Business & Finance - Current Affairs for February, 2017

Business & Finance Current Affairs for February, 2017

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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▼ Softbank and Foxconn to operate JV, collaborate   [02-28-17]

Japan's Softbank Group and Taiwan's Foxconn (known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co before this) on 24th Feb 2017 announced they would operate a JV together, deepening ties between Asia's largest technology firms.

Move will give Foxconn 54.5 percent in Softbank's existing subsidiary for USD 600 million; this comes as both groups step up investments in technology sector and consider expansion in the US.

Under the arrangement, a unit of Foxconn will invest $600 million for a majority stake in Softbank Group Capital Apac Pte Ltd.

This will be effectively transforming what had been a wholly-owned Softbank unit into a joint venture.

In December plans from the two companies on possibly expanding investment in the United States were revealed after a meeting between billionaire Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and Donald Trump.

Foxconn is taking over SoftBank’s Asia-based tech investment fund.

The manufacturing giant, which is responsible for producing Apple’s iPhone among many other tech products, has agreed to buy a majority 54.5 percent stake in SoftBank Asia Capital in exchange for $600 million, according to a filing.

The deal is scheduled to go through March 1, after which time SoftBank Asia Capital will no longer be a SoftBank affiliate. A SoftBank representative confirmed that the agreement will see Foxconn become the decision maker on investments for the fund.

Foxconn itself said the fund would blend SoftBank’s investment expertise with its leadership in advanced manufacturing and technology services and global presence.

The establishment of this joint venture is in line with Foxconn’s overall investment strategy and will enable the company to explore and tap new investment opportunities that will drive Foxconn’s sustainable business development.

The Taiwan-headquartered company may be synonymous with production, but it is no stranger to doing deals.

Its investments include India-based chat app Hike, China’s top ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing, selfie app and selfie phone maker Meitu, 360 degree camera maker Lytro, and hot Chinese bike rental startup Mobike.

Foxconn is one LP in SoftBank’s new Vision fund, which also includes contributions from Apple, Qualcomm and Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s family office.

The Vision Fund is targeting a $100 billion raise, and real estate startup WeWork may be one of its first deals.

Softbank: Know More

  • Founder: Masayoshi Son
  • Founded: 3 September 1981, Tokyo, Japan
  • Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan
  • Revenue: 9.15 trillion JPY (2015)
  • Subsidiaries: Yahoo! Japan, SOFTBANK CORP., Sprint Corporation, GungHo Online Entertainment Inc

▼ TCS announces India's biggest buyback offer   [02-27-17]

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which is the country’s largest listed company in terms of market capitalisation, has announced India’s biggest buyback offer till now.

The software major plans to buy back up to 5.61 crore equity shares at INR2,850 per share.

Assuming that 5.61 crore shares - equivalent to 2.85% of the company’s equity - are bought back, the offer size would be pegged at INR 16,000 crore, surpassing Reliance Industries Ltd.’s 2012 share buyback offer of INR 10,400 crore.

The buyback is being made through the tender offer route.

This means the existing shareholders can tender their shares through the stock exchange.

The buyback offer price of INR 2,850 represents a 13.7% premium to INR 2,506.50, the closing price on February 20 when the announcement was made.

Since the buyback announcement, the stock has lost nearly 1% to close at INR 2,481.65 on Thursday (the stock market was shut on Friday on account of Mahasivaratri).

The buyback offer price is at a premium of almost 15% over the current market price.

TCS has a cash pile of more than INR 38,000 crore as on December 31, 2016.

Given the tax rules of India, a buy back is a comparatively better way of rewarding shareholders than doling out hefty dividends.

While there is no additional tax in buyback, dividends come at a cost to the company and the shareholders.

There is a dividend distribution tax of more than 20% on the companies while individuals have to pay 10% tax if dividend received is more than INR 10 lakh.

Buy Backs in IT Space: Know More

  • The mega buyback offer and the response to it could lead to more such offers, mostly from the IT space.
  • Infosys is seeking shareholder approval for amending its Articles of Association to include the provision of buybacks - as mandated by the new Companies Act.
  • Wipro, Tech Mahindra and HCL Technologies might be still some time away from such offers because of the lower levels of cash and a historical trend of inorganic growth.
  • The board of NASDAQ-listed Cognizant has also approved a plan to return $3.4 billion to its shareholders over two years through buybacks and dividend.
  • The NYSE-listed Accenture Plc has a history of returning all its profits to its shareholders in the form of buybacks and dividend payouts.

▼ Andhra government signs agreement to use Microsoft Azure Stack   [02-27-17]

Government of Andhra has entered into an agreement with technology giant Microsoft to use Microsoft Azure Stack for AP government state data centre.

The chief minister Chandrababu Naidu and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella signed an MoU during an event called ‘Microsoft Future Decoded’ in Mumbai on 22nd Feb 2017.

Under the MoU, Microsoft Azure Stack for the first time in the world will be used to migrate live applications currently hosted in Hyderabad State Data Centre (SDC) to Vizag data centre.

Government of India helped erstwhile Andhra Pradesh to build a state data centre in Hyderabad with the funding of INR 400 crore.

However, after bifurcation of the state into residual Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, both the states have bifurcated servers and data but they are using the same data centre in Hyderabad.

As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, AP has 10 years rights on the data centre but state is gradually planning to move all applications hosted in Hyderabad SDC to Vizag and Vijayawada data centres.

The US-based company has tested this Microsoft Azure Stack in its lab but it has not been physically delivered or commercially used anywhere in the world.

For the first time, Microsoft is doing proof of concept (POC) with Government of Andhra Pradesh to prove its capability.

Currently more than 340 applications of Andhra Pradesh including eSeva, MeeSeva, Core Dash Board are running in Hyderabad SDC.

Under the PoC agreement, state will migrate 15 applications to Vizag data centre.

To migrate, part of the applications will be taken to cloud and from cloud it will be transmitted onto the Azure Stack.

In this process, live applications will move from Hyderabad to Vizag.

Once the box is with government Microsoft will not have access to the data but they will have access to data in the cloud.

The security of the data and application at this stage resides with the Microsoft.

What is Azure Stack?

  • A data centre basically has three important components - server, applications and storage.
  • The hardware for all three components are different and they are controlled by software also knows as controller.
  • For migration of the data centre from one location to other, generally private companies put on-premise data centre into the cloud and then to different location or it remains in the cloud.
  • However, governments are highly conscious of data security because they deal with personal data of citizens.
  • So, they usually avoid going to cloud and prefer data to be within their boundaries.
  • Microsoft Azure Stack which encompasses three key components of the data centre - application, server, and the storage - into one physical box and delivers to the client, ensures 100% control over the box.
  • Technically, it is a cloud software that is binding the entire stack together in one environment.

▼ FreeCharge CEO Govind Rajan resigns   [02-27-17]

FreeCharge CEO Govind Rajan has resigned from the company within 9 months of his appointment as payment subsidiary of online marketplace Snapdeal.

Snapdeal, run by Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd, has been trying to independently raise funds for FreeCharge but the company has struggled to attract investors in the past six to 10 months.

FreeCharge, which provides digital payments services, was acquired by Snapdeal for $450 million in April 2015 and appointed Rajan as the chief executive in May 2016.

Govind has brought incredible energy and focus in growing FreeCharge. The pace of progress will continue with the strong team that he has built.

Jason Kothari will oversee the business operations of FreeCharge as part of his overall responsibilities of portfolio management as the chief strategy and investment officer of Snapdeal.

Rajan was initially hired as the chief strategy officer of Snapdeal, prior to which he was at Bharti Airtel Ltd as its chief marketing officer and chief executive of Airtel Money.

He also worked at Hindustan Unilever Ltd for over 15 years.

Numerous high-level exits at Snapdeal, include Sandeep Komaravelly, head of peer-to-peer marketplace Shopo; Tony Navin, head of partnerships and strategic investments; and Abhishek Kumar, head of corporate development, mergers and acquisitions and investments.

Backed by Japan’s Softbank Group, which holds close to 33% in the company, Snapdeal has also received funding from Kalaari Capital.

Other funders are Nexus Venture Partners, eBay Inc., Foxconn Technology Group and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal now have a stake of less than 6.5% in the company, which has raised around $2 billion since its inception.

▼ Production head Ramkumar Narayanan quits eBay India   [02-27-17]

Ramkumar Narayanan, general manager and global head of monetisation products at eBay Marketplaces in India, has resigned from the firm.

He was primarily responsible for generating revenues for eBay.

Previously, he was the vice president of global product management at Yahoo and also worked with Microsoft in the past.

eBay has mainly two divisions in the country - a marketplace, which is based in Mumbai, and the development centre in Bengaluru.

The development centre is divided into two teams—core product and development, and analytics.

eBay Inc. entered India after acquiring an existing online site in 2004, much before Flipkart or Amazon started business in the country.

However, due to heavy investments from other competitors, the company could not thrive on its early-mover advantage in the country.

The Indian arm of US-based online selling platform reported a three-fold rise in revenue and a wider loss for the financial year 2015-16.

According to filings with the Registrar of Companies, eBay reported losses of INR 262 crore for the year ended March 2016 versus INR 172 crore in the same year-ago period. Revenues soared to INR 392 crore in 2015-16 from INR 132 crore in the previous financial year.

In November 2016, eBay dismissed nearly 30% of the product and technology team at its development centre in Bengaluru.

The work done by these teams was transferred to other global locations, the company had said.

The company has been trimming its global workforce since 2015 when it had laid off 350 people from its marketplace and payments entity PayPal, which it acquired in 2002.

▼ Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-2017 Series IV launched   [02-27-17]

The Union Finance Ministry has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17-Series IV. The applications for the bonds will be accepted from 27th February to 3rd of March, 2017.

These will be sold through banks, designated post offices, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited and recognised stock exchanges.

The bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities including individuals, Trusts, Hindu Undivided Families, Universities and Charitable Institutions.

The investors will be compensated at a fixed rate of 2.50 percent per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value.

Sovereign Gold Bond scheme was launched in September 2015 with an aim to reduce the demand for physical gold by shifting it to gold bonds.

▼ Google, Dutch partner crack SHA-1   [02-24-17]

A collaboration between Google's research unit and a Dutch institute on Thursday cracked a widely used cryptographic technology SHA-1.

This technology that has been one of the key building blocks of internet security, is known as Secure Hash Algorithm 1 or currently used to verify the integrity of digital files and signatures that secure credit card transactions as well as Git open-source software repositories.

Researchers were able to demonstrate a "collision attack" using two different PDF files with the same SHA-1 fingerprint, but with different visible content.

Moving forward, it's more urgent than ever for security practitioners to migrate to safer cryptographic hashes such as SHA-256 and SHA-3.

SHA-1: Know More

  • In cryptography, SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) is a cryptographic hash function.
  • It is designed by the United States National Security Agency.
  • It is a U.S. Federal Information Processing Standard published by the United States NIST.
  • SHA-1 produces a 160-bit (20-byte) hash value known as a message digest.

▼ MOVE: TATA Communication's New IoT Platform   [02-24-17]

Tata Communications on 24th Feb 2017 announced its entry into the USD 4 billion mobile data connectivity and cross-border Internet of Things market.

This is by unveiling its MOVE platform that will enable people and things to become seamlessly connected on a global scale.

With more than 3 billion Internet users globally and billions more connected 'things' from activity trackers and smart home hubs to connected cars and street lights, one lives in a truly digital world.

Tata Communications MOVE platform will enable people and things to become seamlessly connected on a global scale.

The platform is underpinned by Tata Communications' global network partnerships with 900 mobile communications service providers globally, and recent investment in Teleena.

Teleena is an IoT connectivity specialist and mobile virtual network enabler, whose technology manages the operational complexity and reduces the cost of IoT deployments for businesses.

Tata Communications' investment has made it the single largest shareholder in Teleena with a 35 per cent stake.

TATA Communications: Know More

  • CEO: Vinod Anand Kumar (since Feb 2011)
  • Headquarters: Mumbai
  • Revenue: 3.2 billion USD (2014)
  • CFO: Pratibha K Advani

▼ Bharti Airtel acquires business of Telenor India   [02-24-17]

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel will acquire the business of Telenor India for an undisclosed sum in all seven circles where it holds spectrum.

Airtel on 23rd Feb 2017 said it had entered into a definitive agreement with Telenor South Asia Investments Pte Ltd to acquire Telenor (India) Communications Private Limited.

In a statement, Telenor said the transaction would not trigger any impairment.

As of fourth quarter 2016, the remaining value of tangible and intangible assets in Telenor India amounted to NOK 0.3 billion. '

The transaction is expected to close within 12 months.

Airtel is India’s largest wireless operator with over 269 million subscribers and a revenue market share of over 33 per cent.

As the new owner, Airtel will take over Telenor India’s spectrum, licences and operations, including its employees and customer base of 44 million.

As a part of the agreement, Airtel will acquire Telenor India’s running operations in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP (East), UP (West) and Assam.

It will also enable Airtel to further bolster its strong spectrum footprint in these seven circles, with the addition of 43.4 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band,” Airtel said.

Telenor India’s operations and services will continue as normal until the completion of the transaction.

The acquisition of additional spectrum through this transaction, which made an attractive business proposition, has further enhanced Airtel’s spectrum portfolio.

With effect from the first quarter of 2017, Telenor India will be treated as an asset held for sale and discontinued operations in Telenor Group’s financial reporting.

Telenor announced its entry into India in 2008. In 2016, Telenor India’s revenues were NOK 6.0 billion and the operating cash flow was NOK - 0.4 billion.

Telenor: Know More

  • CEO: Sigve Brekke (17 Aug 2015)
  • Headquarters: Fornebu, Bærum, Norway
  • Owner: Politics of Norway (54%)

▼ SIDBI signs MoU with Vijaya Bank   [02-23-17]

Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Vijaya Bank for providing concessional finance to micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

The MoU aims at promoting and strengthening units in the MSE segment through concessional funding - that is, at the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) of Vijaya Bank under refinance from SIDBI.

The MoU also envisages joint financing/co-financing of MSMEs for meeting capital expenditure under the ‘SIDBI Make in India Soft Loan Fund for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises’ scheme at concessional rate of 9.60 per cent.

This is along with working capital from Vijaya Bank.

The resources and expertise of SIDBI in MSME financing and the outreach of Vijaya Bank are proposed to be leveraged.

This initiative of SIDBI and Vijaya Bank will go a long way in creating a conducive ecosystem for MSEs desirous of accessing concessional/composite funding.

Vijaya Bank's partnership with Small Industries Development Bank of India would further improve the financing of MSMEs.

This year alone, nearly 500 new entrepreneurs have been financed by Vijaya Bank to set up greenfield projects under the ‘Stand Up India’ scheme. Further, the bank has lent over INR1,250 crore this year alone under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna (PMMY).

Vijaya Bank: Know More

  • Headquarters: Bengaluru
  • CEO: Kishore Kumar Sansi (1 Jan 2015)
  • Founder: A. B. Shetty
  • Founded: 1931

▼ Britannia signs pact with Chipita   [02-22-17]

Britannia Industries, has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Greek company, Chipita BIL said on Tuesday.

In a regulatory filing, BIL said that it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Chipita, a Greek company for exploring certain business opportunities.

“The company is in an advanced stage of discussion with Chipita to finalise definitive agreements which inter alia includes joint venture agreement.

Presently the 123-year old mother-brand marks a presence in biscuits, breads, cakes, rusk and dairy products including value-added ones like cheese.

The company said that it is working not only in the new-launch space in biscuits but also in the adjacent macro snacking space.

Chipita: Know More

  • Chipita said on its website that it started in 1973 , producing and marketing savoury snacks.
  • This include mainly croissants and similar dough products like bakery rolls.
  • Since 1995, it has marked a presence outside the country.
  • It now has 38 production lines in 11 manufacturing facilities in several countries including India.

▼ Apple acquires AI startup   [02-22-17]

Apple has acquired Israel-based start-up RealFace that develops deep-learning-based face authentication technology.

The terms of the deal are not public, but it is estimated at ‘several million dollars’.

Apple would mainly be interested in the promise of the technology than pure resources.

Set up in 2014 by Adi Eckhouse Barzilai and Aviv Mader, RealFace has developed a facial recognition software that offers users a smart biometric login.

This is aiming to make passwords redundant when accessing mobile devices or PCs, the Times of Israel reported.

Apple came out in the open publishing its first AI research paper that focuses on advanced image recognition.

Titled ‘Learning from Simulated and Unsupervised Images through Adversarial Training’, the paper describes techniques of training computer vision algorithms to recognise objects using synthetic, or computer generated, images.

▼ SBI rebranded as   [02-21-17]

The State Bank of India (SBI) on 20th Feb 2017 announced rebranding of its website as

According SBI, the new domain name is the highest domain protocol known as generic top level domain (gTLD), an official statement.

The SBI group has several businesses. For those wanting to do banking or want to know about the bank it is easier to type out

The SBI group having presence in insurance, mutual fund and card may also go for such Generic top-level domain (gTLD).

With this, SBI has become the first banking organisation in India to use a gTLD for its online presence and providing an exclusive experience of assurance and security to its customers.

SBI being the largest bank has always been the pioneer in adapting new technology.

SBI has always believed in providing high-tech yet secure internet experience to its customers.

Bank's own gTLD is another step in this direction.

SBI's Chairperson is currently Arundhati Bhattacharya.

Bank's own gTLD aims at simplifying the digital experience of customers and brings in enhanced security against phishing and lookalike websites.

Due to its non-replicability, a gTLD site like ".sbi" conveys an assurance to the customer that the site is authorised, genuine and is not an inappropriate or phishing site.

The existing site of will continue till customers get used to the SBI's new secure website.

SBI: Know More

  • State Bank of India is an Indian multinational, public sector banking and financial services company.
  • It is a government-owned corporation with its headquarters in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Founded: 1 July 1955
  • Subsidiaries: SBI Cards, State Bank of Hyderabad etc

▼ Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba inks partnership   [02-21-17]

China's leading e-commerce firm Alibaba and a Shanghai-based state-owned retail conglomerate Bailian Group announced a rare private-public strategic alliance to push forward partnership for creating a new shopping scenario.

The strategic partnership will allow Alibaba to put its New Retail concept into practice, changing customer experience and efficiency of logistics and services.

Alibaba's CEO Zhang Yong commented on the company's tie-up with the Bailian Group as increasing efficiency and enhancing customer experience.

It is rare for Chinese-state run firm to tie up with a private-owned company for business expansion.

The alliance does not involve capital ties at this stage.

Consumption contributed 64.6% to China's GDP growth last year, as the country moves from an export and investment-driven growth model into one that draws strength from consumption, innovation and the service sector.

Bailian Group: Know More

  • Bailian Group is a state-owned enterprise in Shanghai, China's financial hub.
  • Its main business covers department stores, shopping malls, outlets, large stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and specialty retail formats.
  • It is also operating in non-ferrous metals, ferrous metals, automobiles, chemical lighting, electricity, timber and fuel, etc.
  • It operates 4,700 stores in more than 200 Chinese cities.
  • Ye Yongming, chairman of Bailian, said traditional retailing requires technology to provide consumers with new shopping experiences anytime and anywhere.

▼ BharatQR launched by NPCI   [02-21-17]

BharatQR, another e-payment medium which has been termed the world’s first interoperable and low cost acceptance solution, was launched by the National Payments Corporation of India.

It was launched in association with MasterCard and Visa.

This is another step in the direction of making India a less-cash economy, said a joint press release by the companies.

BharatQR is linked with the RBI’s Payments Vision 2018, which outlines innovation, interoperability and security as the three pillars to transition the country into cashless economy.

RBI Payments Vision 2018

  • The Vision-2018 for Payment and Settlement Systems in India reiterates the commitment of the Reserve Bank of India to encourage greater use of electronic payments by all sections of society so as to achieve a “less-cash” society.
  • The objective is to facilitate provision of a payment system for the future that combines the much-valued attributes of safety, security and universal reach with technological solutions.
  • This will enable faster processing, enhanced convenience, and the extraction and use of valuable information that accompanies payments.

  • The 5 Cs of Vision 2018

  • Coverage - by enabling wider access to a variety of electronic payment services
  • Convenience - by enhancing user experience through ease of use and of products and processes
  • Confidence - by promoting integrity of systems, security of operations and customer protection
  • Convergence - by ensuring interoperability across service providers
  • Cost - by making services cost effective for users as well as service providers

▼ UDAN to see airports in country rise by 50   [02-20-17]

The implementation of the regional air-connectivity scheme, UDAN, will see the number of operational airports in the country shoot up by over 50.

The cost of travelling will come down to as low as ?2,500 for up to an hour of air journey.

Currently, there are 75 small operational airports in the country, and this number will increase to over 125 with the successful implementation of UDAN.

UDAN or (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) - the new scheme through which the government hopes to make flying viable to Tier II and III cities is being implemented for building new airports, adding new terminals and improving the efficiency of existing terminals,

Drawing reference to Jharkhand, Centre will be able to connect all major cities of the State in 1-2 years.

With air traffic growing by over 20 per cent, there will be “capacity constraints”, he said, but the Centre is taking all possible actions to ensure decongestion and utilisation of existing capacities.

Cost of flying is progressively coming down because of technology and if oil prices come down, this will be an affordable transport for the masses

Disruption in mass transport is also on the anvil with companies such as Hyperloop proposing new-age rapid-transit options.

Benefits of UDAN: Know More

  • The scheme ensure affordability, connectivity, growth and development. It would provide a win-win situation for all stakeholders - citizens would get the benefit of affordability, connectivity and more jobs.
  • The Centre would be able to expand the regional air connectivity and market.
  • The state governments would reap the benefit of development of remote areas, enhance trade and commerce and more tourism expansion.
  • For incumbent airlines there was the promise of new routes and more passengers while for and start-up airlines there is the opportunity of new, scalable business.
  • Airport operators will also see their business expanding as would original equipment manufacturers.

  • About UDAN

  • The scheme UDAN envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports.
  • The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years.
  • UDAN has a unique market-based model to develop regional connectivity.

▼ South Indian Bank awarded ISO 27001:2013 certification   [02-20-17]

South Indian Bank (SIB) was awarded with ISO 27001: 2013 certification for its Information Security Management System (ISMS).

The certification process involved an extensive audit, conducted by British Standards Institution (BSI) against the criteria set out by the ISO 27001:2013 standards on various domains of IT functions.

The award demonstrates SIB’s total commitment to benchmarking technology framework and processes with international standards and commitment to long term vision for security best practices.

SIB already has received ISO 9001 Quality Management certification for its Credit Department, Personnel Department and Data Centre.

ISMS is set of policies and procedures for systematically managing an organization’s sensitive data.

Its goal is to minimize risk and ensure business continuity by pro-actively by limiting the impact of a security breach.

South Indian Bank

  • Headquarters: India
  • CEO: V. G. Mathew
  • Founded: 1929
  • South Indian Bank Limited is a major private sector bank headquartered at Thrissur in Kerala, India.

▼ Airtel, Mastercard launch India's first online debit card   [02-20-17]

Airtel Payments Bank and Mastercard, a leading global payments and technology firm has launched India’s first online debit card along with a prepaid card, both accessible via the Myairtel App.

The online debit card will enable customers of Airtel Payments Bank to make digital payments at over 100,000 online merchants.

Mastercard also has agreed to provide payment processing solutions to Airtel Payments Bank.

The platform will enable Airtel Payment Bank to provide various payment services like switching, card management along with support for reconciliation and dispute management processes.

Airtel was first to launch payment bank operations in November 2016 by launching pilot programme in Rajasthan.??

Mastercard: Know More

  • CEO: Ajaypal Singh Banga
  • Headquarters: Purchase, New York, United States
  • Revenue: 9.66 billion USD (2015)
  • Founded: 16 December 1966
  • Founders: Bank of California, First Interstate Bancorp, Crocker National Bank, Wells Fargo
  • Subsidiaries: DataCash, MasterCard Advisors LLC.

▼ Samsung Group Chief Jay Y. Lee arrested   [02-20-17]

Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee was arrested early on 17th Feb 2017 over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea.

This is dealing a fresh blow to the world's biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips.

The 48-year-old Lee, scion of the country's richest family, was taken into custody at the Seoul Detention Centre after waiting there overnight for the decision.

He was being held in a single cell with a TV and desk, a jail official said.

Lee is a suspect in the influence-peddling scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye in December.

This decision if upheld by the Constitutional Court would make her the country's first democratically elected leader forced from office.

Shares in flagship Samsung Electronics Co Ltd opened down 1.2 percent+ , while shares in Samsung C&T Corp , the de facto holding company of Samsung Group, opened down 3.2 percent compared with the wider market's drop of 0.45 percent.

Prosecutors have up to 10 days to indict Lee, Samsung's third-generation leader, although they can seek an extension.

After indictment, a court would be required to make a ruling within three months.

Samsung and Lee have denied wrongdoing in the case.

The same court had rejected a request last month to arrest Lee, but prosecutors brought additional accusations against Lee, seeking his arrest on bribery and other charges.

The judge rejected the prosecution's request to arrest Samsung Electronics president Park Sang-jin.

Lee's detention could hinder strategic decision-making by South Korea's biggest conglomerate.

Samsung has been in the midst of an ongoing restructuring to clear a succession path for Lee to assume control after his father was incapacitated by a heart attack in 2014.

Lee's incarceration comes as Samsung Electronics tries to get past the disastrous roll out last year of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which were prone to fires.

It is under pressure for the upcoming launch of its next flagship phone, the Galaxy S8, to be a success.

Prosecutors have focused on Samsung's relationship with Park, 65.

They are accusing the group of paying bribes totalling 43 billion won ($37.74 million) to organizations linked to Choi to secure government backing for the 2015 merger of two Samsung units.

Samsung: Know More

  • Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea
  • Founder: Lee Byung-chul
  • Founded: 1 March 1938, Daegu, South Korea
  • Owner: Lee Kun-hee
  • Revenue: 305 billion USD (2014)
  • Number of employees: 489,000
  • Subsidiaries: Samsung Electronics Limited

▼ IBM works on cognitive computing   [02-17-17]

IBM has worked on cognitive computing. Already, the President and CEO of IBM Ginni Rometty indicated that digital is the foundation and cognitive computing is next on the anvil for India.

This should involve building abilities on natural language processing, machine learning, deep learning, image and vision, she said.

By 2020 the country will be home to the largest developer population in the world and 3 million programmers will be helping develop at least ten per cent of the apps this year.

IBM plans to open first blockchain innovation centre in Singapore

The company's artificial intelligence platform Watson will be touching the lives of 1 billion people across the world including 200 million people each in the fields of healthcare and education.

Watson can be very helpful in a country like India which has only 1 oncologist for 1,600 cancer patients.

IBM: Know More

  • Headquarters: Armonk, North Castle, New York, United States
  • Founder: Charles Ranlett Flint
  • Founded: 16 June 1911, New York City, New York, United States
  • Revenue: 79.92 billion USD (2016)
  • Number of employees: 386,558
  • Subsidiaries: SoftLayer, FileNet, Kenexa, Trusteer, Emptoris, more

▼ Merger of SBI with 5 subsidiaries approved   [02-16-17]

The merger proposal was announced in May 2016 and was scheduled for March 2017.

The Union Cabinet on 15th Feb 2017 approved the merger of five of State Bank of India subsidiaries - State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, and State Bank of Travancore - with the SBI.

The merger proposal was announced in May 2016 and was scheduled for March 2017.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the Cabinet had earlier given its in-principle approval for the merger, and then had sent it to the respective banks for their suggestions.

These suggestions have been taken on-board, and the decision has been formally approved by the Cabinet.

This will lead to far greater operational efficiency and synergy of operations within these banks.

It will decrease the cost of operations, which will also result in a decrease in the cost of funds.”

The merger is likely to result in recurring savings, estimated at more than INR. 1,000 crore in the first year, through a combination of enhanced operational efficiency and reduced cost of funds.

Existing customers of subsidiary banks will benefit from access to SBI’s global network.

SBI, following the merger, will not only be a large domestic bank, but will also become a global player as well.

▼ India's latest airline Zoom Air to hit skies!    [02-15-17]

India's latest private airline Zoom Air will start daily scheduled operations from Feb 15, 2017.

The airline becomes India’s 10th scheduled carrier for domestic skies presently, with others such as Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, Jetlite, Indigo, Spicejet, GoAir, Vistara and Air Asia India in the fray.

CEO and Director of Zoom Air is Koustav M. Dhar

Zoom Air will fill the gap of other scheduled airlines. On board Zoom Eat and a premium commuter airline service distinguish this player

A professional crew with 1:1 lady pilots on board operating from T3 in New Delhi and T2 in Mumbai marks another feature of this airline.

This airline also, for the first time, connects Durgapur (Kazi Nazrul Islam International Airport) in West Bengal.

This is India's first private airport, open for schedule flying built on a JV model with Changi Airport.

Zoom Air will connect leading India cities like Delhi and Kolkata to destinations like Tirupatu, Vijaywada and Pasighat.

Zoom Air was accorded the Schedule Operating Permit by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)on February 3.

Zoom Air (licensed under Zexus Air Services) presently has three CRJ-200LR aircraft, under dry lease from CRJ Aircraft Leasing, Dublin, out of which two have been imported.

The aircraft used by this airline produced by Bombardier are versatile for short sectors and aptly suited for Indian Tier-II and Tier-III cities, including a major support to the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s initiative for Regional connectivity Scheme (RCS).

Zoom Air becomes the first private airline to support and join the RCS.

The airline joins 18-20 per cent year-on-year growth, on such underserved and un-served airports, and have seen massive air growth in stations like Vijaywada, Tirupati, Ranchi, Chandigarh, etc.

It's all about connectivity and regular reliable services.

▼ Umbrella: CISCO's new cloud based internet gateway   [02-14-17]

International networking giant CISCO on 13th Feb 2017 launched a cloud based secure internet gateway that provides visibility and protection against threats wherever users work.

This gateway called Umbrella provides safe access to internet everywhere users go.

The secure internet gateway helps users even if they are off VPN and provides first line of visibility and defence regardless of where the users connect from or to.

Secure internet gateway, Cisco Umbrella, can protect today's enterprise and beyond as mobility increases and new cloud services are adopted.

Umbrella stops current and emergent threats over all ports and protocols for the most comprehensive coverage.

It blocks access to malicious domains, URLs, IPs, and files before a connection is ever established or a file downloaded.

By combining "Umbrella" with CISCO Cloudlock's Cloud Access Security Broker organisations can identify which SaaS apps are being used and enforce policies to block risky or inappropriate apps.

"Umbrella" can integrate with existing systems, including security appliances, intelligence platforms or feeds, and custom, in-house tools.

This enables users to extend protection for devices and locations beyond the perimeter.

Umbrella' resolves over 100 billion internet requests every day and correlates this live data with over 11 billion historical events.

This is analysed to identify patterns, detect anomalies, and create models to automatically uncover attacker infrastructure being staged for the next threat.


  • Type: Public
  • Traded as: NASDAQ: CSCO; NASDAQ-100 Component; DJIA Component; S&P 100 Component; S&P 500 Component
  • Industry: Networking equipment
  • Founded: December 10, 1984, San Francisco, California
  • Founders: Leonard Bosack, Sandy Lerner
  • Headquarters: San José, California
  • Area served: Worldwide
  • Executive Chairman: John Chambers
  • CEO: Chuck Robbins

▼ L&T inks missile development JV agreement   [02-14-17]

Engineering and construction company L&T inked a joint venture agreement with European defence major MBDA Missile Systems.

The JV is for development of missiles in India.

L&T will own 51 per cent stake in the JV named L&T MBDA Missile Systems and the rest 49 with the European partner.

Initially, the JV will look to develop and supply fifth generation anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM5s), missiles for coastal batteries and high speed target drones.

The JV will also focus on opportunities in missile and missile systems domain.

It will target prospects under different categories of defence procurement which has specific requirements for design developed and manufactured in India.

L&T is betting big on defence sector considering the government’s focus on Make In India and its decision it to procure missile systems from abroad.

L&T is targeting an annual turnover of INR 10,000 crore from its defence vertical by 2021.

The JV expects to roll out the first product in the next two years. Although it hasn’t finalised on where the missile systems will be manufactured, the company has shortlisted two out of L&T’s nine facilities.

MBDA is jointly owned by AIRBUS Group (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%) and Leonardo (25%).

About MBDA

  • Industry: Defence, attack
  • Founded: December 2001
  • Headquarters: Paris, France; Stevenage, United Kingdom; Rome, Italy; Schrobenhausen, Germany
  • CEO: Antoine Bouvier (CEO)
  • Products: Missiles, missiles systems, countermeasures, countermining
  • Revenue: € 2.9 billion
  • Number of employees: 10,000
  • Divisions: MBDA Deutschland GmbH; MBDA Inc.
  • Subsidiaries: Matra Électronique
  • Website:

▼ Nokia to buy Comptel   [02-14-17]

Nokia is buying Comptel, a company that specialises in building software-based data communications solutions for mobile carriers.

Nokia’s offer is to pay €3.04 in cash, valuing Comptel at €347 million ($370 million).

Comptel’s software is today in use by more than 300 operators, covering 1.2 customers in 90 countries, and it processes 20% of the world’s mobile data usage daily, with an emphasis on developing markets.

The key thing here is the software element: Nokia’s legacy has been in “kit” or equipment - the expensive and more difficult-to-upgrade hardware of the telco enterprise world.

Nokia may also still be a big player in carrier equipment (and some newer things like VR cameras) but that business is in decline, so it is trying to show that it’s changing with the times.

The company is innovating quickly enough to catch the trend in quite the way that Apple, Android maker Google, and eventually dozens of OEMs making Android handsets did.

After its initial partnership with and eventual sale of its handset business to Microsoft the future has been changing for this company.

Specifically, Nokia will be combining Comptel with its own carrier solutions business, and will be aiming it at those carriers looking to “automate as much of their network and business operations as possible.” according to a company statement.

That includes customer services, self-optimization, management and orchestration.

“Comptel would help with this objective by bringing catalogue-driven fulfilment and digital service lifecycle management, complex event processing, applications for customer engagement and service monetization; and emerging technologies for context-aware on-device commerce and IoT pattern detection,” Nokia has added.

Comptel and Nokia are based in Finland so in one regard this is part of regional consolidation that may have been long on the anvil.

Comptel, founded in 1986 and traded on Nasdaq.

Comptel: Know More

  • CEO: Juhani Hintikka (3 Jan 2011–present)
  • Headquarters: Helsinki, Finland
  • Number of employees: 750
  • Founded: 1986, Finland
  • Type of business: Public (NASDAQ OMX Helsinki: CTL1V)

▼ Welspun frames agreement with CEA    [02-14-17]

Textile maker Welspun India announced on 9th Feb 2017 that it has entered into a strategic agreement with the Cotton Egypt Association (CEA).

This allows it to market its Egyptian cotton products with the CEA’s logo for the next five years until 2022.

CEA is a non-profit body set up in 2005 by Egypt’s ministry of industry and foreign trade set up to certify Egyptian cotton products made by textile manufacturers worldwide and ensure they maintain sourcing and supply quality.

CEA has allowed us to use the logo.

Welspun India announced it will spend $3 million in the next five years for marketing and promoting its Egyptian cotton products with the new logo.

The company said it is also exploring setting up a manufacturing facility in Egypt.

American retail chain Target Corp. terminated its contract with Welspun India in August 2016, accusing Welspun of passing off ordinary cotton products as Egyptian cotton.

This is considered higher quality and is more expensive.

Target was Welspun’s largest client, bringing in $90 million in sales last financial year.

Profits declined and Welspun faces class action lawsuits for violating American consumer laws, two of which were filed in September 2016.

Welspun’s business is largely export-oriented and it sells in 50 countries, including the US, Europe and the UK.

▼ Ambassador car brand now Peugeots   [02-13-17]

The acquisition was for INR 80 crore

CK Birla controlled Hindustan Motors Ltd - maker of the iconic Ambassador car - has sold the ‘Ambassador’ brand to French carmaker Peugeot.

According to a notification to the bourses, the “brand and certain related rights” have been sold for ₹80 crore.

Kolkata-based Hindustan Motors had suspended production of Ambassadors way back in May 2014 citing weak demand and lack of funds.

The price point could be Rs 5.5-6 lakh and go up to Rs 9 lakh. The BS IV-compliant Ambassador Encore, launched in 2013, was priced at around Rs 4.98 lakh.

According to the contours of the arrangement, Peugeot had acquired not just the mother brand Ambassador but all its variants as well.

However, the sale doesn’t include the Uttarpara plant in West Bengal, where the Ambassador used to be manufactured.

But Peugeot forged a broader deal with the C K Birla Group last month.

That includes two joint venture agreements. In the first, PSA would hold a majority stake in a joint venture with Hindustan Motors Finance Corporation (HMFC) for assembling and distributing PSA passenger cars in India.

The Chennai plant, which was hived off from Hindustan Motors, assembles Mitsubishi cars and Isuzu commercial vehicles.

PSA will also set up an equal joint venture with AVTEC, also formerly part of Hindustan Motors, for manufacturing and supplying power-trains.

▼ Dassault spearheads 3D revolution   [02-9-17]

The 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions company Stratasys Ltd on 7th Feb 2017 announced a collaboration with global 3D printing major Dassault Systemes.

The partnership is to provide next-generation design tools in the field of additive manufacturing.

The specific partnership with Simulia will enable final part designs that are optimised for weight and strength for aerospace and automotive applications.

Simulia is an engineering simulation software brand under Dassault Systemes powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

For additive manufacturing to reach its true potential, engineers need tools that will allow them to harness the virtually limitless geometric freedom that it provides.

By fully simulating the unique characteristics of the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) process, they will be able to bring unprecedented accuracy and speed to the design and validation process.

With this partnership, the new industry leading capabilities include design optimisation for lighter weight 3D parts.

This will be using less material than a traditional manufacturing technology to achieve the same performance.

Stratasys: Know More

  • Stratasys is one of top 3D printing companies in the world.
  • Stratasys is headquartered in Minnesota and Israel.
  • It has over 2,800 employees and holds 600 granted or pending additive manufacturing patents.
  • Some of its major patents are the FDM®, PolyJet™ and WDM™ 3D printing technologies, which create prototypes and manufactured goods directly from 3D CAD files and other 3D content.
  • Its subsidiaries include MakerBot and Solidscape.
  • It has a market cap of $1.02 billion, and as of January 16, 2017, its share price traded at $19.37.

▼ A third of organisations targeted with cyberattack registered revenue loss of more than 20%: CISCO   [02-7-17]

A third of the organisations internationally experienced a cyberattack in 2016 registered a revenue loss of more than 20 percent, as per a new report.

According to global networking giant Cisco's annual report, 'Annual Cybersecurity Report 2017', more than 50% of organisations faced public scrutiny after a security breach.

Operations and finance systems were the most affected, followed by brand reputation and customer retention, the report indicated.

22% per cent of breached organisations lost customers, 29% lost revenue and 23% lost business opportunities.

The report is based on a survey spanning over 13 countries and including 3,000 chief security officers (CSOs).

Cyberattacks in 2016 became more "corporate" with digitization creating more opportunities for cybercriminals.

75 per cent of the organisations investigated were infected by old-fashioned adware software that downloads advertising without user permission.

The study suggested that security should be made a business priority and executive leadership must own and evangelise security and fund it as a priority.

▼ Israeli parliament finalises law, recognises Jewish outposts in West Bank   [02-7-17]

The Israeli Parliament has finalised a controversial law legalising dozens of Jewish outposts built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

The law, approved by 60 members of parliament to 52 against, passed its third and final reading on 6th Feb 2017.

This after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had updated the US administration on the issue.

The law met with fierce opposition within the Parliament, with warnings that it would harm Israel, and the United Nations saying it would diminish chances for peace.

Ahead of the vote, opposition chief and Labour leader Isaac Herzog lashed out against the “despicable law” that he said would undermine the country’s Jewish majority.

The law would “annex millions of Palestinians into Israel”, he warned, and expose Israeli soldiers and politicians to lawsuits at international criminal courts.

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis of Netanyahu’s Likud party said the argument was over the right to the Land of Israel.

The law is seen by critics as promoting at least partial annexation of the West Bank, a key demand for parts of Netanyahu’s right - wing cabinet, including the hardline Jewish Home party.

Last week, the few hundred residents of the Amona outpost in the West Bank were evicted after the Supreme Court ruled their homes were built on private Palestinian land.

▼ Planet Labs to acquire Google's Terra Bella   [02-6-17]

American startup Planet Labs, that launches small satellites into orbit and sells the imagery, has announced its acquisition of Google’s Terra Bella satellite business.

As part of the agreement, 60 Google employees will join the startup founded by ex-NASA scientists. Terra Bella, formerly Skybox, was acquired by Google in 2014 for $500 million.

As per the agreement, Planet Labs will acquire the Terra Bella business including the SkySat constellation of satellites, Alphabet said.

Google will enter into a multi-year contract to purchase Earth-imaging data from Planet Labs after the deal closes.

Google had acquired Terra Bella, originally known as Skybox Imaging, for $500 million in 2014.

The deal will help Planet Labs broaden its available data and add new customers.

Planet Labs is one of several startups aiming to harness technology allowing satellites to become smaller and less expensive.

It aims for making it easier to deploy large networks of satellites at less risk and lower cost than previously.

Planet Labs: Know More

  • Planet Labs, Inc. is an American Earth imaging private company based in San Francisco, CA.
  • The company designs and manufactures Triple-CubeSat miniature satellites called Doves.
  • Headquarters: San Francisco
  • Founded: 29 December 2010
  • Type: Private

▼ Apple to make iPhones in india   [02-6-17]

Apple will start making iPhones in India this year.

The company seeks to tap into a booming Indian middle class while sales in China slow.

Karnataka’s IT minister said Apple had agreed to assemble its hugely popular phones in the southern State.

Its capital Bangalore is India’s technology hub.

Apple's Tim Cook: Know More

  • Born: 1 November 1960 , Mobile, Alabama, United States
  • Residence: Palo Alto, California, United States
  • Education: Duke University (1988), Auburn University (1982), Robertsdale High School, Fuqua School of Business

▼ Alibaba expands to Australia, New Zealand   [02-6-17]

Chinese online retailer Alibaba Group opened its Australian and New Zealand headquarters in Melbourne on 4th Feb 2017.

This marks its first expansion in the region as it seeks to tap growing global demand for products from the two countries.

The group's billionaire founder Jack Ma said he hoped the e-commerce giant would help Australian and New Zealand businesses expand.

There are more than 1,300 Australian and 400 New Zealand brands on Alibaba's Tmall and Tmall Global.

Alibaba Group's vision for the ANZ region is to build the entire operating infrastructure needed to enable local businesses to expand globally.

Further growth is planned in the areas of cloud computing, payments, digital entertainment and logistics.

Alibaba also signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia Post aimed at streamlining logistics between Australia and China.

It aims at developing the first Australian marketplace within Alibaba's Lazada eCommerce Network in Southeast Asia.

▼ CSO revises GDP growth for 2015-16 to 7.9%   [02-1-17]

Government has marginally revised upwards GDP growth for 2015-16 to 7.9 per cent from the earlier estimate of 7.6 per cent.

This is after factoring in latest data on agriculture and industrial production.

Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2015-16 and 2014-15 stands at INR 113.58 lakh crore and INR 105.23 lakh crore, respectively.

This is showing growth of 7.9 per cent during 2015-16 and 7.2 per cent during 2014-15, stated the Central Statistics Office (CSO) while releasing the revised data today.

However, the figure for 2014-15 has remained unchanged at 7.2 per cent in the second revision of the national accounts for the fiscal.

The estimates of GDP and other aggregates for 2012-13 to 2014-15 have also undergone revision due to use of latest available data on agricultural production and industrial production.

In 2015, CSO had estimated GDP growth rate for 2015-16 and 2014-15 at 7.6 per cent and 7.2 per cent, respectively.

CSO said the Gross Value Added (GVA) at constant (2011-12) basic prices grew at 7.8 per cent in 2015-16 as against 6.9 per cent in 2014-15.

According to the revised numbers, growth in real GVA in 2015-16 has been higher than that of 2014-15, mainly due to stronger growth in:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing (0.8 per cent),
  • Manufacturing (10.6 per cent),
  • Trade, repair, hotels and restaurants (11.6 per cent),
  • Transport, storage, communication and services related to broadcasting (9.1 per cent)
  • Real estate, ownership of dwelling and professional services (12.6 per cent).
In 2015-16, at constant prices, the growth of primary (agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining and quarrying) has been pegged at 2.6 percent.

The secondary (manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services and construction) and tertiary (services) sectors has been estimated at 7.8 per cent and 9.8 per cent as against a growth 6.1 per cent and 9.5 per cent, respectively, in the previous year.

Per capita net national income at current prices is estimated at Rs 86,513 and Rs 94,178, respectively, for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Per capita PFCE (private final consumption expenditure) at current prices is estimated at Rs 57,402 and Rs 61,571 for 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively.

CSO: Know More
  • The Central Statistics Organisation (CSO) of India is responsible for co-ordination of statistical activities in India.
  • It also oversees evolving and maintaining statistical standards.
  • It has a well-equipped Graphical Unit.
  • The CSO is located in Delhi.
  • Some portion of Industrial Statistics work pertaining to Annual Survey of industries is carried out in Calcutta.

  • Its activities:

  • National Income Accounting
  • Conduct of Annual Survey of Industries,
  • Economic Censuses and its follow up surveys,
  • Compilation of Index of Industrial Production, as well as Consumer Price Indices for Urban Non-Manual Employees,
  • Human Development Statistics,
  • Gender Statistics,
  • Imparting training in Official Statistics,
  • Five Year Plan work relating to Development of Statistics in the States and Union Territories; Dissemination of statistical information,
  • Work relating to trade, energy, construction, and environment statistics,
  • Revision of National Industrial Classification

Chronology of events
Cab-hailing firm Uber has launched two-wheeler aggregation service UberMOTO in Hyderabad. The firm, which has signed an agreement with the Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd, formally launched the services.
Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd (FGIL) has entered into a corporate agency tie-up for its products with Bank of Maharashtra (BOM), a public sector bank.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to invest in exchange-traded currency derivatives (ETCD).
India is getting ready to open up commercial coal mining to private companies for the first time in four decades, with the aim of shifting the world’s third-biggest coal importer towards energy self-sufficiency.
The Supreme Court has directed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government to register details of identity of every mobile user within a year.
The Reserve Bank of India has decided to set up an enforcement department to speed up regulatory compliance.
In a welcome move, the Reserve Bank of India has decided to phase out weekly limit on cash withdrawal from savings accounts in two stages, starting from February 20.
First, the weekly withdrawal limit for savings accounts will be raised to Rs 50,000 from February 20. From March 13, there will be no limit on cash withdrawal from savings accounts.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance has entered into four more unilateral Advance Pricing Agreements (APAs)
Private sector lenders HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank are live with the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) that is aimed at easing utility and other repetitive bill payments for consumers.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to set up an inter-disciplinary Standing Committee on cyber security to examine various threats and suggest measures to deal with it.
Anil Ambani group led Reliance Defence and Engineering Limited (RDEL) has signed a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with the US Navy to provide repair and alteration services for ships of the Seventh Fleet.
India’s leading agri and FMCG company Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd has signed an agreement with Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved Ltd for physical refining and packaging of edible oils.
The Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) of the tax department has already processed over 4.19 crore income tax returns (ITRs) and issued over 1.62 crore refunds during the current financial year up to February 10, 2017.
Telecom regulator Trai has set up a joint committee consisting of industry representatives to examine and identify regulations and tariff orders that are out of sync with times.
IDFC Asset Management Company has launched an open-ended fixed income fund and hopes to mop-up revenue in the range of Rs 300 crore-500 crore from the scheme in the NFO period itself. The Credit Opportunities Fund opens for subscription on February 14 and closes on February 27. It will reopen for continuous sale and repurchase from March 6.
According to the global financial services major Nomura, the GDP growth of India is estimated to remain low at 5.7% in the January-March quarter, 2017 due to the effect of demonetization of high value currency.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, has teamed up with Finance Industry Development Council (FIDC) to conduct training programmes for Non Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs).
RBI to reimburse banks MDR charges effective January 1 The Reserve Bank will start reimbursing MDR charges to banks for payments made since January 1 through debit cards by citizens, in line with the government's move to further digital solutions.
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on 17th Feb 2017 said that it has completed acquisition of Augere Wireless
ZTE to unveil world's first gigabit LTE smartphone at MWC 2017; gigabit LTE is a wireless technology that can support download speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee wasarrested on 17th Feb 2017 over his alleged role in a corruption scandal rocking the highest levels of power in South Korea.
Tata Motors and software major Microsoft on 16th Feb 2017 entered into a strategic partnership wherein the Indian automaker will leverage latter’s connected vehicle technologies.
After a long wait, the decks have been cleared for the national rollout of accrual accounting in Railways. The CA Institute’s Accounting Research Foundation (ARF) has signed an agreement with Railways for this purpose.
On the occasion of its 75th Foundation Day, Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) has come up with several digital offerings including launch of mobile wallet Oriental Batuaa.
AirAsia became the first foreign airline ever to start its operations from Srinagar international airport in Jammu and Kashmir. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti waved the flag to clear the landing for the AirAsia flight at Srinagar airport
FIPB clears 15 FDI proposals worth Rs 12,000 cr Inter-ministerial body and approved 15 investment proposals, including that of Apollo Hospitals, Hindustan Aeronautics, Dr Reddy's and Vodafone, envisaging foreign investment of Rs 12,200 crore.
State-owned IDBI Bank said it proposes to dilute stake in some non–core businesses to shore up capital base. The board of the bank has approved in–principle the proposal to divest some of its non–core investments subject to compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and final approval obtained for each transaction.
Direct-to-home operator Dish TV has said it has tied-up with private lender ICICI Bank for digital payments.This alliance with ICICI Bank through UPI will drive higher customer adoption and allow them to be a part of the digital economy.
Apollo Hospitals Foundation will provide medical support to forest department employees and local communities in the areas where WWF-India operates for conservation.
Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank (KVGB) has made 13 villages under its jurisdiction as 100 per cent digital villages for banking activities, according to S Ravindran, Chairman of KVGB.
The Revenue Department has notified the protocol amending the India-Israel tax treaty to provide for exchange of information on tax matters including bank details to check flow of black money.
Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power, has synchronised its 15 MW solar plant at Bellampally in Telangana, thereby taking the Tata Power’s total installed operating capacity past 10, 500 MW mark.
Haryana based Oriental Bank of Commerce has signed a corporate agency agreement with Chennai based general insurance provider Cholamandalam General Insurance Company for distribution of insurance products.
According to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the India’s foreign direct investment (FDII) has grown by 18% in 2016 to $46 billion. The sectors which attracted the highest foreign inflows included services, telecom, trading, computer hardware and software, and automobiles.
Kolkata-based United Bank of India (UBI) has launched a railway ticket booking facility by having a direct tie-up IRCTC. The facility was launched on February 21. Post the introduction of this facility, UBI customers can now book railway tickets seamlessly through IRCTC website using the bank’s debit card.
India and ADB have signed USD 375 million pact for loans and grants to develop 800 - km Visakhapatnam - Chennai Industrial Corridor, which is the first phase of a planned 2,500-km East Coast Economic Corridor. ADB had last September approved USD 631 million in loans and grants for the industrial corridor.
Dena Bank has introduced RFID-enabled banking cards whereby a branch/relationship manager can identify a valued client entering a branch with the card.
RBI to frame standard procedure for FDI approvals post FIPB The Reserve Bank is expected to formulate standard operating procedure (SOP) for approval of FDI proposals by ministries following the government decision to phase out FIPB.
MEITY to promote digital transactions in place of NITI The government has shifted the responsibility of promoting digital transactions in the country to the Ministry of IT and Electronics (MEITY) from NITI Aayog.
E-toll tags to be mandatory for trucks on govt duty: Gadkari For hassle-free movement of cargo, the government has decided to make electronic toll tags mandatory for all vehicles contracted by the government departments.