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News: Economic Times - Top Stories

Here are 12 major changes that may impact your life from July 1

59348192 NEW DELHI: July 1 is set to enter into history books, and not just for the Goods and Services Tax (GST). A number of other major changes will happen from this date.Here is a list of changes that are coming into effect on July 1:No filing of I-T return without Aadhaar: The government has made it compulsory to mention Aadhaar for filing of income tax return. Without Aadhaar, you won't be able to file your return after July 1.Linking of Aadhaar with PAN becomes mandatory: The government has also made it compulsory to link Aadhaar with PAN to stop people using multiple PANs to evade taxes. If a person does not link PAN and Aadhaar as mandated by Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, his PAN could become invalid. No PAN card without Aadhaar: Aadhaar becomes must for getting new PAN. You won't be able to get a PAN card after Saturday without your Aadhaar card.No passport without Aadhaar card: Ministry of External Affairs has listed Aadhaar card as one of the mandatory documents for applying for a passport. So you won't be able to get your passport without Aadhaar from July 1.Linking PF account with Aadhaar: Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made it compulsory to link PF account with Aadhaar by June 30. Pensioners are also asked to furnish Aadhaar details. According to EPFO, Aadhaar linking is expected to make the withdrawal and settlement process time much shorter, from existing 20 days to 10 days.No concession on railway tickets: To plug misuse and leakages, Indian Railways have made it mandatory to quote Aadhaar from July 1 to avail concessions on railway tickets.Scholarships for schools and colleges: HRD ministry has also issued a notification that school and college students, who want to get government scholarship or are already getting it, should furnish Aadhaar details by June 30. After that, scholarships would not be given to any student who doesn't have Aadhaar.No PDS benefit without Aadhaar: Public distribution benefits have been linked to Aadhaar. Individuals will have to link Aadhaar with ration cards before July 1 to get all the PDS subsidy benefits.No departure form for flyers from July 1: Indians flying abroad will not be required to fill departure cards from July 1. The move is aimed at ensuring hassle-free movement and reducing the time required to complete immigration formalities.Expat tax in Saudi Arabia from July 1: Saudi Arabia is introducing a monthly expatriate levy on the dependents of expatriates from July 1. The fee will be 100 riyals (around Rs 1,721) per dependent this year. It will be doubled to 200 riyals per dependent from July next year, tripled to 300 riyals in 2019 and quadrupled to 400 riyals from July 2020.New curriculum for CA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch on July 1 a new syllabus for those studying to become chartered accountants. The new syllabus is in accordance with International education standards of the International Federation of Accountants and also includes new taxation system, the GST.Online visitor visa for Indians flying to Australia: The Australian government has announced that Indian visitors can apply for a visitor's visa online starting July 1. The online visa facility is expected to fasten the approval process.
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Linking your Aadhaar with PAN is now mandatory from next month

You have only two days left to link your Aadhaar with PAN. The voluntary compliance period for linking the two crucial cards, a move introduced in this year's budget, ends on Friday. From next Saturday, it will become mandatory to quote Aadhaar for PAN and income tax returns. Government on Wednesday notified amended income tax rules making mandatory linking of existing Aadhaar numbers with PAN. Why? According to government, Aadhaar-enabled biometric identification will help check instances of multiple PANs and also keep a tab on tax evaders. What if your income is below the tax limit? Even then. If you don't file income tax return but possess both PAN and Aadhaar then linking the two is compulsory otherwise your PAN will be liable to become invalid from a date to be notified by the government, as per section 139AA of the Act. The recent Supreme Court order provides interim relief to those who may have PAN but do not have an Aadhaar and have not applied for one as yet from having to compulsorily link the two. It does not provide any relief to those who already have both PAN and Aadhaar. Even individuals who are not required to file income tax returns due to income being below exemption limit but possess both PAN and Aadhaar are mandatorily required to link both by a date to be notified as per section 139AA. If such individuals do not link the two by the date to be notified then their PAN will become invalid as per Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act introduced in the last budget, according to Sonu Iyer, Tax Partner and People Advisory Services Leader, EY. This means that a large number of people - senior citizens, students, entry-level workforce, housewives etc. who have PAN and Aadhaar both, but don't file returns will have to link the two numbers. This can be done via the income tax department's e-filing website. Link it if you don't want to lose your PAN If a person does not link PAN and Aadhaar as mandated by section 139AA then the person's PAN would become invalid. If a person's PAN becomes invalid they would face problems in all banking / financial transactions requiring PAN to be quoted. How does one do it The IT department has made provision for assesssees to link their PAN to Aadhaar on the efiling portal. If you have Aadhaar and PAN card and you haven't linked it yet, here's help. Link Visit the income tax e-filing portal at https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in/ and enter your user id and password to access your profile. A new user can register on the portal by entering basic registration details such as PAN, name and date of birth. Update Aadhaar Once you are logged into the portal, go to the "Profile Settings" tab. A drop down menu will appear. Click on "Link Aadhaar". A new form will be displayed. Details You need to enter name, date of birth and gender as per PAN records. Next, your Aadhaar number and your name as per Aadhaar records must be entered. These details must be submitted after entering the text in the captcha code appearing on the screen. Confirmation After submitting the Aadhaar details, a success message is displayed confirming the linking of Aadhaar with PAN. A confirmation email is also sent to the registered email id of the assessee. Points to note • Once Aadhaar-PAN is linked, one can e-verify the IT return using Aadhaar if the mobile number is registered with Aadhaar database. • If the name in Aadhaar does not exactly match with the name on PAN, you need to additionally provide Aadhaar OTP or EVC to proceed with partial name match.
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India can't afford showdown with Beijing, it needs to be taught rules: Chinese Media

India needs to be taught the "rules" of handling the boundary dispute, a prominent state-run Chinese daily said on Wednesday adding that New Delhi was mistaken if it thinks it can afford a "showdown" with Beijing on the border. The comment in an op-ed in Global Times, without the author's name, comes in the wake of a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in the border area in Sikkim. China has accused Indian troops of "trespassing" its boundary and in a reaction suspended the pilgrimage to Mount Kailash in Tibet. "Chinese and Indian soldiers are locked in a face-off at the Sikkim section of the China-India border after Indian troops crossed the boundary and entered Chinese territory." "China avoids making an issue of border disputes, which has indulged India's unruly provocations. This time the Indian side needs to be taught the rules," the piece said. "India cannot afford a showdown with China on border issues. It lags far behind China in terms of national strength and the so-called strategic support for it from the US is superficial." The daily said "China must force the Indian troops to retreat to the Indian side by all means necessary, and China's road construction mustn't be stopped." The People's Liberation Army has accused Indian troops of obstructing road construction on the Chinese side. "It remains unclear whether this flare-up is the fault of low-level Indian troops or a tentative strategic move made by the Indian government. "Whatever the motive, China must stick to its bottom line." "India's national confidence has been greatly boosted with its GDP rising to fifth in the world. The fact that the US and West are willing to woo India to counterbalance China has particularly added to Indians' sense of strategic superiority." "Some Indians believe the US and Japan are building a circle to contain China, and India has an advantage over China by choosing whether to join this circle." "Therefore, they can indulge themselves on issues including border disputes, while China has no choice but to make concessions." "As the China-India borderline hasn't been demarcated completely and the two countries have a different understanding about the Line of Actual Control, troops from both sides often stray across in some areas. However, almost all frictions are fed to the Indian media by the Indian military which they hype time and again." "China has no desire to confront India. Maintaining friendly ties with New Delhi is Beijing's basic policy. But this must be based on mutual respect. "It's not time for India to display arrogance toward China. India's GDP is only one-quarter of China's and its annual defence budget is just one-third. Having a friendly relationship and cautiously handling border issues with China is its best choice," it said.
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Scared of Aadhaar misuse? Lock your biometrics now

The applicability of Aadhaar is fast becoming mandatory across the board. There are many who are fearful about the possibility of misuse of information linked and stored in connection with Aadhaar. Recently, there have been reports that Aadhaar numbers and personal information of several million Indians may have been leaked from government portals. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had, however, reportedly said in response to an RTI query that the core biometric data of Aadhaar card holders have till date" not faced any cyber attack. For an Aadhaar user, UIDAI provides a mechanism to lock the biometric information and prevent any misuse. Biometric information refers to the iris, finger prints and facial photograph of which the fingerprint and iris data is to be used for authentication. In addition, Aadhaar stores the demographic information such as name, address, date of birth/age, gender, mobile number, email address. One can actually protect privacy and confidentiality of one's biometrics data. Once the Biometric is locked, the Aadhaar holder will not be able to use their Biometrics (fingerprints/iris) for authentications and neither can anyone else, thus preventing potential misuse. The process has been kept simple and once locked, it will temporarily get unlocked for only ten minutes. It automatically gets locked again. As per UIDAI, one is recommended to update the biometric data every 10 years. Also, in case one unfortunately has an accident or catches a disease leading to biometric changes, it is recommended to go for updating of the biometric information. How to lock/Unlock biometrics *Access the url : https://resident.uidai.gov.in/biometric-lock * Enter your Aadhaar number * Enter security code/captcha * Receive the OTP * Lock your Aadhaar The registered mobile number is essential to avail this service. The Aadhaar card carries the registered mobile number. If your mobile number is not registered with Aadhaar, one has to visit the nearest Enrolment Centre to submit a filled up form. Also Read: How to update or correct Aadhaar details online and offline Once the biometric are locked, its authentication also gets blocked. If there any benefits attached to the number such as bank transfers etc, they will however continue. Its use gets restricted and one may not be able to authenticate it on any biometric devise. To unblock, one has to again visit the same website and after entering the Aadhaar number, receive the OTP to unlock it. After locking biometrics if a UID is used for invoking any of the authentication services using a biometric modality (Fingerprint/Iris) a specific error code '330' indicating biometrics are locked will be displayed. Also Read: Did you know your Aadhaar can become inactive? Here's how to check and activate it
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Co-working concept catching up in prime office realty market

BENGALURU | MUMBAI: Co-working, a western concept that involves various individuals or startups sharing a common workplace environment, is slowly catching on across prime Indian property markets. At a pan-India level, co-working space of 0.73 million sq ft was absorbed last year. "Though still very nascent, this category could prove to be a disruptor as bigger co-working players such as WeWork enter India and more such facilities prop up across cities," said Ramesh Nair-CEO & Country Head, JLL India. In terms of the number of seats available, around 9,600 are available at co-working facilities across the country. Out of the total absorption, Mumbai sprung a surprise with the highest absorption nationally, followed by Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad. Delhi-NCR and Mumbai led the way in terms of seats available and were followed by Bengaluru and Kolkata, JLL India said. Hyderabad, which has a first-of-its-kind incubator space called the T-Hub, also has 750 seats. Currently, there is very limited supply of co-working spaces, but once the situation improves, the demand scenario is also expected to transform. 58505346 "Companies can make savings of up to 20-30% by working in a co-working space. Additionally, they can avail benefits of a new-age workplace along with plug-and-play amenities which are at par with grade-A offices. At Awfis, our offering goes beyond desks and our community engagement initiatives and alliances provide a very productive ecosystem," Sumit Lakhani, CMO at Awfis Space Solutions, which has 7,500 seats spread across 21 centres at present. The clientele includes small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups, freelance professionals, consultants, corporates, etc. Firms wanting to get more agile are open to housing their innovation teams in such facilities. Some client-centric companies look at making some of their key teams sit close to client sites. Bigger companies and corporates are slowly realising that collaborative work spaces with open areas can boost employee productivity and help attract as well as retain talent. "An anchor occupier can benefit from co-working spaces provided that the occupier's corporate culture, values and beliefs align with the creative and entrepreneurial community within the space. A large enterprise would be able to leverage a high energy work atmosphere, and the vibrant CoWrks culture that may be synonymous with an already existing culture within a faction of their teams," said Sidharth Menda, CEO, CoWrks. According to JLL, given the inherent risks in running a co-working space, certain operators are looking at ways to mitigate the risk by preferring to lease out their entire area in a good location, or a big chunk of it, to companies or corporates. Such 'anchor tenants' can help them get a fixed income stream even as start-ups and freelancers bring in somewhat unsteady revenues. In the long-term, however, consolidation among co-working operators will occur, as not all of them will be able to mitigate the risk in their business models or have deep pockets to survive for long in non-prime locations with cheaper rents. Only a handful of big players are expected to eventually remain.
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Birlasoft leases 3 lakh sq ft in Assotech’s project

NEW DELHI: Information technology company Birlasoft, part of the CK Birla Group, has leased an entire office building spread over 3 lakh sq ft at a mixed-use project of Assotech Realty in Noida, said two persons familiar with the development. The lease is for 9 years, with an option for the company to renew it every 3 years. The monthly lease rental for the deal is Rs 42 per sq ft. "Birlasoft is planning to consolidate and make this new building their corporate headquarter. They have 2-3 offices in Sector 63, Noida, at present, which will be shifted to this building," said one of the persons cited above. "The office will have a capacity to seat around 3,000 employees," said another person cited above. ET's separate email queries to both Assotech Realty and transaction partner Cushman & Wakefield remained unanswered, while Birlasoft declined to comment. Located in Sector 135 on Noida Expressway, 1.8-million sq-ft Assotech Business Cresterra is an integrated business park comprising 75,000 sq ft of retail spaces, around 1.6 million sq ft of office spaces across six towers and 190-key serviced suites to be managed by Lemon Tree Hotels. Assotech Realty has completed the first phase of the project with a total salable area of 1.1 million sq ft, and has started construction of the second phase. Technology firms continued to be the leading driver of demand and contributed around 36% of the overall office leasing volume in Noida in the January to March quarter this year, according to property consultancy Colliers International. Office space provider Regus had leased around 16,000 sq ft of space last year in Assotech Business Cresterra for opening a business centre. HDFC Bank has also leased office space in the mixed-use project.
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Government, JNPT set out to contain damage from malware attack

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Shipping and JNPT have got onto the front foot trying to contain the disruption in operations at one of the port terminals in the wake of the latest malware attack. "It has been informed by the private terminal operator (APM Maersk) that this disruption is a consequence of a worldwide disruption being faced by them because of a cyber attack," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement today. While the terminal operator is taking steps to address the issue, it is anticipated that there could be bunching of in-bound and out-bound container cargo, it said. "The Ministry of Shipping and JNPT are alive to the situation and are taking steps to ensure minimum disturbance to trade, transporters and more importantly, local citizens," the statement said. Since the congestion could create difficulties in traffic management, JNPT has opened up its parking lot for cargo marked for this private terminal. Further, CFS (container freight stations) have been advised to hold the cargo in their yards. A senior shipping ministry official told PTI that they are taking all possible steps to ease traffic congestion arising out of the attack. The Maersk group confirmed that its operations were hit by the cyber incident. "We can confirm that on Tuesday, June 27, AP Moller-Maersk was hit as part of a cyber attack named Petya, affecting multiple sites and select business units," Maersk said in a tweet. It said, "We are responding to the situation to contain and limit the impact and uphold operations." The group is "assessing and managing" the situation to minimise the impact on its customers and partners. JNPT is also working with local authority CIDCO to identify more parking areas. Traffic control teams are being pressed into service to address potential road congestion. The government is closely monitoring the situation, which said further steps will be initiated to deal with the traffic situation based on an assessment during the course of the next few days. Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator, is headed to JNPT to help in firefight operations.
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USFDA gives nod to Zydus Cadila's overactive bladder tablets

NEW DELHI: The US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has given final approval to drug firm Zydus Cadila to market oxybutynin chloride tablets used to treat symptoms of overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. In a filing to the BSE today, the company said it "has received the final approval from the USFDA to market oxybutynin chloride extended-release tablets in the strength of 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg". The drug is used to take care of an overactive bladder and urinary incontinence (urine leakage) and will be produced at the group's formulation manufacturing facility at Moraiya in Ahmedabad. The group now has over 120 approvals and so far filed over 300 ANDAs (abbreviated new drug applications) since the commencement of the filing process in 2003-04.
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India’s IPO mart has changed; what hasn’t is investor greed

By Prithvi Haldea (The author's name is almost synonymous with India's IPO mart. ETMarkets.com invited this market veteran to map the changes in the primary market through the years.) The story of India’s IPO market is one of transformation from abundant malpractices that plagued the primary market before Sebi came into being in 1992 into a much transparent, popular mart after Sebi enacted a plethora of regulations and plugged the loopholes, triggering a complete makeover. My own tryst with the IPO market began in 1977, when Reliance, then a textiles company, offered its shares to the public. What resulted in greater interest were the FERA issues in that decade, after the Janata government forced MNCs to dilute their equity by issuing shares to the Indian public. Scores of such companies including Ponds, Colgate and Hindustan Lever hit the market at incredibly low prices determined by the then CCI or Controller of Capital Issues. While short-term investors made decent money, long-term investors reaped a bonanza. This was the first spread of equity cult in India. Of course with each profitable listing, demand for fresh IPOs grew phenomenally, leading to extremely huge oversubscriptions, thus reducing the exercise to a lottery-kind system. The era of multiple applications and fraudulent applications began in order to obtain more allotments. (Many years later, there was the IPO demat scam in 2005, where thousands of fake depository accounts were opened by some fraudsters to increase allotments). The 1980s saw the first IPO boom, with hundreds of companies tapping the market, most of which were poor quality issues. The worst came during 1992-1996, when an unbelievable 3,911 equity IPOs hit the market. A large number of these were from ‘fly-by-night’ operators. The Sebi had just been set up, pricing controls had been removed and lack of proper regulations and infrastructure facilitated this huge fraud on investors. Let us examine some the key areas of transformation, brought about mainly by Sebi primarily to ensure investor protection. Entry Norms: Those days, just about anyone could think of doing an IPO and then even launch it within a short period. Over the years, Sebi has experimented with several entry norms, and among other strict entry norms, it now requires a track record of Rs 15 crore of profits over the previous three years. Non-conformity with this norm requires greater allocation to institutional investors. Prospectus: Those days, prospectus used to be a tabloid kind of spreadsheet, comprising 6-8 pages. With Sebi mandating more disclosures, while prohibiting forward-looking disclosures, the size of prospectus grew rapidly, and it has now become a 500-plus page document. Of course, involvement of law firms into prospectus drafting has contributed to this, too. While there was little to read then, it now requires greater skills to cull out meaningful information. A fallout of this was the overgrown size of the abridged prospectus meant for retail investors, as the size of this too became 100-plus pages. Last year, Sebi redesigned the abridged prospectus to ensure that it does not exceed 10 pages and is in a reader-friendly font and layout. Now, each draft prospectus is also released to the public for its comments before Sebi gives its clearance. Risk factors: In those early days, prospectus used to carry issue highlights, and that too on the cover page; and the same were carried in advertisements too. Issuers could get away with any kind of highlights. A good reform was to substitute these by risk factors, which however assumed ridiculous dimensions over time, and had to be shifted to many pages inside the prospectus. With almost everything being described as risk, this section has lost its meaning significantly. However, what has surely helped are the upfront disclosure of all indictments, court cases and other liabilities as risk factors. Advertising: Those days, issuers would get away with any kind of advertising – tempting headlines, use of models and celebrities and promise of a bright future, including even assured dividends. The Sebi advertising code banned all of this. Now advertisements cannot use any model or make any forward-looking statement. In fact, the contents have to conform to the disclosures made in the prospectus. Institutional role: Those days, almost all issues were aimed at only retail investors, who more often than not became individual venture capitalists, taking huge risks. This was transformed by the introduction of the category of qualified institutional buyers, comprising mutual funds, insurance companies, FIIs and the like. Half of all IPOs are reserved for them, with another 15 per cent reversed for HNIs and only the balance 35 per cent left for the retail. Moreover, introduction of anchor investors now gives public investors some comfort on the issuer company and offer price. Better indicator for retail investors: Those days, retail investors were lured into IPOs by stories of grey market premium and high ratings by some investment journals. Now, they have the comfort of some indirect pointers, mainly institutional demand in IPOs. Here too, in the initial years, institutional players used to put in huge orders on the opening day creating an impression of substantial interest and, thereby, tempting retail investors into applying, and then withdrawing or downsizing their applications later. Sebi has since disallowed withdrawal or downsizing by institutional investors. Application money and refunds: Those days, one could apply using a cheque or a demand draft, and even cash, and stand in long queues outside few designated bank branches to submit IPO application forms. It used to take several days to reconcile the data, and hence the float would be kept with the issuer on which he would enjoy huge interest. In oversubscribed issues, refund warrants would be mailed back to millions of unsuccessful investors, and many of them used to get lost in transit, leading to huge investor complaints. With the introduction of ASBA, the application money now stays in investor accounts, though blocked, and then is credited back to her account for refunds. Besides facilitating early listing, this has resulted in huge cost savings for issuers, and almost negligible investor complaints. Gone are also the days when every issuer had to wastefully print lakhs and crores of application forms. Now an investor can apply from the comfort of her home. Allotments: In those days, there was a complicated system of share allotment for retail investors, and it was open to manipulations. Later, proportional allotments were introduced, but this led to even the few successful applicants getting a very tiny number of shares. Sebi has now prescribed a minimum reasonable allotment. For institutions, there was the questionable discretionary allotment system, where the issuers and investment bankers could actually oblige their preferred institutions. This has now been changed to proportionate allotment for them too. Moreover, a very strict KYC regime has eliminated the chances of a 2005-like demat scam. Electronic shares: In those days, shares were allotted in paper form. This not only gave rise to several malpractices like forged certificates, but also entailed huge costs and delays in subsequent transfers. Now, shares can be issued only in electronic form and settlement is done on a T+2 basis. Issue objects: Those days, almost all IPOs were to part-finance some kind of projects. Now, in most cases, the initial financing is done by PE/VC firms and more and more IPOs are for providing an exit to these investors. Other major issue objectives now include raising working capital, debt retirement and general corporate purposes. Gone are the days of IPOs funding greenfield projects; now are the days of seasoned offerings. Pricing: Those days, one would have only fixed price IPOs. Now, in all issues, price discovery takes place through the book-building process (though within a price band of 20 per cent). Stock Exchanges: In the 1980s, India had as many as 23 stock exchanges, with BSE on the lead. Every IPO had to, by law, list on at least one regional exchange, leading to assured business for all exchanges. There were a lot of malpractices with these broker-run exchanges. The securities scam of the early 1990s hastened the design of an automated exchange – NSE. BSE soon followed suit by going electronic. But the regional exchanges could not update their technologies and also lost on compulsory listings, leading to their closure. Now, there are just two exchanges with nationwide terminals. Instruments: Those days, besides equity, the primary market also had other instruments such as fully convertible debentures, partly convertible debentures, multi-option debentures and preference shares. For years now, there have been only equity IPOs, and once in a while, issues of pure non-convertible debentures. Underwriting: In those days, all issues had to be compulsorily underwritten, assuring the issuer of the IPO amount even if the issue bombed. In good times, this led to huge underwriting commissions for banks and brokers. But several developments in bad times led to pressure for removing this condition. Now, there is no hard underwriting of IPOs, which means if an issue fails, it has to be withdrawn and it does not devolve on the underwriters. Number of investment bankers: During the IPO boom period of the early 1990s, more than 1,500 Sebi-registered merchant bankers were at play; most of whom actually helped fraudulent issuers tap the market. Now, with stricter regulations and number of IPOs falling dramatically, there are just about 50 active merchant bankers. Ditto for the fate of printers, registrars and advertising agencies to make money in IPOs. New types of offerings: Those days, besides IPOs, there were just FPOs and rights issues. Now, there are QIPs, IPPs, SME, OFS and separate startup platforms on bourses. What has not changed What has not changed is the investor expectation, built during the FERA dilution days, that all IPOs should not only list at a premium to offer prices but should always trade higher. They refuse to accept that an IPO becomes a secondary market stock on the day of listing and will go up or down as other stocks do. What has not changed also, is the fact that fundamentals alone are no guarantee for the success of an IPO or for post-listing performance. Sentiments too continue to play an important role. (Prithvi Haldea is the Founder-Chairman of PRIME Database, and was an active small investor in the IPO market from 1977 to 2014.)
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Promoters selling shares; it’s a message for you & me too

The domestic stock market has hit new all-time high levels this month. However, sentiment has turned cautious ever since ahead of GST implementation and some investors are busy booking profit. But what’s actually raising eyebrows is the fact that some promoters too have started encashing the opportunity and sold shares in the market. For instance, promotes of real estate majors Sobha and Indiabulls Real Estate have already sold shares through open market operations. Indiabulls Real Estate’s promoter group entity IBREL IBL Scheme Trust sold 3.3 crore shares of the company last week for about Rs 662.83 crore through open market transactions. On a year-to-date basis, the scrip has risen 172 per cent from Rs 75.80 on January 2 this year to Rs 206.25 on June 27, whereas BSE Sensex has gained 17 per cent. Promoter Sobha Menon of Sobha sold 40 lakh shares, or 4.15 per cent stake, in the company at an average price of Rs 414.9 a share in April. Shares of the company are up nearly 50 per cent on a year-to-date basis till June 27. Share selling by promoters in a bull market signals their own disbelief in valuations of their stocks. G Chokkalingam, Founder, Equinomics Research and Advisory said, “Selling by promoters sends out negative signals. It shows their smartness to exploit opportunities provided by a bull market.” On the contrary, when promoters increase stake, they send out a positive message that they see value in their business at current price levels. Jimeet Modi, CEO, SAMCO Securities said, “When smart insiders-cum- promoters start selling shares in the open market, it means the market is at lofty levels and it is time to sell that stock.” Independent market expert Ambareesh Baliga believes selling by promoters in a robust market shows they are utilising the opportunity, which is fine. “What I find bizarre is some promoters are acting like operators. They first do creeping acquisition, create a story to push up the prices and then start offloading,” Baliga pointed out. According to Bloomberg Quint, the promoters of Fortis Healthcare have also sold a large number of shares in the open market. Promoter Fortis Healthcare Holdings sold nearly 1.66 crore shares in June, reducing promoter group holdings by 4.07 per cent in less than one month. Shares of Fortis Healthcare gained over 7 per cent in the first five months of 2017, advancing from Rs 182.25 on January 2 to Rs 195.65 on May 31. AK Prabhakar, Head of Research, IDBI Capital Markets, said: “If promoters are selling stake for personal reasons, then there is no reason to fret. However, Fortis-like exit is always worrisome.” BSE Sensex scaled a record high of 31,522 on June 22, while NSE Nifty hit a fresh all-time high of 9,709 on June 6, 2017. The 30-share Sensex settled 180 points down at 30,958 on June 26, while Nifty closed 63 points down at 9,511.
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Ransomware 'Nyetya' behind new global cyber attack: Cisco

LAS VEGAS: The computer virus that is affecting companies and institutions around the world is a new variant of ransomware called Nyetya -- WannaCry's bad cousin -- according to networking and security major Cisco. The new cyber attack started massively affecting dozens of companies and institutions in the world, beginning with Russia and Ukraine on Tuesday, and now spreading to Asia and Australia on Wednesday. Cisco's Talos cyber security division reported that its research shows that this strain of computer virus "uses the same Eternal Blue exploit - a vulnerability used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) - and other weaknesses of Microsoft's operating system to spread", Efe news reported. Nyetya is also very similar to WannaCry, the ransomware that affected 200,000 people in 150 countries in May, encrypting data on infected computers and asking for a ransom to recover them, said Talos cybersecurity executive Craig Williams. However, in the case of the virus emerging on Tuesday, which is quite "different" from the Petya virus, its infection "will spread very quickly if the 'bad guys' behind it decide to do so," Williams said. On Wednesday several companies in the Asia Pacific region, like the Mondelez owned Cadbury chocolate factory in Hobart, Tasmania, and the global law firm DLA Piper were affected. The Hong Kong website of DLA Piper published an important note to clients saying "We are currently dealing with a serious global cyber incident" adding that "we have taken down our systems as a precautionary measure which will mean you are currently unable to contact us by email or landline." According to Cisco, Nyetya is "WannaCry's bad cousin" and "initial vector identification has shown that the virus is more defiant." Williams ruled out that "an e-mail vector" was the initial propagation factor. Some of the affected companies and institutions have claimed that the virus has disabled their e-mails and, therefore, prevented them from contacting the cybercriminals to recover their information after their computers were disconnected. The threat does not have "a known, viable external spreading mechanism - such as the Internet," so "it is possible that some infections may be associated with software update systems for a Ukrainian tax accounting package called MeDoc", according to Williams.
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Tax-savvy American NRIs use family trusts to insulate Indian assets

Trust Indians to come up with jugaad, even when they no longer live in the country. Faced with a tax on the sale of assets in India, some non-resident Indians in the US are disposing of their property and other holdings after transferring them to family trusts. The issue stems from an agreement between the US and India in 2015 to implement the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a law aimed at ensuring that tax is paid on income generated from wealth parked overseas. Under the agreement, the two countries will share information about citizens with assets in each other's countries. In the past few years, some Indian families have sent at least one of their heirs to either the US or Europe with the objective of saving tax in India. However, both Europe (through inheritance tax) and the US (FATCA) have started raising tax queries on the wealth of such families. In addition, Indian tax authorities, equipped with data from Switzerland and the Panama leaks on money stashed abroad, are going after such family structures across the globe. According to government sources, about 4,000 people in the past two years have given up Indian citizenship, fearing that the tax department will go after their unaccounted wealth in India. By transferring assets to trusts before selling them, NRIs in the US won’t be liable to pay tax on such transactions. “In the past one year, we have seen many parents of NRIs settled in the US are creating and transferring their assets to family trusts due to implementation of FATCA. Tax cannot be levied on beneficiaries if appropriate structuring is done, so understandably, there has been an increased interest in family trusts,” said Girish Venkataraman, CEO at IIFL Investment Adviser & Trustee Services Ltd. Starting last year, data of US citizens with investments in India is being shared with US tax authorities. NRIs fear this would trigger an additional tax liability in the US on share dividend and property sale in India, among other things. “India has started sharing even mutual fund and stock market data of green-card holder NRIs with the US. So even while there is no long-term capital gains tax in India on STT-paid securities, the US can levy tax on such gains unless they are ring-fenced in a family trust,” said Jeenendra Bhandari, a partner at MGB & Co. While scrutiny was limited to real estate initially, in the past year US tax authorities have started questioning returns from mutual funds and stocks. If such assets are transferred to trusts, the taxman cannot directly slap a tax when a sale happens. Even NRIs with a net worth of about $1million (Rs 6.5 crore) are forming family trusts to continue investing in India without attracting tax in the US. “With the introduction of FATCA, what is now gaining momentum is the creation of discretionary trusts, which protect the interests of the beneficiaries and maintain confidentiality,” said Zulfiquar Memon, managing partner of MZM Legal, a law firm. “Forming such discretionary trusts solves more than one problem – the whole issue around succession planning is also sorted out due to such trusts without attracting adverse tax.” There are also cases of Indian businessmen who tried to work around Indian tax laws facing some problems, experts said. In the past few years, some Indian families have sent at least one of their heirs to either the US or Europe with the objective of saving tax in India. However, both Europe (through inheritance tax) and the US (FATCA) have started raising tax queries on the wealth of such families. In addition, Indian tax authorities, equipped with data from Switzerland and the Panama leaks on money stashed abroad, are going after such family structures across the globe. According to government sources, about 4,000 people in the past two years have given up Indian citizenship, fearing that the tax department will go after their unaccounted wealth in India.
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Expats face similar hardships in India and China

MUMBAI: For an expat in India, finding a school admission for his kid is as easy or difficult as a foreigner living in China. An analysis based on the availability of goods and services, and quality of education by AIRINC, a provider of expat compensation and international mobility data, shows New Delhi and Mumbai are on par with China’s business centres of Beijing and Shanghai when it comes to hardship. Two other leading Indian business centres, Bengaluru and Chennai, are quite close in the running and could become popular destinations for expats over the next few years, the analysis suggested. On factors such as pollution levels and the prevalence of diseases, Bengaluru scores over New Delhi. “To be able to support business objectives effectively, global mobility teams need to focus on three areas — developing the right set of policies that effectively support the business need; implementing the right organisational structure to effectively support the new strategic mandate for mobility; and fostering the right relationships within the organisation to ensure the success of the global mobility agenda,” said Fred Schlomann, vice president, AIRINC. In India, AIRINC and AON Hewitt work with top companies to formulate creative solutions to attract and retain global top talent. “Especially in India, global mobility has traditionally been viewed as transactional (and tactical). But recently, demands from business partners have led global mobility teams to seek ways to be more strategic,” said Anandorup Ghose, partner, Aon Consulting. Companies are increasingly focusing on the need to align mobility policies to directly support the business objectives, he said. On the global scale, however, India has a long way to go. New Delhi was ranked 119 and Mumbai 125, compared with 73 for Shanghai and 90 for Beijing, in the Global 150 Cities Index that lists locations according to the financial and lifestyle benefits they offer. The index highlights the cities that have the ideal combination of high salaries, low taxes and costs, and quality of life. Zurich and Geneva in Switzerland top the ranking, followed by Luxembourg, Munich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Toronto, Calgary (Canada) and San Francisco in the Top 10. AIRINC researched and evaluated more than 2,500 cities based upon over 60 hardship components, classified into 11 categories including physical threat and safety, discomfort, and inconvenience. The survey combined local salary levels, tax rates, living costs and living conditions to assess the attractiveness of each location to arrive at the ranking. In terms of lifestyle benefits, New Delhi was at 119 and Mumbai at 120. Based on financial benefits, the Indian capital was at 118 and Mumbai at 129. Factors such as low salaries against global scale and environmental issues seem to have hurt the ranking for Indian cities. “While individual companies have little control over environmental factors, they can determine incentives to sweeten the offer with regard to salaries, housing, hardship premiums and educational allowances,” the survey said.
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