Market Watch

Jet Airways suspends international operations until April 15; receives some more EoIs as deadline ends

Last Updated : Apr 12, 2019 09:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com There are no funds to continue the international operations, say company officials ‘); $(‘#lastUpdated_’+articleId).text(resData[stkKey][‘lastupdate’]); //if(resData[stkKey][‘percentchange’] > 0){ // $(‘#greentxt_’+articleId).removeClass(“redtxt”).addClass(“greentxt”); // $(‘.arw_red’).removeClass(“arw_red”).addClass(“arw_green”); //}else if(resData[stkKey][‘percentchange’] =…

Last Updated : Apr 12, 2019 09:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com






There are no funds to continue the international operations, say company officials













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Distressed airline Jet Airways has suspended international operations until April 15, as a fund crunch continues to force the company to cut its operations.

However, sources confirmed the airline has received some more expression of interest (EoIs) before the deadline to participate in the bidding process ended at 6 pm today.

On April 11, the airline had curtailed international flights, including those to London and Amsterdam, saying the suspension will be effective until the morning of April 12.

But officials said there were no more funds to continue the international flights.

The development comes even as senior Jet officials are to brief officials at Ministry of Civil Aviation. The company officials have also been in talks with their lenders, raising hopes that the banks would transfer funds to the airline.

While the banks had promised Rs 1,500 crore in emergency funding, only about Rs 250 crore has been transferred so far.

Apart from international flights, Jet’s domestic operations have also been severely impacted.

Hundreds of its employees gathered at the airline’s headquarters on Friday afternoon, asking for clarity on the salary dues. Jet had deferred March salary payments to all its employees. Its senior management, pilots and engineers haven’t been paid since January.

Sources added the banks may transfer just enough funds to pay the ground staff.

Meanwhile, Jet employees, including pilots, engineers and cabin crew, plan to have a ‘Save Jet Airways Human Chain’ at Terminal 3 of Delhi airport. This will be done for an hour from 3.30pm.



First Published on Apr 12, 2019 05:50 pm



































Source

Elon Musk’s SpaceX sends world’s most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

(Reuters) – The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts. The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space…

(Reuters) – The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.

The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload.

“T plus 33 seconds into flight, under the power of 5.1 million pounds of thrust, Falcon Heavy is headed to space,” SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said on a livestream.

Roughly three minutes after clearing the pad, Heavy’s two side boosters separated from the core rocket for a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX engineers in the company’s Hawthorne, California headquarters.

The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned nearly 10 minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX’s seafaring drone ship 400 miles (645 km) off the Florida coast. In the 2018 test mission, Heavy’s core booster missed the vessel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

“The Falcons have landed” Musk wrote on Twitter, inaugurating the first successful recovery of all three rocket boosters, which will be refurbished and re-fly in another Falcon Heavy mission this summer to carry a swarm of military and science satellites for the Air Force.

Liftoff with Heavy’s new military-certified Falcon 9 engines was crucial in the race with Boeing-Lockheed venture United Launch Alliance and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as Musk’s SpaceX, working to flight-prove its rocket fleet one mission at a time, aims to clinch a third of all U.S. National Security Space missions – coveted military contracts worth billions.

The U.S. Air Force tapped SpaceX in 2018 to launch for $130 million a classified military satellite and in February added three more missions in a $297 million contract.

Slideshow (8 Images)

SpaceX and Boeing Co are vying to send humans to space from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, cleared its first unmanned test flight in March ahead of its crewed mission planned for July, while the first unmanned test for Boeing’s Starliner capsule is slated for August on ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket.

Falcon Heavy carried a communications satellite for Saudi-based telecom firm Arabsat, which will beam internet and television services over Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Privately owned SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp, was founded in 2002 by Musk, who is also a co-founder of electric car maker Tesla Inc.

Reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

Source

Gold: Gold holds near one-week high on subdued dollar, equities

Gold inched higher on Tuesday, trading just below a more than one-week peak hit in the previous session, as Asian equities eased and the dollar weakened following sombre US economic data. FUNDAMENTALS Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,299.34 per ounce as of 0101 GMT, after touching its highest since March 28 at…

Gold

inched higher on Tuesday, trading just below a more than one-week peak hit in the previous session, as Asian equities eased and the dollar weakened following sombre US economic data.

FUNDAMENTALS

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,299.34 per ounce as of 0101 GMT, after touching its highest since March 28 at $1,303.61 in the previous session.

US gold futures gained 0.1 per cent to $1,302.80 an ounce.

The dollar sagged on Tuesday after weak US economic data while commodity-linked currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars drew support from an ongoing surge in crude oil prices.

New orders for US-made goods fell modestly in February and shipments rose after four straight monthly declines, but the manufacturing sector is slowing amid rising inventories.

Asian shares got off to a subdued start on Tuesday after a mixed session on Wall Street as investors braced for high-risk events later in the week, while worries about a global growth slowdown weighed on sentiment.

German exports and imports both fell more than expected in February, data showed on Monday, in the latest sign that Europe’s largest economy is likely to post meagre growth in the first quarter amid increased headwinds from abroad.

Just a month after the European Central Bank halted plans to normalise policy and delayed a rate increase into 2020, further signs of weakness in the economy and a whiff of panic among investors is putting the central bank back in the spotlight.

British shoppers cut back spending for the first time in almost a year last month, reflecting a mix of seasonal pressures and Brexit worries, the British Retail Consortium said on Tuesday.

Britain’s parliament approved legislation on Monday that gives lawmakers the power to scrutinise and even change Prime Minister Theresa May’s request that the European Union agree to delay Brexit until June 30.

Theresa May will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday to argue for a Brexit delay while her ministers hold crisis talks with Labour to try to break the deadlock in London.

Turkey raised its gold holdings by 17.11 tonnes to 495.86 tonnes in March, while Ecuador revised its January figures by 10.58 tonnes to 16.95 tonnes, according to a data from International Monetary Fund.

SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell about 0.2 per cent to 760.49 tonnes on Monday from 761.67 tonnes on Friday.

Source

Probe-Lobbying-The: The Latest: Ex-Obama WH aide denies guilt in lobbying case

1:50 p.m.AP|Apr 12, 2019, 11.25 PM ISTWASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on court appearances of two political consultants in foreign lobbying cases that grew out of the Russia probe (all times local): 1:50 p.m. Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements and concealing information in…

1:50 p.m.

AP|

Apr 12, 2019, 11.25 PM IST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on court appearances of two political consultants in foreign lobbying cases that grew out of the Russia probe (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements and concealing information in a federal foreign lobbying investigation spun off from the Russia probe.

Craig entered the plea Friday in federal court in Washington a day after he was accused of hiding the details of his work for the Ukrainian government from the Justice Department.

The 74-year-old denies the charges and says the prosecution against him is “unprecedented and unjustified.”

The case intersected with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe because former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved in the financing of a report Craig authored for the Ukrainian government. The document sought to legitimize the prosecution of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

__

10:49 a.m.

A Washington political consultant initially entangled in the Russia investigation was sentenced to three years of probation for illegal lobbying and skirting the ban on foreign donations to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee.

W. Samuel Patten and prosecutors had asked for leniency citing his cooperation in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and other ongoing probes.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed the sentence Friday as Mueller has concluded his investigation but federal prosecutors in New York continue to investigate foreign donations to the inaugural committee.

Patten has said he wasn’t part of a larger scheme to funnel money to the committee.

He pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act for lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian political party. He also lied to the Senate intelligence committee.

(This story has not been edited by economictimes.com and is auto–generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)

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Adani Power jumps 5% after CERC approves higher tariff for Mundra unit

Last Updated : Apr 12, 2019 04:00 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com CERC also approved reviewing ceiling price every 5 years as per recommendations by High Powered Committee. Representative image ‘); $(‘#lastUpdated_’+articleId).text(resData[stkKey][‘lastupdate’]); //if(resData[stkKey][‘percentchange’] > 0){ //…

Last Updated : Apr 12, 2019 04:00 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com






CERC also approved reviewing ceiling price every 5 years as per recommendations by High Powered Committee.






Representative image







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Adani Power shares rallied nearly 9 percent intraday on April 12 after the power regulator approved higher tariff for the Mundra unit. But there was some profit booking towards close, which trimmed gains and the stock closed at Rs 52.95.

After this order, Gujurat Electricity Board approached CERC to seek nod to amend terms for power purchase agreement (PPA) for 2,000 MW.

CERC also approved reviewing ceiling price every 5 years as per recommendations by High Powered Committee.

“It is a good decision for company and gives relief in terms of loss they were making (around Rs 1,000-1,200 crore per quarter). Here are things will not be bad for company and this move will help company curtail losses. One can really book profits at current level,” SP Tulsian of sptulsian.com told CNBC-TV18.

Adani Power had posted a loss of Rs 1,180.8 crore for quarter ended December 2018 against loss of Rs 1,313.7 crore in same period last year.

The company has an installed thermal power capacity of 10,440 MW spread across four power plants in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Rajasthan.



First Published on Apr 12, 2019 04:00 pm


































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Mike Pompeo agrees Kim Jong Un is a ‘tyrant’

US President Donald Trump has said he’s in love with Kim Jong Un, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed that the North Korean leader is a “tyrant.” Pompeo, who flew to Pyongyang four times last year as the Trump administration sought an opening with North Korea, was taken to task as he…


US President Donald Trump has said he’s in love with Kim Jong Un, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed that the North Korean leader is a “tyrant.” Pompeo, who flew to Pyongyang four times last year as the Trump administration sought an opening with North Korea, was taken to task as he testified before a Senate subcommittee.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, pointed to Pompeo’s denunciations of Venezuela’s leftist President Nicolas Maduro as a “tyrant” and asked if he would use similar language for Kim.

“Sure. I’m sure I’ve said that,” Pompeo replied.

The comment may irk North Korea, which has signalled it is open to a third summit with Trump after a February meeting in Hanoi ended in stalemate.

Seeking a potentially landmark denuclearisation accord, Trump has repeatedly praised Kim and last month said he had blocked major new sanctions planned for North Korea out of affection for its young authoritarian leader.

North Korea has also been careful not to criticize Trump, while accusing his aides of “gangster-like” behaviour.

Pompeo, however, was unwilling to label as a tyrant Egypt’s military ruler turned president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was hailed by Trump earlier Tuesday in a White House meeting.

“There’s no doubt that it’s a mean, nasty world out there. But not every one of these leaders is the same,” Pompeo said.

“Some of them are trying to wipe entire nations off the face of the Earth and other are actually partnering with us to help keep Americans safe,” he said.

“You might call them tyrant, you might call them authoritarian, but there a fundamental difference, and therefore a fundamental difference in the way the US should respond,” he said.

Pompeo hailed Sisi’s offensive against fighters of the Islamic State extremist movement in the Sinai peninsula.

Sisi took power in a 2013 coup against elected president Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist, with authorities shortly afterward killing 700 protesters who had assembled in two Cairo squares.

Human rights group say that North Korea has one of the world’s most egregious records, with Kim’s regime forbidding all dissent and running a massive system of political prisons in which between 80,000 and 130,000 people are detained along with their family members for suspected dissent.




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U.S. criticizes Vietnam ban of glyphosate herbicide imports

CHICAGO/HANOI, April 11 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Thursday criticized Vietnam’s move to ban imports of glyphosate herbicide, saying the decision would have “devastating impacts on global agricultural production.” Vietnam’s government said in a statement that the toxic level of herbicides containing glyphosate had long been of concern, in the latest…

CHICAGO/HANOI, April 11 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Thursday criticized Vietnam’s move to ban imports of glyphosate herbicide, saying the decision would have “devastating impacts on global agricultural production.”

Vietnam’s government said in a statement that the toxic level of herbicides containing glyphosate had long been of concern, in the latest display of global worries over the product’s impact on human health. State media reports said the ban would take effect in June.

Glyphosate, the chemical contained in Bayer unit Monsanto’s best-selling weed-killer Roundup, is the target of lawsuits in the United States alleging cancer links.

Roundup was the first weed-killer to contain glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer. But it is no longer patent-protected and many other versions are available.

Bayer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Perdue said the U.S. government had shared scientific studies with Vietnam concluding that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.

“As I’ve often said, if we’re going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, farmers worldwide need all the tools and technologies at our disposal,” he said.

“In addition to the immediate effect of slowing the development of Vietnamese agricultural production, there’s the very real risk that Vietnam’s farmers will turn to unregulated, illegal chemical products in place of glyphosate,” Perdue said.

Hoang Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in a statement posted on the department’s website that long-term exposure to herbicides and pesticides affects the environment and is severely unhealthy for those exposed.

“The decision to remove herbicides containing glyphosate from the list of plant protection chemicals permitted for use in Vietnam is in accordance with the current law, international regulations and in line with Vietnam’s socio-economic conditions,” Trung said in the statement. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago and Khanh Vu in Hanoi; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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sebi: Sun Pharma’s senior exec, wife settle insider trading case with Sebi

Mumbai: Sun Pharmaceutical Laboratories’s former chief executive Abhay Gandhi and his wife Kiran have settled insider trading case with market regulator Sebi by paying a total of Rs 70 lakh as settlement charges. Sun Pharma Laboratories is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Pharma. Currently, Gandhi is CEO of Sun Pharma’s North America business. Sun Pharma…

Mumbai:

Sun Pharmaceutical

Laboratories’s former chief executive Abhay Gandhi and his wife Kiran have settled

insider trading

case with market regulator

Sebi

by paying a total of Rs 70 lakh as settlement charges. Sun Pharma Laboratories is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sun Pharma. Currently, Gandhi is CEO of Sun Pharma’s North America business.

Sun Pharma in an email response to ET said that it is pleased that the matter of Mr Abhay Gandhi and his spouse has been brought to a closure and the company has full faith that Mr Gandhi conducts himself with the utmost integrity in any situation.

The case relates to their trading in shares of Ranbaxy Laboratories in 2014. In July 2013, Sun Pharma first approached Daiichi Sankyo, the promoters of Ranbaxy for acquiring it.

“There were emails sent by Sun Pharma’s advisors to Daiichi during September to November 2013.It was also observed that during the period January 2014 to February 2014,several emails were exchanged between the advisors of Sun Pharma and Daiichi and the same resulted in Daiichi forwarding the proposal of Sun Pharma to Daiichi’s advisor,” Sebi said in its order on Thursday.

Subsequently, Daiichi had sought the time lines from Sun Pharma to finalise the deal.The major aspect in this deal was the agreement of Daiichi to consider any sort of transaction.

“As the majority shareholder in control of the ownership and management of Ranbaxy, no transaction whatsoever could have taken place without Daiichi’s acquiescence. Daiichi after considering the January 31, 2014 presentation forwarded by Sun Pharma, meeting with Daiichi’s and Sun Pharma’s Advisors on February 11, 2014 and appointment of Goldman as financial advisor on February 13, 2014, had asked for timelines for the closure of the deal on February 14, 2014. From this it is inferred that, Daiichi has agreed to the proposal of the Sun Pharma on February 14, 2014,” Sebi said.

The regulator said the information that Daiichi has agreed to Sun Pharma’s proposal to acquire Ranbaxy was price sensitive information(PSI). The PSI came into existence February 14,2014 and the same was made public on April 7,2014 before the start of the trading hours.

Therefore, the unpublished price sensitive information(UPSI) period was from February 14,2014 to April 6,2014, Sebi said. As Gandhi was then the chief of Sun Pharma Laboratories, he and his wife were insiders under Sebi rules.

According to two separate orders, they had traded in the shares of Ranbaxy when the proposed deal was yet to be made public. Gandhi and his wife traded in 454 shares and 6,770 shares, respectively, during the UPSI period.

The regulator said trading in the scrip of Ranbaxy Laboratories, that is buying during the UPSI and selling immediately after the the UPSI was made public by both of them was in violation of its insider trading rules.

“This settlement was based on certain formula where the accused parties decided not to indulge in lengthy litigation. Here the regulators looked at whether the matter could be settled under the settlement regulation or not. Basically when the regulators are investigating a insider trading case, they look at whether that insider trading has a market wide impact or not”, according to a senior official who is aware of the details of the case who did not wish to be quoted.”If such an insider trading does not have market impact then the issue is settleable. This is what the individuals have done. Sun Pharma does follow a governance code that SEBI has prescribed for all listed companies. In fact in this case, Sun was not party to it at all”, this official added.

An email sent to Sumit Agrawal of RegStreet Law who represented Kiran Abhay Gandhi remained un answered.

Sun told ET that the company has “Code of Internal Procedures and Code of Conduct for Prevention of Insider Trading” which stipulates that any employee in possession of unpublished price sensitive information cannot trade in the Company’s shares. Any employee who is not in possession of unpublished price sensitive information and has traded in the Company’s shares has to intimate the Company if the transaction is beyond a certain limit.

The company also explained that as per its “Global Code of Conduct”, every employee is required to abstain from trading in, or recommending the purchase or sale of securities of any other company of which they have obtained material non-public information as a result of their employment by or affiliation with Sun Pharma.

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II: Correction: Trump-World War II Veterans story

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story April 11 about President Donald Trump meeting with four World War II veterans, The Associated Press reported an erroneous hometown for Allen Jones, based on inaccurate information provided by the White House. Jones is from Dunbar, Pennsylvania. A corrected version of the story is below: Trump hosts Oval Office…

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story April 11 about President Donald Trump meeting with four World War II veterans, The Associated Press reported an erroneous hometown for Allen Jones, based on inaccurate information provided by the White House. Jones is from Dunbar, Pennsylvania.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Trump hosts Oval Office celebration for 4 World War II vets

President Donald Trump treated 4 World War II veterans to an Oval Office meeting Thursday, fulfilling a birthday wish for 95-year-old Allen Jones and giving three other centenarian veterans a day to remember

By KEVIN FREKING

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump treated four World War II veterans to an Oval Office meeting Thursday, fulfilling a birthday wish for 95-year-old Allen Jones and giving three other veterans age 100 and older a day to remember.

One of the men, 101-year-old Floyd Wigfield, of Cumberland, Maryland, managed to win a promise from the president for a return flight on Air Force One following this June’s ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. “We’ll work that out,” Trump said. “You’ll like Air Force One.”

Trump had met Jones at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention last year and Jones, of Dunbar, Pennsylvania, asked to spend his birthday with the president. Trump looked happy to oblige, joking with the men and their families, and asking each one to say a few words. When one of the guests presented Trump with a hat and suggested he tweet about it, the president deadpanned: “I don’t tweet that much.”

Sidney Walton, 100, of San Diego, and a medic in the war, told the president he joined the Army to fight Hitler, prompting Trump to reply: “That was a good reason.”

Walton is on what his family called the “No Regrets Tour,” a personal mission to visit all 50 states and the White House to educate Americans about World War II veterans.

Paul Kriner, 103, of Chambersburg, Pa., told the president he participated in 517 days of combat. The president told him he didn’t look a day over 90.

Kriner and Wigfield are working with the Greatest Generations Foundation, which provides veterans with the chance to memorialize their stories and find closure by returning to visit where they served.

Trump described the men as “great heroes, great warriors, highly respected.”

(This story has not been edited by economictimes.com and is auto–generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)

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Trade setup for Thursday: Trade setup: Nifty50 has limited upside, likely to remain sluggish

The domestic stock market witnessed unwinding and underwent classical correction on Wednesday, as NSE Nifty fell over 110 points from the day’s high to end 0.75 per cent lower. We expect a flat to negative start on Thursday, and the session may remain volatile due to weekly index options expiry. However, compared with the past…

The domestic stock market witnessed unwinding and underwent classical correction on Wednesday, as NSE

Nifty

fell over 110 points from the day’s high to end 0.75 per cent lower.

We expect a flat to negative start on Thursday, and the session may remain volatile due to weekly index options expiry. However, compared with the past several days, volatility may come down a bit. Moreover, India VIX may also won’ t move much even if market extends fall.

Thursday’s session is set to see 11,630 and 11,690 levels act as resistance points. Supports may come in lower at 11,550 and 11,480.

The Relative Strength Index (RSI) on the daily chart stood at 59.5299. The RSI has marked a fresh 14-period low, which is bearish, showing a bearish divergence against the price.

The daily MACD stayed bearish as it traded below its signal line. A black body appeared on the candles, and apart from this no major formations were observed.

The pattern analysis showed a double top getting confirmed at the 11,760 level. This is a major resistance for Nifty, as it took seven months to get formed. Also, the index retraced from those levels again.

Speaking on broader terms, the present corrective behaviour of the market is likely to persist for some more time. We do not expect any major upmove until 11,760 is taken out comprehensively.

Looking at Brent crude prices along with dollar-rupee behaviour over the couple of sessions, we might see Indian currency appreciating more with the level of 68.90 acting as strong base.

Cumulatively, these factors may not give much boost to the equoties.

As Nifty is expected to extend its fall, a cautious view is advised for Thursday.

(Milan Vaishnav, CMT, MSTA is Consultant Technical Analyst at Gemstone Equity Research & Advisory Services, Vadodara. He can be reached at milan.vaishnav@equityresearch.asia)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of

http://www.economictimes.com

.)

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Ostrich, rodent on the menu as Cuba seeks food miracle

HAVANA (Reuters) – From breeding miniature cows to importing water buffalo, Cuban leaders have long gotten creative in their effort to remedy food shortages. Now, they are proposing ostrich and rodent farms as an answer, prompting ridicule from a weary population. A flock of ostriches is seen at a farm on the outskirts of Havana,…

HAVANA (Reuters) – From breeding miniature cows to importing water buffalo, Cuban leaders have long gotten creative in their effort to remedy food shortages. Now, they are proposing ostrich and rodent farms as an answer, prompting ridicule from a weary population.

A flock of ostriches is seen at a farm on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Fernando Medina

Meat and eggs have become hard to find in the Communist-run country in recent months due to a declining economy. Meanwhile officials are touting the potential of the flightless African bird and the hutia, a rodent native to Cuba that can weigh up to 8.5 kg (19 pounds).

“An ostrich lays 60 eggs, and of those you get around 40 chicks, and from these 40 chicks per year you get four tonnes of meat – whereas a cow just gives birth to one calf and after a year it’s only a yearling,” said Guillermo Garcia Frias.

Garcia Frias, 91, holds the honorary title of commander of the revolution as a former guerrilla in Cuba’s 1959 revolution and heads state company Flora and Fauna that is developing seven ostrich farms. He spoke at a roundtable discussion broadcast on state TV last week.

He lavished praise on hutias for their “level of protein higher than any other meat” and “high quality pelt,” noting his company was also breeding crocodiles.

His comments have prompted sarcastic memes and jokes that have gone viral on social media since Cuba’s food schemes have often failed to fulfil expectations.

In one meme, a Cuban arrives home with a live ostrich he got via the state ration card. In another a flock of the birds from Cuba arrives at the Mexican-U.S. border seeking asylum.

Cubans also joked the state might give them an ostrich per household, as it did with chickens during the deep economic depression of the 1990s following the fall of former benefactor the Soviet Union.

“They should be focusing on chicken, a basic foodstuff that has disappeared, rather than something so unusual,” said Elizabeth Perez, 22, a law student who said she hadn’t been able to find chicken in the supermarket for a month.

Ostriches are already farmed around the world, particularly in South Africa. In the United States, the bird is often served more as a novelty than a staple. The red meat is said to resemble lean beef, with a gamey flavour.

For some, Garcia Frias’ comments recalled late leader Fidel Castro’s genetic engineering project to produce high-yield dairy cows.

His cow Ubre Blanca or White Udder is in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest milk yield by a cow in one day: 110 litres (29 gallons). Her offspring were not as productive so the experiment petered out.

Cuba imports 60 to 70 percent of its food because of inefficient central planning of the state-run economy and the effect of the decades-old U.S. trade embargo.

But the country has also had to cut back on imports over the past three years due to cash shortfalls resulting from problems with its deals with former and current leftist allies, in particular declining aid from crisis-stricken Venezuela.

Whenever chicken arrives at supermarkets in Havana these days, long queues quickly form and do not peter out until the stock is exhausted.

Communist Party leader Raul Castro on Wednesday warned the economic situation could worsen in coming months as the United States further tightens its sanctions on the island although it would not become as dire as in the 1990s.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Source

Reckitt plays down Indivior risk to infant formula business

LONDON (Reuters) – Reckitt Benckiser Group on Wednesday sought to play down any potential impact to its infant formula business from U.S. litigation against Indivior, which it used to own, saying the risk was theoretical and unlikely. The U.S. Justice Department has accused British drugmaker Indivior of illegally boosting prescriptions for its blockbuster opioid addiction…

LONDON (Reuters) – Reckitt Benckiser Group on Wednesday sought to play down any potential impact to its infant formula business from U.S. litigation against Indivior, which it used to own, saying the risk was theoretical and unlikely.

The U.S. Justice Department has accused British drugmaker Indivior of illegally boosting prescriptions for its blockbuster opioid addiction treatment.

“As stated in our annual report, this is a theoretical risk but we consider this to be highly unlikely and only a remote possibility,” the company said, responding to a question about whether the risk for Reckitt could extend to the infant formula business, which Reckitt bought in 2017.

Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Keith Weir

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mutual fund: Sebi comes up with system audit framework for AMCs/MFs, asks to form technology committee

The guidelines come after “considering the importance of system audit in technology driven asset management activity and to enhance and standardise the system audit”.PTI|Apr 11, 2019, 07.38 PM ISTBCCLThe regulator has asked MFs and AMCs to conduct system audit on an annual basis by an eligible independent auditor.New Delhi: Markets regulator Sebi Thursday came out…

The guidelines come after “considering the importance of system audit in technology driven asset management activity and to enhance and standardise the system audit”.

PTI|

Apr 11, 2019, 07.38 PM IST

BCCL

The regulator has asked MFs and AMCs to conduct system audit on an annual basis by an eligible independent auditor.

New Delhi: Markets regulator

Sebi

Thursday came out with revised guidelines for system audit to be conducted by mutual funds and asset management companies (AMCs).

The guidelines come after “considering the importance of system audit in technology driven asset management activity and to enhance and standardise the system audit”, Sebi said in a circular.

Besides, mutual funds (MFs)/ AMCs have been directed to constitute a technology committee entrusted with the task of reviewing the cyber security and cyber resilience framework for MFs and AMCs, Sebi said in a separate circular.

Sebi said the committee will comprise experts proficient in technology with at least one independent external expert with adequate experience in the area of technology in MF industry or BFSI, it added.

The regulator has asked MFs and AMCs to conduct system audit on an annual basis by an eligible independent auditor.

The audit should include the audit of systems and processes related to fund accounting system for calculation of net asset values, financial accounting and reporting system for AMC.

Moreover, audit related to unit-holder administration and servicing systems for customer service, funds flow process, system processes for meeting regulatory requirements, prudential investment limits and access rights to systems interface shall also be done.

Further, MFs and AMCs are required to submit a report regarding exceptions observed in the system audit to the technology committee for review in the prescribed format.

The committee after reviewing the report shall place it before the AMC & Trustee Board. The report along with trustee’s comments should be communicated to Sebi within six months of the respective financial year, starting from 2019-20.

Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

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EU mergers and takeovers (April 11)

BRUSSELS, April 11 (Reuters) – The following are mergers under review by the European Commission and a brief guide to the EU merger process: APPROVALS AND WITHDRAWALS — French nursing home operator Financiere Colisee to acquire sole control over Belgian nursing home operator Armonea Group (approved April 10) NEW LISTINGS — Czech energy company EPH…

BRUSSELS, April 11 (Reuters) – The following are mergers under review by the European Commission and a brief guide to the EU merger process:

APPROVALS AND WITHDRAWALS

— French nursing home operator Financiere Colisee to acquire sole control over Belgian nursing home operator Armonea Group (approved April 10)

NEW LISTINGS

— Czech energy company EPH to indirectly acquire sole control over energy company Uniper France through a purchase of shares(notified April 9/deadline May 21/simplified)

— Abu Dhabi’s government investor ADIA and Triton Fund V to acquire joint control over food transportation packager IFCO group (notified April 9/deadline May 21/simplified)

— Bregal Unternehmenkapital to acquire sole control over MEDIA Central (notified April 9/deadline May 21/simplified)

EXTENSIONS AND OTHER CHANGES

None

FIRST-STAGE REVIEWS BY DEADLINE

APRIL 24

— Swedish telecoms provider Telia Company to acquire Bonnier Broadcasting which includes brands such as Swedish TV4 and streaming service C More and Finnish MTV (notified March 15/deadline April 24)

APRIL 26

— Liberty House Group to acquire sole control over steel companies Galati/Skopje HoldCo, Paloma S.r.l., ArcelorMittal Ostrava a.s., Liege Steel Industry SA and ArcelorMittal Dudelange S.A. (notified March 19/deadline April 26/simplified)

APRIL 30

— Italy’s doBank S.p.A. to acquire sole control over Altamira Asset Management S.A. and its affiliates with the exception of Altamira Asset Management Cyprus which will remain under joint control with Cyprus Cooperative Bank (notified March 21/deadline April 30/simplified)

— France’s Engie S.A. and Canada’s Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec to obtain joint control over Brazil’s Transportadora Associada de Gas S.A. (notified March 21/deadline April 30/simplified)

MAY 2

— International power plant supplier Ansaldo Energia and Russia’s REP Holding to create REPH Ansaldo Gas Turbine joint venture (notified March 22/deadline May 2/simplified)

— U.S.-based private equity companies TA Associates Management and Vista Equity Partners Management to acquire joint control over Aptean Inc. and Yaletown Acquiror (notified March 22/deadline May 2/simplified)

MAY 3

— Gemany’s Daimler and China’s Geely Technology Group to create a ride-hailing joint venture in China (notified March 25/deadline May 3/simplified)

MAY 6

— Electricity company Sev.en Energy Group and Chinese peer China Huaneng Group to acquire joint control of electricity provider InterGen B.V. (notified March 26/deadline May 6/simplified)

MAY 7

— U.S. plastics maker Berry Global Group to acquire British packager RPC (notified March 27/deadline May 7/simplified)

MAY 8

— Private equity firm OEP Capital Advisors to acquire powertrain product maker Walterscheid Powertrain <WP Group) (notified March 28/deadline May 8/simplified)

MAY 10

— British private equity company 3i Group, TIIC 2 and Aberdeen Infrastructure to acquire joint control over DirectRoute Holdings in relation to the acquisition of an interest in a concession for the operation and maintenance of the M8 Rathcormac/Femoy Bypass toll road in Ireland (notified March 29/deadline May 10/simplified)

— Agos Ducato, an Italian consumer credit joint venture between France’s CA Consumer Finance and Italian bank Banco BPM, to accquire the entire share capital of Italy’s ProFamily from Banco BPM )notified March 29/deadline May 10/simplified)

— Swiss insurer Swiss Life and British private equity firm Montagu to jointly acquire German property developer Pondus (notified March 29/deadline May 10/simplified)

MAY 13

— Polish investment company Polski Fundusz Rozwoju (PFR), Singapore shipping terminal operator PSA and Australian investment manager IFM Investors to acquire joint indirect control of quay operator DCT Gdansk and its parent company Gdansk Port Holdings which is owned by Australian fund Macquarie (notified April 1/deadline May 13/simplified)

– Iconex to acquire sole control over R+S Group and Hansol Denmark and its subsidiary Schades Group (notified April 1/deadline May 13)

— Investcorp Investment Holdings and Aberdeen Asset Management plc to set up a joint venture (notified April 1/deadline May 13/simplified)

— British car parts distributor Alliance Automotive Group, which is a unit of U.S. car parts distributor Genuine Parts Company, to acquire Dutch peer PartsPoint Group (notified April 1/deadline May 13/simplified)

MAY 17

— Swedish packager BillerudKorsnas and plastic packager Alpla Holding to jointly acquire Ecoxpac which develops pulp solutions for packaging purposes (notification April 5/deadline May 17/simplified)

MAY 20

— Electronic and motor manufacturing company Nidec to acquire sole control of U.S. white goods maker Whirlpool Corp’s compressor subsidiary Embraco (notified Oct. 8/deadline extended to May 20 from May 13)

— PSA Baltics, PFR Porty and Global InfraCo to acquire joint indirect control of DCT Gdansk S.A.’s parent company Gdansk Port Holdings (notified April 1/deadline May 13/simplified)

— Car parts distributor Alliance Automotive Group to acquire sole control over aftermarket vehicle parts distributor PartsPoint Group (notified April 1/deadline May 13/simplified)

— Investcorp Investment Holdings and Aberdeen Asset Management to create investment advisory services joint venture (notified April 1/deadline May 13/simplified)

MAY 21

— Fund management company DIF Infrastructure, green infrastructure investor Green Investment Group (GIG) and waste-to-energy infrastructure company Covanta Holding Corp to jointly acquire Covanta Europe Assets Ltd and the Dublin Waste-to-Energy facility which is jointly controlled by Covanta and GIG (notified April 9/deadline May 21/simplified)

JUNE 3

— UK mobile telephony provider Vodafone to acquire U.S. Liberty Global’s telecommunications business in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Romania (notified Oct. 19/deadline June 3)

JUNE 5

— Germany’s Thyssenkrupp and India’s Tata Steel to set up a steel joint venture (notified Sept. 25/deadline extended to June 5 from May 13 after offering concessions)

AUG 8

— U.S. aluminum company Novelis, which is a unit of India’s Hindalco Industries Ltd, to acquire aluminum processor Aleris (notified Feb. 18/deadline extended to Aug. 8 from March 25 after the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation)

DEADLINE SUSPENDED

— German energy company E.ON to acquire German peer Innogy’s retail and network activities (notified Jan. 31/deadline suspended on March 22)

DEADLINES:

The European Commission has 25 working days after a deal is filed for a first-stage review. It may extend that by 10 working days to 35 working days, to consider either a company’s proposed remedies or an EU member state’s request to handle the case. Most mergers win approval but occasionally the Commission opens a detailed second-stage investigation for up to 90 additional working days, which it may extend to 105 working days.

SIMPLIFIED:

Under the simplified procedure, the Commission announces the clearance of uncontroversial first-stage mergers without giving any reason for its decision. Cases may be reclassified as non-simplified – that is, ordinary first-stage reviews – until they are approved. (Reporting by Clare Roth;)

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RBI: Impact of RBI rate cuts to remain muted

Kolkata: The half a dozen banks which had lowered marginal cost based lending rate (MCLR) in March are likely to abstain from further rate action despite Reserve Bank of India’s signal for easier financing cost. The rest including the bigger ones State Bank of India and HDFC Bank have taken the plunge with 5-10 basis…

Kolkata: The half a dozen banks which had lowered marginal cost based lending rate (MCLR) in March are likely to abstain from further rate action despite Reserve Bank of India’s signal for easier financing cost.

The rest including the bigger ones State Bank of India and HDFC Bank have taken the plunge with 5-10 basis points reduction in benchmark rate following RBI’s second successive repo rate cut on April 4 but these are way below what was signaled by the central bank.

RBI has reduced the repo rate by a total of 50 bps in 2019 to push economic growth while banks are facing difficulty in passing on the benefit as deposit rates remain sticky.

“Banks are not lowering their rates as deposit rates need to be lowered first. This cannot be done given the slow growth in deposits as households have shifted to equities and mutual funds. Currently, to meet their credit requirements they have been sourcing corporate deposits at a higher rate,” said Madan Sabnavis, chief economist with CARE Ratings.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said he would hold “further consultations with stakeholders and work out an effective mechanism for transmission of rates.”

Lenders such as ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank and Union Bank of India reduced their respective MCLR by 5-10 bps in the next 40 days after RBI’s February policy action. “These may not go for further rate cuts,” a chief executive of a public sector bank said.

Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and YES Bank did not respond to mails seeking comments on their interest rate strategy.

“The present scene only shows that monetary transmission cannot be enforced but has to happen through the market forces. What SBI is doing is a positive step as the cost of funds comes down when rates on high level savings account is lowered. Further, it should be remembered that when lending rates are lowered all loans get repriced while deposits get repriced only on renewal or on fresh deposits. Therefore, average cost will not go down for some time,” Sabnavis explained.

Impact of deposit rate cuts work with around six months’ lag.

“We are conscious of the fact that there has to be effective and appropriate transmission of the rates. After the last meeting, I had held meetings with public sector and private sector banks. The banks have cut MCLR by up to 10 basis points. But more needs to be done,” Governor Das had said on Aril 4 after announcing the second 25 bps rate cut in quick succession.

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