Post GST roll-out, leading FMCG companies such as Britannia and ITC operating in the Rs 35,000-crore biscuit segment have alleged that small and local players are slowly eating into their market share. “Many players are not tax-compliant and have low operating cost which helps give high margins to retailers who push brands mostly in rural areas,” said Mayank Shah, category head, Parle Products. He said they are seeking a tax reduction from 18% for biscuits below Rs 100/kg to 5%. Britannia, Parle and ITC control nearly 69% of the biscuit market in the country.
IndiGo is hiring more than 100 Boeing 737 trained commander level pilots, manly those quitting cash-strapped Jet Airways. Indigo is facing a severe crew shortage. Indigo would need 6 months to train these pilots to fly A320s, an aircraft type that Indigo operates. The carrier has additionally hired about 130 expatriate pilots from all over the world. Indigo is the country’s largest airline by market share. IndiGo has over 200 planes and a pilot strength of more than 3,000, including more than 1,200 commanders.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) will now allow candidates to make corrections and changes to their application forms, as the CA exams have been rescheduled from 27 May to 12 June 2019 due to Lok Sabha elections. The last date for submitting the application form has also been extended to 16 March. “Candidates who had already applied for appearing in a single group and are desirous of appearing in both groups may now do so by applying online at http://icaiexam.icai.org through the Correction Window I, from 27 March 2019 to 2 April 2019,” ICAI said.
The GST Council in its meeting on Tuesday allowed real estate developers with unsold housing inventories to choose between the old GST rate of 12% or the new rate of 5% for projects already underway as on March 31. The Council approved a formula for claiming unutilized input balance if a developer opts for the new rate for such uncompleted projects. If the ITC derived from the formula exceeds what is claimed till March 31, the developer would be eligible to claim the difference whereas, if the derived value is less, the developer would need to reverse the excess.
Indian Rupee, Asia’s worst-performing currency, took just five weeks to convert itself into Asia’s best performing currency. Higher chances of PM Modi returning to power for a second sting after the Lok Sabha elections have propelled the Indian rupee. Gao Qi, a currency strategist at Scotiabank in Singapore, expects the INR currency to rally to 67 per dollar by June-end. Foreign investors have also invested a net $3.3 billion in equities till March 18 this year.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who was sworn in on Tuesday, won the trust vote in the Assembly with 20 votes on Wednesday. 15 MLAs opposed. All of the 36 MLAs of the Goa assembly were present for the floor test. The strength of the 40-member House has been reduced to 36 following the death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and BJP MLA Francis D'Souza and resignations of two Congress MLAs.
A starving whale, found dead on the shores of Philippines had 40 kgs of plastic trash in its stomach. The government’s fisheries bureau and an environmental group performed a necropsy on the dead whale and found about 40 kilograms of plastic, including grocery bags and rice sacks. The animal died from starvation and was unable to eat because of the trash filling its stomach. Environmental groups have tagged the Philippines as one of the world's biggest ocean polluters due to its reliance on single-use plastic.
Multiple factors have impacted Eicher Motors stock in the last one year which has lost 23% since March 20, 2018 when it was trading at 28,360. The stock closed at Rs 21,759 on Tuesday, March 19. The main factor which led to a sharp correction in the stock is the slowing growth. Secondly, high volume markets such as Kerala are sluggish, and finally, competition in commercial vehicles remains intense. HDFC Securities maintains its sell rating on the stock with a target price of Rs 21,000.
Shares of Axis Bank touched its 52-week high of Rs 766.70, up nearly 1% intraday on March 20 after brokerages Nomura and CLSA maintained their 'buy' rating on the private lender. CLSA has maintained a buy call on Axis Bank with a target at Rs 840 per share. Nomura also maintained a buy rating on Axis Bank and raised the target price to Rs 900 from Rs 850 per share.
Oil-to-telecom major Reliance Industries retained its tag of 'largest listed firm' in India as the company hit $127 billion in market cap on March 20 intraday. The stock in the current calendar year (January-February-March) has performed far better than last whole year. It has surged 24%, so far, in 2019 against 22% in 2018. The current market capitalisation of the company stands at Rs 8,74,739.75 crore, which is equal to $127 billion, higher than that of TCS (Rs 7.6 lakh crore) and HDFC Bank (Rs 6.2 lakh crore).
Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday forayed into the potentially lucrative e-commerce by adding an option to buy products displayed in posts by selected brands. A new "checkout" button for instant purchasing has been launched in a beta version of the app in the US with a selected number of businesses. "When you find a product you love, you can now buy it without leaving the app", Instagram said. Brands taking part in the checkout feature included Adidas, Burberry, Dior, H&M, Nike, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, and glasses retailer Warby Parker.
Companies operating in the financial services, advertising and internet space are taking extra care while hiring people for senior positions. Companies want to hire prospective candidates who do not have a tainted record or any allegations leveled against them especially in the social media. “Especially in the advertising world, where there have been large number of complaints using #MeToo on Twitter, companies have requested us to do a thorough check of all social media platforms to see if any candidate’s name features in the list,” said the head of a Mumbai-based background screening and verification firm.
ICICI Prudential Small Cap Fund which was open only for subscriptions through the systematic investment plan (SIP) mode will now accept lump sum investments. In January 2018, ICICI Prudential closed the ICICI Pru PMS Smallcap Portfolio as valuations in the space were stretched. In July 2018, it closed lump sum investments in ICICI Pru Smallcap Fund due to high valuations and heightened volatility. Many fund houses still continue to impose restrictions on lump sum flows in their smallcap funds. DSP Small Cap Fund and SBI Smallcap Fund still do not accept lump sum investments.
Social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and ShareChat on Tuesday told the officials of the Election Commission that they will develop a ‘code of ethics’ for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which are scheduled to start from April 11. ShareChat is working with a fact checking agency to tackle fake news that might enter its platform. It has also started tagging of content creators so whenever a post leaves its platform with the original creator’s user ID, ShareChat can easily identify who has originally shared the content.
Just ahead of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Star India’s video streaming platform Hotstar has launched a new and cheaper subscription pack, ‘Hotstar VIP’. The new pack will offer live sports, web originals (Hotstar Specials) and Star India’s local content at Rs 365 per year, making it cheapest among paid video OTT services. However, the new pack will not have premium English content from the HBO, Disney, Hooq or even 21st Century Fox. Hotstar already has an annual ‘Hotstar Premium’ subscription plan at Rs 999 a year besides a sports only pack for Rs 299 annually.