour visit for the informal summit proposed by Putin soon after his reelection as Russian President.

The Indian leader’s visit comes after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale visited Moscow earlier this month to discuss a way out of the US sanctions on Russian firms.

The sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies, including Rosoboronexport, the state-owned Russian weapons trading company, has raised concerns in India about a possible impact on India’s military buys from Moscow.

The withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal can be seen as another major reason for the informal summit.

Putin is expected to visit India later this year for the annual bilateral summit.

The relationship between India and Russia was elevated to that of a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership during Putin’s visit to India in 2010.

In his remarks, Modi congratulated Putin for being reelected for the fourth time with a huge majority.

“Since 2000 when you assumed this office, you have maintained a close relationship with India,” he said.

“When you came to India for the first time after becoming President and when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India, you said very eloquently back then that India and Russia were ancient civilisations and vibrant democracies. People of India still remember this.”

Stating that Russia and Putin specifically hold special significance in his own political journey, Modi said in 2001, after he became Chief Minister of Gujarat, within one month he got the opportunity to visit Russia along with Vajpayee.

“In Moscow, as Chief Minister, the first world leader I met was you and in a way I got introduced to foreign relations through you,” he said.

Recalling that 18 years ago, Vajpayee and Putin sowed the seeds of the India-Russia Strategic Partnership, Modi said: “Together, both of us can today proudly say that the seeds that Atalji and you sowed have grown to a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. This in itself is a very big achievement.”

The Indian leader said that he too had the chance to work shoulder-to-shoulder with Putin for the last four years whether it be bilateral relations or international ties and he was “happy about it”.

Repeating Vajpayee’s words in 2000 during Putin’s visit, Modi said that being a friend of Russia for a long time, India would like to see Russia as a powerful and confident nation, which, in a multipolar world, can play a significant role.

“It is a matter of happiness for us that whether it be the SCO, in which you have played a very big role for India’s membership, the BRICS, CECA (Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement) or the (International) North-South Corridor, we have been working together in a number of mechanisms and have successfully moved forward,” the Indian Prime Minister said.

He also extended his best wishes to Russia for hosting this year’s FIFA World Cup.

Following Monday’s summit, Modi and Putin took a boat ride on the Black Sea and, according to Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, the two leaders “had plenty to discuss”.

The Sochi meeting came after a similar informal summit Modi held with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China last month. (IANS)

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Facebook enlists Qualcomm for its gigabit Wi-Fi project

May 21, 2018 0

San Francisco, May 21 (IANS) Facebook on Monday was reported to have enlisted US-based chipmaker Qualcomm to provide the technology for its gigabit Wi-Fi project that the social media giant announced during its annual developer conference in 2016.

Mark Zuckerberg

“This is a solution for both rural and urban areas that simply have spotty Wi-Fi in certain regions,” The Verge quoted a Qualcomm spokesperson as saying.

With Qualcomm chipsets being integrated to the “Terragraph” technology, manufacturers would be able to upgrade routers and increase broadband data-sending frequency up to 60GHz.

The “gigabit Wi-Fi project” was launched as part of Facebook’s multi-node wireless Terragraph system that was meant to focus on improving high speed connectivity to dense urban areas.

This project uses technology that transmits higher frequencies to send data through the air — at rates as high as 7 GB/s.

Facebook has not given any official information, but field tests are expected to begin in the middle of next year.

Facebook had said in a blogpost in 2016 that Terragraph’s reduced interference and ability to operate in non-line-of-sight conditions increases customer reach.

“For customers or business in multi-dwelling units or high-rises, the ‘Terragraph system’ can be externally attached to a building and connected to an in-building ethernet data network,” the company had said.

Combined with Wi-Fi access points, Facebook claimed that Terragraph is one of the lowest-cost solutions to achieve 100 per cent street-level coverage of “gigabit Wi-Fi”. (IANS)

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Karnataka politics, oil prices depress equity market

May 21, 2018 0

Mumbai– The formation of a non-BJP government in Karnataka, along with weakness in global indices and rising crude oil prices, pulled the key Indian equity indices to close in the negative territory for the fifth consecutive session on Monday.

According to market observers, a weak rupee against the US dollar also dampened the sentiments.

After opening on a flat note, the key indices rose during the early trade session but were unable to hold on to the gains for long.

Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,516.70 points, down 79.70 points or 0.75 per cent from the previous close of 10,596.40 points.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE settled in the red. It had opened at 34,873.16 points, closed at 34,616.13 points — down 232.17 points or 0.67 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 34,848.30 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 34,973.95 and a low of 34,593.82 points.

Broader markets like the S&P BSE mid-cap index ended 1.64 per cent lower, while S&P BSE small-cap plunged 2.2 per cent. The overall BSE market breadth was bearish with 2,003 declines against 653 advances.

“Sentiments were weak due to the political situation in Karnataka. Private banks, realty and pharma stocks came under selling pressure,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 12 paise against the US dollar to 68.13, from its previous close at 68.01 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 166.15 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 149.58 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT, oil and gas and Teck (Technology, Media and Entertainment) indices posted marginal gains, up by only 18.77 points, 13.74 points and 4.72 points respectively.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE auto index fell the most, by 467.06 points, followed by the consumer durables index, which slumped by 445.98 points and the healthcare index that fell by 331.91 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were State Bank of India (SBI), up 2.47 per cent at Rs 245.10; Tata Consultancy Services, up 1.59 per cent at Rs 3,557.95; Coal India, up 1.26 per cent at Rs 269.75; ICICI Bank, up 1.1 per cent at Rs 289.65; and ONGC, up 0.43 per cent at Rs 185.85 per share.

The top losers were Sun Pharma, down 4.50 per cent at Rs 443.80; Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 4.23 per cent at Rs 1,894.35; Yes Bank, down 3.27 per cent at Rs 334.15; Tata Motors, down 2.85 per cent at Rs 296.55; and Tata Motors (DVR), down 2.69 per cent at Rs 175.45 per share. (IANS)

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Fuel prices sky rocket: Chambers tell government to cut excise duties

May 21, 2018 0

New Delhi– With transport fuel prices in Delhi and Mumbai touching an all-time high, industry chambers, Ficci and Assocham, on Monday called for the government to urgently reduce fuel excise duties. It also urged the government to bring automobile fuels under the purview of Goods and Services Tax (GST).

The price of petrol per litre in Delhi on Monday under the dynamic pricing regime touched a record high of Rs 76.57, already having beaten on Sunday the previous high of Rs 76.06 in the city on September 14, 2013. In Mumbai petrol price was at Rs 84.40 per litre on Monday.

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

On Monday, in the other major cities like Kolkata and Chennai, the price of the fuel rose to near five-year high levels, at Rs 79.24 and Rs 79.47 per litre.

Diesel in the national capital on Monday went to its highest level of Rs 67.57 per litre.

“At a time when the Indian economy is on a recovery path, rising oil prices are again posing a high risk to India’s economic growth trajectory,” a Ficci statement said here.

“Over the last few years, falling oil prices contributed significantly towards improving the health of the economy. With global oil prices once again spiralling upwards, the macroeconomic risks of higher inflation, higher trade deficit and pressure on balance of payments with attended consequences for the Rupee value have once again surfaced,” said Ficci President Rashesh Shah.

“There is also a risk that monetary policy may turn hawkish, which would, in turn, have a bearing on the growth of private investments,” he said.

Reacting to the spiralling fuel price Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday said the government is “sensitive towards the rising fuel prices” and various alternatives are being explored. “I hope something will work out soon,” he added.

“While cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel may provide temporary relief to the consumers, the sustainable solution lies in the automobile fuel coming under the Goods and Services Tax, which can happen only after the Centre and states together reduce their dependence on the fuel considerably,” said D S Rawat, Secretary General of Assocham.

He said, rising crude prices coupled with weaker rupee with cascading impact on inflation pose “a big challenge for the Indian macro picture and ironically, there is a little that can be done in the short term.”

In the long run, India needs to rework its energy security and ensure that petrol and diesel do not remain a huge revenue resource. Rather than being a revenue source for the government, the auto fuel should drive the economic growth, Rawat added.

Even though oil is now considered less of an independent driver of business cycles than before, the State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday said the recent surge in crude oil prices is likely to impact the country’s imports and stretch the ongoing fiscal’s current account deficit (CAD) to 2.5 per cent of GDP.

In an SBI Ecowrap report, titled “Oil on boil: It’s time we understand oilnomics better”, Chief Economist Soumya Kanti Ghosh argues that its estimate that a $10 per barrel increase in oil price will increase India’s import bill by around $8 billion is a “model estimate and actuals could be much different from them”.

At its first bi-monthly monetary policy review of the fiscal in April, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) retained its key interest rate at 6 per cent for the fourth time in succession, citing rising oil prices as a major upside risk to retail inflation that rules over the RBI’s median target of 4 per cent.

“Unless swift action is taken to address the situation, the economic growth will again head towards a speed-breaker. Amongst the most immediate actions that can be taken by the government is to bring down the excise duty on fuel,” Shah added.

He pointed out that the government’s latest Economic Survey 2017-18 has estimated that for every $10 per barrel rise in crude prices, while GDP growth will reduce by 0.2-0.3 percentage points, the current account deficit will increase by 0.4 percentage points and wholesale inflation will go up by 1.7 percentage points.

Ficci also noted that when the global oil prices were down, the government had hiked excise duty on fuel nine times between November 2014 and January 2016, but had reduced it only once in October 2017.

“Given that overall excise duties have been raised by as much as Rs 11.77 per litre for petrol and Rs 13.47 per litre for diesel, while reduction has been mere Rs 2 per litre, there is a scope of bringing down the excise duties. While such a move will have an implication on the fiscal revenues at this juncture there is a need to do the fine balancing act,” Shah said.

“As per some estimates, every Re 1 per litre cut in excise duties results in potential revenue losses of Rs 130 billion (0.1 per cent of GDP). On the positive side, GST collections are edging up and if the government focuses on increasing disinvestment proceeds, revenue losses from excise can be mitigated,” he said.

“Going forward, the government should also work with the states to bring petrol products under the GST regime,” he added.

Over the long term, there is a need for a strategic policy towards reducing India’s reliance on oil, entering into strategic partnerships with global oil suppliers “and evaluate forming a global consumer alliance along with other leading consumers of oil like China”, Ficci said.

The price of the Indian basket of crude oils, composed of 70 per cent sour grade Oman and Dubai crudes and the rest by sweet grade Brent, has gone upwards of $72 a barrel in May, after rising to an average of $69.30 in April 2018.

It averaged $47.56 and $56.43 per barrel respectively during the last two financial years. (IANS)

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PNB scam: ED issues summons to Nirav Modi’s father, sister

May 18, 2018 0

New Delhi– The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to absconding diamantaire Nirav Modi’s father Deepak Modi, sister Purvi Mehta and her husband Mayank Mehta as part of its probe in the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, an official said here on Friday.

The fraud was committed during 2011-17 by illegally issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) and Foreign Letters of Credit (FLCs).

Deepak, Purvi and Mayank have been asked to appear before the ED investigators at its Mumbai office to record their statements in the case as the agency is in the process of filing chargesheet in a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai, expectedly by the next week.

ED investigators said Nirav Modi’s relatives were summoned in the first week of this month and were given 15 days time to appear before it in the ongoing money laundering probe of over Rs 13,000 crore. The alleged banking fraud was committed by the diamond merchant, his group of companies — Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds — alongwith uncle Mehul Choksi and others.

An ED official said that further notices would be issued to the three in case they fail to respond to the first summons, an ED official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Deepak is reportedly based in Antwerp in Belgium, while Purvi and her husband are settled in Hong Kong. “They were sent the summons through mail,” the official said.

Purvi is under ED’s radar for her alleged role in round-tripping of Nirav Modi’s laundered money via Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) back to India while her husband is suspected of supporting the diamond merchant in similar operations.

The multi-crore fraud was committed in connivance with PNB’s Mumbai Brady House branch officers between 2011-17.

The ED had started money laundering probe against Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal, wife Ami and others, based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) FIR lodged on January 31, following PNB’s first complaint against the businessman for allegedly cheating it of Rs 280.70 crore.

ED investigators have claimed to have traced over Rs 5,000 crore assets of Nirav Modi so far. The official said that the crores said to have been sent as FDI transactions from Singapore-based firm Islington International Pte Ltd, whose beneficiary owner is stated to be Purvi’s husband, are doubtful in nature.

The ED investigations is also based on Income Tax department’s February report to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) and the Union Finance Ministry against Nirav Modi and his uncle Choksi in which it is reportedly mentioned that nearly Rs 4,900 crore transactions were unexplained. (IANS)

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Equities slump on Karnataka political crisis, high oil prices

May 18, 2018 0

Mumbai– The uncertain political environment in Karnataka along with high global crude oil prices and consistent outflow of foreign funds pulled the key Indian equity indices deep in the red on Friday.

According to market observers, depreciation in the rupee eroded investor sentiment which was also impacted by broadly negative global markets.

Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) ended lower by 86.30 points or 0.81 per cent at 10,596.40 points from its previous close of 10,682.70 points.

Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE declined to end in the negative territory. It had opened at 35,143.59 points, closed at 34,848.30 points — down 300.82 points or 0.86 per cent — from its previous session’s close of 35,149.12 points.

In the intra-day trade, barometer S&P BSE Sensex touched a high of 35,163.11 and a low of 34,821.62 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,856 declines against 765 advances.

“Benchmark indices, Nifty and Sensex ended in red for the fourth consecutive session, following mixed sentiment in global stock markets,” said Dhruv Desai, Chief Operating Officer, Tradebulls.

HDFC Securities’ Head of Retail Research, Deepak Jasani said: “A combination of Brent crude oil prices hovering near the $80 per barrel mark, sustained selling from foreign funds and political uncertainty in Karnataka after the Supreme Court reportedly directed for floor test in Karnataka Assembly tomorrow (Saturday) affected the market sentiments.”

“Broad market indices like the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices lost more, thereby underperforming the main indices,” Jasani told IANS.

Accordingly, the S&P BSE mid-cap declined by 1.47 per cent and the S&P BSE small-cap ended 1.62 per cent lower than its previous close.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 30 paise against the US dollar to 68.01, from its previous close at 67.71 per greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 166.15 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 149.58 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE FMCG index was the only gainer, rising by 98.76 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE capital goods index fell the most, by 579.39 points, followed by auto index, which slumped by 452.36 points and the metal index that fell by 329.14 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Hindustan Unilever, up 2.22 per cent at Rs 1,604.10; Kotak Mahindra Bank, up 1.99 per cent at Rs 1,294.25; IndusInd Bank, up 1.23 per cent at Rs 1,936.70; ITC, up 1.13 per cent at Rs 282.15; and Hero MotoCorp, up 0.31 per cent at Rs 3,565.50 per share.

The top losers were Larsen and Toubro, down 3.54 per cent at Rs 1,316.05; Sun Pharma, down 3.21 per cent at Rs 464.70; ICICI Bank, down 3.21 per cent at Rs 286.40; Tata Motors, down 3.14 per cent at Rs 305.25; and Tata Steel, down 3.04 per cent at Rs 591.50 per share. (IANS)

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Pradhan expresses concern over high oil prices with Saudi Minister

May 18, 2018 0

New Delhi– Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan raised concern over the ongoing surge in crude oil prices and the resultant hike in transport fuel prices in the country during a telephonic interaction with Saudi Arabias Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih.

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

“Minister Pradhan expressed his concern about rising (oil) prices and its negative impact on consumers and the Indian economy,” an official statement said here on Friday.

The concern comes as the petrol price in the national capital hit Rs 75.61 per litre on Friday, inching closer to the previous high of Rs 76.06, reached in September 2013.

Pradhan emphasised his desire for stable and moderate prices.

According to the statement, Minister Al-Falih also assured Pradhan that supporting global economic growth is one of the Saudi Arabia’s key goals.

He reiterated his commitment towards stable supplies and that “the Kingdom together with other producers will ensure availability of adequate supplies to offset any potential shortfalls and ensure that prices remain reasonable.”

The spike in transport fuel prices in India can be largely attributed to the consistent rise in global crude oil prices recently. Brent crude oil is currently priced above $79 per barrel.

Petrol prices in the major cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai also were at multi-year highs on Friday — Rs 78.29, Rs 83.45 and Rs 78.46 per litre, respectively.

Similarly, prices of diesel, continued its gaining momentum and reached new record levels across the country, with the price in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai being — Rs 67.08, Rs 69.63, Rs 71.42 and Rs 70.80 per litre. (IANS)

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Facebook India to help smartphone brands connect better with consumers

May 16, 2018 0

Gurugram– With mobile and Internet penetration on the rise in India, Facebook India is set to prepare companies — beginning with the smartphone industry — hit the right chord with consumers and eliminate the massive revenue loss owing to “friction”, a top company executive stressed here on Wednesday.

The social media giant said it will help smartphone manufacturers reduce the consumer drop-off from their purchase journey (referred to as “friction”), thereby creating $3.1 billion worth of potential revenue for smartphone brands by 2022.

“Facebook will work as a catalyst in terms of making companies aware that there is this huge opportunity and will build solutions for them to achieve that. Teams from Facebook will help companies and manufacturers design targeted approach depending on what products they have,” Sandeep Bhushan, Director, Facebook India and South Asia, told IANS.

India is currently the second largest smartphone market globally and is expected to hit 1.4 billion unique mobile subscribers by 2022.

“We will also work with our partners to bring in more capabilities. Consumers are ready, waiting to purchase more via smartphones. The onus is now on companies to understand this quickly and eliminate consumer dropouts on their path to purchase,” Bhushan added.

To help marketeers understand why consumers abandon purchase journeys, Facebook announced a “Zero Friction Future” programme with several industry research reports put together by the global research firm KPMG. The report is based on primary research and insights survey conducted by Nielsen.

Overall friction accounts for 66 per cent of consumer dropouts, while 34 per cent of consumer dropouts are attributed to media friction, leading to a loss of nearly $22 billion in revenues, the study said.

“With the launch of ‘Zero Friction Future’ programme, we want to help businesses adopt relevant mobile marketing strategies to offer seamless purchase experiences, to help them win consumers and increasing sales,” said Bhushan.

The report, titled ‘Eliminating Friction in Smartphone Path to Purchase’, highlighted that friction accounts for approximately two-thirds of consumer dropouts while buying smartphones and media friction contributes to approximately one third of the dropouts.

Currently, mobile influences 58 per cent of smartphone purchase decisions, amounting to $8.5 billion worth of sales and it is expected to grow 1.8 times to reach 73 per cent and influence $15.6 billion worth of sales by 2022.

Facebook influences 33 per cent of purchase decisions amounting to $4.8 billion worth of sales and it is expected to grow two times to reach 44 per cent and influence $9.5 billion worth of sales by 2022.

“When it comes to the 300 million-plus Indian smartphone market, we are right there for both Android or iOS devices. For low-end phones, we are there with Facebook Lite. Reliance Jio has KaiOS operating system and we are integrated for that too.

“We are building solutions for over 2.2 billion Facebook users globally, 1.5 billion users on WhatsApp and 217 million Indian users on Facebook. Whether the consumer is young or old, our platform is there to help them make right purchase decisions,” Bhushan told IANS.

The Facebook-KPMG study also noted that mobile influence will continue to dominate the smartphone purchase journeys as 7 in 10 smartphone purchases will be mobile influenced by 2022.

According to the findings, women seek more explicit communication, while men demand more relevant information.

“People age 35 and beyond are more likely to abandon purchase, as sensitivity to friction increases with age,” the report noted. (IANS)

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‘India only imported sugar worth $4.68 mn from Pakistan during 2017-18’

May 16, 2018 0

New Delhi– The central government on Wednesday clarified that the country had only imported 13,110 metric tonnes (MT) of sugar worth $4.68 million from Pakistan during 2017-18.

The clarification came after some reports indicated that large quantities of sugar had been imported from Pakistan.

“It has been observed that there have been some misinformed news reports appearing in the media about import of sugar from Pakistan,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

According to the statement, till May 14, 2018, India imported 1,908 MT of sugar worth $0.657 million from Pakistan.

“We must see this import in the overall context that total annual sugar production of India is about 31.90 million MT in sugar season 2017-18,” the statement said.

“Further, India exported 1.75 million MT in 2017-18. During April-May 2018, the total export of sugar has been 240,093 MT. Thus import from Pakistan has been very miniscule as compared to total production in the country and exports from India. Further, it has been reported that Pakistan government has provided cash freight subsidy of Rs 10.7 per kg on sugar.”

In terms of value, in 2016-17, the country imported sugar worth $1,019 million, this declined to $934 million in 2017-18.

Besides, the ministry disclosed that quantity-wise, in 2016-17, total import of sugar was 2.14 million MT and that it marginally increased to 2.40 million MT in 2017-18.

India mostly imports sugar from Brazil. Currently, import of sugar “is free with a customs duty of 100 per cent”. (IANS)


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