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    Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts

    Walmart approaches CCI for approval of Flipkart acquisition

    Global retail giant Walmart has approached fair trade regulator CCI for approval of its proposed acquisition of a majority stake in e-commerce major Flipkart, saying the deal doesn’t raise any competition concerns. Stating that the proposed acquisition would be done through its subsidiary Wal-Mart International Holdings, Walmart has told the regulator that Flipkart is a Singapore-based investment holding firm, which along with its direct and indirect subsidiaries, both in India and elsewhere, is primarily engaged in the business of wholesale cash and carry of goods and providing marketplace based e-commerce platforms to facilitate trade between customers and sellers in India.

    Mergers and acquisitions beyond a certain threshold require the approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). According to the notice submitted to the CCI by Wal-Mart International Holdings, the proposed transaction will be effected pursuant to the share purchase agreement and the share issuance and acquisition agreement entered into on May 9 by and among Walmart’s subsidiary and Flipkart.

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    Jewellery stocks shine on sharp drop in price of yellow metal

    Stock market investors on Monday gave a thumbs up to gem and jewellery stocks, thanks to the continuous fall in the yellow metal prices overseas. The precious metal sank to over five-year lows in global markets. Gold futures crashed as much as 4.6 per cent in the Asian markets, as China on Friday revised its official gold reserves upwards, marginally.

    On the domestic market, gold prices fell below ₹25,000 per 10 grams on Monday, tumbling ₹524 in futures trade in early trades.

    Shares of Shree Ganesh Jewellery House, Gitanjali Gems, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri, PC Jeweller, C Mahendra Exports, Rajesh Exports, and Vaibhav Global gained between 1 and 14 per cent. However, Titan Company fell 1.23 per cent to ₹344.9 on the BSE.

    Gold ETFs feel the heat

    Gold ETFs — exchange-traded funds on gold that follow the price of gold — fell between 0.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent. Kotak Gold ETF was the biggest loser crashing 4.7 per cent. On the other hand, Canara Robeco Gold ETF fell just 0.5 per cent on the NSE.

    According to analysts, the fall in gold prices bodes well for jewellery stocks, as the inventory costs for these companies would fall, giving them better leverage in the coming festival season. Besides, the results season began on a good note for the sector. Thangamayil Jewellery reported a net profit of ₹3.63 crore for the quarter ended June on revenues of ₹300.16 crore. This compares with a loss of ₹3.69 crore for the March quarter and a loss of ₹3.98 crore for the June quarter of last fiscal.

    Knee-jerk reaction

    Amid these developments, some analysts have sounded a word of caution, too. According to Ramesh Chordia, independent analyst, Monday’s rise in jewellery shares is just a knee-jerk reaction, as the metal price fell below the psychological ₹25,000-mark.

    It is better to wait for individual companies’ results before venturing into these shares, as some of the firms are sitting on huge debts, he added. “Also, the price of gold will fall further and it will be prudent for investors to buy these stocks once prices stabilise,” he said.

    According to an analyst with a Mumbai-based commodity broking house who requested anonymity, the yellow metal price may not recover any time soon, as economic recovery in the US is now on strong footing.

    SC asks Centre to give roadmap for cleaning Ganga in two weeks

    Reminding the Narendra Modi government that cleaning of Ganga was on its poll manifesto, the Supreme Court today asked why urgent steps are not being taken on it and set a two-week timeline for it to come up with a road map for making the 2500 km long river pollution free.

    A bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said the issue of cleaning Ganga is very important and it has to be put on the front burner.

    "Are you saving river Ganga? It was also there in your manifesto. Why don't you act on it?," the bench said, while referring to BJP's pre-poll promise to clean the river.

    "Is the issue on the front burner or the back burner? These issues are very important and it has to be put on front burner," it said when Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar sought more time to respond, saying that the matter has been assigned to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation which was earlier handled by Ministry of Environment and Forest.
    The bench then adjorned the matter asking the Centre to file affidavit within two weeks giving details about what it proposes to do for cleaning the river.

    "In this matter you said there is urgency... Now there is no urgency for you. You are shuttling the issue between two ministries," the bench observed.

    The bench also said that cleaning project should be done in stretches as it cannot be undertaken at one go. It suggested that initially the government should focus to clean first 100 km of the river and then it should take the task of cleaning another part of the river.

    On the last date of hearing on August 5, the case was adjourned as the Centre sought more time to file response.

    The issue of cleaning up of river Ganga has been monitored by the apex court and several applications have been filed.

    The unchecked pollution of river Ganga has evoked sharp criticism by the apex court which has been hearing the case since 1985.

    The 2,500 km stretch of the river passes through 29 major cities, 23 small cities and 48 towns.

    Mahindra and Mahindra falls on monsoon worries

    Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (MAHM.NS) fell 2.4 percent on worries that weak monsoon may hit its tractor sales, investors say.

    Nearly a third of the company's revenues come from tractor sales which are largely dependent on farmers' incomes that can get severely impacted due to any shortfall in rains, analysts say.

    The monsoon has covered half of India's landmass four days behind the usual schedule, failing to recover from a late start that has slowed sowing of summer crops in a country where half of the farmland still lacks irrigation.

    Pre-market: Nifty seen opening higher; may reclaim 7,500 levels

    The 50-share Nifty index is expected to open higher on Friday following positive trend seen in other Asian markets. Tracking the momentum, the index is expected to reclaim its crucial psychological level of 7,500 in trade today.

    At 07:30 a.m., Nifty India stock futures in Singapore were trading 35 points higher at 7,525.00 a positive opening on the domestic market.

    The benchmark Sensex created history on Thursday by closing above the 25,000 mark for the first time on heavy buying in metal, power and oil & gas shares by overseas investors.

    The 50-share NSE Nifty climbed 71.85 points, or 0.97 per cent, to close at a new peak of 7,474.10, breaching previous record closing high of 7,415.85 on Tuesday.

    "After the initial setback, the markets were seen recovering swiftly from the day's low and witnessed fresh upside break today. On sectoral front, metal, power and realty counters were remained in limelight from the beginning with noticeable recovery in IT and FMCG pack," said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities Ltd

    "In absence of any major domestic event, participants are taking cues from the robust global markets. And so far, majorities are trading in line with our market trend," he added.

    Manglik is of the view that we are eyeing 7600 level in Nifty, so any decline can be utilize for initiating fresh long positions but keep extra caution in stock selection.

    Lower plan expenditure helps government compress budget gap

    A sharp fall in plan expenditure has helped pull India's fiscal deficit for last financial year below the government's estimate, but the cut in spending on productive activities has left an impact on the economy.

    The deficit, or the shortfall in the government's revenue to meet expenses, narrowed to 4.5% of gross domestic product in the year ended on March 31, compared with 4.9% initially estimated in the 2013-14 budget and the revised 4.6% given out with the interim budget for 2014-15 in February.

    Plan expenditure, which is associated with productive expenditure, fell to Rs 4.53 lakh crore, according to provisional data released on Friday, from Rs 4.76 lakh crore envisaged in the estimates presented with the interim budget. This implies a reduction of more than Rs 1 lakh crore in plan spending budgeted for 2013-14.

    The nation's economic growth remained below 5% for the second straight year, as GDP expanded just 4.7% in 2013-14, better than the previous year's 4.5% growth, but below the most recent government estimate of 4.9%, data showed Friday.

    Sluggish manufacturing sector growth dented tax mobilisation with tax receipts coming in lower at Rs 8.16 lakh crore compared with the downwardly revised estimate of Rs 8.36 lakh crore. Non-tax revenue, largely in the form of dividends from public sector units, provided some help - at Rs 1.99 lakh crore, it exceeded the February budget estimate of Rs 1.93 lakh crore.

    WhatsApp now has half billion active users; 48 million in India alone

    Popular messaging app WhatsApp has now crossed 500 million users. The company which was bought by Facebook in February this year  - for a gigantic amount of $19 billion – has been steadily adding to its growing list of users.

    Last year in August, WhatsApp had 200 million users while the number doubled to 430 million in January 2014. The instant messaging app had also revealed that it processes 50 billion messages on an average every day.

    Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp says in a post on company’s blog, “In the last few months, we’ve grown fastest in countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, and our users are also sharing more than 700 million photos and 100 million videos every single day.”

    The post further clarifies that these 500 million people are not only registered members but also active users. The new milestone for the messaging app explains why Mark Zuckerberg was interested in buying it.

    As far as India is concerned, it remains one of the fastest growing markets for WhatsApp. WhatsApp’s Neeraj Arora told BGR India that it’s adding a whopping 4 million active users per month and the India user base is set to cross 50 million mark in May, constituting 10 percent of all users. Currently the report says the service has 48 million active users in the country.

    The deal between WhatsApp and Facebook has come under scrutiny for privacy issues. One of the major reasons users are worried about this acquisition is they fear WhatsApp could lose its ad-free messaging service.

    The recent WhatsApp outages have only fuelled the fear that it might not be ad-free service for longer. Jan Koum put to rest these fears by releasing an official statement that reads, “WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication.”

    As expected by Mark Zuckerberg, the app seems to be well on track to achieve the billion users mark.

    Indian rupee gains 31 paise to one-month high of 62.05 against US dollar

    The Indian rupee recovered from early losses and gained 31 paise to close at a one-month high of 62.05 against the US dollar today on fresh selling by exporters and banks, amid foreign capital inflows into local stocks.

    The Indian rupee opened lower at 62.40 per Us dollar against the previous close of 62.36 at the interbank foreign exchange market and dropped further to 62.55 on US dollar demand from banks and importers.

    It recovered to 62.04 per dollar before ending at 62.05, a gain of 31 paise or 0.50 per cent. The Indian rupee is at the highest level since it ended at 61.62 on November 5.

    The Indian rupee traded strong against the US dollar due to inflows from foreign banks, which may be partially tied to Power Grid share sale inflows, said Pramit Brahmbhatt, CEO of Alpari Financial Services (India).

    The follow-on-public offer of Power Grid Corporation was fully subscribed on the second day today. The issue is open till tomorrow for institutional buyers and it will close a day later for retail investors.

    The Indian rupee gained even as the US dollar rose against major currencies today on expectations that key economic data from the US this week could increase pressure on the Federal Reserve to taper its bond-buying programme.

    The November labour report from the US, due on Friday, is a key indicator to gauge the recovery in the US economy. A stronger economy may lead to the Federal Reserve tapering its USD 85 billion a month economic stimulus.

    The benchmark 30-share Sensex tumbled 146.21 points or 0.7 per cent to 20,708.71. Overseas investors bought a net Rs 516.59 crore of shares yesterday, according to provisional figures from the stock exchanges.

    Forward dollar premiums recovered on fresh payments from banks and corporates.

    The benchmark six-month forward dollar premium payable in May edged up to 246-1/2 to 248-1/2 paise from 246 to 248 paise previously and far-forward contracts maturing in November moved up to 480-1/2 to 482-1/2 paise from 478-1/2 to 480-1/2 paise.

    Millions noticing paychecks lighter today, due to payroll tax hike

    Gabriella Hoffman’s paycheck is a little lighter today, thanks to a payroll tax increase that is forcing millions of Americans to make the kind of tough budget cuts their representatives in Washington lawmakers seem unwilling to tackle.

    Hoffman, a 21-year-old Virginian who works at a nonprofit, estimates her paycheck will be roughly $30 less this biweekly pay period, or about $780 annually, thanks to the end of a two-year cut on payroll taxes, which fund Social Security. The tax has risen back up to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, costing someone making $50,000 annually about $1,000 per year and a household with two high-paid workers up to $4,500.

    “As a newly-graduated person, someone coming straight out of college, I don’t like the idea of having less money coming to me due to the selfish interests of people in Congress who don’t have any interest in reducing our financial problems,” Hoffman told FoxNews.com. “This is an impediment for future economic growth. It’s going to make it harder for young people like myself to get married, find a better job, you name it.”

    Hoffman admits the hike won’t completely alter her spending, but the University of California-San Diego graduate said she will definitely have it in mind when it comes to leisure activities and entertainment.

    “Although it’s a small quantity on a monthly basis, just having less money going into my paycheck will prevent me from doing things and force me to be more frugal,” she said. “I’ll be more cautious with my spending.”

        "It’s going to make it harder for young people like myself to get married, find a better job, you name it.”

    The looming hit to Americans’ paychecks has been a hot topic around water coolers nationwide, as well as online, where several forums have been created for taxpayers to commiserate with their lighter wallets. On Twitter, #WhyIsMyPaycheckLessThisWeek has been a trending topic as most U.S. workers have either already seen less green or are preparing to do so.

    “Well, looks like we're starting to pay back all of the money we've spent, without cutting back spending,” one posting read.

    Another user cited the need for the U.S. government to “refill the Social Security ‘lockbox’” before stealing from it again as the reason paychecks are smaller.

    Other postings chose to politicize the end of the tax cut that was part of the fiscal pact passed by Congress last week.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/11/lighter-paychecks-to-hamper-many-americans-amid-uncertain-economic-times/?intcmp=HPBucket#ixzz2HjLM4rEx

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