Business

Amazon opens its largest campus globally in e-commerce push

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has so far pledged $5.5 billion for its India operations.REUTERS/Mike Segar Global e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday opened its largest campus globally in the south Indian city of Hyderabad, as it prepares for a massive expansion programme in a move to compete with Walmart in one of the world's fastest-growing retail markets.
The Seattle-headquartered company is making an ambitious push in India, the last major retail frontier still primarily reliant on a small-scale neighbourhood and mom-and-pop stores, a Bloomberg report said.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has so far pledged $5.5 billion for its India operations.
“E-commerce is so small in India relative to the total consumption, less than 3 per cent,” Amit Agarwal, Amazon's country manager for India, was quoted as saying by the news agency.
India is a huge, yet relatively untapped, market that is growing rapidly. In fact, the Indian e-commerce market is projected to grow at 20.2 per cen..

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Vedanta stares at liquidation of mining business in Zambia

A bird flies by the Vedanta office building in Mumbai August 16, 2010.Reuters file Vedanta, a diversified natural resources conglomerate, is facing the liquidation of its mining business in Zambia as the local government has continued with the liquidation process. Vedanta is locked in a dispute with Zambian government, which has accused the Mumbai-headquartered company of defaulting on tax payments and violating the operational license. Vedanta has a controlling stake in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in which 20 percent is owned by Zambia's state mining company ZCCM-IH.
It is to be noted that Vedanta had taken the matter to arbitration and made efforts to halt the liquidation process in May. But the Zambian high court appointed a provisional liquidator to dissolve the company. However, contrary to Zambian high court's order, the seat of international arbitration in Africa stationed at Johannesburg ordered the halt of any sell-off KCM efforts. But the Zambian government has gone..

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Report of massive financial fraud drags CG Power; MCA launches probe

Gautam ThaparTwitter The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has ordered an investigation into CG Power and Industrial Solutions after a massive financial fraud was detected. CG Power said independent investigation revealed that some employees had engaged in unauthorised transactions, which led to the understating of liabilities by hundreds of crores of rupees.
Representational Image.Victor/Flickr The allegations of wrongdoing came to the spotlight after the board headed by Gautam Thapar apprised the stock exchanges of the findings of the investigation. The names of the employees who were allegedly involved in the transations have not been revealed by the company.
The Economic Times report states that the transactions to some of the related and unrelated parties of the company and the group were understated by Rs 1990.36 crore and Rs 2806.63 crore, respectively. As per disclosure to stock exchanges, the report clarifies that the company's and the group's liabilit..

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India’s largest cookie-maker Parle may cut up to 10,000 jobs amid economic slowdown

Facebook/Parle G Parle Products Pvt Ltd, a leading Indian biscuit maker, might lay off up to 10,000 workers as slowing economic growth and falling demand in the rural heartland could cause production cuts, a company executive said on Wednesday.
A downturn in Asia's third-largest economy is denting sales of everything from cars to clothing, forcing companies to curtail production and raising hopes that the India government will unveil an economic stimulus to revive growth.
A sharp drop in Parle's biscuit sales means the company may have to slash production, which may result in layoffs of 8,000-10,000 people, Mayank Shah, category head at Parle, said in a telephone interview from Mumbai.
“The situation is so bad, that if the government doesn't intervene immediately … we may be forced to eliminate these positions,” he said.
Parle, founded in 1929, employs about 100,000 people, including direct and contract workers across 10 company-owned facilities and 125 contract ma..

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State Bank of India moots plan to abolish debit cards

State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Rajnish Kumar attends a news conference in Mumbai, India, November 23, 2017.Reuters The country's biggest lender, State Bank of India (SBI) is planning to eliminate ubiquitous debit cards from the banking system. State-owned SBI, which is servicing around one-fifth of the population, has ambitious plans in the coming years to promote digital payment and takedown plastic cards, despite the huge dependency on debit cards.
Speaking at the annual Fibac, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said, “It is our wish to eliminate the debit cards, and am sure we can eliminate them.” He further added that there are around 90 crore debit cards in India and over 3 crore are people using credit cards. Kumar highlighted digital solutions like SBI's own 'YONO' platform as a way for achieving a debit card-less country.
YONO (You Only Need One) is an integrated digital banking platform offered by SBI. YONO is an app for both Android and iOS and enables user..

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Direct tax code: Panel recommends slew of measures to lower tax burden

Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman received the report submitted by Shri Akhilesh Ranjan, Convenor of the Task force constituted by the Government to draft New Direct Tax Law, in New Delhi on MondayCredit:Twitter A high powered government task force submitted its reports on Monday, recommending a series of measures to lower the overall tax burden on corporates, starts-up, middle class, and upper-middle class. The contents of reports have not been made public but as per a report published in the Economic Times, the task force has called for a rejig of tax brackets, review of surcharges levied on income tax of super-riches, incentivising start-ups and a revamp of I-T act, making it taxpayer-friendly.
Moreover, the panel has also recommended for a concept of dispute settlement through mediation between the taxpayer and a collegium of officers that is popular overseas. The idea for 25 percent corporate tax for domestic as well as foreign companies has ..

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Vodafone Idea names Ravinder Takkar as CEO after Balesh Sharma steps down

Close Are British telecoms a good investment? Vodafone Idea said on Monday Ravinder Takkar, who is Vodafone Group's representative in India, take charge as the new MD and CEO of the group with immediate effect. The announcement came after CEO Balesh Sharma stepped down citing personal reasons
Takkar has been a part of Vodafone Group since 1994. He was the CEO of Vodafone Romania for three years and headed Vodafone Partner Markets in London. He was also a board member of Vodafone Idea and Indus Towers prior to his current appointment.
vodafone idea mergerReuters/file photo Sharma was the man behind the integration of the two major telecom brands. He has been the CEO of Vodafone Idea since the companies merged.
Vodafone Idea has been struggling with depleting sales i..

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Can India top Vietnam in mobile phone exports to US as China trade war worsens?

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 smartphone. Vietnam has been successful in luring the manufacturers fleeing China fearing more US sanctions over the trade war.Twitter India is confident of luring mobile phone makers leaving China for Vietnam fearing the US sanctions as President Donald Trump threatens to escalate a trade war with the Asian giant. A panel led by NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant is firming up a strategy that could ease the process for the mobile phone manufacturers to set up production centres in India, media reports suggest. The panel's task is to prepare a blueprint to snatch back the initiative from Vietnam, which surged ahead of India after trailing it for some time.
The Kant panel whose recommendations are expected soon boost electronic items' export in general and mobile phones in particular, a report in the financial Express website said. The government set up the committee in the context of the failure of India's phased manufacturing programme (PMP) for mobiles..

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Huawei to unveil its own mapping platform, should Google fear MapKit?

Close Huawei caught between US-China conflict Huawei, The Chinese technology giant, has been procuring the global markets with the help of its communication equipment and consumer electronics. It is one of the leading brands that have showcased its existence in the smartphone manufacturing industry by providing its customers with the best hardware enhancements and the latest software technology. Ranging from high-end to mid-range devices, a customer cannot skip the brand while trying to buy an affordable smartphone packed with the latest technology.
Huawei, in the early stage of 2019, was forced to let go off the US-made tech due to the trade fight. The Chinese smartphone giant has been trying to sustain on its own by building an ecosystem that doesn't rely on its rivals. Conti..

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Recession fears highest in eight years, BoA-Merrill Lynch survey reveals

A Bank of America sign is shown on a building in downtown Los Angeles, California .Reuters As per the latest survey conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) the percentage of global fund managers who think that there is a possibility of a US recession in the next one year has been highest since 2011.
In its Global Fund Manager Survey, BofAML has concluded that more than 50 percent of the fund managers surveyed have felt the US economy is at the brink of recession. Half of as many as 171 managers with collective assets under management (AUM) of $455 billion argued that corporates were overleveraged and should take measures to improve their balance sheets.
Moreover, around 34 percent of the managers further added that a US recession is likely in next one year while 64 percent think one is unlikely. Notably, this is the highest probability of US recession predicted by fund managers since October 2011. The recession fear of 2011 came after Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgrad..

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