Logo of IMS-Institute of Mathematical Sciences: Mathematics Coaching for IAS,IFoS,CSIR and GATE Aspirtants
Send Your Query
   
 
 
 
 

News: Economic Times - Top Stories

No pay for Snapdeal founders, company confirms it's sacking staff

NEW DELHI: Online marketplace Snapdeal has confirmed that it is undertaking layoffs within the organisation, but declined to specify the exact number of employees affected by the decision, as the company looks to turn around its fortunes after a dismal 12 months. "On our journey towards becoming India's first profitable e-commerce company in two years, it is important that we continue to drive efficiency across all parts of our business, which enables us to pass on the value to our consumers and sellers. We have realigned our resources and teams to further these goals and drive high-quality business growth," an official release stated. Separately, in an internal email sent to employees, which was accessed by ET, the SoftBank, Foxconn and Alibaba Group-backed company's founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, have pledged not to take a salary, for an unspecified period. "We believe that every resource of the company should be deployed for driving us towards profitable growth and with this announcement, both Rohit and I are taking a 100% salary cut," the email stated. Further, other top company executives are also expected to take a pay cut as well. "Many of our leaders have also stepped up proactively and offered to take a significant cut in their compensation, which is an excellent sign of how galvanised the team feels in this shared quest for profitability," the email stated. In an earlier interview with Reuters, Snapdeal's Chief Executive Bahl had said he expected the company to turn profitable in the next two years. The latest announcement comes on the back of a disappointing 15 months for the company, which at one point, was seen as a top contender for the number one ecommerce company, in terms of sales, in the country's highly attritional, discount-fuelled online commerce space. However, the Gurgaon-based company has been hit hard by a combination of mounting losses, ongoing churn of its top leadership in the company and the rapid growth of rival Amazon over the same period. "This also comes with some tough decisions in the short-term. As part of our overall path to profitability plan that is currently in full swing, we will be reorganizing the company into a lean, focused, and entrepreneurial one. We are combining teams, reducing layers, eliminating non-core projects and strengthening the focus on profitable growth," the email stated. The announcement also follows ET's story earlier in the month that stated that the company was in the process of significantly trimming its workforce, a move that could affect about 1,000 employees. While the company did not explicitly deny the layoffs, its spokespersons had contested the number of employees that could be affected by the decision to cut its workforce. It has also said that Vulcan Express, its logistics unit, which is also believed to see a reduction in workforce, will turn profitable by the middle of this year. News agency PTI quoting sources has said the number of people facing the axe is at about 600. "The company has made substantial upfront investments in building e-commerce infrastructure, such as marketplace, payments and logistics platforms. Snapdeal will further leverage these technology assets and realign its resources to become a leaner and more efficient business," the press release said. Snapdeal's employee-related expenses rose to Rs 911 crore in FY 2016, up 148% from the previous fiscal. Employee expenses is the largest cost for the company, after marketing and advertising. But unlike the latter, which is a variable cost, wages is a fixed cost. For the financial year 2015-16, the company's total sales grew 56% to Rs 1,457 crore, but losses more than doubled to Rs 2,960 crore. Earlier this month, Mint reported that Jasper Infotech, the parent entity of Snapdeal, had about Rs 1,100- Rs 1,200 crore left in the bank at the end of 2016, while its digital payments platform FreeCharge had about Rs 300-Rs 400 crore left in the bank during the same period.
Read More


Trump hardens immigration rules, 3 lakh Indian-Americans to be affected

WASHINGTON: The US government today issued a sweeping set of orders that implement President Donald Trump's plan to increase immigration enforcement, placing the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. "The Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement," the Department of Homeland Security said in an enforcement memo. "Department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws," it said. Also Read: Donald Trump's new deportation plan decoded: 10 facts The Department of Homeland Security has issued two enforcement memos, which among other things, tightens deportation of illegal immigrants. The emphasis is on criminal aliens, though, but opens up the door for others too. Indian-Americans, who as per an unofficial count account for nearly 300,000 illegal aliens are likely to be greatly impacted by this. According to the memo, the DHS Secretary has the authority to apply expedited removal provisions to aliens who have not been admitted or paroled into the US, who are inadmissible, and who have not been continuously physically present in the US for the two-year period immediately prior to the determination of their inadmissibility, so that such aliens are immediately removed unless the alien is an unaccompanied minor, intends to apply for asylum or has a fear of persecution or torture in their home country, or claims to have lawful immigration status. Also Read: Millions targeted for possible deportation under Trump rules The memorandum said when illegal aliens apprehended do not pose a risk of a subsequent illegal entry, returning them to the foreign contiguous territory from which they arrived, pending the outcome of removal proceedings, saves the government detention and adjudication resources for other priority aliens. "CBP and ICE personnel shall, to the extent lawful, appropriate and reasonably practicable, return such aliens to such territories pending their hearings," the memo said. The Democrats were quick to oppose this. "These guidelines are now the official policy of the Trump Administration, implementing the President's mass deportation Executive Orders," Senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic Senator from Illinois and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration said. In a statement, he called on his counterpart on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Chairman John Cornyn, to hold hearings on these orders. "We need an immediate public examination in Congress of these heavy-handed, anti-family policies," he said. Beth Werlin, executive director of American Immigration Council said the memos indicate that many people in the interior of the country - not just those at the border - could be subject to expedited deportation without going before a judge, the details of which DHS said will be forthcoming in a notice in the Federal Register.
Read More


Fake Rs 2000 notes from 'Children Bank of India' at Delhi SBI ATM

NEW DELHI: A youth who had gone to withdraw Rs 8000 from an SBI ATM in Sangam Vihar was in for a shock when the Rs 2000 notes from the machine bore the mark of "Children Bank of India". A case was registered based on the youth's complaint at the local police station. According to the youth, Rohit Kumar who works as a customer care executive with a private company in south Delhi, the incident happened on February 6 when he had gone to the ATM to withdraw cash for his daily expenditures. He said that the notes had Rs 2000 printed in the same font as the original currency that was issued under the name of "Children's Government". It also had "Churan Patti" written in place of the watermark. The notes even bore a pledge which said "I promise to pay the bearer a slip of Rs 2000". Senior police officers say that when the policeman probing the case tried to withdraw cash from the ATM, he too got similar bills, following which an FIR was registered under sections of forgery and cheating. Police have also contacted the bank authorities and have initiated an inquiry into the incident.
Read More


How taxmen will verify suspicious cash deposits

The Central Board of Direct Taxes has cracked down on 18 lakh people who made suspicious deposits of over Rs 5 lakh during the 50-day demonetisation period, as part of its Operation Clean Money. Here's how taxmen are expected to further investigate these possible cases of black money and tax evasion. Individuals 1. Individuals are exempt from verification for deposits of up to Rs 2.5 lakh (other than minors). No verification required for deposits of Rs 5 lakh for those over the age of 70 years. 2. In case of cash receipts from exempt income such as agriculture, officials will verify these against earlier returns. They may also seek information on land holdings, etc. 3. I-T may seek bank statements to cross-check individuals' bank withdrawals. 4. Those claiming cash receipts from third party as 'gifts', may be asked to pay tax. 5. No need for additional information for those in business if cash holdings are lower than level at the end of March 2016. Businesses 1. Assessing officer will verify if cash transactions are in line with normal practice by seeking data on monthly sales, stock register entries, bank statements. 2. Investigators will look at abnormal jump in cash sales during November-December 2016 and tally it with sales history. 3. More than one deposit of scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes closer to Dec 30 deadline may trigger attention 4. Non-availability of stock or attempts to inflate stocks by introducing fictitious purchases will also attract scrutiny. 5. Transfer of cash deposits to another entity or account which is not in line with earlier history may invite queries.
Read More


Hiranandani looks to boost commercial realty portfolio

MUMBAI: Realtor Hiranandani Group is looking to ramp up its commercial portfolio by 10-15% annually over the next five years through new projects. The Mumbai-based developer will be adding five million sq ft in the two years ending December 2017 in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Ahmedabad. The group is also planning to develop a 250-acre industrial township in Talegaon in Pune and a 160-acre park in Chennai. “We believe in the Prime Minister's vision of `Make In India', which will boost both industrial and commercial activity in India and therefore initiating the new industrial space building and growing the commercial footprint from our side. Apart from commercial development, we are also going to focus on industrial townships. We will be deve loping an industrial township on 250-acre land in Pune and 160 acres in Chennai,“ said Niranjan Hiranandani, CMD of Hiranandani Group of companies. The company has already started the first phase of construction for the industrial township in Pune spread over 50 acres and is expected to be completed in four phases.It has also completed acquisition of 160-acre land for a similar project in Chennai. Currently, the group is developing nearly six million sq ft of commercial properties, including two million sq ft in Panvel and 3.5 million sq ft in Thane. A four-lakh sq ft project in GIFT SEZ in Gandhinagar is the latest addition to this portfolio. “We have already leased 30% of Hiranandani Signature tower in GIFT City and hope to increase the occupancy to 85% by September. There are seven prominent banks which have shown interest in picking up office space. Demand for space here is high, given the tax benefits being offered,“ said Hiranandani. The (BSE and Kotak Mahindra Bank are the anchor tenants at Hiranandani Signature tower with first and second floors, respectively. BSE Brokers Association has also picked up an entire floor spread over 28,000 sq ft. Re venues from businesses operating out of this tower will be tax free, except for a levy of minimum alternate tax (MAT) of 9%. In 2016, the company concluded India's largest commercial space transaction for the year with two million sq ft built-to-suit office leased to software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). It also concluded the largest commercial space divestment deal to a private equity when it sold 4.5 million sq ft office and retail space to Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management for $1 billion.
Read More


Private equity players may flock to real estate market

MUMBAI | BENGALURU: The big-ticket transition signalled through the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), currency demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax is set to spell more opportunities for institutional capital in India's real estate sector. Private equity players, who have so far preferred the structured-debt route to invest in Indian property market, are likely to find the market even more transparent and attractive. More foreign direct investment (FDI) can be expected through equity now as this will lead to an economy more aligned to global compliance standards, making investing easier for foreign entities. "From a historic high seen in 2009, when the share of private equity inflows into residential real estate peaked to 60% of the overall pie, it has gradually reduced to 10% in 2016.This 10% figure is same as the investment split seen in 2006, which was the first time equity interest tracked into the residential asset class. Private equity investment was entirely focused on the commercial asset class in the initial few years," said Anuj Puri, chairman, JLL India. "While the real estate business has currently taken a step back due to these, it will set a very strong foundation for long-term growth. Equity investments at such times can work extremely well for longterm investors," Puri said. "Going forward, the nature of private equity participation in real estate will have to change significantly. Gone are the days of evaluating security values based on projected capital rates and cash flows in order to take secured debt positions.Taking these debt positions is no more risk free and returns are also diminishing as developers continue to shy away from high cost debt," said Rubi Arya, vice-chairman, Milestone Capital Advisors. Private equity funds will have to increase their risk appetite as pure debt opportunities will not be available with good established brands. Taking structured equity or pure equity positions is the way for ward for higher returns. Since high returns are linked to high risks, inherent knowledge, investment discipline and team strength will matter the most, Arya said. Asset management companies need to be more and more hands-on with their knowledge of micro markets, project development and statutory aspects in particular. In 2016, the trend of raising debt continued especially in the residential segment. Further leverage being limited, developers are likely to be open to providing entry points to the long-term equity investors.While a few equity-related risks would continue, attractive entry points will also provide a higher margin of safety. "Both investors and developers will gain more confidence with respect to the underlying returns of real estate projects. Stabilised RERA implantation will enhance the predictability of earnings and project cash flows, and hence, prompt them to consider equity option as well," said Neeraj Sharma, director at Grant Thornton Advisory, a global consultancy firm. "Equity money will be back in the market. It will be a challenge for builders to get higher returns as they may not find the right partners. There will be a huge demand for liquidity as sales have considerably slowed down," said Ravindra Pai, MD, Century Real Estate Holdings.
Read More


InterContinental Hotels Group launches first Holiday Inn in Kolkata

NEW DELHI: InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched the first Holiday Inn hotel in Kolkata. With the opening of the 137-room hotel in partnership with Jain Group, the total number of Holiday Inn hotels has gone up to 11 in India, IHG said in a statement. Globally, the brand is present through 1,215 open hotels and 261 hotels in the pipeline. IHG in partnership with the Jain Group will introduce two more Holiday Inn properties in Durgapur and Siliguri, West Bengal. Shantha de Silva, head of south west Asia, InterContinental Hotels Group said: “Holiday Inn brand family is one of the growth drivers for IHG’s expansion in India. We are proud to add Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport to our portfolio and look forward to expanding our footprint in West Bengal. We are delighted to be working with the Jain Group and look forward to offering business ready services to our guests in Kolkata.” Shrayans Jain, Vice Chairman, Jain Group said:“We are very happy to partner with IHG and announce the opening of ‘Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport’. Due to increased business activity in the state, West Bengal has become the gateway to North East India enabling an upward swing for the hospitality sector. Strategically located near the airport, the hotel caters to the needs of the guests visiting Kolkata for both business and leisure. We look forward to fulfilling our guests’ expectations with services unique to a Holiday Inn hotel.” Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport is located about five kms away from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport.
Read More


Government nod to air services pact with Greece, security MoU with Australia

NEW DELHI: The government today granted its approval to the signing of Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Greece which allows the airlines of the two countries to fly in each other's territory. It also gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Australia for promotion and development of cooperation in civil aviation security. The decisions were made by the Union Cabinet at its meeting held under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, an official release said. India had signed an 'open skies' agreement with Greece in September 2016, after putting in place the new civil aviation policy in June the same year. At present there is no direct air connectivity between India and the Southeastern European nation. According to the civil aviation policy, the government can enter into an 'open sky' air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries with territory located entirely beyond a 5,000 km radius from New Delhi. The commencement of air services will provide enabling environment for enhanced and seamless connectivity between the two countries while providing commercial opportunities to the carriers of both the sides ensuring greater safety and security, according to the government. The agreement allows Indian airlines to operate air services to Athens, Thessaloniki and HerakIion, while the Greek airlines can establish direct operation to India's six metro airports -- New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennal. Besides, as part of the pact, Indian carriers have also been allowed to fly to any three other points in Greece from India, which are to be specified later, the government said. Any points shall be available as intermediate and beyond point for the designated carriers of India as well as the designated carriers of Greece, the release added. According to the government, both countries will be entitled to designate one or more airline and set up their offices in the respective countries. The agreement is as per latest International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) template keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector and with an objective to improve the air connectivity between the two countries, the release said. Meanwhile, the MoU with Australia will provide an opportunity to Indian aviation security authorities to share the expertise of their counterparts from that country and enhance the overall aviation security environment in India, the government said in a separate release. The pact will provide compliance of international obligation as well as enhance promotion in the area of security cooperation between the two countries, it said.
Read More


Neil Armstrong strategy: First-mover businesses can deliver big gains

Like Neil Armstrong, the first person to set foot on the Moon, there are several companies in the listed universe of Dalal Street, which enjoy the first mover advantage. Investing in stocks of first mover companies or market pioneers in any segment can be a good strategy to make a windfall in the market. Take this! Shares of Eicher Motors, which enjoy a competitive advantage with its Bullet range of motorbikes, have surged over 7,721 per cent in last 10 years. The return could translate an investment of Rs 10,000 into to Rs 7.82 lakh during this period. This is not the only stock that enjoys competitive advantage. Market experts say zeroing in on companies that enjoy first mover’s advantage is certainly a good strategy, but one has to see if the product has entry barriers to keep the competition at bay. Another aspect one has to look at is the size of the addressable market in which the product has been launched and which is significantly big to move the needle for the company. On the other hand, “any replacement option available may spoil the party soon. Hence one also has to see if there are many replacement options. A good customer perception is also a must for the product to continue holding good market share,” said Shrikant Akolkar, Senior Equity Research Analyst, Angel Broking. Siddharth Sedani, Vice-President, Equity Advisory Anand Rathi Financial Services, said: “Business of the first-mover company gains competitive advantage and enables it to establish strong brand recognition and customer loyalty. First-mover companies have an advantage in controlling resources, such as a strategic location or an exclusive contract with key suppliers. First movers are also called market pioneers.” For a layman, the first-mover’s advantage is when a company is the first entrant in a particular market segment. The launched product is absent in the market and hence company can hold a high degree of competitive advantage. In absence of the competition, the first entrant gets a huge market share and can reap profits until competition increases. Market experts are bullish on Eicher Motors, Natco Pharma, Equitas Holdings, SH Kelkar and Apar Industries in this niche space. Natco Pharma has a first mover’s advantage in its domestic business. It is the first company in India to launch some products in its oncology and Hepatitis C product portfolio. “The products are complex to make and have limited competition hence the benefits are likely to continue for some time,” said Akolkar. Shares of Natco Pharma have soared 2,511 per cent to Rs 781.45 till February 20, 2017 from Rs 29.93 on February 20, 2007. The primary market, too, gave a red carpet welcome to SH Kelkar as it got first-mover advantage in the listed space. The scrip in November 2015 listed at 23.33 per cent the issue price of Rs 180, following a successful initial public offering (IPO), which saw a subscription of 27 times. The scrip was trading at Rs 307.70 on February 20. SH Kelkar enjoys first mover advantage in the niche segment and aims to focus on retaining current domestic market leadership and enhancing market share in fragrance and flavour industry in India and emerging markets. Sedani of Anand Rathi Financial Services said, “We continue to remain positive on the company over medium and long term and maintain our ‘buy’ rating on the stock with a target price of Rs 382 per share.” Equitas Holdings was the first small finance bank (SFB) to hit the public markets. It has the first-mover advantage, with impressive growth record and diversified portfolio. Equitas is strongly positioned to grow on the back of its balanced portfolio. The market segment which the upcoming bank intends to cater to has vast untapped business potential and exploiting it effectively will drive the company’s growth for multiple years. “We expect Equitas to attract meaningful valuation premium due sustainability of high growth in its diversified business and lower liquidity risk as it converts into a bank. We, therefore, continue to remain positive on the stock with ‘buy’ rating and target price of Rs 265,” said Sedani. Shares of the company were trading at Rs 180.15 on February 20. On Eicher Motors, Akolkar said, “The firm is the first one to make this range of bikes and much ahead of the competition. This is driving a strong growth in its business.” Apar Industries is engaged in the business of manufacture of conductors, transformer/specialty oils and power/telecom cables. According to Nirmal Bang Securities, Apar Industries is the key beneficiary of strong transmission capex and enjoys first-mover advantage as well as market leadership in highly specialised products. It is the largest manufacturer and exporter of conductors in India. The company has 23 per cent domestic market share and health exports with 46 per cent of order book. “Better revenue mix with rising share of HEC conductors to drive margins. We expect 35 per cent earnings CAGR over FY16-FY19E. Return on capital employed of the company to rise from 26 per cent in FY16 to 35 per cent in FY19E. Share price of the company can touch Rs 845.” The scrip was trading at Rs 735.20 on February 20. In the past five years, net profit of Eicher Motors, Natco Pharma and Apar Industries have grown at the rate (CAGR) of around 45 per cent, 24 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively.
Read More


Midcaps are leading the charge on D-St; 10 stocks worth a look

NEW DELHI: Midcap stocks continued their winning streak on Wednesday and scaled a fresh record high with the Nifty Midcap50 and Nifty Free Float Midcap100 hitting fresh record highs. The Nifty Free Float Midcap100 touched a high of 16,501 while the Nifty Midcap50 rose to a high of 4,191 in the first 30 minutes of trade on Wednesday. The midcap index has risen over 13 per cent since the beginning of January compared with an 8 per cent rise in the benchmark indices, supported by better-than-expected December quarter earnings, continued inflow from domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and a friendly Budget 2017-18. The BSE Midcap index has outdone the benchmark, surging 19 per cent, and is at 17.5 times one-year forward earnings, while the Sensex is at 16.7 times, Bloomberg data showed. The 10 companies that drove the performance of the Nifty Free Float Midcap100 index include Biocon, Jubilant Life, L&T Finance Holdings, Cairn India, Tata Communications, Dewan Housing, Sun TV, DCB Bank and REC, which have more than doubled investor wealth in last one year. We have collated a list of 10 midcap stocks from various brokerage recommendations which still look attractive from a 12-month investment perspective. L&T Finance Holdings: Buy | Target price Rs 128 Centrum Wealth has maintained buy rating on L&T Finance Holdings with a 12-month target price of Rs 128. L&T Housing Finance continued to focus on growing in 3 key areas - rural, housing and wholesale loans, which grew 17 per cent, 34 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. The company has made conscious efforts for reducing cost-income ratio, down 619bps on a year-on-year basis and 218bps on quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis to 3.5 per cent. By FY19E, the return ratios are expected to increase to 1.78 per cent (RoA) and 17.6 per cent RoE, up from 12.8 per cent recorded at the end of Q3. CESC: Buy | Target price Rs 725 Nomura maintains a buy rating on CESC with a 12-month target price of Rs 725. On the standalone basis, earnings were largely in-line with estimates. Sarisatolli impact not quantified while capex remains lumpy, said a Nomura report. The global investment bank is of the view that retail - EBITDA is close to break-even on track for break-even in FY17. Ramp up of PLF at Chandrapur, maintaining positive EBITDA at Spencer's are among key triggers for the stock. Havells India: Buy | Target price Rs 469 HDFC Securities maintains a buy rating on Havells India post-December quarter results with a 12-month target price of Rs 469. Havells India (HAVL) has acquired Lloyd Electric's consumer durable business (Lloyd Consumer) for an enterprise value (EV) of Rs 16bn on a debt-free, cash-free basis. HAVL will acquire Lloyd's intellectual property, manpower, and distribution network. The deal is expected to be completed by 31 Mar17. It is valued at 0.9x EV/revenue and 14.5 times EV/Ebitda of FY17. "We expect this deal to remain neutral for FY18, and 5 per cent EPS accretive for FY19," said the brokerage note. PI Industries: Buy | Target price 1,058 Anand Rathi Institutional Research upgrades PI industries to a buy rating with a 12-month target price of Rs 1058. PI has been generating positive cash flows over the years and has maintained the growth momentum over the quarters. Robust export growth, product launches and a visible pipeline of high-margin in-licensed products could lead to a 20 per cent EPS CAGR over FY16-19. "We upgrade the stock to a Buy on account of rolling forward our PE multiple to FY19 and assign a PE of 23x FY19e. We arrive at a target price of Rs 1,058," said the report. Century Textiles: Buy | Target price Rs 1,110 ICICI Securities maintains a buy rating on Century Textiles with a 12-month target price of Rs 1110. The company is in the process of recovery after witnessing a sharp decline of almost 35 per cent in November 2016. Delivery based buying along with fresh accumulation in the F&O space is likely to trigger fresh upsides. The stock is likely to test fresh highs in the days to come, said the note. In November, sharp closure of long positions triggered downsides in the stock. However, fresh accumulation has resumed in the stock from the start of 2017. Asian Granito: Buy | Target price Rs 351 Angel Broking maintains a buy rating on Asian Granito with a 12-month target price of Rs 351. The domestic brokerage firm expects the company to report strong profitability owing to better product mix, higher B2C sales and amalgamation synergy. Bajaj Electricals: Buy | Target price Rs 295 Angel Broking maintains a buy rating on Bajaj Electrical with 12-month target price of Rs 295. Bajaj Electrical is among the top 4 players in the consumer durables segment. Strong order book lends earnings visibility and improved profitability backed by the turn around in E&P segment will auger well for the stocks, the domestic brokerage firm said. Blue Star: Buy | Target price Rs 634 Angel Broking maintains a buy rating on Blue Star with a 12-month target price of Rs 634. Favourable outlook for the AC industry is likely to augur well for Cooling products business which is out pacing the market growth. The Electro Mechanical Projects and Packaged Air-conditioning Systems (EMPPAC) division's profitability to improve once operating environment turns around. Equitas Holdings: Buy | Target price Rs 235 Angel Broking maintains a buy rating on Equitas Holdings with a 12-month target price of Rs 235. Strong loan growth backed by diversified loan portfolio and adequate capital adequacy ratio auger well for the stock. The return on equity (ROE) & return on asset (ROA) are likely to remain decent as the risk of dilution remains low, said the domestic brokerage firm. The stock trades at attractive valuations considering growth. Jagran Prakashan: Buy | Target price Rs 225 Angel Broking maintains a buy rating on Jagran Prakashan with a 12-month target price of Rs 225. Economic recovery to have a favourable impact on advertising and circulation revenue growth said the Angel Broking note. Further, the acquisition of a radio business (Radio City) would also boost the company's revenue growth. (Views and recommendations given in this section are the analysts' own and do not represent those of ETMarkets.com. Please consult your financial adviser before taking any position in the stock/s mentioned.)
Read More


 Satya Nadella pitches for poor, unveils tech for semi-skilled

MUMBAI: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today made a strong case for using digital technologies to empower the common man and launched a slew of India-centric initiatives, including a platform to connect semi-skilled workers with employers. The technology giant also launched a 'lite' version of its video interaction platform Skype. "If digital technology is only the purview of the large businesses and the start-ups, I think that is not sufficient for an economy to make progress," the India-born Nadella said speaking at a company event here. "We can celebrate technology, but if it doesn't truly empower every Indian and every Indian organisation to achieve more...we would have achieved nothing," he said. The global giant introduced the 'Sangam' platform, which is based on the world's largest professional networking site LinkedIn, also owned by the company, which will help the semi-skilled workers get job opportunities. "We now need to extend this (LinkedIn) to middle skill and low-skill (workers), (provide) vocational training for job opportunities for everyone," he said, adding that sectors like hospitality can benefit from it. The platform will also work on helping people to skill themselves for the jobs which are getting created, he said, adding that it is yet to go public and is at the "private preview" stage. He also announced a new service on LinkedIn called 'Placements', which will help Indian college graduates land job opportunities in a "democratic" manner as per their skill sets, while pointing out that finding the right job is a "challenge" for graduates in India. With bandwidth being a concern in India, the company also showcased 'lite' versions of LinkedIn as well as Skype, its video interaction service. LinkedIn has 39 million members in India and the new lite platform can work even at 2G speeds, he said. Nadella was quite appreciative of the progress on Aadhaar, and said that 'India Stack' is driving a lot of innovation at Microsoft. India Stack is a part of 'Digital India' programme aimed at treating information as a utility. Instead of having a top down approach, the government has launched an open application programming interface policy. Skype's lite version, which is available in nine Indian languages, also has an Aadhaar identity tool built-in that can help businesses for purposes like background checks in applications like interviews. Nadella said there have been improvements in the lives of people in the first digital village of Harisal in the malnutrition-prone Melghat region of Maharashtra and announced to scale up the digital village concept to 100 villages. The digital village concept touches various facets including banking, payments, public distribution system, classrooms and vocational education, among others, he said, adding that the focus is on electronification. Nadella also announced that country's largest lender SBI has decided to move to the Cloud and will be adopting its Office 365 solution.
Read More


I am a fan of Narendra Modi but if I don’t like something I will say no to the party: Uma Bharati

In a candid interview to ET, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti spoke on BJP ticket distribution in UP elections, Love Jihad, Triple Talaq, and the alleged polarisation of elections by her party. She also ruled out being a CM post contender if her party gets the numbers. Bharti also took on Dimple Yadav, calling her "very insensitive" to the cause of women. Q: SP or BSP, who do you consider the main opponent of the BJP in UP elections? A: Before the coalition of Rahul and Akhilesh, SP was a tough number two. They were definitely number two as the media was saying and everybody was seeing it and saying it. But after he (Akhilesh) joined Rahul it is not so. Rahul is treated as very non-serious in Indian politics. Nobody takes him seriously. He shook hands with Rahul, they declared their unity and he gave them 105 seats. Out of those 100 we are going to win around 80. Their joining hands is going to give us a very thick majority. Q: So since SP was a tough opponent, do you think on the seats which SP is contesting it will be a formidable foe for BJP? A: SP was a tough opponent previous to Akhilesh holding his party's national convention and expelling his father. The day 202 SP MLAs went to Akhilesh, he was a tough opponent. But after he expelled his father on January 2, half of his own community voter has gone to BJP because they did not like this kind of disrespect to his father. After January 2, SP's ill-fate started. Mulayam Singh made this party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh. We have very sharp ideological polarisation with Mulayam Singh but who can deny that he is the one who created this party. SP core voter has deserted it. Actually, doomsday started for them then. Q: You attacked Dimple Yadav on the law and order issue in UP. Why her? A: Because I consider her a non-political person though she is an MP. She was fighting and winning as she is Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law. I always thought that she will be sensitive to the issues of women. She should have gone to the Bulandshahr rape victims, to the Badaun rape victims' families. She could have helped them, consoled them. The culprits are out on bail because the state government did not protest strongly in court. I think Dimple is very insensitive. If she wants to be in politics, she cannot be just Akhilesh's wife. She has to be her own person, has to be very sympathetic to the issues of women, which she is not right now. Q: She has countered your charge, saying atrocities against women happened in Kutch in BJP-ruled Gujarat. A: But we take a tough stand (in BJP ruled states). We do not say rapes do not happen in Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh. We have fast track courts in these states. Within 15 days, the verdict comes and mostly the verdict is hanging (the culprit). That is not the case in UP- here the government comes in favour of rapists. Mulayam Singh and Azam Khan were giving statements in favour of rapists. Dimple was keeping quiet though she is in politics. We did not keep quiet when these cases happened in our states. We take very tough action. Q: Akhilesh Yadav is projecting his achievements and has tried to make the elections presidential. Do you think BJP should have projected a CM candidate? A: The main opposition for us is (lack of) law and order and our leader is our good image. So it is our good image versus their bad law and order. BJP has a good past (as the ruling party) in UP. Kalyan Singh was declared CM after we got a majority. That was a dangerous indication for our opponents as Kalyan Singh is an OBC. UP was the largest state and we declared him the leader as he had that stature. That caused panic among our opponents who had termed us an upper caste party. But we made an OBC the CM. He, Rajnath Singh, Ram Prakash Gupta had total control over law and order. Bad image of this party (SP) is their negative point. Q: You are one of the faces BJP is projecting prominently in UP. Do you think that if your party wants you can assume the role of CM? A: I don't know why my party is doing this (projecting me prominently). I have been chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. They asked me to fight MLA elections, so I did that. I don't take all this (talk of being CM) seriously. I take my constituency and my ministry seriously. Even in my distant thought I do not imagine myself being a leader in UP. Please ask this question to the party as to why it is doing this. I am not capable of giving an answer to this question. Q: But you will follow whatever your party tells you to do? A: No, I am not a disciplined soldier of the party. I am a disciplined soldier of people's cause and I am a disciplined soldier of Ganga. I am a fan of Narendra Modi but if I don't like something I will say no to the party. Q: The 71 BJP MPs in UP have been asked to ensure victory of the Vidhan Sabha candidates in their constituency. What do you have to say to this? A: As an MP definitely the responsibility does come on our shoulders. But ticket distribution is done by the Election Committee (of the BJP) so the whole party has to take the responsibility. The MP alone can take all the responsibility only when the ticket distribution is done as per their choice. The case is not so. The BJP Election Committee decided the candidates. So this is a kind of arranged marriage in which the groom is decided by the family and the bride has to adjust. So the whole party has to take the responsibility. MP has to work very hard and they all will work very hard. The whole responsibility can never go to an MP. To win or to lose is a collective responsibility. Q: Earlier BJP was known as a party of Brahmins and Banias. Now there is a shift towards wooing the EBCs. A: That is the fine social engineering of Amit Shah. I can say that though Amit Shah was born in an upper caste, he comes in the league of Charan Singh and Karpuri Thakur in bringing social reforms in Indian politics. Three parties that dominated Indian politics- BJP, Congress and Left- were dominated by upper caste leaders. The first change in BJP came with Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Shivraj Singh and then Narendra Modi becoming chief ministers. In UP, Keshav Maurya was made state president- that is 100 per cent contribution of Amit Shah. He (Shah) is undefeatable in understanding the sentiments of the people. Tell me, how can you lead a country by leaving out OBC, EBC and SC which is more than 70 per cent of the population? For long term politics, you have to give them space which the Congress and Left are not giving even today. They are advocating their cause but not giving them positions in the party. Q: There is a charge against BJP that it is polarising the elections by fielding Yogi Adityanath and others to campaign in western UP. A: So, we will do. That is our strategy. Election is election. We are not doing anything that is immoral. We are not using criminals, we are not giving money, we are not distributing liquor. All we are deciding is which leader is more important for campaigning in which place. There is nothing wrong with that. Q: The issue of triple talaq is being raised now during the elections. A: No, the issue started much earlier. It has nothing to do with elections. It has everything to do with the Muslim women in this country and the world over. It is floating in the elections also but it started much earlier. Modiji and Amit Shah are great social reformers. The country was waiting for them. The Muslim women were waiting for the triple talaq issue (to be taken up). Modiji has pleaded with folded hands that please don't make it a political issue. Q: But the Muslim clerics say their community should decide on the issue of triple talaq. A: Let their community start debating this issue. Let law take its own course and let them (Muslims) also discuss this issue. They should allow Muslim women to participate in their debate. Whenever a social reform comes, you should not force it on the people. Before a law is passed, people have every right to voice their opinion. Q: The Ram temple issue is also being raised in this election. A: That is because you are asking me. Did I say anything on it till you asked me the question? So don't ask… In TV and newspapers they don't show the question, only show the statement. But it is not a political issue. It is faith. It is my faith that a Ram temple should be built. But why ask at the time of elections. Q: BJP manifesto promises formation of Anti-Romeo squads. Some people feel this is a way to check "Love Jihad". A: I don't know that but I know one thing- that if someone really loves someone they will not change their religion. Like Shahnawaz Hussain got married to Renu and I arranged that marriage as there was opposition from both families. Renu is still Renu Sharma and Shahnawaz is not Shahnawaz Sharma. That is called real love. But spending money, taking away the girl, changing her religion- then there is a conspiracy. Sushil Modi has married a Christian and she is a Christian even now. BJP has a very broad minded view on this. But definitely this Love Jihad kind of thing is there. I have seen many families crying in Bhopal also. Shivraj government took tough action. Love cannot be Jihad, love is always coordination and surrender. If it is Jihad then it has to be destroyed. Q: You have promised a separate state of Bundelkhand to the people. A: Not just promised, it is my wish since even before I joined politics.
Read More


Expect an average 9.5% pay hike this year, says Aon Hewitt in its salary survey

Pay hikes across industries are likely to average 9.5% in the upcoming appraisal cycle, a drop from 10.3% last year, according to Aon Hewitt’s Salary Increase Survey 2016-17 that covered 1000-plus companies across India. While it’s a marginal decrease from the 2016 spends, it shows that India Inc has held its own amidst global and Indian economic and political events, including Brexit, recent changes in the US government and demonetisation. “Political changes and economic headwinds have had an impact on business performance. However, the trend this year reflects a gradual slowing of pay increases and higher emphasis on productivity and performance – quite literally a ‘graying’ of salary budgets for India,” said Anandorup Ghose, Partner at Aon Hewitt India, in a statement. The survey, he says, shows the coming of age of compensation management in India. While majority of the industries projected a sub 10% increase – the business sentiment remains positive and optimistic. Sectors such as Life Sciences, Professional Services, Chemicals, Entertainment Media, Automotive and Consumer Products continue to project a double-digit salary increase for 2017. However they have taken a drop from their 2016 actual spends. The trend of investing in key talent continues. Firms are carving out high potential and hot skills along with high performers as their key talent segment. “The last year has shown organisations take a strong view towards performance differentiation and not only have bell curves become sharper, the pay differentiation between top and average performers has also increased,” added Ghose.
Read More


© 2015 - All Rights Reserved - IMS(Institute of Mathematical Sciences) www.ims4maths.com