Business & Finance - Current Affairs for August, 2016

Business & Finance Current Affairs for August, 2016

Month wise coverage of Business & Finance Current Affairs helps you improve your general knowledge and prepare for all competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc. This section is updated daily with the most important events.

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▼ Wipro’s Chief Learning Officer, Abhijit Bhaduri resigns   [08-30-16]

As per sources, Bhaduri will start his own executive coaching company.

  • Bhaduri is the man behind Wipro initiatives like the global 100 program
  • He created the pipeline using unconventional training methods like taking the IT major’s employees have been in Wipro for 7 years
  • Bhaduri has worked with Wipro since 2009 and prior to that worked with Microsoft as their HR director
  • Bhaduri has also worked with Pepsico, Colgate and Mudra communication. He brought to Wipro global coaches such as Ram Charan and innovation heads like Bill Fisher
  • He also tied up with Wharton to groom future leaders for Wipro

▼ Loans to women SHGs in rural areas at 7% per annum   [08-29-16]

Reserve Bank of India on 25th August 2016 asked commercial and cooperative banks to provide loans to women SHG or self help groups in rural areas at 7 percent per annum.

  • Loans will be provided for the financial year 2016-2017 under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihood Mission in 250 districts.
  • This is an interest subvention scheme for women SHGs.
  • All women self help groups would be eligible for interest subvention on credit up to three lakh rupees at 7 percent per annum.
  • SHGs avail capital subsidy under the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana in their existing credit outstanding will not be eligible for benefit under this scheme.
  • All banks will be subvented to the extent of the difference between weighted average interest charged and 7 percent subject to a maximum limit of 5.5 percent for 2016-2017.
  • SHGs will be provided with additional 3 percent subvention on credit up to INR 3 lakh rupees at 7 percent per annum.
  • SHGs availing capital subsidy under the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana in their existing credit outstanding will not be eligible for benefit under the scheme.
  • All banks will be subvented to the extent of the difference between the weighted average interest charged and 7 percent subject to a maximum limit of 5.5 percent for 2016-2017.
  • SHGs will also be provided additional 3 percent subvention on the prompt repayment of the loans.
  • For the purpose of interest subvention of additional 3 percent on prompt repayment, an SHG account will be considered prompt payee if it meets certain criterion specified by RBI.
  • National Rural Livelihood Mission (Aajevika) was launched by the Union Ministry of Rural Development in June 2011.
  • In 2015, the mission was replaced by Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana
  • Aided party by the World Bank, the mission aims at creation of efficient and effective institutional platforms of the rural poor
  • It seeks to enable them to increase household income through sustained livelihood enhancements and improved access to financial services

▼ Mahindra with Bosch and Vodafone to create cloud based connected vehicle platform   [08-29-16]

The platform is called Digisense and it is for fleet owners trucks, tractors and construction equipment to track vehicle performance and usage patterns.

  • Integrated technology platform for vehicle connectivity will be available across a wide range of Mahindra products- tractors, trucks and construction equipment fitted in the factory at INR 7000-15000 apiece
  • Its launch makes the company the first OEM in India to integrate its product line up onto a cloud based technology platform
  • Mahindra and Mahindra’s IT arm Tech Mahindra is also involved in this venture.
  • ED Pawan Goenka indicated that digitisation is emerging as a key differentiator for business transformation and connected vehicle technology is one such manifestation.
  • Key features of Digisense include route planning, delivery tracking, vehicle utilisation reports, trip optimisation, alerts and machine hour operations and geo fencing.
  • Available as a subscription based service at an affordable price, DigiSense will be available eventually across the entire lineup of Mahindra’s vehicles

▼ South Indian Bank launches UPI, Karnataka Bank unveils mobile app based on the interface   [08-29-16]

South Indian Bank has launched UPI or Unified Payment Interface Facility- an initiative to promote cashless society which is one of the few banks in the nation to launch this facility across the nation.

  • Unified Payment Interface permits customers to link their bank accounts in a single mobile application. This facility permits customers to make seamless and instant payments or transfer of funds via a virtual address
  • UPI facility will be available for customers and non-customers of the bank through mobile banking app SIB M-Pay which can be accessed on Android Play Store
  • Karnataka Bank has launched KBL SMARTz, a mobile application built on Unified Payments Interface platform of National Payments Corporation of India NPCI
  • NPCI is the umbrella organisation for all retail payment systems in India
  • UPI is a new initiative from NPCI in digital payments ecosystem
  • Interface is designed to enable customers across UPI member banks to pay and collect money from their smartphones without entering any bank account information
  • Launching the product, P. Jayaram Bhat, MD and CEO of bank also said it was a user friendly universal mobile app
  • Fund transfer can be done without revealing personal details
  • Users can add accounts of different banks to pay and collect funds across bank accounts making it a universal app for payments
  • Customers of any UPI member bank can utilise this facility
  • Transactions can be done with one click 2 factor authentication.
  • App facilitates non financial transactions such as balance enquiry, setting one’s M-pin and so on

▼ Apollo Global Management LLC to acquire cloud services provider Rackspace Hosting Inc   [08-29-16]

Cloud services provider Rackspace Hosting Inc said it would be acquired by Apollo Global Management LLC in a deal valued at USD 4.3 billion. The PE firm will boost investments in the technology sector.

  • Rackspace’s shares went up 4.3 percent at USD 31.50 in early trading on 25th August.
  • Offer represents a premium of 38.2 percent to Backspace’s closing price on August 3, the day prior to reports that the company was in advanced talks with PE firms for a go private deal.
  • Rackspace had been reported to earlier be in talks with Apollo
  • As part of the deal closing in the 4th quarter, PE firm Searchlight Capital Partners will also make an investment in Backspace
  • Apollo with USD 186 billion in assets have been stepping up investments in technology
  • Affiliates of the firm in July agreed to acquire Outerwall Inc, the owner of Redox video rental kiosks private in a deal valued at USD 1.6 billion
  • Rackspace leases server space and helps corporations store and access data in cloud.
  • It has focused on growing its cloud business in the face of rising competition from established players such as IBM Corp, Microsoft and startups in the field
  • Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, RBC Capital Markets LLC and Barclays were financial advisors while Goldman Sachs and Co advised Backspace.
  • Financing for the deal is being provided by CItigroup, Deutsch Bank, Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada are providing financing for the deal
  • Paul, Weiss Rifkind and Wharton & Garrison LLP are legal advisers to Apollo while Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is Rackspace’s Legal Adviser.

▼ Initiate the payment request from a smartphone with UPI   [08-26-16]

National Payments Corporation of India said the Unified Payments Interface is live and currently accessible for customers of 21 banks.

  • UPI is a payment solution
  • It empowers the recipient to initiate the payment request from a smartphone
  • It facilitates virtual payment address as a payment identifier for sending and collecting money and works on single click 2 factor authentication
  • Real time sending and receiving money through such a mobile app on interoperable basis has been attempted for the first time in the world
  • UPI empowers the establishment of a hi-tech payment interface
  • The current CEO and MD of NPCI is AP Hota
  • Some of the banks going live with UPI are Andhra Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Bharatiya Mahila Bank, Canara Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Union Bank of India and Vijaya Bank
  • The smooth operation led to immediate pay and collection with Virtual Payment Address
  • NPCI decided only banks with 1000 pilot customers, success rate of 80 percent and 5000 transactions would be permitted to go live

▼ SBI, ICICI – Too Big to fail!   [08-26-16]

RBI has retained too big to fail status for SBI and ICICI Bank.

  • The nation’s top two lenders by asset were assigned the status of domestic systemically important banks or the equivalent as “too big to fail” for the second consecutive year
  • The two banks were assigned the status last year
  • The central bank moved to this classification system for the first time in 2015.
  • Being a systemically important bank imposed additional capital requirements for the two lenders
  • SBI is India’s largest public sector bank and ICICI is its biggest private sector lender
  • In compiling the list, RBI considers factors such as size, complexity, interconnectedness and international links among others
  • Meanwhile, UNDP has agreed to assist Dharamshala as the Smart City for which it released funds of INR 50 lakh
  • UNDP seeks to link Dharamshala with Japan and the US under the smart city project.
  • It had earlier coordinated in capacity building programme and exerting manpower in urban local bodies of the state

▼ RCCPL acquired by Birla Corp. Piramal & Bain Capital Credit Ink Pact.   [08-25-16]

Reliance Cement Company Private Ltd has become a subsidiary of Birla Corporation Ltd.

  • Company has acquired 100 percent of the equity shares of RCCPL from Reliance Infrastructure Ltd
  • BCL agreed to purchase the unit for INR 4800 crores; it now takes the annual capacity from 10 MT to 15.5 MT with bonus of mineral concessions in MP, Karnataka, Rajasthan, AP and HP
  • Mining lease in Mukutban, Maharashtra allows the BCL to set up 3 MT clinker unit
Piramal Enterprises and Bain Capital Credit has inked a pact on this day too, to create strategic partnership to invest in restructuring debt
  • Platform’s preference will be to invest in businesses that need restricting and have fundamentally strong growth prospects linked to India infrastructure and consumption needs.
  • Platform aims to create new investment solutions for the market
  • The platform formed by the partnership marks one of the first in the health and finance sector in recent months.

▼ Microsoft signs deal with BSNL   [08-24-16]

State run telecom operator BSNL has signed a strategic business pact with Microsoft India for offering complete range of telecom and IT solutions for enterprise businesses. BSNL has signed a strategic MoU to this effect

  • The state owned telecom operator has a large share in landline network including leased line connectivity to various enterprises.
  • Deal has been signed to cater to end-to-end needs of enterprise customers involving allied services in the field of IT, SaaS, cloud infrastructure and audio visual solutions.
  • Microsoft India has said the strategic alliance would be non exclusive and leverage domain expertise to provide connectivity and telecom solutions.
  • Microsoft also acquired a startup to boost AI capabilities while rival Apple has made an acquisition in the healthcare industry
  • Microsoft purchased Genee which specialises in using machine smarts to handle meeting schedules.
  • The AI startup uses natural language processing and optimised decision making algorithms to interact with a virtual assistant.
  • Technology is expected to work in Office 365 software by Microsoft.
  • Silicon Valley based Genee’s team will join the Microsoft and existing services will discontinue next month.
  • Apple has also confirmed press reports that it has purchased Gliimpse which uses machine learning to let people manage and share secure medical data.
  • Silicon Valley based Gliimpse was started in 2013 by Indian origin entrepreneurs Anil Sethi and Karthik Hariharan
  • It offers a unique platform allowing users to compile medical health data from different sources and share it with third parties including doctors

▼ Pfizer Inc to buy Medivation   [08-24-16]

Pfizer Inc said on 22nd August that it would purchase US cancer drug company Medivation Inc in a deal valued at USD 14 billion, adding blockbuster prostrate cancer drug Xtandi to the portfolio.

  • Medivation shares rose 20 percent at USD 80.56 in pre-market trade slightly less than the offer prize of USD 81.50 per share in cash.
  • Officer is at a substantial premium to the initial offer by Sanofi SA to buy Medivation for USD 52.50 per share in April.
  • Deal comes four months after Allergan Plc and Pfizer scrapped their USD 160 billion merger.
  • Pfizer also purchased Anacor Pharmaceuticals Inc in a USD 5.2 billion deal to add skin care to its portfolio.
  • Pfizer’s MA strategy now marks a shift from lowering taxes to strengthening drugs portfolio ahead of decision to sell or spin off generic drugs business by 2016.
  • Pfizer’s oncology offerings include quality immune oncology products.

▼ HCL inaugurates India’s first nickel production plant   [08-18-16]

HCL or Hindustan Copper Limited has inaugurated the nickel cooper and acid recovery plant at Indian Copper complex in Jharkhand’s Ghatsila.

  • This is India’s first facility to produce nickel metal of LME grade from primary resource.
  • The Singbhum cooper belt has unique ore characteristics which comprise considerable amount of nickel; HCL has installed technology to increase nickel metal recovery.
  • Currently the capacity of the plant is 50 MT per annum given the current production from Surda mines.
  • Nickel output is expected to multiply by 8 times after completion of mine expansion projects at Ghatsila.
  • Annual demand for pure nickel is around 45,000 MT and its market in India depends on imports.
  • Copper is currently recovered from lead electrolyte as liberator cathode has only .50-90 percent copper content and liberator sludge with 50-60 percent copper content.
  • The project will replace the process of liberator cell operation with EMEW and APU technology in the refinery.
  • This method will utilise eco friendly technology and check pollution.
  • It will also eliminate the use of lead and reduce liquid effluent.
  • Some of its other benefits are that it will generate 75 percent less solid waste, utilise less energy and provide safe working environment and conserve natural resources.

▼ Private sector lender HDFC enters into agreement with Times Internet   [08-17-16]

Times Internet, the digital arm of the TOI group and private sector lender HDFC Bank has entered into a partnership to launch co branded debit cards.

  • This is the second co branded credit card launched by Times Internet with HDFC Bank after launching the co branded credit card for the entertainment segment in 2013.
  • The Times Points HDFC Bank Debit Card will offer customers amazing deals in online space and rewards for engaging with Times Internet sites.
  • Customers will also get personal accidental death cover up to INR 10 lakh, international air accident death cover of INR 50 lakh and zero liability cover of INR 1 lakh on fraudulent and skimming transactions.
  • Card will have a daily shopping limit of INR 2.75 lakh and ATM withdrawal limit of INR 1 lakh.

▼ L&T to convert Nagpur into large scale integrated smart city   [08-17-16]

Larsen & Toubro has been identified as the implementation partner to convert Orange City of Nagpur into the nation’s first large scale integrated Smart City as per Letter of Intent handed over by Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to representatives of the company

  • The modifications will be leveraged to cover the tire city and following Jaipur, this is a positive step for L&T.
  • Markets have reacted favourably to the announcement with Larsen & Toubro trading up INR 7.95 or 0.53 percent from its previous closing.

▼ Thailand’s largest energy firm PTT Pcl to develop electric cars, signs deal with 6 automakers   [08-17-16]

Thai energy firm PTT Pcl on 15th August 2016 signed contracts with 6 major automakers for cooperation in the development of electric cars.

  • State controlled PTT will also build a network of 20 charging stations under the accord.
  • Six firms include Thai units of Nissan, Volvo, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Mercedes Benz and BMW.
  • PTT has been researching technologies for EV since 2012.

▼ WorkDay announces adoption of IBM cloud solution   [08-17-16]

WorkDay has inked a deal with IBM to adopt the company’s cloud solution as part of a multi-year strategic partnership.

  • Solution called IBM Cloud has become a foundation for WorkDay’s development and testing environment boosting the efficiency, flexibility and global scale of the company.
  • WorkDay will access transformative apps and services in cloud.
  • IBM’s quarterly revenue beat analyst expectations as company shifted to high growth areas like cloud based services to get good results

▼ ONGC launches startup to foster oil and gas sector   [08-17-16]

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has launched an INR 100 crore startup fund to foster, nurture and incubate new ideas pertaining to the oil and gas sector.

  • Initiative christened ONGC StartUp is in line with GoI initiative Startup India
  • ONGC will provide the untrue support chain for the startup including seed funding, monitoring, mentoring, market linkage and followups.
  • Initiative will also promote entrepreneurship among younger Indians by creating an ecosystem conducive for growth of start ups in the oil and gas sector.

▼ ABNL to merge with Grasim Industries Ltd   [08-16-16]

Aditya Birla Nuvo Ltd will merge with Grasim Industries Ltd to unlock shareholder value and create a USD 9 billion or INR 59,766 crore enterprise.

  • With this merger, Aditya Birla Group will hive off financial services business into a separate entity to be listed later.
  • BoD of Grasim Industries Ltd, ABNL and Aditya Birla Financial Services Ltd at their respective meetings approved the merger of ABNL into Grasim and subsequent demerger and listing of financial services business through a composite arrangement scheme.
  • Transaction which is subject to regulatory approvals will be implemented in 2 phases.
  • ABNL will first merge into Grasim and financial services business would then be demerged resulting in listed financial services company with 57 percent owned by post merger Grasim and the balance being held by post merger Grasim shareholders on a proportionate basis.
  • Following the merger, Grasim with an aggregate turnover of INR 59,766 crore and EBITDA of INR 11,961 crore for March 31, 2016 will become India’s top cement company and will be among the top diversified private NBFCs in India.
  • It will be the third ranked telecom operator besides being among the top four private sector insurance and asset management companies.
  • The proposed transaction will create a combined entity with USD 9 billion revenue, EBITDA of INR 12,000 crore and EBIDTA margins of 19 percent.
  • This is a win-win situation for shareholders of both companies - Grasim shareholders will gain access to high growth businesses of financial services and telecommunications while Nuvo shareholders will get strong cash flow business of cement and VSF
  • ABFSL will be listed by May-June 2017.
  • For each merger of ABNL with Grasim, each ABNL shareholder will get three new equity shares of Grasim for every 10 equity shares held in ABNL which means shareholder holding 100 shares in ABNL will receive 30 shares in Grasim.

▼ Foxconn receives clearance for acquisition of Japan’s Sharp Corp   [08-16-16]

Taiwan’s Foxconn indicated that China’s anti monopoly authorities approved acquisition of Japan’s Sharp Corp paving the way for the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer to seal a USD 3.8 billion deal.

  • With all necessary regulatory reviews complete, Sharp and Foxconn will now move to complete transactions in accordance with agreement as quickly as possible.
  • Seeking control of Sharp’s advanced panel technology and strengthen position with major client Apple Inc, Foxconn formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co will spend 388.8 billion yen or USD 3.84 billion to acquire two thirds stake in Sharp.
  • Foxconn was unable to complete the acquisition in June due to prolonged Chinese antitrust review indicating fears among investors that the deal might fall and send Sharp shares below the planned acquisition price of 88 yen.

▼ Department of Science and Technology, Intel and IIT-Bombay SINE collaborate   [08-16-16]

Department of Science and Technology, Intel the world’s largest chipmaker and IIT Bombay’s Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship have collaborated to introduce a system which will incubate hardware startups. Programme will support hardware and systems based ventures through mentoring, infrastructure, lab facilities, funding and business services

  • DST is committed to supporting technology and entrepreneurship initiatives that are of relevance to national needs.

▼ Rizvi Traverse Management LLC halves stake in Twitter   [08-16-16]

Rizvi Traverse Management LLC managed by investor Suhail Rizvi has halved its stake in Twitter Inc and increased holding in mobile payments company Square Inc, regulatory filings have shown on 12th August 2016.

  • Rizi had amassed more than 15% stake in microblogging phenomenon for himself and his investors.
  • He also influenced the Kingdom Holding Co, Saudi Prince Alwaweed bin Talal’s investment company to purchase extra Twitter stock, according to a Reuters report.
  • Firm owned 1.4 million Twitter shares as of June 30 down from March 31, as per a filing.
  • This will provide a stake of 0.2 percent as per a estimate.
  • Firms stake in square rose to 1.05 million Class A shares from 44,000 working out to a stake of 0.3 percent.
  • Twitter and Square are headed by Jack Dorsey.

▼ Joydeep Bose , Cisco Investments Asia Pacific Japan MD steps down   [08-12-16]

Joydeep Bose MD of Cisco Investments, Asia Pacific Japan has left the company after a decade long innings with the technology company

  • Alok Bardiya, director of Cisco Investments, Cisco India and SAARC will replace bose
  • Bose is joining the Singapore based VC firm as the India partner
  • Bose has seen Cisco’s strategic investments including the purchase of NetMagic Solutions and other investments like Videonetics, Ineda Systems and more
  • Bose was previously a MD of Intel Capital; his exit comes after CISCO MD sales for India and SAARC region, Purushottam Kaushik quit the firm
  • Cisco Investments has a portfolio of USD 2 billion with close to 80 investments in companies and holds limited partner positions in over 35 funds globally
  • In India, it invested in 25 startups and acquired Bengaluru based IT security firm Pawaa last year

▼ CEO and founder of GV Bill Maris leaves company   [08-12-16]

Bill Maris, the CEO and founder of Alphabet Inc’s venture capital arm GV is leaving the company

  • He will be replaced by GV managing partner David Krane
  • GV earlier known as Google Ventures was founded in 2009 and has invested in more than 300 companies including Uber and Jet dot com
  • Alphabet has seen high profile departures with Chief Technical Officer Chris Urmson leaving and Anthony Levandowski, product manager leaving to co-found a startup.

▼ Azim Premji, Shiv Nadar billionaires in Forbes List of world’s 100 richest people in technology   [08-12-16]

Wipro chairman Azim Premji and HCL co-founder Shiv Nadar are the only two billionaires from India in Forbes List of World’s 100 richest people in technology, ranking in the top 20 ahead of Google’s Eric Schmidt and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

  • The 100 richest tech billionaires in the world has been topped by Microsoft founder Bill Gates with the estimated fortune of USD 78 billion
  • Premji ranks 13th on the list with the net worth of USD 16 billion and Nadar was at 17th spot with USD 11.6 billion of net worth
  • Two Indian American technology czars Symphony Technology Group CEO Romesh Wadhwani and founder of IT consulting and outsourcing company Syntel Bharat Desai and wife Neerja Sethi are also on the list
  • Premji who heads India’s third largest outsource, has been purchasing startups to boost growth
  • Nadar co-founded HCL and also owns HCL TalentCare, a skills development firm that provides training to new graduates
  • Wadhwani comes in 67th with a USD 3 billion net worth and also won the 2013 Forbes India NRI Philanthropist award
  • China has the second highest number of tech tycoons with 19 people combined USD 132.7 billion
  • Richest member from China is Alibaba Founder Jack Ma on the 8th spot and estimated net worth of USD 25.8 billion
  • Canada has 5 tech billionaires and Germany has 4
  • Forbes said the second richest person in tech was Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos ahead of Oracle chairman Larry Ellison

▼ Realty portal PropTiger has acquired Gurgaon based startup 3DPhy   [08-12-16]

News Corp backed realty portal Prop Tiger has acquired a Gurgaon based startup 3DPhy which is a field of virtual and 3D visualisations

  • Company did not disclose the deal value
  • With this acquisition, PropTIger aims to advance its technological platform to further enhance hi-tech marketing solutions for developers
  • PropTiger last acquired Bengaluru based interactive technology firm OoBi.
  • The latest acquisition would boost its 3D capabilities
  • With its virtual walk throughs, 3DPhy enabled builders and brokers to showcase multiple properties over different kinds of devices
  • PropTIger offers a one stop platform to home buyers and is funded by News Corp, SAIF Partners, Accel Partners and Horizon Ventures
  • It has acquired and Oobi in recent times
  • 3DPhy provides 3D models for e-commerce captured automatically from physical objects

▼ Co-Founder Ariana Huffington leaves HuffPost   [08-12-16]

Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington indicated on 11th August she would leave the company to focus on running her new venture, health and wellness startup Thrive Global

  • She has stepped down as HuffPost editor-in-chief to run her new venture
  • Thrive Global which offers services to companies to improve the well being of their employees recently closed an A series funding road ahead of a launch in the fall
  • Verizon Communications Inc owns the Huffington Post through AOL which bought the liberal American online news aggregator and blog for USD 315 million in February 2011

▼ ToI, Navbharat Times partner Twitter   [08-11-16]

Editorial teams of Times of India and Navbharat Times have teamed up with the social media major Twitter to create Twitter Moments from the Rio Olympic Games

  • Twitter Moments is a feature launched in 2015
  • The two newspapers are the first to create and curate content for it
  • Twitter Moment is a feature that integrates info in tweets, photos, auto playing videos and other multimedia to provide detailed coverage of single news theme

▼ Infosys hired Vishal Salvi as CISO   [08-11-16]

Infosys has hired Vishal Salvi as the new Chief Information Security Officer

  • This post was previously occupied by Prabhakar Mallya who retired in July 2014
  • Salvi has worked as a partner at PwC since 2014 and also worked as CISO at HDFC Bank for 8 years

▼ Intel Corp to acquire Nervana Systems    [08-11-16]

Intel Corp said it could acquire Nervana Systems as the world’s largest chipmaker works to boost its AI capabilities

  • San Diego CA based startup will help Intel’s artificial intelligence portfolio and improve deep learning performance of Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors
  • Investors in Nervana include Global Playground, AME Cloud Ventures and CME Ventures
  • Apple recently announced acquisition of US machine learning startup Turi

▼ Ramco Systems partners CloudPay   [08-11-16]

Ramco Systems, leading HCM and payroll firm and CloudPay, a managed global payroll and payment services provider announced a strategic partnership to enable enterprises to take better advantage of cloud payroll solutions

  • Partnership will combine the SaaS platform and expertise in managed payroll for MNCs

▼ Jute Corporation of India will be launching Colours of Independence campaign to mark 70 years of freedom   [08-10-16]

Jute Corporation of India will be launching the week long Colours of Independence Campaign

  • Campaign will be launched across 70 cities to commemorate 70 years of Independence
  • Jute fabric will be set up in the CMR shopping mall and the programme is being organised by Union Ministry of Textiles
  • JCI is led by CMD KVR Murthy

▼ Zydus Group acquires Melgain from Issar Pharma   [08-10-16]

Zydus Group has strengthened its derma portfolio with the acquisition of Melgain used for the treatment of vitiligo from Hyderabad based Issar Pharma for an undisclosed amount

  • Zydus is working towards making treatment more affordable for people suffering from this skin disorder
  • It is a leading player in the skin de-pigmentation segment and acquisition of Melgain marks its foray into this segment of repigmentation.

▼ Startup Village partners FB   [08-10-16]

Startup Village has launched the world’s first digital incubator for students SV.CO. It has now collaborated with social media giant Facebook to provide access to developer teams for students enrolled in entrepreneurship programmes.

  • As part of SV.CO startup Programme,, students will make a 6 day trip to FB HQ in Menlo Park, California, where they will present ideas for the Facebook team and get feedback
  • Purpose is to provide students with global exposure to talented professionals in leading tech companies like FB

▼ Telecom giant Vodafone enters into multi million dollar deal with IBM   [08-10-16]

Telecom giant Vodafone has renewed its multi-million dollar engagement with IBM to manage IT services support for the India arm for another five years

  • Under the new contract, IBM will manage IT services support for Vodafone’s India IT infrastructure and applications environment which will help the telecom operator derive benefits such as increased user experience, cost optimisation, IT infrastructure scalability and overall improvement in efficiency of network operators
  • IBM will support Vodafone India IT environment transition into IBM hybrid cloud permitting the telecom services company to leverage and integrate existing IT resources and data assets with private cloud environments
  • Hybrid platform will enable delivery of faster and more insightful data intelligence and support faster decision making
  • The terms of the deal were not disclosed by the companies

▼ Randstad Holdings nv announces acquisition of Monster dot com   [08-10-16]

Randstad Holding nv has announced acquisition of jobs website Monster dot com. This Amsterdam based HR and recruitment specialist is purchasing the job portal for USD 429 million in cash

  • As per the terms of the merger agreement, it will pay USD 3.40 per share in cash or total purchase price of around USD 429 million (enterprise value)
  • Monster is Massachusetts based
  • It is one of the very first e-commerce companies to go public during the 1990s
  • It once had a share price of over USD 91 and market cap of USD 8 billion
  • Monster dot com will continue to operate separate and independent entity under the Monster name
  • Following a massive technological change, employers are challenged to identify better ways to source and engage talent
  • Under the terms of the merger agreement, Board of Directors of both Randstad and Monster have approved the terms unanimously

▼ Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding to help international technology firms   [08-10-16]

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is offering to help global technology firms such as SAP SE to enter China, wherein foreign tech companies here are facing increased government scrutiny

  • Alibaba Cloud has offered to help tech firms overcome business obstacles in China by offering firms JV and partnerships through cloud computing programs
  • The company has also said its AliLaunch program has signed up 11 partners including AppScale Systems Inc, Hitachi and SAP.

▼ Alibaba Cloud announces partnership with HTC Corp   [08-10-16]

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group has announced strategic partnership with HTC Corporation

  • Both companies will jointly explore VR/virtual reality solutions for international customers worldwide
  • Two companies will also focus on developing solutions to deal with bandwidth allocation, data transmission and data processing needs such as VR video production and broadcasting
  • Partnership also needs to bring industry developers into developing the VR cloud
  • Partnership will accelerate development of VR technology in China and encourage global,widespread adoption
  • This is a land mark collaboration between VR and cloud computing industries

▼ Panasonic Corporation announces acquisition of all shares of German software firm OpenSynergy GmbH   [08-10-16]

Panasonic Corporation has announced the acquisition of outstanding shares of German software company OpenSynergy GmbH.

  • Following this, the German firm has become Panasonic’s subsidiary
  • OpenSynergy is a high tech company specialising in embedded automotive software for cockpit aviation solutions
  • Automotive business is a high growth area and its software technologies aim OpenSynergy’s multiple operating systems to be integrated into one system
  • Technologies will help next generation cockpit system characterised by integration of multimedia and driver support functions

▼ Mindteck enters into GE Digital Alliance Program   [08-10-16]

Mindteck, a global technology company announced its entry into the GE Digital Alliance Program which focuses on growth of the digital industrial ecosystem.

  • Alliance will enable Mindteck to further its IoT competency into the industrial space and provide customers with enough insights and analytics to eliminate business inefficiency
  • Mindteck has also developed its own Ignite platform which is a key component of the IoT ecosystem.
  • Mindtree will now have the capacity to share industrial apps through Predix, a GE cloud platform for industrial internet

▼ HDFC Life and Max group approves merger of two life insurance entities   [08-9-16]

Boards of HDFC Life and Analjit Singh’s Max Group companies on 8th August 2016 approved the merger of two life insurance entities

  • Merger will create the largest private sector life insurance company with assets under management of INR 1.1 lakh crore with 7 million customers
  • Exact value of the deal were not revealed

▼ Mahindra Group ties up with MSTC   [08-9-16]

Mahindra Intertrade Ltd, a part of the Mahindra Partners Division of the USD 17.8 billion Mahindra Group and MSTC Ltd, a GoI enterprise have come together to jointly set up a first of its kind greenfield auto shredding and recycling capability in the nation

  • Mahindra Intertrade owns and operates network of steel service centres across the automotive power and home verticals
  • Mahindra Partners is a USD 900 million PE division of Mahindra Group
  • Proposed collaborative venture will establish an integrated automotive recycling capability for end of life vehicles and take on numerous activities such as collection, compaction, de-pollution, transportation, shredding, recycling and disposal

▼ Qualcomm enters into agreement with Vivo Communication Technology Co   [08-9-16]

Qualcomm announced that it entered a new 3G and 4G Chinese patent license agreement with Vivo Communication Technology Co.

  • As per the terms of agreement, Qualcomm has granted vivo a royalty bearing patent license to develop, manufacture and sell 3G and 4Gd devices for use in China
  • Vivo is the third-biggest smartphone brand in China.

▼ Walmart to acquire retail newcomer Jet   [08-9-16]

Walmart has agreed to purchase fast growing online retail newcomer Jet dot com that aims to challenge Amazon

  • Walmart will now be directly able to compete with Amazon as buying the online retailer will help it to grab higher income customer who typically is younger
  • Move followed a series of acquisitions by major traditional retailers for online startups

▼ IBM partners Apple to launch global development hub   [08-9-16]

To accelerate digital transformation in India, IBM has partnered with Apple to launch a global development hub called Garage for iOS apps

  • It is working in Bangalore
  • Garage will enable clients to complete digital mobility projects as quickly as possible
  • There are 22 inter disciplinary teams working at Garage to provide iOS solutions

▼ Apple acquires Turi   [08-8-16]

Apple is upping the ante on artificial intelligence acquiring start up Turi for USD 200 million

  • Acquisition reflects a push by artificial intelligence and machine learning increasing the California based company’s presence in Seattle.
  • Apple has also acquired some other machine learning and AI-related startups in recent months like VocalIQ, Emotient and Perception.

▼ Sports promoter & founder of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani elected as IOC member   [08-8-16]

Noted sports promoter and founder chairperson of Reliance Foundation, Nita Ambani was elected as an individual member of the International Olympic Committee on 4th August 2016

  • She was elected by IOC members at the 129th session of the world body in Rio de Janeiro.
  • She became the first Indian woman to join the prestigious body governing the Olympic sports in the world.
  • Nita is the owner of the Mumbai Indians cricket team franchise and founder of Indian Super League Football tournament.
  • Sir Dorabji Tata was the first person to represent India in the IOC.
  • Raja Randhir Singh is currently an honorary member after serving the body from 2000-2014.
  • Apart from Nita, 7 IOC members were elected at the 129th IOC Session ahead of the Olympic Games Rio 2016 namely:

  • 1. Sari Essayah
    2. Ivo Ferriani
    3. Luis Moreno
    4. Auvita Rapilla
    5. Anant Singh
    6. Tricia Smith
    7. Karl Stoss

  • Besides this, two vice presidents were also elected on the executive board namely Juan Antonio Samaranch and Ugur Edener.

▼ CBDT signs agreement with Japanese trading company   [08-5-16]

Central Board of Direct Taxes has entered into a Bilateral Advance Pricing Agreement on 2nd August 2016 with an Indian subsidiary of the Japanese trading company.

  • This marks the first Bilateral APA with a Japanese company having a rollback provision.
  • Overall, it is the fourth bilateral APA signed by CBDT and signing of this bilateral APA helps in ascertaining certainty in transfer pricing matters of MNC cases and dispute resolution.
  • APA scheme was introduced as per the Income Tax Act in 2012 and the Rollback provisions were introduced in 2014

▼ PE Electronics joins hands with Amazon India to launch LED TVs   [08-5-16]

PE Electronics, the official brand license partner of Philips in India has launched content driven LED televisions in collaboration with Amazon India, a leading e-commerce platform.

  • With the new age content driven platform, customers can stream and download full length movies
  • Premium HD DTH services are now available for customers.

▼ Infosys announces USD 4 million investment in Cloudyn   [08-4-16]

Global software major Infosys on 3rd August 2016 announced the investment of USD 4 million or INR 27 crore in Israeli corporation Cloudyn, providing software as a service solutions for management and optimisation of hybrid, multi-cloud deployments.

  • Cloudyn has enabled enterprises to manage and optimise multi cloud deployments.
  • Infosys investment came after rival Wipro said it was purchasing HR Given, another Israeli firm for an undisclosed amount.

▼ CISCO MD of India and SAARC sales Purushottam Kaushik resigns   [08-3-16]

CISCO MD of sales for India and SAARC region, Purushottam Kaushik resigned from the networking major after having worked there for 7 years.

  • He may join Juniper Networks whose India head recently quit.
  • He also created and managed a USD 2 billion business centred around smart cities, IoT, public safety and surveillance and Digital India initiatives.

▼ Tesla Motors to acquire SolarCity Corp   [08-3-16]

SolarCity Corp has agreed to the USD 2.6 billion offer of Tesla Motor to purchase the solar panel installer learning the obstacle for a carbon free energy and transportation company.

  • The fall in the value of SolarCity is due to the solar company’s slowing growth, complicated financial structure and increased scrutiny of government incentives for rooftop solar.
  • For Tesla, acquisition of SolarCity will offer greater economies of scale in electrical energy management systems

▼ Uber Chinese operations acquired by Didi Chuxing   [08-2-16]

Uber Technology’s main Chinese rival Didi Chuxing has acquired its China operations in a deal which sees the surrender of the foreign technology brand in the face of intense competition in China.

  • Other brands to turn over local operations to Chinese partners or withdraw include Yahoo and eBay.
  • Didi Chuxing indicated it would take over all of Uber in China and operate it as a distinct brand.
  • Uber will receive a stake in the Chinse company and the founders of both companies will join each other’s boards.
  • Didi was formed in 2015 following a merger of ride hailing services by Tencent and Alibaba Group.

▼ Wipro Infrastructure Engineering signs agreement to acquire Israeli based HR Givon Ltd   [08-2-16]

The size of the deal was not disclosed by the company. Acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete in September.

  • Acquisition of Givon which makes specialised metallic parts and assemblies for the aerospace industry will help Wipro increase its product range and expand its global footprint.

▼ Lab glassware major Borosil acquires stake in Klasspack Pvt Ltd   [08-2-16]

Laboratory glassware major Borosil Glass World Ltd has announced the acquisition of 60.3 percent stake in Nashik based Klasspack Pvt Ltd for an amount which has not been specified.

  • A majority of the stake has been purchased by way of fund infusion and the balance by smaller secondary purchase of shares according to company statement.
  • Klasspack is a leading manufacturer of glass ampoules and tubular glass vials.

▼ ICICI Bank and Apollo India Credit Opportunity Management signs MoU for ARC   [08-2-16]

ICICI Bank and Apollo India Credit Opportunity Management have signed an MoU to set up an asset reconstruction company.

  • 30 percent of the stake in ICICI Bank will be picked up in the ARC.
  • Current rules do not allow more than 50 percent FDI by an entity in an ARC.

▼ GSK collaborates with Alphabet to create new company, Galvani Bioelectronics   [08-2-16]

GlaxoSmithKline and Alphabet’s life sciences unit have created a new company focused on fighting disease by targeting electrical signals in the body, creating a new field of medicine called bioelectronics.

  • Verily Life Sciences (previously Google life sciences unit) and GSK (Britain’s biggest drugmaker) will contribute 540 million pounds over a period of 7 years to Galvani Bioelectronics.
  • New company will be based in London with a research hub in San Francisco.
  • Verily is a latest mover into creating business for Google beyond search engines.
  • Verily has other medical projects in the works including development of smart contact lenses in partnership with Swiss drugmaker Novartis which has a glucose sensor to monitor diabetes
  • Galvani is owned 55 percent by GSK and 45 percent by Verily.
  • It will develop miniaturised, implantable devices that can modify electrical nerve signals.
  • Aim is to modulate irregular/altered impulses found in many illnesses.
  • Using these tiny devices, GSK holds that diseases like asthma and diabetes could be treated.

▼ SWIFT announces Axis Bank and ICICI first to join global payments innovation initiative   [08-1-16]

SWIFT has announced that ICICI Bank and Axis Bank are the first in India to sign up for global payments innovation initiative.

  • Both banks will collaborate with close to 70 leading banks internationally.
  • Initiative aims to enhance cross border payment through instant messaging platform ensuring global reach.
  • It has the following key features:
    1. Same day use of funds
    2. Transparency and predictability of fees
    3. End-to-end payments tracking.
    4. Transfer of rich payment information.

▼ CII and IBF launch social media account to provide meaningful interaction   [08-1-16]

CII and India Business Forum has launched a social media account, a Wechat to create meaningful interaction between Indian and Chinese businesses and stay updated with latest industry news and trends.

  • Wechat account was launched and is a unique initiative of CII-Shanghai aiming to bring together leading Indian industries in China on one common electronic platform.
  • This is in keeping with growing social media trends.

▼ Chinese consortium acquires Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc online games   [08-1-16]

Chinese consortium including game developer Shanghai Giant Network Technology Co Ltd and e-commerce film Alibaba Group Holding Ltd founder Jack Ma has agreed to acquire Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc’s online games unit for USD 4.4 billion in cash.

  • Caesars Interactive Entertainment is currently owned by Caesars Acquisition Co and Caesars Entertainment Corp.
  • Sales will help two companies looking for cash as they embark on a complex merger.
  • Caesars Entertainment’s main operating unit, Caesar Entertainment Operating Co Inc is currently involved in a USD 18 billion bankruptcy and is seeking creditor approval for restructuring the plan.
  • Chinese companies are eager to expand beyond their home country which has the world’s largest online gaming market.
  • Chinese’s biggest gaming group agreed to purchase a majority stake in Clash of Clans mobile game maker Supercell from SoftBank Group Corp in an USD 8.6 billion deal.
  • Caesars online games business called Playtime makes games such as Bingo Blitz and Slotomania available on Apple Inc’s App Store.

▼ R. Seshasayee steps down from the board of Ashok Leyland   [08-1-16]

R. Seshasayee has resigned from the board of Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hindujas and resigned his position as non executive vice chairman.

  • His resignation has been accepted.
  • Seshasayee has indicated he would like to set down for the younger generation. A CA, he was an iconic figure in Ashok Leyland’s brand image.
  • Starting his career with Hindustan Unilever in 1971, Seshasayee joined Ashok Leyland in 1976.
  • He was made executive vice chairman in 2011.

▼ SBI and Oracle join hands for corporate India’s largest volunteering programme   [08-1-16]

The programme aims to create digital fluency among underprivileged school students.

  • The programme is called D-Change and organisations have to deploy resources including staff and equipment to train students in areas like ICT tools.
  • This is a joint employee volunteering initiative aimed at skilled workforce development in the nation.
  • The programme is driven by the SBI Foundation and focuses on three key areas - education, rural upliftment and women empowerment.

▼ Oracle to purchase NetSuite   [08-1-16]

Oracle has indicated that it would purchase NetSuite in a deal valued at USD 9.3 billion to expand into fast growing cloud market.

  • Net Suite shares rose 18.6 percent to USD 108.64 in pre-market trading just a little less than USD 109 per share.
  • Rivals SAP, SE and Microsoft have also focused on moving the business to the cloud based model providing services remotely via data centres rather than selling installed software.
  • Oracle recently lost the Titanium case and was asked to pay USD 3 billion to HP.
  • Net Suite founded in 1998 pioneered the cloud computing revolution for creating the first company dedicated to providing business apps over the internet.
  • Oracle has also acquired firms such as Textura and Opower to enhance competitiveness in the cloud market

▼ US electric component distributor Avnet to buy Premier Farnell Plc for USD 911 million   [08-1-16]

US electric component distributor Avnet has taken the decision to purchase Premier Farnell Plc for USD 911 million beating out an earlier offer from Daetwyler Holding AG for British Maker of Raspberry Pi mini computer.

  • Shares of Premier Farnell rose as high as 193.75 pence on 28th July 2016 above AVent’s offer of 185 pence.
  • Following Brexit, overseas suitors have flocked to Britain in search of deals cheaper given the sharp decline in pound against the dollar.
  • Japan’s SoftBank has agreed to purchase Britain’s most valuable technology company ARM holdings, a chip designer for USD 32 billion.

▼ Cognizant Technology Solutions acquires Idea Couture   [08-1-16]

Expanding the digital portfolio, Teaneck, New Jersey based Cognizant Technology Solutions announced acquisition of Idea Couture, a Canadian privately held firm offers a range of digital innovation, strategy, design and technology services.

  • Terms of transaction were not disclosed fully.
  • With the rise of new generation of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, mobility, business analytics, cloud services and IoT, firms seek to understand and apply technologies to improve customer experience, business processes and back office processes.
  • Idea Couture will be part of Cognizant Digital Works which brings together human insight, digital strategy, industry knowledge, design and new technologies to help create and run digital business solutions.
  • Located in Toronto with offices in US, EU and Latin America, Idea Couture has more than 170 social scientists, strategists, anthropologists, user experience experts, designers and connected product developers who serve leading companies across varied industries such as PepsiCo, Cox, Kroger and ConAgra Foods.

▼ Close to 13 crore rural households have income of less than INR 5000 per month: SECC 2011   [08-1-16]

More than 13 crore rural households in the country have income of less than INR 5000 per month according to the Parliament.

  • As per the Socio Economic and Caste Census/SECC 2011, 13.39 crore of 17.97 crore rural households have declared income of less than INR 5000 per month.
  • Department of Rural Development is implementing various schemes such as MGNREGA, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana among others to enhance the overall quality of life of the people.
  • SECC 2011 was carried out to generate information on numerous socioeconomic indicators for ranking of households in rural and urban areas of the country.