IndUS Business Journal

Global cues, profit booking subdue equity indices; banking stocks sink

Aug 10, 2018 0

Mumbai– Geo-political concerns over global protectionist measures
along with profit booking subdued the key indices of the Indian equity market on Friday.

According to analyst, other key factors such as broadly negative global markets and heavy selling pressure in banking sector stocks pulled both the major equity indices lower.

Index-wise, the Nifty50 of National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 11,429.50, down 41.20 or 0.36 per cent from its previous close.

Similarly, the S&P BSE Sensex ended lower from its previous close. It closed at 37,869.23 points, down 155.14 or 0.41 per cent from its previous close.

The barometer index touched a high of 38,051.45 points and a low of 37,815.75 points during the day’s trade.

“Markets corrected on Friday as selling was seen through the day. The weakness came on the back of a fall in index pivotals like Reliance, SBI and ICICI Bank,” HDFC Securities’ Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani, told IANS.

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

“Technically, while the Nifty has corrected from life highs, the underlying trend of the Nifty remains firmly up.”

Geojit Financial Services’ Head of Research Vinod Nair said: “Bulls are taking a breather after consecutive days of rally as investors used this opportunity to book their profits due to weak global cues.”

“PSU bank sunk on concerns of increasing provisions.”

On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 15 paise to 68.83 against the US dollar from its previous close of 68.68.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 510.66 crore, while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 457.83 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durable index rose 171.58 points, the IT index was augmented by 72.65 points and the auto index ended higher by 61.99 points.

In contrast, the S&P metal index declined by 266.52 points, the S&P BSE banking index receded by 255.29 points, followed by the capital goods index, which was down 216.56 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Hero MotoCorp up 1.41 per cent at Rs 3,321.40; Mahindra and Mahindra up 1.26 per cent at Rs 945; TCS, up 0.98 per cent at Rs 1,993.85; ITC, up 0.94 per cent at Rs 304.70; Kotak Mahindra bank, up 0.71 per cent at Rs 1,286.80.

The major losers were State Bank of India, down 3.79 per cent at Rs 304.45; Sun Pharma, down 3 per cent at Rs 553.60; Vedanta, down 2.97 per cent at Rs 223.65; Tata Motors, down 2.83 per cent at Rs 250.25; and Tata Motors (DVR), down 2.23 per cent at Rs 140.05 per share.

On the Thursday trade session, foreign fund inflows, along with domestic political developments, lifted the Indian equity indices to their new record intra-day and closing highs.

Consequently, the Sensex closed at a new record high of 38,024.37 points, higher by 136.81 points or 0.36 per cent. It touched a record intra-day high of 38,076.23 points.

The wider NSE Nifty50 made a new closing high of 11,470.70 points, higher by 20.70 points or 0.18 per cent. It had hit a fresh intra-day record high of 11,495.20 points. (IANS)

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DGCA to obtain report on de-boarding of Indian family in UK

Aug 9, 2018 0

New Delhi– Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed the aviation regulator to obtain a detailed report from British Airways over an alleged incident of an Indian passenger and his family being asked to de-board the airline’s flight in the UK.

“I have directed the DGCA to obtain detailed report from British Airways on the issue,” Prabhu tweeted.

The development comes after an Indian passenger, identified as A.P. Pathak a Joint Secretary level officer in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, complained that he and his family were discriminated against on racial lines.

The alleged incident took place on July 23, when the family was travelling from London to Berlin on a British Airways flight.

Pathak has also informed the Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj about the incident.

“After the security announcement was made my wife tied my child to the window seat but he started crying as he was feeling awkward and was a little hungry,” he told a news channel.

“Crew member shouted at my child and said I will throw you and your family out of the window.”

According to Pathak, another Indian family seated behind them “who tried to console the child” was also asked to de-board.

“The plane returned to the airport and the security personnel threatened us, “If you don’t come out, we will handcuff you. We were thrown out of the airport.”

“I have contacted my lawyers in India and London, he is working on it. If we don’t get an apology from the British Airways, and the compensation for the same we will sue British Airways.”

“It was totally a racist behaviour.”

On its part, the airline said that the alleged incident is under investigation.

“We are investigating the complaint and will liaise with our customer,” the airline said in a statement on Thursday.

“It is a safety requirement for all airlines that passengers are seated and have their seat belt fastened for take-off.” (IANS)

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Tesla board of directors evaluate Musk’s privatisation plan

Aug 9, 2018 0

San Francisco– US top electric auto maker Tesla has said some members of its Board of Directors discussed the possibility of making Tesla private with its CEO Elon Musk last week.

In a statement on Wednesday, six Board members said Elon Musk brought up the proposal to them on making Tesla private and how to achieve its long-term interests as a private company, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Last week, Elon opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private. This included discussion as to how being private could better serve Tesla’s long-term interests, and also addressed the funding for this to occur,” said the Board members.

Tesla said the statement was made by members Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias, Linda Johnson Rice, and James Murdoch, but Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother, and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, who are also on the Board of Directors, were not on the list of the signatory members.

The six members said the Board has “met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this.”

Their statement came less than a day after Tesla CEO Musk announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he wants to take Tesla private.

In an email to all Tesla employees earlier on Tuesday, Musk said he is going to take Tesla private in the future at a price of $420 per share.

“I’m trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible,” he said.

“As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company,” Musk noted.

The Tesla CEO said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that his plan for a privatised Tesla has been supported by investors.

“Investor support is confirmed. Only reason why this is not certain is that it’s contingent on a shareholder vote,” he tweeted.

Tesla, which was founded in 2003, launched its initial public offering (IPO) on NASDAQ on June 29, 2010, and the IPO raised $226 million for the company.

It currently has a market value of $61 billion, and at a share price of $420, the company would be worth around $71.6 billion. (IANS)

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Biobatteries efficient to combat power wastage

Aug 9, 2018 0

New York– US scientists have developed easy to produce, low-cost, flexible and biodegradable paper-based batteries that are more efficient to combat power wastage, as well as provide an eco-friendly alternative.

The biobattery uses a hybrid of paper and engineered polymers.

The polymers — poly (amic) acid and poly (pyromellitic dianhydride-p-phenylenediamine) — were the key to giving the batteries biodegrading properties.

“There’s been a dramatic increase in electronic waste and this may be an excellent way to start reducing that,” said Seokheun ‘Sean’ Choi, Associate Professor at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

“Our hybrid paper battery exhibited a much higher power-to-cost ratio than all previously reported paper-based microbial batteries,” he added.

For years, there has been excitement in the scientific community about the possibility of paper-based batteries as an eco-friendly alternative.

However, the proposed designs were never quite powerful enough, they were difficult to produce and it was questionable whether they were really biodegradable.

This new design solves all of those problems, the researchers said, in the paper published in the journal Advanced Sustainable Systems.

The polymer-paper structures are lightweight, low-cost and flexible. Choi said that flexibility also provides another benefit.

“Power enhancement can be potentially achieved by simply folding or stacking the hybrid, flexible paper-polymer devices,” Choi said.

For the study, the team tested the degradation of the battery in water and it clearly biodegraded without the requirements of special facilities, conditions or introduction of other microorganisms.

They noted that producing the biobatteries is a fairly straightforward process and that the material allows for modifications depending on what configuration is needed. (IANS)

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YouTube to replace Facebook as No. 2 website in US

Aug 9, 2018 0

San Francisco– Owing to severe decline in monthly page visits, from 8.5 billion to 4.7 billion in the last two years, Facebook is set to cede its long-held second position among the top websites in the US to YouTube, according to a new study.

Although Facebook’s app traffic has grown, it is not enough to make up for that loss, CNBC reported on Wednesday citing the study by market research firm SimilarWeb.

Facebook earlier reported that in the second quarter of this year, its number of daily active users remained flat in North America and went down in Europe.

Owned by Google parent Alphabet, YouTube, on the other hand, has seen increased traffic and rise in viewership, said the study that found Google’s position as the biggest website in the US remaining unshaken.

The researchers projects that Amazon is set to overtake Yahoo as the fourth most-visited website in the US in the next couple of months. (IANS)

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Paytm buys savings management start-up Balance Tech

Aug 9, 2018 0

Bengaluru– Digital payments major Paytm on Thursday announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-based smart-savings management start-up Balance Tech for an undisclosed amount.

Designed to build saving habits for users, the Balance app offers saving options in mutual funds that could get users interest rates of up to 8.65 per cent per annum.

“Our team has been building automated products that make the saving experience relatable and delightful by helping users reach their goals in clever little ways,” Balance Tech CEO and Co-Founder Ankit Kumar said in a statement.

“Our conversational personal savings assistant nudges users to build a saving habit, and give purpose to their money as they go about their busy lives.

“We look forward to bringing in computational intelligence, unique design and proprietary algorithms with Balance to help Paytm users accomplish more with their money,” Kumar added.

The six-member Balance Tech team has joined Paytm product and design team and is working on further enhancing Paytm’s user/merchant interfaces, the SoftBank and Alibaba-backed Paytm said.

“They have created a fantastic product with real user engagement. As we constantly look to create customised and intuitive user experiences, the Balance Tech team will be an invaluable part of this journey,” said Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President at Paytm. (IANS)

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Airbnb ties up with Sri Lankan tourism board to provide local experiences

Aug 9, 2018 0

By Rituraj Baruah

Colombo– Global hospitality services provider Airbnb has signed-up with the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) to provide tourists with local and traditional experiences in the country through the “Airbnb Experiences” platform.

On Thursday, the global hospitality services provider signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SLTDA.

Travellers can choose from more than 40 “Airbnb Experiences” in Sri Lanka designed and led by local experts, Amanpreet Bajaj, Airbnb’s Country Manager for India and Sri Lanka said at the MoU signing event.

“Our Sri Lankan hosts offer a wide range of experiences, from heritage trails in Galle to surfing experiences in Mirissa, and adventure walks in Sri Lanka’s national parks to discovering the best local food spots in Colombo,” Bajaj said.

The experiences on offer would include local cuisines, water sports, walk around heritage monuments and tours of wildlife sanctuaries among others, all arranged by local people who are partners with Airbnb.

The company further said, under its “Social Impact” category of experience, it would facilitate tourists experiences such as visit to a traditional small scale industry such as a handloom industry, adding that Airbnb would charge any commission on such experiences.

“We are excited to work with Airbnb to promote experiences in Sri Lanka and we are of the view that an engagement of this nature would be of great value to the tourism industry of Sri Lanka,” Kavan Ratnayaka, Chairman, SLTDA.

Airbnb’s APAC Head of Strategic Partnerships, Thao Nguyen said: “Through the partnership announced today, we’re excited to work with the Sri Lankan government to promote tourism that is local, authentic and sustainable.”

The “Airbnb Experiences” platform was launched in 2016 with 500 experiences across 12 cities globally and now the platform offers over 15,000 experiences in over 800 cities, Bajaj said. In India, he said, the platform has been launched in Delhi and Goa so far.

“By the end of this year, we will have expanded into at least a thousand around the world,” he added. (IANS)

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India’s online shopping can grow to $50 bn: Report

Aug 9, 2018 0

New Delhi– India has the potential to generate e-commerce value of over $50 billion by driving awareness, usage and transactions among the current and next set of Internet users and shoppers, said a report on Thursday.

More than 500 million Indians will constitute the next wave of online consumers, according to a report jointly released by Bain & Company, Google and investment firm Omidyar Network.

With an online buyer spending on an average $224 per year, e-commerce retail shopping in India is 10 per cent of what Chinese spend, according to the report.

Currently, only 40 percent of India’s 390 million Internet users transact online, said the report titled “Unlocking Digital for Bharat: $50 Billion Opportunity”.

India on an average adds 40 million new Internet users per year to online transactions, it added.

“While online spends are still low given lower per capita incomes, there is huge potential to unlock value by addressing user concerns at various stages of the digital curve; however, the path won’t be easy for businesses and they will have to innovate and be patient to monetise this user base and generate value,” Arpan Sheth, Partner, Bain & Company and one of the authors of the report said in a statement.

Based on a survey of 3,400 customers, the study found three key characteristics which affects India’s digital ambition – inequitable distribution of users across socio-economic classes, small transaction base, and large drop-out rate.

Of the 390 million Internet users, 80 per cent are from affluent socioeconomic segments and penetration amongst lower income segments is only 13 per cent, the findings showed.

It also showed that only 40 percent of the Internet users today carry out digital transactions. The remaining 60 per cent do their research online but complete the transaction offline.

As many as 54 million users today have not carried out a transaction after the first trial purchase, the findings showed.

“With this report, we outline the need for much focused intervention for different subsets of the users who are now online and grow consumer confidence to make the digital medium a viable platform for all,” Vikas Agnihotri, Industry Director, Google India, said.

According to the report, it takes three to four months for a typical Internet user to make the first online transaction. (IANS)

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Intel eyes $200 bn data centre market opportunity by 2022

Aug 9, 2018 0

San Francisco– With more and more data being generated, global chip-maker Intel is eyeing at $200 billion market opportunity in 2022 for its data-centric businesses, a top executive has said.

According to Navin Shenoy, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Data Centre Group (DCG) at Intel Corp, the company garnered $1 billion in Artificial Intelligence (AI) revenue from Intel Xeon Processors in 2017.

“I find it astounding that 90 per cent of the world’s data was generated in the past two years. Analysts forecast that by 2025, data will exponentially grow by 10 times and reach 163 zettabytes,” Shenoy said during his keynote at the company’s Data-Centric Innovation Summit at its headquarters in Santa Clara, California, on Tuesday.

The company introduced the first Intel Xeon processor 20 years ago.

“Since launching the Intel Xeon Scalable platform last July, we’ve seen demand continue to rise. We have shipped more than 2 million units in 2018’s second quarter. Even better, in the first four weeks of the third quarter, we’ve shipped another 1 million units,” said Shenoy.

In 2017, more than $1 billion in revenue came from customers running AI on Intel Xeon processors in the data centre.

“We continue to improve AI training and inference performance. In total, since 2014, our performance has improved well over 200 times,” said Shenoy.

The company announced that Intel Optane DC persistent memory-based systems can achieve up to eight times the performance gains for certain analytics queries over configurations that rely only on DRAM memory.

“We are further expanding our connectivity portfolio with a new and innovative ‘SmartNIC’ product line — code-named Cascade Glacier — which is based on Intel Arria 10 FPGAs and enables optimized performance for Intel Xeon processor-based systems,” Shenoy said.

According to him, the proliferation of the Cloud beyond hyperscale and into the network and out to the edge, the impending transition to 5G, and the growth of AI and analytics have driven a profound shift in the market.

“We need to look at data holistically, including how we move data faster, store more of it and process everything from the Cloud to the edge,” Shenoy added. (IANS)

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Sensex mounts 38k points, Nifty at record high

Aug 9, 2018 0

Mumbai– Foreign fund inflows, along with domestic political developments, lifted the Indian equity indices to new record highs on Thursday with the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex crossing the 38,000 points mark.

Similarly, the the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) made a fresh intra-day record high of 11,495.20 points.

Even the broader market indices like the BSE MidCap and SmallCap made gains. They rose 0.59 per cent and 0.29 per cent respectively.

Sector-wise, PSU banks, realty and metal stocks led the northward trajectory of the two key indices.

According to market observers, fresh highs came on the back of renewed confidence in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government as the Janata Dal-United’s Harivansh Narayan Singh was elected the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. He was fielded by the BJP-led NDA.

Also, broadly positive global cues such as low crude oil prices and better-than-expected quarterly results pushed the key indices higher.

Consequently, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex closed at a new record high of 38,024.37 points, higher by 136.81 points or 0.36 per cent from its previous close.

The barometer index touched a fresh record high of 38,076.23 points and a low of 37,939.28 points during the day’s trade.

Besides, the wider NSE Nifty50 made a new closing high of 11,470.70 points, higher by 20.70 points or 0.18 per cent.

“Technically, the underlying trend of the Nifty remains up. Further upsides are likely once the immediate resistance of 11,493 points is taken out,” HDFC Securities’ Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani, told IANS.

“Crucial supports to watch for any weakness are at 11,415 points.”

Geojit Financial Services’ Head of Research Vinod Nair said: “Green shoots in earnings and growth prospects of domestic economy overrode global headwinds caused by trade tensions.”

“On the other hand, oil price hovering near the recent low and increasing exposure of FIIs in domestic equity, bodes well for the market direction.”

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrip worth Rs 370.68 crore, while the domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 85.39 crore.

On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 6 paise to 68.68 against the US dollar from its previous close of 68.62.

Sectorally, the S&P BSE banking index rose 415.77 points, the metal index was up 179.90 points and the realty index ended higher by 49.27 points.

In contrast, the S&P BSE consumer durable index declined by 191.98 points, followed by the healthcare index, which was down 99.41 points and the capital goods index which ended lower by 51.77 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were ICICI Bank, up 4.64 per cent at Rs 332.95; Axis Bank, up 3.86 per cent at Rs 619.45; Vedanta, up 2.56 per cent at Rs 230.50; State Bank of India, up 2.53 per cent at Rs 316.45; and PowerGrid up 1.69 per cent from Rs 192.75 per share.

The major losers were Bharti Airtel, down 4.64 per cent at Rs 366.75; ONGC, down 1.75 per cent at Rs 168.90; Kotak Mahindra Bank, down 0.98 per cent at Rs 1,277.70; L&T, down 0.88 per cent at Rs 1,286.35; and IndusInd Bank, down 0.86 per cent at Rs 1,985.05 per share. (IANS)

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