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Showing posts with label BUSINESS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BUSINESS. Show all posts

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Nykaa Has Listed. Now What?

 

For all the bravado that has been strutted across the IPO red carpet, Falguni Nayar has displayed both her entrepreneurial chops and her financial expertise.

Mitali Mukherjee

For Falguni Nayar, life has come full circle. As an investment banker at Kotak Mahindra Bank for close to two decades, Nayar steered many businesses into the equity market port. This time round, she brings her own labour of love – Nykaa – to the primary market, valued at a staggering $7 billion plus.

Nykaa, like many other tech unicorns entering the equity market, got a rousing response. It was subscribed 81.78 times on the last day of subscription. There was massive interest from institutional investors (subscribed 91.18 times) but retail wasn’t shabby either, at 12.24 times.

So what is Nykaa about? The story goes that Nayar was at a five-star hotel, where the salon didn’t stock the specific shade of nail polish she was looking for. The gap in choice planted the seed of the Nykaa idea in her mind.  She also spotted wide inconsistencies in the beauty items marketed in India compared to other countries. There was a hugely fragmented beauty market, lack of product availability and most importantly, nobody tapping into the robust and growing demand in non-metro cities.

Nykaa is in a fantastic space where it straddles the beauty and personal care (BPC) and fashion market, while also capitalising on a strong digital and online presence – at last count, Nykaa had over five million monthly active users, 70 stores across India and over 500 brands and 1,30,000 products available via its website, app as well as stores. Not to mention considerable social media muscle with 1.5 million followers on Instagram.

What’s the downside here ? Let’s go one by one.

Valuation

Valuations for Nykaa are certainly expensive. Nykaa at IPO has been valued at a lofty 21.8 times FY21 EV to sales and 16.1 times FY22 enterprise value/sales on a post issue and annualised basis. The irony here is that even with those valuations, it is cheaper than some recent listed unicorns like CarTrade and Zomato.

What stands out is Nykaa’s bottom-line; it is one of the rare unicorns that turned net profit positive in FY21. Nykaa’s revenue have grown at a brisk 48% CAGR over FY19-21. It has also managed to keep a strong margin profile alongside – gross profit margins for the quarter was 40.6% compared to 39% for the full year FY21. By the end of its first trading session, Nykaa trades at an eye-popping 18.5x -19x FY24E sales.

Fashion

While Nykaa has enjoyed first mover advantage in the BPC market, the going may not be as smooth with its fashion foray. It’s a highly populated space and one that has many existing players. As Elara Capital points out, successful execution in the fashion segment is the key to a valuation re-rating for Nykaa in the mid-to-long term as it doesn’t enjoy the first-mover advantage in the fashion segment. That’s currently dominated by incumbents like Ajio, Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart etc.

Own brand vs others

Nayar has stated that the fashion and beauty unicorn plans to enter the Middle East market initially and is also looking at the UK, which may lead its way into other countries in Europe. She has also voiced her vision of transforming the company plans from a multi-brand retailer into a ‘house of brands’ going ahead. But the trick will be maintaining brands on an “even platform” and not pushing or promoting Nykaa’s own brand, something Amazon has done quite aggressively.

The other potential downside for Nykaa is ironically its own customer base. Just like the FMCG market, the BPC space can see quite a bit of elasticity and downtrading – to put it simply, in an environment where spending and consumption drops, consumers quickly shift to a lower priced product for the same item, or as could be the case for BPC, even a knock-off lip liner or moisturiser.

So, where does Nykaa go from here?

As of August 31, 2021, Nykaa had cumulative downloads of 55.8 million across all their mobile applications. Nykaa had posted a net profit of Rs 61.9 crore in FY21 compared to a loss of Rs 16.3 crore in FY20. Nykaa opened its first physical store in 2014, and has 80 physical stores across 40 cities as of August 31, 2021.

Here’s why I believe Nykaa stands out. Nykaa has good bones. It is one of the rare unicorns that is profitable as it enters the market, unlike several others where profitability is not even on the table for conversation. Second, it has clearly stated goals that don’t point only to cash burn. Nykaa plans to use the proceeds from the IPO for expansion, to set up new retail stores and establish new warehouses. It also plans to retire some of its debt (never a bad idea), which should bring down interest costs and further shore up its profitability.


Third, management and ownership. Falguni Nayar, Sanjay Nayar, Falguni Nayar Family Trust and Sanjay Nayar Family Trust are the key promoters. They have a 45.99% shareholding in the company. The total shareholding, including that of the promoter group, is 54.22%. Nykaa’s ownership pattern suggests the promoter family is invested in the future of the business and intends to remain deeply engaged with it.

Is it expensive? Absolutely. Did the promoters sense an opportunity in the booming IPO market and price it that way? Very likely; just ahead of receiving SEBI’s approval for its IPO, Nykaa raised its fresh issue size to Rs 630 crore. However, for all the bravado that has been strutted across the IPO red carpet, Nayar has displayed both her entrepreneurial chops and her financial expertise.

The big question, is it still a buy? On this one, I’m going to stick my neck out and say despite the steep price, this is a business with a future and leadership.

An end note – I noted with amusement the boys’ club behaviour that many of the large sized IPO founders have extended to each other. Ahead of Zomato’s listing, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma tweeted: “Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday Dear @Zomato! May your stock market debut be super-duper. Wishing this, on behalf of every @Paytm user. As Paytm’s IPO opened, Zomato returned the favour with this tweet, “Dear @paytm, wishing you the best of luck for today! if you need some dahi shakkar for good luck, ice cream for the stress, or some sweets for celebrations (wink wink) we are right here!”

No such bonhomie was evident for Nykaa. With a market cap of Rs 1 lakh crore, looks like they don’t need it either. 

SOURCE ; THE WIRE

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Monday, 8 November 2021

More Than 11,000 Businesspersons Died by Suicide in 2020, a 29% Jump From 2019: NCRB

 

Karnataka recorded the maximum number (1,772) of deaths by suicides of businesspersons in 2020 – a 103% increase from 2019, followed by Maharashtra (1,610) and Tamil Nadu (1,447).


New Delhi: In 2020, when COVID-19 halted trade and ravaged businesses across the country, as many as 11,716 businesspersons died by suicide, a 29% jump from 2019 when 9,052 businesspersons had taken their own lives, found latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The latest ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’ report said that of these over 11,000 deaths, suicides among “tradesmen” increased by 50% – from 2,906 in 2019 to 4,356 in 2020 – the highest across categories of business community. As many as 4,226 “vendors” died by suicide last year, with the rest being accounted for in the category of “other businesses”.

Karnataka recorded the maximum number (1,772) of deaths by suicides of businesspersons in 2020 – a 103% increase from 2019, when 875 businesspersons had taken their own lives in the state.

As many as 1,610 businesspersons died by suicide in Maharashtra, a 25% jump from the previous year, and 1,447 died in Tamil Nadu, a 36% jump from 2019. (Maharashtra has the highest number of MSMEs in the country with 28.38 lakh MSMEs registered, followed by Tamil Nadu with 15.4 lakh MSMEs.)

“The major share of India’s businessperson community belongs to the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who are extremely vulnerable to shocks and COVID-19 has hurt them the most,” professor Praveen Jha of JNU’s Centre for Economic Studies and Planning told The Print. “These small businessmen are not assured of support during the crisis and the government of India helped them with too little, and too late — that too mostly monetary in nature (in the form of loans) and not fiscal support (stimulus cheques),” he further said.

Arun Kumar, economist and professor at the Institute of Social Sciences in Delhi, told The Print, “When people stopped going to shops and markets and ordered everything online , it hurt the local shopkeepers… Most of these micro entities work on a very tiny capital; so, if they run out of work for a long duration, they are out of money very soon. Not earning money at all but still having to take care of the families pushes them to depression.”


The impact of COVID-19 in MSMEs

An EY survey amongst 1,000 MSME entrepreneurs highlighted that more than 70% of the respondents were impacted during COVID-19 because of reduced orders, loss in business, availability of raw material, and liquidity issues, the Economic Times had reported. In India, MSMEs account for about 99% of all enterprises, comprising 63 million MSMEs across various industries.

These small firms contribute 29% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) and comprise almost half of its exports.

The Union government had announced measures aimed at solving liquidity concerns faced by MSMEs due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had also announced a slew of measures to provide liquidity and support to MSMEs and small businesses, reeling under an acute cash crunch due to the pandemic. However, a parliamentary panel report in July noted that MSMEs need more support and the stimulus provided by the government is “inadequate”, the Indian Express reported.

The committee, chaired by Rajya Sabha MP K. Keshava Rao, said that the Union government did not conduct any study to ascertain the extent of losses suffered by MSMEs due to the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government. It also called for a detailed examination of the issue.

The Print reported that in 2018, two years after demonetisation and a year after the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST),  deaths by suicide of businesspersons rose by 3%, and in 2019, it grew by 13%.

Professor Kumar further told the Print that India’s GDP doesn’t capture the trends in the unorganised sector, which has been on constant decline since demonetisation and the implementation of GST.  “The small business community, which employs 94% of the workforce, suffered the most and hadn’t completely revived from the pains of the two, when COVID-19 landed,” he said.

If you know someone – friend or family member – at risk of suicide, please reach out to them. The Suicide Prevention India Foundation maintains a list of telephone numbers they can call to speak in confidence. Icall, a counselling service run by TISS, has maintained a crowdsourced list of therapists across the country. You could also take them to the nearest hospital. 

SOURCE  ; THE WIRE

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Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Facebook ends facial recognition system and deletes 1bn ‘faceprints’

 

The announcement came as the tech giant battles one of its worst crises ever, with reams of internal documents leaked to reporters, lawmakers and US regulators fuelling fresh calls for government regulation.

FILE PHOTO: This file illustration photo taken on July 4, 2019 in Nantes, shows the logo of the US online social media and social networking service, Facebook.
FILE PHOTO: This file illustration photo taken on July 4, 2019 in Nantes, shows the logo of the US online social media and social networking service, Facebook. (AFP)

Facebook has said it will shut down its face-recognition system and delete the faceprints of more than 1 billion people.

“This change will represent one of the largest shifts in facial recognition usage in the technology’s history,” said a blog post Tuesday from Jerome Pesenti, vice president of artificial intelligence for Facebook’s new parent company, Meta. “More than a third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted in to our Face Recognition setting and are able to be recognised, and its removal will result in the deletion of more than a billion people’s individual facial recognition templates.”

He said the company was trying to weigh the positive use cases for the technology “against growing societal concerns, especially as regulators have yet to provide clear rules.”

Facebook’s about-face follows its Thursday announcement that it was renaming itself Meta in order to focus on building technology for what it envisions as the next iteration of the internet – the “metaverse.” The company is also facing perhaps its biggest public relation crisis to date after leaked documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen showed that it has known about the harms its products cause and often did little or nothing to mitigate them.

More than a third of Facebook’s daily active users have opted in to have their faces recognised by the social network’s system. That’s about 640 million people. But Facebook has recently begun scaling back its use of facial recognition after introducing it more than a decade ago.


 

Concerns on false identifications

The company in 2019 ended its practice of using face recognition software to identify users’ friends in uploaded photos and automatically suggesting they “tag” them. Facebook was sued in Illinois over the tag suggestion feature.

Some US cities have moved to ban the use of facial recognition software by police and other municipal departments. In 2019, San Francisco became the first US city to outlaw the technology, which has long alarmed privacy and civil liberties advocates.

Meta’s wary approach to facial recognition follows decisions by other US tech giants such as Amazon, Microsoft and IBM last year to end or pause their sales of facial recognition software to police, citing concerns about false identifications and amid a broader US reckoning over policing and racial injustice.

Researchers and privacy activists have spent years raising questions about the technology, citing studies that found it worked unevenly across boundaries of race, gender or age.

Concerns also have grown because of increasing awareness of the Chinese government’s extensive video surveillance system, especially as it’s been employed in a region home to one of China’s largely Muslim ethnic minority populations.


Source: AP 

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Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Yahoo withdraws from China over ‘challenging environment’

 

The company has officially stopped operations in mainland China as of November 1, becoming the second US-based tech company to leave the country after Microsoft’s LinkedIn.

Previously, Yahoo's operations in China had been downsized and some services including the Yahoo web portal had been blocked.
Previously, Yahoo's operations in China had been downsized and some services including the Yahoo web portal had been blocked. (AP)

Yahoo Inc. has pulled out of China, citing an “increasingly challenging business and legal environment.”

“In recognition of the increasingly challenging business and legal environment in China, Yahoo’s suite of services will no longer be accessible from mainland China as of November 1,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Visitors to Yahoo's website in China are now redirected to a brief statement announcing the closure.

The company said it “remains committed to the rights of our users and a free and open internet.”

Foreign tech companies have long walked a tightrope in China, forced to comply with strict local laws and government censorship of content.

Chinese authorities maintain a firm grip on internet censorship in the country and require companies to censor content and keywords deemed politically sensitive or inappropriate. 


The company's withdrawal coincided with the implementation of China's Personal Information Protection Law, which limits what information companies can gather and sets standards for how it must be stored.

Chinese laws also stipulate that companies operating in the country must hand over data if requested by authorities, making it difficult for Western firms to operate in China as they may also face pressure back home over giving in to China's demands.

Yahoo was lambasted by lawmakers in the US in 2007 after it handed over data on two Chinese dissidents to Beijing, eventually leading to their imprisonment.

READ MORE: China announces rules to tighten control over company data transfer

A "largely symbolic" move

Yahoo had previously downsized its operations in China, and in 2015 shuttered its Beijing office.

Its withdrawal from the country is largely symbolic as at least some of Yahoo’s services, including its web portal, have already been blocked.

China has also blocked most international social media sites and search engines, such as Facebook and Google. Users in China who wish to access these services circumvent the block by using a virtual private network (VPN).

Yahoo also previously operated a music and email service in China, but both services were also stopped in the early 2010s.

Yahoo is the second large US technology company to reduce its operations in China in recent weeks. Last month, Microsoft’s professional networking platform LinkedIn said it would shutter its Chinese site, replacing it with a jobs board instead.


Source: TRTWorld and agencies 

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Friday, 29 October 2021

Ministry of Textiles

  

52nd edition of IHGF-DELHI FAIR – AUTUMN 2021 inaugurated

The Fair will promote business and greater exports of handicrafts from India: Shri Piyush Goyal

More than 1500 exhibitors, pre-registered buyers from 90 nations, theme presentations, regional crafts, seminars and craft demonstrations define 4 days show

Handicrafts exports registers a growth of over 60.34%


The 52nd edition of IHGF-DELHI FAIR – AUTUMN 2021 being held from 28th to 31st October 2021 at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida Expressway , was inaugurated today by Shri Ramdas Athawale, Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment in the presence of Mr. U P Singh , IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Textiles; Mr. Shantmanu, IAS, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts); Mr. Raj K Malhotra, Chairman,Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts ( EPCH), Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH. 

Inaugurating the Fair, Shri Ramdas Athawale said  that participation of several artisan clusters would go a long way in empowering those striving at the grassroots level. He assured of his ministry’s support towards EPCH’sfuture endeavours in empowering artisans and crafts persons across various  segments of the sector. Such shows are instrumental in nurturing their potential, he emphasised.  Commending EPCH on the multi- dimensional and wholesome representation of the entire industry, the ministerexpressed hope  thatthe first physical fair after the pandemic will  grow in all aspects in future. After 3 virtual editions, the buyers and sellers have come face to face after a gap of two years, for the 52nd IHGF Delhi Fair, is a matter of pride, he added.

 

Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry in his message said it is heartening to seethatat a time when the world’s largest vaccination programme is in full swing, the physical exhibition is  taking place, providing an opportunity for exhibitors & buyers to meet in person for transacting business. He hoped that this event will pave way for bigger and better editions of the fair in the near future, and in the process, promote greater exports of handicrafts from India.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri  U P Singh, Secretary Textiles, Ministry of Textiles said that it is commendable that even during the pandemic when all physical activities were on hold, EPCH was the first Council to organize its fairs on virtual platform and now when things are getting back to normal, the 52nd edition of IHGF Delhi Fair resumes its physical mode. He applauded the segment in contributing to an exemplary export growth of 60% during the 1st six months of 2021-22 despite difficulties & challenges faced by the exporters during the two years of the pandemic. Now that the situation looks hopeful things could get better and more fruitful here on. He added, since the business of handicrafts and gifts entails touch and feel factor, he is hopeful that the resumption of physical fairs would result in increase in the number of orders booked and business generated, thereby creating new jobs and opportunities for exporters, entrepreneurs and artisans.

Commenting on the fair, Mr. Shantmanu, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) appreciated the inclusion of several regional artisanal products from J&K, Rajasthan, Southern and North Eastern Regions, in Theme and Collective Presentations at the show, especially those made from eco-friendly and natural materials. He hoped that the display of these items would certainly create awareness and demand of these products amongst the visitors.

Mr. Raj Kumar Malhotra, Chairman, EPCH mentioned that it has been proved once again by the Council that with sheer hard work and dedication one can always overcome difficult times and convert challenges into opportunities by preparing for better times. “This edition of the IHGF Fair facilitates in-person interactions and provides a viable marketing option to the exhibitors and buyers. With an extensive publicity campaign undertaken by EPCH, a large number of overseas buyers, wholesalers and retailers have already registered to visit the show,” he added.

Reflecting on the optimistic sentiment of the handicrafts industry, Dr. Rakesh Kumar, Director General, EPCH, said, “Post initial desperation during the pandemic, our members went into strategic and creative use of resources to develop new products and adopt lean manufacturing ideas. With their preparedness, India is steadily gearing to be the preferred supplier in home, lifestyle, fashion, textiles and furniture products.” He further informed about Theme Pavilions depicting crafts from North Eastern Region, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan and Southern Region with a plethora of vibrant lines that will be among attractions for the visiting overseas buying community.

 EPCH is a nodal agency for promoting exports of handicrafts from the Country to various destinations of the world and projecting India’s image abroad as a reliable supplier of high quality handicrafts goods & services. More than 1500 exhibitors, pre-registered buyers from 90 nations, theme presentations, regional crafts, seminarsand craft demonstrations will define IHGF-DELHI FAIR – AUTUMN 2021.

The Handicrafts exports during the Six months of current financial year from April to September, 2021-22 isRs. 15995.73 Crores registering a growth of over 60.34% over the same period in last year. 

source ;pib 


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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Google's parent Alphabet reports better-than-expected quarterly profits

 

The surge in Alphabet's earnings comes as the tech giant faces increased scrutiny from regulators regarding its power and shifting of the lockdown lifestyles that have so benefited Big Tech.

Google's revenue increased 41 percent in the third quarter of 2021.
Google's revenue increased 41 percent in the third quarter of 2021. (AFP)

Google's parent company Alphabet has beat quarterly earnings expectations, raking in $18.9 billion in profit as its online ad engine and cloud services thrived.

Alphabet's profits jumped from $11.2 billion in a 69 percent increase year-on-year, increasing 41 percent in the third quarter of 2021, according to its financial results released on Tuesday.

The company's revenue rose to $65.1 billion in the July-September period from nearly $46.2 billion in the same period last year.

Google is the world's dominant search engine, owns the biggest mobile operating system in Android and runs the behemoth video site YouTube. 

"This quarter's results show how our (artificial intelligence) investments are enabling us to build more helpful products for people and our partners," said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google.

 "As the digital transformation and shift to hybrid work continue, our Cloud services are helping organizations collaborate," he added. 



From July to September, its video service YouTube generated $7.2 billion of revenue from advertising, against $5 billion in the same period last year, according to Alphabet. 

Its remote-computing business Google Cloud saw nearly $5 billion in revenue, up 45 percent over the previous year.

Total revenue from Google advertising brought in $53.1 billion.

Alphabet's stock price was up 0.05 percent in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq.

The surge in Alphabet's earnings comes as the tech giant faces increased scrutiny from regulators regarding its power and shifting of the lockdown lifestyles that have so benefited Big Tech.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies 

Social media is bold.


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Social media raises questions.

 Social media is not satisfied with an answer.

Social media looks at the big picture.

 Social media is interested in every detail.

social media is curious.

 Social media is free.

Social media is irreplaceable.

But never irrelevant.

Social media is you.

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Thursday, 21 October 2021

Explained: The Why and Why Now of the Stock Market's Continuing Rise

 

There is an edgy tension to the stock market universe; minor corrections lead to nervous chatter about the much awaited fall. But they are swallowed up so quickly that one cannot yet give up on this surging wave.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

EU will tweak Global Minimum Tax Rule to avoid Legal Pitfalls

 European Union.jpg 

The European Union’s implementation of the global agreement on a 15% minimum corporate tax rate will see the rate applied within each country of the bloc as well as in cross-border situations, a senior European Commission official said.

The tweak to the international deal will be necessary within the European Union to avoid legal challenges related to the bloc’s requirement for equal treatment of companies, Benjamin Angel, the commission’s director for direct taxation, said Wednesday. He spoke at a seminar organized by the EU Tax Observatory and two Austrian trade union organizations.

Source Link

 

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Inflation fears take toll on European stocks ahead of earnings

       

  Inflation fears take toll on European stocks ahead of earnings

By Sruthi Shankar

(Reuters) -European shares fell on Tuesday as investors worried that soaring commodity prices would hamper a recovery in corporate profit, with fresh signs of troubles at property developer China Evergrande also hitting confidence.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.6% in morning trading, hovering about 5% below its August peak. Asian stocks also fell after Evergrande missed its third round of bond payments in three weeks. [MKTS/GLOB]

Mining stocks gave up some of Monday's strong gains as a rally in commodity prices lost some steam, while banks and automakers shed more than 1%. [O/R] [MET/L]

"Going into Q4 we're usually quite strong but with earnings season and inflation combining at this point in time, we're seeing risk-off," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trader IG.

"But notably US banks were much stronger the last few days and are going back towards record highs in many cases, and that's more an indication of where the strength is and where the enthusiasm is for the earnings season at the moment."

U.S. bank JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) is set to kick off earnings on Wednesday, while France's LVMH will set the tone for luxury goods makers in Europe with its report later in the day.

Worries about soaring energy prices and other supply chain constraints have clouded the outlook for third-quarter earnings season as a post-lockdown momentum in the global economy cools and major central banks consider withdrawing stimulus.

The STOXX 600 is nearly flat on the month, in percentage terms, after shedding 3.4% in September.

Low-cost airline EasyJet fell 2.5% after it estimated a loss of above 1 billion pounds for the 12 months ended September.

Airbus slipped 1.9% as the world's largest planemaker's deliveries were flat in September versus the previous month.

Freight forwarder DSV inched up 1.9% after it raised its earnings expectations for the year, citing brisk business activity in the third quarter and continued tight capacity in the market.

Automakers were down 1.5% as data showed auto sales in China - a major trading partner of Europe - slumped 19.6% in September as a prolonged global shortage of semiconductors and a domestic power crunch disrupt production.

Defensive sectors such as utilities and real estate were the among the few gainers.

SOURCE ; .investing.com/ 

  


    

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Pandora Papers reveal widespread tax evasion and hidden assets of world leaders

Pandora Papers reveal widespread tax evasion and hidden assets of world leaders   

Pandora Papers reveal widespread tax evasion and hidden assets of world leaders

 

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) published a report Sunday revealing the secrets of numerous wealthy elites and world leaders who have been using secret accounts to hide their assets. The investigation was based on a leak of around 12 million confidential records from 14 off-shore service providers. The documents cover a wide range of subjects including complex financial schemes for avoiding taxes, the creation of shell companies, the moving of money between banks, and a variety of different investments.

The ICIJ is a US-based non-profit organization that has conducted similar investigations in the past, including the Panama Papers, which won a Pulitzer Prize. This 2021 investigation is slightly different as it is based on records from these 14 off-shore service providers, whereas the 2016 investigation of the Panama Papers was based on only the records from only a single law firm. The Panama Papers implicated the names of 12 heads of state and caused significant turmoil across the world.

The Pandora Papers investigation has exposed 35 high-profile names of various presidents, prime ministers, royals, and elected officials as well as some of their family members and closest associates. The investigation revealed in detail how these individuals stashed assets in a covert financial system with the help of firms and established companies in secrecy jurisdictions with low financial regulation. Among the 35 names is Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who is standing for the parliamentary election next week. According to the papers, he allegedly purchased a chateau in France worth $22 million using offshore companies and did not declare this investment. Mr. Babis immediately responded to the Pandora Papers with a tweet, “I have never done anything illegal or wrong, but that does not prevent them from trying to denigrate me again and influence the Czech parliamentary elections.” Some other prominent names which have also been revealed are the Arab Emirates United Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al MaktoumKing Abdulla II of Jordan (who allegedly bought luxury homes worth $100 million in the UK and the US using offshore companies), Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta (who amassed more than $30m of offshore wealth). The document notably exposes the inner circle of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, who ironically came into power by ousting the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after his corruption was exposed in the 2016 Panama Papers. Apart from world leaders, pop music diva Shakira and India’s cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar have also been named in the papers.

These transactions have been linked to tax evasion, money laundering, and hiding assets from criminal investigators. The investigation also highlighted the off-shore system and the major service providers. Specifically, Alcogal, which is headquartered in Panama, and Trident Trust, which is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, were both found to have an unusually large number of current and former politicians and public officials as clients.

SOURCE ;  //www.jurist.org/

 

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp back online after global outage

 

Facebook, along with its Instagram and WhatsApp platforms, suffered a worldwide outage for hours, a day after a whistleblower accused Facebook of repeatedly prioritising profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation.

Computer scientists speculate that a bug introduced by a configuration change in Facebook’s routing management system could be to blame.
Computer scientists speculate that a bug introduced by a configuration change in Facebook’s routing management system could be to blame. (AFP)

Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp services were back online after a massive and lengthy outage that added to the social network's woes.

Facebook's family of apps essentially "disappeared" from the internet for several hours after a traffic routing problem that made the sites unreachable by users, said Cloudflare on Tuesday, a website security company. 

Around 5:45 pm ET, some Facebook users began to regain partial access to the social media app. WhatsApp continued to have connection problems for at least some people.

The outage began around noon Eastern time (1600 GMT) on Monday.

Facebook cited faulty configuration changes on its routers as the root cause of the nearly six-hour outage.

"Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication," Facebook said on Monday.

On Sunday, a whistleblower accused Facebook of repeatedly prioritising profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation. The firm owns Instagram and WhatsApp.

Shares of Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion daily active users, opened lower after the weekend whistleblower report and slipped further to trade down 5.3 percent in afternoon trading on Monday. 

They were on track for their worst day in nearly a year, amid a broader selloff in technology stocks on Monday.

 

 

Internal mistake or sabotage by insider?

Facebook was inaccessible because users were not being directed to the correct place by the Domain Name System. Facebook itself controls the relevant settings, suggesting the problem was an internal one.

Security experts said the disruption could be the result of an internal mistake, though sabotage by an insider would be theoretically possible.

DNS allows web addresses to take users to their destinations. A similar outage at cloud company Akamai Technologies Inc took down multiple websites in July.

An outside hack was viewed as less likely.

A massive denial-of-service attack that could overwhelm one of the world's most popular sites would require either coordination among powerful criminal groups or a very innovative technique, security experts said.

 

 

 

Facebook trying to get site working

Facebook acknowledged users were having trouble accessing its apps but did not provide any specifics about the nature of the problem or how many were affected by the outage.

"We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologise for any inconvenience," Facebook tweeted about 30 minutes after the first reports of the outage.

One Facebook employee told Reuters news agency that all internal tools were down. 

Facebook's response was made much more difficult because employees lost access to some of their own tools in the shutdown, people tracking the matter said.

Multiple employees said they had not been told what had gone wrong.

The social media giant, which is the second largest digital advertising platform in the world, was losing about $545,000 in US ad revenue per hour during the outage, according to estimates from ad measurement firm Standard Media Index.

The estimates were based on total Facebook and Instagram ad spending from major advertising agencies from January to August this year.

 

 

 

Similar widespread outages

Downdetector - which only tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform - showed there were more than 50,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Facebook and Instagram. 

The outage might be affecting a larger number of users.

WhatsApp, the social-media giant's instant messaging platform, was also down for over 35,000 users, while Messenger was down for nearly 9,800 users.

Facebook has experienced similar widespread outages with its suite of apps this year in March and July.

Several users using their Facebook credentials to log in to third-party apps such as Pokemon Go and Match Masters were also facing issues.

"If your game isn't running as usual please note that there's been an issue with Facebook login servers and the moment this gets fixed all will be back to normal," puzzle game app Match Masters said on its Twitter account.

Susceptible to social engineering

So many people are reliant on Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram as a primary mode of communication that losing access for so long can make them vulnerable to criminals taking advantage of the outage, said Rachel Tobac, a hacker and CEO of SocialProof Security.

"They don't know how to contact the people in their lives without it," she said. 

"They’re more susceptible to social engineering because they’re so desperate to communicate."

Tobac said during previous outages, some people have received emails promising to restore their social media account by clicking on a malicious link that can expose their personal data.

Jake Williams, chief technical officer of the cybersecurity firm BreachQuest, said that while foul play cannot be completely ruled out, chances were good that the outage is "an operational issue" caused by human error.

 

 

A world of hurt'

Computer scientists speculated that a bug introduced by a configuration change in Facebook’s routing management system could be to blame. 

Columbia University computer scientist Steven Bellovin tweeted that he expected Facebook would first try an automated recovery in such a case. 

If that failed, it could be in for "a world of hurt" — because it would need to order manual changes at outside data centres, he added.

"What it boils down to: running a LARGE, even by Internet standards, a distributed system is very hard, even for the very best," Bellovin tweeted.

 

 

 

 

Twitter, meanwhile, chimed in from the company's main Twitter account, posting "hello literally everyone" as jokes and memes about the Facebook outage flooded the platform. 

Later, as an unverified screenshot suggesting that the facebook.com address was for sale circulated, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted, "how much?"

Source: TRTWorld and agencies 

Monday, 4 October 2021

Tesla, Merck Rise Premarket; 3M Falls

 Tesla, Merck Rise Premarket; 3M Falls 

 


   


  


   




  Stocks in focus in premarket trade on Monday, October 4th. Please refresh for updates. 

  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock rose 2.8% after the electric car maker recorded a 73% jump in  

    deliveries in the third quarter, staying on course to meet ambitious full-year targets despite the global semiconductor chips shortage.

  • Merck (NYSE:MRK) stock rose 2.8%, continuing Friday’s sharp gains on the back of the drugmaker announcing encouraging news about its experimental antiviral oral treatment for Covid-19. On the flip side, the stocks of rivals Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) have fallen 4.8% and 3.9% respectively.

  • 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) stock fell 1.7% on the back of a federal jury awarding an army veteran $8.2 million, the biggest verdict yet against the company in mass tort litigation over its combat earplugs.

  • Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) stock rose 1.6% after Barclays (LON:BARC) upgraded the freight-hauling railroad to ‘overweight’ from ‘equal weight’, saying the railroad industry will rebound as the current supply chain issues are fixed.

  • DuPont (NYSE:DD) stock climbed 2.6% after JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) upgraded its recommendation to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’, saying the the underperforming stock can rebound by more than 20%.

  • Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) stock rose 1% after the airline reinstated its original third-quarter revenue forecast, after cutting it a month ago. It also expects 2022 domestic bookings to surpass pre-pandemic levels. 

  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) stock rose 2.5% after Barclays upgraded its investment stance to ‘overweight’ from ‘equal weight’, saying it favors the low-cost, low-fare carriers as traffic increases.

 SOURCE ; /www.investing.com


Friday, 24 September 2021

Evergrande's second-biggest shareholder plans complete exit

 

Chinese Estates, which owned about 6.5 percent of Evergrande's equity capital as of September 10, sold $32 million worth of its Evergrande stake. The company is preparing to sell its entire holding.

The logo of China Evergrande Group seen on the Evergrande Center in Shanghai, China on September 22, 2021.
The logo of China Evergrande Group seen on the Evergrande Center in Shanghai, China on September 22, 2021. (Reuters)

Chinese Estates Holdings, the second-biggest shareholder of embattled developer China Evergrande, has said that it has sold $32 million worth of its Evergrande stake and plans to exit the holding completely.

"The directors are cautious and concerned about the recent development of China Evergrande Group including certain disclosure made by China Evergrande Group on its liquidity," Chinese Estates said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

With $305 billion in liabilities, Evergrande is struggling to meet its debt obligations and investors worry that the rot could spread to creditors including banks in China and abroad.


Shares of Chinese Estates jumped as much as 15.1 percent in early trading to HK$2.51, notching the biggest daily percentage gain since June 2020.

China Evergrande stock soared as much as 32 percent in the biggest daily percentage rise since listing in November 2009, after its unit said on Wednesday it had "resolved" a coupon payment on an onshore bond.

Chinese Estates, which owned about 6.5 percent of Evergrande's equity capital as of September 10 according to Refinitiv Eikon data, said it has mandated a sale of all or part of the remaining 5.66 percent Evergrande stake either on the market or through block trades.

The disposal mandate will be valid for 12 months from the date of a shareholders' meeting on Sept. 23 to approve the sale, it said.


Chinese Estates said it had already sold 108.91 million shares, or 0.82 percent, of Evergrande's issued share capital between Aug. 30 and Sept. 21 for HK$246.5 million ($32 million).

The company estimated that if the entire stake is sold, it will realise a loss of about HK$9,486.3 million ($1.22 billion) for the year ending in December 2021.

Proceeds from the disposals will be used for general working capital and for reinvestment when opportunities arise, it added. ($1 = 7.786 Hong Kong dollars)

 

 

 Source: Reuters 

EU to impose one charger for all phones, in blow to Apple

 

Apple, which already uses USB-C connectors on some of its iPads and laptop computers, insists law to force a universal charger for all mobiles in European Union is unwarranted.

European consumers spent approximately $2.8 billion annually on standalone chargers they bought separately, says EU.
European consumers spent approximately $2.8 billion annually on standalone chargers they bought separately, says EU. (AP)

The European Union has announced that it will impose a universal charger for smartphones, setting up a clash with Apple and its widely used iPhone.

"European consumers have been frustrated long enough about incompatible chargers piling up in their drawers," said EU executive vice president Margrethe Vestager in a statement on Thursday.

"We gave industry plenty of time to come up with their own solutions, now time is ripe for legislative action for a common charger," she said.

The European Commission believes a standard cable for all devices will cut back on electronic waste, but Apple argues that a one-size fits all charger would slow innovation and create more pollution.

The bloc is home to 450 million people, some of the world's richest consumers, and the imposition of the USB-C as a cable standard, once approved by member states and the European Parliament, would affect the entire global smartphone market.


USB-C charging ports

Under the proposed law, phones, tablets, digital cameras, handheld video game consoles, headsets, and headphones sold in the European Union would all have to come with USB-C charging ports.

Consumers currently have to decide between phones served by three main chargers: "Lightning" for Apple handsets, the micro-USB widely used on most other mobile phones, and the newer USB-C that is increasingly coming into use.

That range is already greatly simplified from 2009, when dozens of different types of chargers were bundled with mobile phones, creating piles of electronic garbage when users changed brands.


'Inconvenient' and wasteful

The EU said the current situation remained "inconvenient" and that European consumers spent approximately $2.8 billion annually on standalone chargers they bought separately.

Thierry Breton, the internal market commissioner also pushed back against the industry's argument that innovation would be harmed.

He told reporters that US tech giants "are always making this argument, that (EU law) is against innovation ... It is not against innovation. It is for European consumers, it is not against anyone."

Apple, which already uses USB-C connectors on some of its iPads and laptop computers, insists legislation to force a universal charger for all mobiles in the European Union is unwarranted.

"We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world," Apple said.


 

Smartphone companies given 'ample time'

Some in the industry argue that phones already in use with a legacy charging cable will lose their resale value if they cannot be replaced, and add to the glut of digital waste.

The European Commission had long defended a voluntary agreement it made with the device industry that was set in place in 2009 and saw a big reduction in cables, but Apple refused to abide by it.

In the commission's proposal, which could yet be considerably changed before ratification, smartphone makers will be given a 24-month transition period, giving "ample time" for companies to fall in line, the commission said.

Apple said that it believed the two-year transition period was a worry for the industry and too short to prevent the sale of existing equipment.

EU consumer group ANEC cautiously welcomed the proposal but urged that the plan be expanded to wireless charging systems, which are increasingly being adopted by phone makers.

"It is therefore important to avoid any fragmentation in this area as well," the group said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies
 
 

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Centre’s Plan For Tighter E-Commerce Rules Faces Internal Dissent

 

The Ministry of Finance described some proposals as "excessive" and "without economic rationale".

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises

  

MSME Tool Room CITD, Hyderabad bags Patent for “Anaar” (Fireworks) making Machine

Another step towards Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Industrial Safety

by PIB Delhi

The MSME Tool Room, Hyderabad,Central Institute of Tool Design (CITD) has obtained a patent for the invention entitled "AUTOMATIC MACHINE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CONICAL SHAPED FIREWORKS" for 20 years from the 10th November,2015.

Central Institute of Tool Design signed an MOU with M/s. Standard Fireworks Pvt. Ltd.,(SFPL), Sivakasi and finalized orders worth Rs11.49 crorefor machines for automation processes for various firework projects.SFPL initially had placed an order worth Rs300 lakh for filling up of flower pots and packing, chakkar filling and chakkar winding.  As a first project, CITD has taken up for Module-1 (consisting of flower pot chemical filling and packing). The total project consists of 10 different stations like paper cutting & pasting, chemical filling, washer insertion &ramming, mud filling & sealing etc. 

The aim of project is to automate the entire above process for relieving human fatigue and to save human from hazardous environment. The entire process is minimal human intervention. Hence, it is safe for humans to handle the machine in Fireworks Industry.

This is the first of its kind with fully indigenous technology. CITD and SFPL  had filed a joint patent  application for this innovation.The uniqueness of machine is that it completely works on pneumatic system for entire process of manufacturing. There is no electrical or electronics system used in process. Therefore, this can avoid most of the fire accidents in field of fireworks industries. Trials were conducted by customer with original chemical in flowerpots and attaining the target production cones of 120 pieces per minute.

The Manual Process of Flowerpot making (Before automation) is shown below :

 

 

FLOWERPOT AUTOMATION (SPM)

The photograph of the Machine is given below

 

 

CITD is a Govt. of India organisation working under the administrative control of Ministry of MSME. It was established in the year 1968 and is a pioneering institution in training technical personnel in the field of Tool Design, CAD/CAM, Low Cost Automation etc. The Institute is conducting  training courses right from Diploma level to Post Graduation.