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Facebook Problems Increase, Shares Fell By 14%

One of the leading social media giants is struggling with the allegation led by various governments on the basis of the security breach and unsecured privacy policy. The data leak of Facebook users through some kind of quiz has led the social media giant to face legal claims with loss figures in billions.

After the controversy surfaced, the company’s shares fell 14% this week. Meanwhile, Mozilla, Commerzbank, Tesla, and many major companies, including SpaceX, have also taken the edge of Facebook right now.

Facebook Problems Increase, Shares Fell By 14%

Elon Musk, a chief executive officer (CEO) of companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, has shut down the Facebook page of its companies after a sharp debate on Twitter. After this, the pages of SpaceX and Tesla are not visible on Facebook. However, both companies have not commented on this.

Mozilla, a creator of the Firefox web browser, wrote on Wednesday on the blog, “We are currently making a distance from Facebook.” Mozilla has not removed his Facebook page right now. Germany’s Commerzbank has also said that it is currently blocking Facebook advertising and is evaluating the safety of the information.

Facebook has dismissed the doubts of the impact on the business. “We have talked with companies this week, most of them have expressed happiness with the steps taken by us to protect the information related to the people,” he said in a statement. They are sure that we will respond better to these challenges and become good partners,” said company officials.

Meanwhile, according to reports from AFP received from London, British regulators have started searching for the offices of Cambridge Analytica, a company involved in the dispute. About 18 officials of the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham’s officials searched the London headquarters of Cambridge Analytica. Denham’s office told on Twitter that the High Court has given approval for the raid on the company’s office.

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Singapore Based Singtel To Pour Rs 2694 Crore In Bharti Airtel

Singapore Telecommunication Limited (Singtel) is planning to increase its stake in Bharti Airtel, the country’s largest telecom company. For this, it will invest Rs 2,649 Crore in Bharti Telecom Limited, Bharti Airtel’s holding company. This stake will be increased through a preferential issue. Bharti Airtel will use the proceeds to reduce the debt.

Singapore Based Singtel To Pour Rs 2694 Crore In Bharti Airtel

Singtel said, “Around 8.55 Million new equity shares will be allotted to Bharti Telecom at a price of Rs 310 per equity share of Singtel International Investments.” Singtel said that this transaction is expected to be completed by March and for this the permission of the shareholders of Bharti Telecom will be necessary. Bharti Telecom is an unlisted company at present.

Bharti Airtel has been facing financial difficulties due to reduction of tariffs to hit Reliance Jio Infocom, who entered the Telecom market some time ago. The company said that it would use the funds from Singtel to reduce the debt. At the end of December 2017, Bharti Airtel had a consolidated debt of Rs 91,714 Crore.

With this investment, Singtel’s stake in Bharti Telecom is expected to boost from 47.17% to 48.90%. Bharti Enterprises’ holding in Sunil Mittal’s company is 50.1%.

As a result, Singtel’s stake in Bharti Airtel will increase 0.9% to 39.5%.This investment of Singtel is being seen as a trustworthy partner for its long term in Bharti Airtel.

Singtel CEO Arthur Lang said, “There is confusion in India, but we have a long-term perspective on our investments in Airtel and there is a strong position as Airtel’s market leader.”

Deven Khanna, Managing Director, Bharti Telecom, said it is the trust of Singtel’s in Airtel and the rising remunerative Indian Telecom Sector is the indication of attraction. Singtel had invested in Bharti Telecom’s rights issue of Rs 2,500 Crore two years ago.

Bharti Airtel’s revenues and profits have been affected due to the price reduction started since Reliance Jio Infocom’s introduction in September 2016. This has also started consolidation in the telecom market of the country.

Idea Cellular, the second largest telecom company in the country, is in the process of merging its business, while Bharti Airtel has bought consumer mobile business of Telenor India and Tata Teleservices.

Anil Ambani’s company Reliance Communications has closed its telecom business. Jio presently has acquired a dominating position in the Indian telecom market with its devastating strategy and affordable plans.

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Market Sentiments Will Be Influenced By Modi’s 2019 Win

Most of the investors have speculated a win for Prime Minister Modi in the second term for the upcoming elections in 2019. Since the PM took over the office, the equity value of the nation had doubled. Therefore, a change in the political air could alter the entire economic structure.

UBS Securities India Pvt. Ltd. stated that the anticipation about the economic agenda of the government has assisted the investors to shove off the weak earnings. Along with it, the expensive valuation of equity beneath the hopes of market expects the return of PM Modi with a majority of the single party.

Market Sentiments Will Be Influenced By Modi’s 2019 Win

India has a system in which a candidate is bestowed with a seat in government if he/she wins a maximum number of votes in a constituency. Therefore, the fragmentation of opposition is the prime component to consider.

The BJP wouldn’t have won the majority, if the prime opposition parties didn’t join hands. However, if the same scenario gets repeated, the side of the majority will be heavier, which might need an exterior intervention to form a government. Therefore, it is very important to study the opposition parties for understanding the alliance.

The performance of BJP in the election of the eight states will also indicate the market sentiments. In December, Gujarat witnessed an all-time low seat of the past two decades.

As a result, the BSE Sensex had also dropped by 2.6% before recovering.

As per the analysts, the results of the state election will not be affecting the stand of BJP as the calculation is simple and doesn’t consider the variations in the voting pattern for the national and state level.

When Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost the election, the Sensex had crashed by 17%.

The rupee is already facing a tough time in the international market and might face harsher scenarios if the political scene changes in the country.

The election is yet to strike the country and the results are highly uncertain.

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GDP Base And CPI To Undergo Revision For Improved Statistics

Currently, 2011–2012 is considered as the base year for the calculation of GDP.

As the Indian economy goes through drastic changes in recent years so the base year for GDP should change as well-feels the government. The NDA government just does not want to change the GDP base rate but also the base year for Index of Industrial Production (IIP) and Consumer Price Index (CPI), as per an announcement made on Thursday. For GDP and IIP the proposed base years are 2017–2018 and for CPI it will be 2018.

GDP Base And CPI To Undergo Revision For Improved Statistics

This declaration was made by the Union Minister of Statistics and Program Implementation, D V Sadananda Gowda when addressing a press meet. He went ahead to say that his ministry will be bringing in more changes in the way statistical reports are run and data is captured in India at present so that the information which is needed to check the current socio economic status of the country is available properly.

He also said that the service sector and the informal sectors at the economy are in need of different kinds of data these days and to fulfill this requirement, the Statistical and Program Implementation department is arranging for new kinds of surveys to address this kind of issue. One such survey will be the Time Use Survey which will reflect the contribution of Indian women in the arena of non-marketable socio-economic activities.

In April 2017 a new survey was launched, named as Labor Force Survey (PLFS) which captured the condition of Indian labor class. The results of this survey will be provided to both government and non-government bodies in the next fiscal year, 2018–2019. Gowda also informed that his ministry is involved in creating a National Data Warehouse which will contain all the essential official statistical data.

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Lower Tax, Higher Incentives—Home Appliance Industry Expectations

Appliance and consumer electronics manufacturers urge government to encourage energy efficient product manufacturing.

Recently, a request has been made by home appliance manufacturing units like Godrej Appliances, Intex, Philips Lightning, and Panasonic to the government to reduce taxes on locally manufactured products. They have also urged the government to increase the import duties and improve the incentives given to domestic product manufacturers.

Lower Tax, Higher Incentives—Home Appliance Industry Expectations

The Appliances and Consumer Electronics (ACE) industry have also requested the government to boost the production of energy saving appliances. As per the industry, the home appliances like refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners are no more luxury items and hence taxes on these must be reduced. The committee has suggested to reduce taxes for 4 and 5 star energy efficient products so that customers adopt these products. The tax bracket for home appliances should also be decreased to 18% from 28%; this suggestion was made by the EVP and business head of Godrej Appliances, Kamal Nandi. He went ahead to add if the government wants more sustainability and success of the “Make in India” initiative, local manufacturing must be incentivized. Panasonic CEO and India and South East Asia president, Manish Sharma spoke in the same line, stating custom duties on imports should be increased so the people are more interested to buy locally made products.

Sumit Joshi, the Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Philips India Lightning welcomed the recent rise in customs duty on finished bulbs and lights; there has been a rise in the customs duty of these items from 10% to 20%. On the other hand, IntexCFO Rajeev Jain has requested for reduction in the GST rate of mobile parts, sub parts and batteries from 28% to 12%.

Keeping in mind the upcoming budget, every sector is expecting something positive and the manufacturing units are not exceptions.

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India Is The 5th Most Attractive Investment Avenue—Survey

India has evolved as the fifth most attractive market for investments as per PwC reports. The findings come on a day of the commencement of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual summit.

As per PwC’s 21st CEO Survey, the US is constant at the top spot when it comes to global investment, while India has bumped into the top 5.

“India’s growth of 9% is more than Japan, which has taken a leap of 8%.

India Is The 5th Most Attractive Investment Avenue—Survey

As per the survey reports, around 54% CEOs plan to increase their staff this year while only 18% are expecting to reduce their headcount.

Not considering the optimism in the world economy, around 40 per cent of CEOs are seriously worried regarding the geopolitical uncertainty and cybercrimes while around 41% feel the same about terrorism.

Other factors that are an issue of concern are availability of key skills amounting to 38% and populism which accounts for 35%.

Terrorism is being considered as among the top ten threats to the increasing growth whereas only 20% felt so in 2017. CEOs are worried due to the threat of over-regulation around 42% are extremely concerned and over 36% are worried about an increase in tax burden.

Between August and November 2017, around 1,293 interviews were conducted with CEOs by PwC which were spread across 85 countries. Apart from it, the sample is weighted by national GDP in order to ensure that CEOs’ views are equally showcased across all major countries.

Around 40% of the companies had revenues of at least $1 billion and 35% firms’ revenues fell between $100 million and $1 billion. Approximately 20% of the companies held revenues of up to $100 million while 56% were privately owned entities.

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Sensex Jump 231 Points To Touch 35000 Mark, IT, Banks Gain

By eliminating the borrowing targets, the benchmark BSE Sensex hits 35,000 level for the very first time.

The 30-share index is elevated by 231.73 points which is 0.66% to 35,002.78. This breaches the intra-day record of 34,963.69 on January 15, 2018.

Seventeen sessions were completed before the index reached the mark of 35,000 from the level of 34,000 on December 26, 2017.

Sensex Jump 231 Points To Touch 35000 Mark, IT, Banks Gain

The robust players in the market are banking, FMCG, IT, and capital goods stocks that assisted the index to reach a fresh milestone with a new high.

The sentiments got a boost after the government depleted the additional requirement of borrowing during the present financial year to Rs. 20,000 crore from a huge amount of Rs 50,000 crore, which was decided earlier. This was stated by an anonymous broker.

The entire sectoral indices that are led by the banking, IT, PSU, healthcare, and capital goods saw a hike up to 1.21%.

The NSE Nifty erupted at 61.15 points, which is 0.57%. This helped it trade at 10,761.60.

As per the analysts, a powerful liquidity in the market that followed a continuous buying by the foreign fund inflows encouraged the earnings of Q3 with a strong assistance from several high performing companies.

The Foreign Portfolio Investors or the FPIs bought the shares that are worth a net of Rs. 693.17 crore. On the other hand, as per the provisional data, the Domestic Institutional Investors or DIIs sold the equities that are worth the net of Rs. 246.38 crore the last day.

The top-notch players that assisted the flagship Sensex to reach the new heights of success were SBI, Axis Bank, Adani Ports, Infosys, Yes Bank, L&T, ICICI Bank, TCS, Dr. Reddy’s Sun Pharma, ITC Ltd. Bajaj Auto, NTPC< Power Grid, HDFC Ltd. Tata Steel, M&M, and more hiking up to 3.43%.

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Reliance Jio User Base Crosses 160 Million

The user base of Reliance Jio has crossed 160 Million, a bit more than a year post the newbie created a storm into the industry of telecom service with aggressive data and voice services. The newest user base of the telecom provider was unvalued by son of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Akash Ambani, at an interview with Shahrukh Khan, the Bollywood superstar, at the time of a glitzy occasion last evening to mark 40 Years of existence for Reliance Industries and to honor birthday of founder Dhirubhai Ambani.

Reliance Jio User Base Crosses 160 Million

In an onstage conversation with the Ambani twins Isha and Akash, the 52-year-old actor cited that the telecom company now has 100 Million users. Akash corrected him stating “160 Million, SRK!”, in return prompting the “Badshah of Bollywood” to take a glance at how good just the Ambanis were with figures. Reliance Jio made an entry in September 2016 in the highly spirited telecom industry with a 6-month promotional proposal of free data and voice, a plan that assisted it mobilize millions of consumers.

Jio gave an open dare to the current telecom providers with its troublesome tariffs, activating a cost war that witnessed harsh bloodletting in the segment in the preceding months. Previously this year, Mukesh Ambani declared the roll out of a 4G-supported feature handset priced at “effective” zero, which encouraged low revenue consumers with cheap data and life-long free voice calls packed with the phone.

The mobile user base of the country, the 2nd biggest market post China, stands at more than 1.1 Billion with Vodafone, Bharti Airtel, and Idea Cellular as the leading 3 providers. As per previous posted information by the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), the user base for Bharti Airtel in October was at 285 Million followed by Idea Cellular (191 Million), Vodafone (208 Million), and Jio (145.9 Million). Presently, user base of Reliance Jio is at 160 Million.

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AWS Expands In China With New Associate In Ningxia

Amazon.com Inc claimed this week that it was extending its business for cloud computing in China with a fresh local associate, planning to get a share in a highly regulated and progressively crowded market. AWS (Amazon Web Services) will begin providing customer services situated out of the northwestern region of China in Ningxia in association with local company NWCD (Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology Co Ltd), claimed the U.S. company.

AWS Expands In China With New Associate In Ningxia

“AWS has made tactical technology alliance with NWCD. In return, NWCD works and offers facilities from the AWS China Ningxia Region, in full fulfillment with regulations of China,” Amazon claimed to the media in a statement. The decision follows a month after AWS claimed that it will trade the hardware possessions of its Beijing-licensed cloud unit for almost 2 Billion Yuan (almost $302.06 Million) to its associate Beijing Sinnet Technology Co Ltd to obey with new rules.

In June, China rolled out strict new rules that need foreign companies to amass data domestically and outsource hardware components to local associates. Cloud services have turned out to be a competitive and crowded field in recent years in China, with domestic firms, comprising Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, starting dozens of fresh data hubs in just the last year. As per Synergy Research Group, Chinese companies comprise almost 80% of complete cloud services income in China.

The U.S. firms such as Apple Inc., Amazon, and Microsoft Corp. must jump over challenges to vie, encountering new surveillance actions by the government of China and rising scrutiny of cross-border transfers of data. The infrastructure for the latest data hubs in Ningxia was constructed by affiliates of NWCD employing specifications offered by AWS, a spokesperson of Amazon claimed to the media in an interview. The AWS facilities provided in China are analogous to services provided in the rest of the world.

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Airtel Will Give Rs 190 Crore Funding To Original Accounts

Within days of receiving a blow on its knuckles, Airtel this week proposed to give back Rs 190 Crore deposit that had accumulated into the unwanted accounts of Payments Bank of its 31 Lakh mobile phone users, insiders claimed to the media this week.

Airtel claimed to NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) this week pledging to give back Rs 190 Crore (together with interest) to the original bank accounts of the users that were connected to the DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer), the sources well known with the matted claimed to the media. NPCI is an umbrella body in India for all retail payments. Both Airtel Payments bank and Airtel came below fire post Airtel supposedly started accounts of its users for mobile phone without looking for their informed permission, and LPG funding worth crores was being accumulated in these accounts.

Airtel Will Give Rs 190 Crore Funding To Original Accounts

The government took swift actions in the issue and the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), late previous week, provisionally banned the firm from carrying out Aadhaar-supported verification of the SIM for mobile users using e-KYC payments and e-KYC process of bank clients. Banning the “e-KYC license key,” UIDAI, the Aadhaar issuing organization, also instructed PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out an inspection of Airtel Payments Bank and Bharti Airtel to determine if their processes and systems are in fulfillment with the Aadhaar Act.

“The government has taken a firm opinion of the complete matter and Airtel has been obliged to give back the money to customers’ original bank account,” claimed a government insider who wish to be unnamed. The method of the DBT reimbursement floating into the accounts is also being hardened, to bring in more accountability, the source claimed. Increasing pressure on Airtel, the state-run oil firms had started writing to the Sunil Mittal-controlled company asking it to give back the LPG funding that got accumulated to accounts of its payment bank.