The 154-year old Shapoorji Pallonji group led by billionaire Pallonji Mistry is looking to raise funds by selling some of its real estate assets in a bid to reduce the debt burden. The conglomerate’s businesses range from real estate and financial services. Debt instruments issued by at least five of its group companies were downgraded by ICRA and Care Ratings. The family has already infused at least Rs 6.5 billion into the company and divested certain assets including Chennai IT Park. Shapoorji Pallonji group is the single-largest shareholder in Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group.
Shares of Hindustan Zinc plunged over 4% to hit an 18-month low of Rs 256.35 after the company on Monday reported a weak performance for the quarter ended December. The company reported 4% year-on-year (YoY) decline in net profit at Rs 2,211 crore in December quarter. Operational revenue declined by 6% YoY to Rs 5,540 crore, due to lower metal prices. The losses were however partly offset by rupee depreciation. In the past nine months, Hindustan Zinc has underperformed the market by falling 21%, as compared to a 6% rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.
Chinese digital apps, widely used in India, have been found to seek excessive information from users, according to a study by an information security firm. Chinese apps, including Helo and Shareit as well as browsers like UC Browser, ask users to provide access to contacts, camera, microphone, sensors, location and text messages on their smartphones. According to the study, these apps transfer data to around seven outside agencies, with 69% of the data being transferred to the US. The apps that were reviewed include Helo, Shareit, TikTok, UC Browser, Vigo Video, Beauty Plus ClubFactory Everything, News-Dog, UC News and VMate.
Shares of Ashok Leyland plunged by over 3% to touch a 52-week low of Rs 87.20 after brokerage house CLSA maintained ‘Sell’ rating on the stock and also cut the target price to Rs 75 from Rs 85 earlier. CLSA sees a high likelihood of a downturn after 4 years of up-cycle for truck market and expects competition to intensify against Tata with the latter’s high focus on regaining its lost market share. The stock has already corrected 44% from its peak
Last week, a data security enthusiast called Gareth pointed out on Twitter that RupeeRedee, an early stage lending startup, was ‘leaking’ customer details because of a vulnerability on its cloud Storage facilities. RupeeRedee took notice of this and recognised and fixed the potential isolated vulnerability in one of their data stacks stored on Amazon Cloud by late Friday. Data that could be accessed were customer-scanned copies of Aadhaar or PAN cards, which are usually submitted by applicants during KYC.
Sports Flashes, an Indian startup, claims to be the largest sports radio channel, offering app-based, 24-hour, multi-sports services. It claims to have recorded a listenership of 3.6 million and a reach of 45 million audiences in December, as per MD Raman Raheja and is discussing to raise $7million (Rs 50 crore) in Series A round. It has also quietly picked up important audio rights including the global audio broadcast rights of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and will broadcast audio feed of the World Cup in 11 languages expecting to reach 1 billion consumers and earning over $10 million.
In an attempt to curb the spread of fake news and rumours through its platform, Whatsapp has limited message forwards for all its users globally to five chats at a time and removed the quick forward button for media messages. This change has been put into effect since Monday. Whatsapp had introduced limits on message forwarding in India in July last year because of mob lynching incidents in India triggered by fake news and rumours spread through Whatsapp. Whatsapp has also increased spent on advertisements offering tips to citizens for spotting misinformation and discouraging forwards of provocative messages.
Policybazaar.com has appointed Rahul Agarwal, as its chief technology officer (CTO) and Jayant Chauhan as its chief product officer (CPO). Agarwal served as the CTO of Lava Mobile before joining Policybazaar.com while Chauhan worked with several organizations such as Airtel, Zomato, Reliance, and Samsung in his past stints. A company release stated that Agarwal would be responsible for devising a new technology road map and identifying futuristic innovations while Chauhan would be responsible for building innovative products and ensuring timely upgrade and development of products in order to meet market needs.
Infibeam Avenues has entered into a binding agreement to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary, Infinium India, to Ingenius E-commerce for Rs 60 crore, as per reports. Ingenius Ecommerce, which owns and runs Tradohub, a B2B aggregator portal for industrial goods, will acquire a 100% equity stake in Infinium India. Infinium India provides high-quality, technically advanced customized turnkey systems, solutions, and services in the field of broadband satellite communications.
Nepal's central bank, Nepal Rastra Bank, has banned the use of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations. The move could affect Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan nation where Indian currency is widely used. Nepal Rastra Bank on January 20 issued a circular prohibiting Nepali travellers, banks and financial institutions from holding or carrying and trading Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100, the Kathmandu Post reported. Under the new regulation, Nepali citizens cannot carry these denominations to countries other than India. Similarly, Nepalis are also not allowed to bring such notes from other countries.
A photo of billionaire Bill Gates standing in a queue at a burger joint has been widely appreciated by people all over the internet. The photo which was shared by Facebook user Mike Galos, received 23,000 likes and has been shared 18,000 times. The widely-shared post garnered a lot of positive comments and admiration for the billionaire with people telling how he is one of the most respected people in the world, not only because of his pioneering work but also because of his generosity and humility.
China's GDP grew at 6.6% in 2018, its slowest rate since 1990, official figures showed on Monday. The moderate growth rate invoked fears of a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy. While the Chinese economy grew at 6.8% in 2017, its growth rate was just 3.9% in 1990. In the quarter ended December 2018, the economy grew 6.4% from a year earlier, down from 6.5% in the previous quarter, China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said. The slow growth rate has also been partly driven by the effects of trade war with the US.
Populist measures such as farm loan waivers are likely to push up the aggregate fiscal deficit of the states to 3.2% in FY20, higher than the FY19 mid-year outlook forecast of 2.8%, according to India Ratings report. "The competitive populism, in the nature of farm loan waivers and other financial support schemes, would take the centre stage in the run-up to next general elections in April-May. A larger impact is expected on fiscal and revenue deficit to state GDP ratios for MP, Kerala and Rajasthan, among non-special category states, in FY20," the agency said in a report Monday.
The US defence firm, Lockheed Martin, expects export market worth over $20 billion for its F-16 fighter aircraft from its proposed Indian unit. The firm is bidding to supply the Indian air force with 114 combat planes in a deal estimated to be worth more than $15 billion. Lockheed Martin has offered to shift its F-16 production line from the United States to India, potentially the biggest boost for PM Narendra Modi's Make-in-India initiative to create a defence industrial base and generate jobs for the thousands of youth entering the workforce each month.
The country’s largest lender, SBI, on Saturday said it has raised $1.25 billion through bonds from overseas market. The successful issue reflects the strong niche investor base that SBI has created for itself in offshore capital markets, allowing it to efficiently raise funds even during periods of increased currency and rates volatility, the lender said. Bonds were listed at India International Exchange IFSC Ltd, a subsidiary of BSE, at Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) IFSC.