Business & Finance - Current Affairs for January, 2016

Business & Finance Current Affairs for January, 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.

Preparing Business & Finance Current Affairs January, 2016

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▼ Ratan Tata funds Teabox   [01-27-16]

Teabox, the international speciality tea company, is the latest to received funding from Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons. This is the 4th start-up in 2016 to receive the attention of Tata, after Tracxn, Dogspot and Cashkaro.

▼ HCL Technologies acquired P2P   [01-27-16]

HCL Technologies Limited, India’s 4th largest software services firm has acquired UK based Point to Point Limited and Point to Point Products Ltd jointly referred as P2P for USD 11 million. Deal also includes contingent payments subject to specific financial milestones.

▼ Kellton Tech acquires Bokanyi Consulting    [01-27-16]

Kellton Tech, a Hyderavad based firm has acquired Houston based enterprise Bokanyi Consulting which is a cloud and analytics services provider. This purchase has been carried out through internal accruals. Bokanyi, which offers a suite of analytics solutions and specialises in SAP HANA implementations, clocked revenue of about $8 million last year and catered to customers across 12 nations.

▼ Cognizant Technology acquires KBACE Technologies   [01-27-16]

Cognizant Technology Solutions headquartered in the US announced the acquisition of privately held KBACE Technologies, specialising in cloud strategy, integration and implementation. This is one of the largest reference bases of Oracle Cloud App customers across the world. It is a leading Oracle Cloud partner. Acquisition strengthens and empowers the digital capabilities of this IT company.

▼ Cipla sells Hong Kong based Biomab to Biomab Brilliant   [01-25-16]

Cipla has sold its entire stake in Hong Kong based Biomab Holding Biomab Brilliant for USD 2.5 million. This company on January 22nd 2016 completed the transfer formalities in association with the divestment of the complete 25% stake in Biomab Holding Limited, Hong Kong, Cipla indicated in a BSE filing. Cipla has entered into an agreement to sell the stake in Biomab Holding to Biomab Brilliant Ltd for a consideration of USD 25,775,000 to focus on biological segment under its arm Cipla BioTec. Biomab Brilliant Ltd, British Virgin Islands held the remaining 75 per cent stake in BHL.

▼ Ratan Tata invests in First Cry   [01-21-16]

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of TATA Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount in FirstCry dot com, an e-commerce platform for baby and maternity products. Tata has made the fourth such investment after backing backed pet portal, data analytic startup Tracxn, and cashback and coupons site CashKaro - in his personal capacity.After being an exclusive online retailer, FirstCry has morphed into a multiple channel retailer with presence across web and mobile as well as offline segments. FirstCry has raised USD 69 million in capital from investors including IDG Ventures India, SAIF partners, Vertex Ventures, NEA and Valiant Capital.

▼ GOI initiates aluminium maker NALCO to buyback shares   [01-19-16]

Looking to tap PSU funds to create makeup for shortfall in disinvestment proceeds, government has asked state run aluminium maker NALCO to purchase 25% of the shares to gain estimated INR 3250 crore. NALCO board may consider the proposal and sources indicate government could raise above INR 3250 crore through sale of 25% of shares in NALCO.

▼ WhatsApp to stop charging subscription fee   [01-19-16]

Service which has over a billion users globally indicated no third party ads will be used for monetisation. Company was acquired by FB for USD 19 billion in 2014 indicated it will experiment with new models to remain ad free.

▼ Analjit Singh has resigned as Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd   [01-18-16]

Analjit Singh on 15th January 2016 has resigned as Chairman of Max Financial Services Ltd after the demerger of Max India Ltd. Singh will continue to serve as Chairman of Max Ventures and Industries Ltd. Singh will also be Chairman Emeritus and a permanent invitee for boards and committees of all Max Group companies.

▼ Harman appoints Pradeep Chaudhry as country manager for India operations   [01-14-16]

Harman, owner of audio brands such as JBL, Infinity, AKG and Mark Levinson has appointed Pradeep Chaudhry as the country manager for India operations. Located in Bengaluru, he will also serve as current CFO of Harman Connected Services Division, according to a company statement. Chaudhry succeeds M. Lakshmi Narayan will serve as advisory chairman till December 2016.

▼ Government launches Women of India in partnership with eBay   [01-13-16]

Providing lady entrepreneurs an international platform for products, GoI has tied up with e-commerce website eBay. WCD plans to launch a brand called “Women of India” for online promotion of goods made by lady entrepreneurs. eBay has made the marketing of products in concessional rates possible and an MoU will be signed next month. As per this initiative, women will be trained in pricing and design for opening e-shops on e-Bay.

▼ The International Cricket Council announces partnership with MoneyGram International   [01-13-16]

International Cricket Council announced a partnership with MoneyGram International, a leading provider of money transfer services as the event partner in the 8 year deal from 2016-2023. ICC and MoneyGram have recently completed a partnership of 5 years. This began with the ICC World Twenty20 West Indies 2010 and concluded with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. In the present 8 year cycle, alliance reaches greater heights as ICC will stage close to 17 tournaments. This includes 6 majors- two ICC World Twenty20 tournaments, two editions of the ICC Champions Trophy and two ICC Cricket World Cups.

▼ BHEL commissions 520 MW coal based thermal power unit   [01-13-16]

State run Bharat Heavy Electrical Limited has commissioned a 520 MW coal based thermal power in Andhra Pradesh. Unit has been commissioned on the Vizag Thermal Power Project of the Hinduja National Power Company Limited, Vishakapatnam. The thermal power project is being executed by BHEL on engineering, procurement, and construction basis. Project was severely impacted by the Hudhud cyclone in 2014 which is under construction.

▼ SEBI lowers exposure cap for investments by MF   [01-12-16]

With attempts for making MF reduce exposure to issuer or sector in the debt schemes, capital market regulatory authority SEBI has lowered the exposure cap for such investment of MF. SEBI Board has amended MF regulations for single issuer limit reduced to 10%of NAV of the scheme. It can be increased to 12% of the NAV only following approval from trustees. Sector specific exposure limit has been reduced to 25% from current 30%. SEBI norms have indicated that risks will be mitigated on the basis of high level of exposure in the light of events associated with credit downgrades and place MF in a better position to handle adverse credit events.

▼ Times Internet Limited acquires Viral Shots   [01-12-16]

Times Internet Limited, digital arm of TOI Group has acquired micro-content app Viral Shots. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed. Viral Shots was founded by Kumar Apurva and Shalini Tewari with over 15 years of experience in mobile and internet space. Stories can be curated from 300 social destinations and web publications. Content shots will be presented in less than 60 words accompanied by picture and clocks roughly 100 million views in a month. App currently differentiated content in Hindu, English, Bengali and Telugu and shall be available in all major Indian languages at the close of 2016.

▼ Israeli software provider Nice Systems agrees to purchase analytics firm Nexidia   [01-12-16]

Israeli software service provider Nice Systems has agreed to purchase analytics firm Nexidia for USD 135 million in cash for expanding the growing analytics business. Deal will close in the first quarter of 2016 and the acquisition will be accretive to earnings on adjusted basis each year.

▼ Kakao Corp set to buy control of South Korea’s Loen Entertainment    [01-12-16]

Chat app operator Kakao Corp is all set to purchase control of South Korean top music streaming services provider Loen Entertainment for USD 1.57 billion in another push to find fresh revenue streams. Kakao has indicated it will buy 76.4% stake in Loen which owns music streaming service MelOn and talent agency with IU, a K Pop artist. The stake is being purchased partly by issuing USD 754 billion won worth of new shares to top Loen shareholders Affinity Equity Partners and SK Planet Co Ltd.

▼ Srinivas Murthy, senior VP marketing of Snapdeal quits   [01-11-16]

Srinivas Murthy, the senior Vice President of Marketing at e-commerce major Snapdeal has placed in his papers to commence with his own venture. The details of the new venture were not disclosed. This follows the resignation of Head of Strategy Ranjan Kant who left to join Jabong as the CMO. Anand Chandrasekaran, ex-CPO Bharti Airtel, Gaurav Gupta, formerly the India Head of Bay area start-up Scalearc and Bhuvan Gupta, ex-CTO of BSB Portal (JV between BSB and Yahoo Japan) have joined Snapdeal in the past one year.

▼ IT spending in the domestic market slated to grow 13.5%   [01-11-16]

IT spending within the domestic market is slated to grow to INR 1.91 lakh crore by 13.5% as per a report. As per research firm Core Quadrant, domestic IT industry revenue is expected to grow INR 1.91 lakh crore in 2016 as against spending of INR 1.68 lakh crore in 2015. Report is based on inputs from 107 CIOs/IT honchos of large and medium sized Indian enterprises in association with business priorities and IT plans for the year.

▼ Cross category online classified Quikr merges CommonFloor with QuickrHomes   [01-11-16]

Cross category online classifieds Quikr has announced a merger with with real estate vertical QuikrHomes. This is the 4th strategic move in the real estate category since the launch of QuikrHomes around 4 months ago. Merger is slated for completion within the next 2 to 3 months and will provide CommonFloor dot com access to Quikr’s 30 million customers and harness the potential of cross category nature of the platform. Company will operate both brands within the market. QuikrHomes currently connects customers from over 1000 cities and towns around India and helps conclude 2 lakh plus transactions per month. QuikrHomes is one of the key verticals for Quikr with around 35% of its revenue from the vertical. Common Floor has over 5 lakh active property listings from close to 200 cities and with 1 lakh residential projects listed.

▼ Bharti Airtel names Rakesh Bharti Mittal as non executive director   [01-11-16]

Bharti Airtel has named Rakesh Bharti Mittal as non executive director instead of Rajan Bharti Mittal. Rajan Bharti Mittal has quit the position w.e.f January 7th, 2016. Rakesh Bharti Mittal has been appointed non executive director of the company after Rajan Bharti Mittal demitted the position of non executive director. Rakesh and Rajan are vice chairmen of Bharti Enterprises from which Airtel is a group company. Bharti Enterprises has diverse interests in telecom, financial services, retail, realty , manufacturing and agri business. On 1st January 2016, Kant was provided additional charge of CEO of Niti Aayog following the completion of tenure of ex CEO Sindhushree Khullar on 31st December 2015.He is a 1980 batch IAS officer belonging to Kerala cadre. Kant is currently Secretary in DIPP. He was also CEO of DMRC.

▼ Imaging solutions and IT services company Ricoh India has partnered Siemens   [01-11-16]

Imaging solutions and IT services company Ricoh India has said it has partnered with Siemens offering digital lifecycle management software. NX software and Teamcenter has been distributed through Ricoh India’s network of 24 offices, according to a company statement. Headquartered in Tokyo, Ricoh Group operates in around 200 countries and regions.

▼ Spice Mobility acquires 22.54% stake in Sunstone Eduversity Telecom company   [01-11-16]

Spice Mobility has acquired 22.54% stake in Sunstone Eduversity Telecom company, a Greater Noida based Sunstone Eduversity Private Limited for an amount which has not been discussed. Spice Digital Limited, a subsidiary of Spice Mobility has made the acquisition for the purpose of engaging in education business.

▼ Netflix enters India   [01-8-16]

American streaming company Netflix has announced an entry into India on 6th January 2016 looking to encash on the rapidly improving internet speeds and growing online presence. The company provides on-demand TV shows and movies through the internet, and announced prices starting from Rs 500 per month for the Indian market. It also announced higher-tier packages which include a Rs 650 package for High Definition (HD) content that can be watched on two separate devices. The top-end Rs 800 package is for 4K content that allows 4 concurrent streams.

▼ Top industrialist Ratan Tata has invested in Tracxn   [01-8-16]

Top industrialist Ratan Tata has invested a non-disclosed amount in startup research platform Tracxn. This was started in 2013 by ex investors Abhishek Goyal and Neha Singh and leverages data analytics for helping VC funds, PE firms and strategy teams globally track the start up market and locate interesting investable companies. Prior to Tracxn, Tata has invested in Paytm, UrbanClap, Ola Cabs and Snapdeal. Traxcn’s client base has seen a 400% rise over the past one year.

▼ Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announce partnership expansion   [01-7-16]

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation have announced the expansion of a partnership for distributing original TV series, old and new in markets across the world excepting China. The deal was first struck in 2011 and covered distribution of DreamWork Animation features expanding in 2013 to include original programs inspired by popular animated toons of the company. Netflix has been given streaming rights to the studio’s feature film library. Netflix currently operates in more than 60 nations and has 69 million subscribers across the world.

▼ Yahoo eliminates online video hub Screen   [01-7-16]

Yahoo has brought Yahoo Screen, an online video hub to an end. Overhaul of Yahoo Screen came 16 months ago through new mobile app featuring clips from NBC’s Saturday Night Life and other well known TV shows. Yahoo is now moving the video across digital magazines and other services such as Yahoo Music.

▼ Union Cabinet closes loss making PSU HMT Watches   [01-7-16]

Union Cabinet on 6th January approved the closure of iconic HMT watches and offered VRS to employees as per 2007 pay scales. While two other unviable units of the PSU, HMT Chinar Watches and HMT Bearings are to be shut down and movable and immovable assets of these companies will be disposed of as per the government policy, an official statement said after the decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Cabinet also gave its nod to the closure formalities of five public sector units (PSUs) under the Heavy Industries Ministry including Tungabhadra Steel and Hindustan Cables for shutting down which the government had earlier given an in-principle approval.

▼ Harman International Industries to buy TowerSec   [01-7-16]

Harman International Industries, best identified in the market for JBL and Harman Kardon audio systems has agreed to purchase automotive cybersecurity company TowerSec as part of efforts to boost security in offerings designed for connected vehicles. Harman’s largest business is selling infotainment and audio products to international automakers. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

▼ BioQ Pharma signs agreement with Cipla Ltd   [01-7-16]

California based BiioQ Pharma has signed a distribution, supply and development agreement with pharma major Cipla Ltd for commercialisation of its Ropivacaine infusion pharmaceutical in India.
BioQ Pharma is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of single-use, large volume and ready-to-use infusible pharmaceuticals.

▼ Swedish multinational communication technology firm Ericsson collaborates with AT&T   [01-7-16]

Swedish MNC provider of communication technology, Ericsson has collaborated with American telecom giant AT&T to build smart, sustainable cities through Internet of Things Innovation in the US. Alliance will deploy information and communication technology to improve the lives of citizens. Ericsson will help to establish smart, sustainable cities by connecting the 100 cities in the world with 4G/LTE and enabling intelligent infrastructure connectivity. Ericsson will also invest in safety, transportation and utilities/energy sectors.

▼ Mars Inc and TATA Trust sign MoU   [01-7-16]

TATA Trusts and leading international food manufacturer Mars Inc has entered into an MoU for working to advance agricultural development, addressing malnutrition and enhancing food safety in India, as per a joint statement. TATA Trusts that will participate in the initiative include Sir Dorabji TATA Trust, Sir Ratan TATA Trust, and Navajbhai Ratan TATA Trust. Apart from being a food manufacturer, Mars Inc has also said it will work with TATA Trust to develop methods to boost crop productivity. The crops that will be focus include mint, peanuts, rice, and legumes. Mars Food, a segment of Mars, Incorporated, will also conduct joint research with Tata Trusts on nutritional guidelines that can help address anemia and other forms of malnutrition, the joint statement added.

▼ 21st Century Fox to acquire minority stake in Osterhout Design Group   [01-7-16]

21st Century Fox has announced on 5th January 2016 that it has agreed to purchase a minority stake in leading headwear maker for virtual and augmented reality, Osterhout Design Group. This news comes against the backdrop of hit film “The Martian” in which Matt Damon plays a earth space traveller left behind by shipmates on the red planet.

▼ Hitachi Solutions India acquires IT solutions provider Ignify   [01-6-16]

Hitachi Solutions India, subsidiary of Tokyo based Hitachi has acquired IT solutions provider Ignify for a non disclosed amount. With the latest acquisition Hitachi Solutions will add 450 more technical and delivery resources and expand its presence in the Asia Pacific region. Ignify has offices in the United States, India, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand as well as Japan. The company offers e-commerce end-to-end business to business and business to consumer platform. Hitachi Solutions recently set up a subsidiary in Singapore as well.

▼ GM has invested USD 500 million in ride hailing company Lyft   [01-6-16]

GM has invested USD 500 million in ride hailing company Lyft and forming a partnership leading to on demand, self driving cars. This is the biggest investment by the traditional automaker in the mobility company and is an acknowledgement by GM that the transportation landscape is fast changing. In May 2014, Fontinalis Partners a venture capital firm co-founded by Ford Motor Co's executive chairman Bill Ford invested this company. Lyft co-founder and president John Zimmer and Ammann say the two companies began serious discussions about the investment months ago.

▼ Nokia gains control of 80% of Alcatel Lucent.   [01-5-16]

Finnish telecom giant Nokia gains control of 80% of French American Rival Alcatel Lucent. Nokia currently holds 76% of shares and voting rights under Alcatel as part of its public exchange offer. Minimum requirement for Nokia is controlling 50% of shares and voting rights. This has been satisfied. With this, Nokia hopes the merger will make it the top network equipment and service provider.

▼ Bioware senior development director Chris Wynn quits   [01-5-16]

Bioware senior development director Chris Wynn has quit the Mass Effect project and will no longer be part of the company. He will be joining the N& community and await the release of Andromeda with considerable enthusiasm.

▼ Ratan Tata invests in, a pet care portal   [01-4-16]

Continuing a spate of investments across digital startups, Ratan Tata has placed an undisclosed amount in This portal for pet care is backed by Ronnie Screwvala’s Unilazer Ventures and K. Ganesh ( Growth Story) as well as early stage fund India Quotient. The co-founder and CEO of this pet care portal is Rana Atheya. changed its focus on selling own products from a e-commerce model last year. Pet market in India is expected to explode in the coming months with over 4 million pet dogs and Indian pet care market being pegged at USD 1.22 bullion with annual growth rate exceeding 35%.

▼ Digital payments and commerce firm Paytm acquires Shifu   [01-4-16]

Digital payments and commerce company Paytm has acquired Delhi based consumer prediction platform Shifu in a USD 8 million deal. This is expected to enhance consumer experiences on the Paytm platform. Shifu was founded by tech professionals Prashant Singh, Michael Massey and Deepansh Jain in 2012. The 20 member team of this company including its 3 founders will join Paytm.

▼ Maharashtra Government inks MoU with Pawan Hans   [01-4-16]

An MoU has been signed by Maharashtra Government and Pawan Hans to boost tourist activity in Maharashtra. MoU between MTDC and Pawan Hans was signed on December 30, 2015. Helicopter services will now be available for those looking to visit Elephanta, Ajanta, Ellora, Ganpatipule, Tarkarli and Ammby Valley.

▼ SEBI puts forth new ASBA form   [01-4-16]

The checklist regime has been included for initial public offerings, whereby capital market regulator SEBI has put in place for ASBA or Application Supported by Blocked Amount facility. ASBA facility has become compulsory for all categories of investors applying for public issue for payments from January 1 2016. Facility allows the bid amount to remain in applicants account till the time of the final allocation of the shares.

▼ Bharti Airtel acquires Augere   [01-4-16]

On December 29, 2015, Bharti Airtel has informed the BSE that it has acquired remaining balance paid up share capital of 26% of Augere. With this said acquisition, Augere will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the company. Earlier, Airtel had acquired 74% stake in this wireless company. Augere holds 20 Mhz of spectrum in 2300 Mhz band in Madhya Pradesh service area for 4G services.