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Current Events - Business      ShowAll
Anil Ambani restricted from investing in Secondard Markets for 1 year (Business)
14-01-11  SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has, today, posted a consent order in the matter of dealing in the shares of Reliance Communications Limited. by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group companies and its directors.

SEBI says that it had received information that amounts raised towards External Commercial Borrowings / Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds by the ADA Group companies had been invested in the stock market in violation of the provisions of SEBI Act 1992 and other regulations, and the matter was taken up for investigation.

The investigations in the matter by SEBI have revealed that Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. and Reliance Natural Resources Ltd. were prima facie responsible for misrepresenting the nature of investments in Yield Management Certificates / Deposits and their profits and losses in their Annual Reports for the years ending March 2007, March 2008 ad March 2009.

SEBI has stated in its order posted on its web-site, that both the companies along with...
  • Anil Ambani, CMD of Reliance Infrastucture Ltd. and Chairman of RNRL
  • Satish Seth, Executive Vice Chairman of Reliance Infrastructure Limited
  • S. C. Gupta, Director Reliance Infrastucture Ltd.
  • Lalit Jalan, Whole Time Director of Reliance Infrastucture Ltd., and
  • J. P. Chalasani, Director of Reliance Infrastucture Ltd.
had allegedly violated several sections of the SEBI (Prohibition of Fraudulent Unfair Trade Practices Relating to Securities Market) Regulations, 2003, for which they were issued separate show cause notices on 7 June 2010 with corrigendums dated 2 September 2010.

The companies and directors had proposed a settlement on 9 September 2010, which was later revised on 3 December 2010. which was accepted by SEBI on 4 January 2011. The settlement had provided for a ban on the companies and the directors from investing in the list securities in the secondary market along with a total fine of Rs 50 crores, which had to be borne by the directors and not by violating the companies.

SEBI has acknowledged that the fines had been deposited on 10 January 2011 and that the ban from investing in the secondary marekts on the directors up to December 2011 and on the errant companies up to December 2012 had come into effect.
Oracles Corporation wins US$ 1.3 billion jury verdit against SAP AG (Business)
24-11-10  Jury verdict in case against SAP goes in favour of Oracle. SAP AG has been asked to pay US$ 1.3 billion for copyright infringement by TomorrowNow.

Oracle had filed a suit aginst Germany based SAP in 2007 charging its US-based subsidiary of illegally downloading and making copies of Oracle software. Oracle had claimed that the company had avoided paying the licensing fees and stolen from customers.

SAP has reacted to the judgement expressing dissappointment. It has said that SAP will explore all available options and appeal if necessary.

Oracle issued the following statement, attributable to Oracle President Safra Catz "For more than three years, SAP stole thousands of copies of Oracle software and then resold that software and related services to Oracle's own customers. Right before the trial began, SAP admitted its guilt and liability; then the trial made it clear that SAPs most senior executives were aware of the illegal activity from the very beginning. As a result, a United States Federal Court has ordered SAP to pay Oracle $1.3 billion. This is the largest amount ever awarded for software piracy."
Sterlite Industries' smelter shut down by High Court - Stock price tumbles (Business)
29-09-10  Madras High Court ordered, yesterday (28-Sep-2010), the immediate closure of the copper smelting plant of Sterlite Industries Ltd at Tuticorin. The order was delivered by the bench of Justice Elipe Dharmarao and Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar at Chennai, saying that the activities of the plant were raising the pollution level and harmful for the workers.

The court has ordered that employees working at the plant should be given compensation under Section 25 of the Industrial Disputes Act. Also, the collector of Tuticorin has been directed to ensure that the workers are provided jobs in other companies.

It may be recollected that recently another company of the Vedanta group has had to freeze its mining plans for its integrated alumina plant in Orissa, when the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests cancelled its permission. The reason in that decision too was related to environmental issues.

The stocks corrected sharply when the markets opened on Wednesday. Sterlite company's shares ended 8.50% lower to 161.50, on close of the bourses on Wednesday.
Supreme Court asks Income Tax to compute tax liability of Vodafone (Business)
28-09-10  India's apex court today turned down Vodafone's request for a stay on the High Court's decision of 8 September and asked the Income Tax department to compute the tax liability in the Hutchison - Vodafone deal that was concluded in 2007.

Supreme Court of India has said that Vodafone will have to pay up 50% of the tax amount demanded in 2007 to get a stay. The bench headed by Chief Justice S. H. Kapadia has given the IT Department 4 weeks to compute the liability and set the next hearing for 25 October 2010.

The court has allowed Vodafone to move court if it disputed the computed tax liability.

After the ruling, S. S. N. Moorty, the chairman of Central Board of Direct Taxes said that the department will compute the full tax liability of the company and stood by the department's earlier demand of Rs. 12300 crores.

Vodafone had taken over Hutchison's share in the Hutch-Essar telecom venture in a much publicized US$ 11.01 billion deal. The tax department has since been demanding its due tax on the transaction. According to the taxman, Vodafone was liable to withhold the capital gains tax and deposit it with the department.

Vodafone had moved the High Court challenging the Income Tax Department's jurisdiction to tax a transaction that been carried outside the country. The High Court had decided against Vodafone on 8 September and given the company 4 weeks before which the IT Department could send it any notice.
BIS certification mandatory for Packaged Drinking Water (Business)
23-09-10  Indian Government has made BIS certification mandatory for Packaged Drinking Water. No one will be allowed to sell packaged drinking water and packaged mineral water unless it has Bureau of Indian Standards Certification mark.

Two standards (IS 14543:2004 and IS 13428:2005) have been formulated by the Bureau of Indian Standards to provide quality norms for packaged water.
  • IS 14543:2004 is for packaged drinking water (other than natural mineral water) (First Revision), and
  • IS 13428: 2005 is the Indian Standard for packaged natural mineral water (Second Revision)
According to the Bureau, there are 18 BIS licensees engaged in production of Packaged Natural Mineral Water, 2354 licensees producing Packaged Drinking Water through Reverse Osmosis, and 633 licensees bottling Packaged Drinking Water drawing water from natural resources.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the National Standards body of India, functioning under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Government of India. BIS has published more than 18000 Indian Standards (IS) and Priced Publications (PP) which are presently available for sale. Every year, more than 400 new standards and 400 amendments are published.
RBI increase Repo Rate and Reverse Repo Rate to contain inflation (Business)
16-09-10  Reserve Bank of India has announced a hike in the repo rate and reverse repo rate in order to reign in the run away inflation. The revised repo rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility has been raised by 25 basis points to 6.0%, while the new reverse repo rate has become 5.0% after being raised by 50 basis points.

The rate hike was announced today (16-Sep-2010) during the mid-quarterly monetary policy review.

With the increase in place the RBI expects to contain inflation and anchor inflationary expectations without disrupting growth. Several top executives of banks have already responded that in view of the increase in the repo and reverse repo rates they would have to increase their banks' lending and deposit rates, in the near future.

RBI says that it also expects to strengthen the monetary transmission mechanism by reducing the volatility in overnight call money rates and continue the process of normalization of the monetry policy instruments.

RBI is faced with the dual challenge of containing inflation and that too without significantly compromising the country's growth.
Protectionism; US Congress and Homeland Security to buy only "Made in America" (Business)
16-09-10  Even as we are still digesting the protectionist steps against outsourcing from the US administration, the US has passed new bills of protection.

The US House of Representatives has passed 2 different bills that require the Congress and Department of Homeland Security to purchase on goods made in US.

According to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, both the bills, the Congressional Made in America Act and the Berry Amendment Extension Act, are aimed at creating jobs in America were unanimuosly passed by the House.

Both bills talk volumes about the fragile condition of the US economy and the level of protection it requires to be able to survive. The very preachers of open market driven economy are backtracking on their own doctrine.

One obvious conclusion that can be drawn over from the global scenario is that absolute capitalism is as bad as absolute socialism. The fall of communism in Russia and the terrible shape of affairs in the America has demonstrated world powers need to rethink and re-align their economic models.
Obama hints at ending tax incentives to outsourcing companies (Business)
09-09-10  In a big negative for Indian IT companies that do BPO work for American companies, US President Barack Obama has expressed his desire to end tax incentives for companies that create jobs in other countries.

He was speaking at Cuyahoga Community College West Campus in Parma, Ohio when he said "I think if we’re going to give tax breaks to companies, they should go to companies that create jobs in America -– not that create jobs overseas"

He accused the Republicans for encouraging policies that gave incentives to companies that were creating jobs outside the US and said that he wanted to change that.

He said, "I want to change that. Instead of tax loopholes that incentivize investment in overseas jobs, I’m proposing a more generous, permanent extension of the tax credit that goes to companies for all the research and innovation they do right here in Ohio, right here in the United States of America."

The Governor of Ohio, Ted Strickland, had already issued an executive order last month banning the execution of government projects by overseas providers.
Vodafone faces Rs 12000 crore tax bill - Bombay High Court rules in favour of IT Dept (Business)
08-09-10  Vodafone faces a whopping Rs 12000 crore tax bill as Bombay High Court ruling rejects Vodafone plea challenging the tax departments claim.

In 2007, Vodafone International Holdings had purchased a majority stake in the Indian mobile operations of Hutchison Essar Limited. It had acquired 67% stake in the company for $11.2 billion.

The tax authorities staked a claim for 12000 crore as tax, that Vodafone had failed to withhold while paying Hutchison.

Vodafone had challenged the income tax department's claim saying that it was not obligated pay any tax as it had entered into an off-shore deal with a foreign firm. It had challenged the tax department's jurisdiction to tax the acquisition.

Today, the high court ruled that the transaction was within Income Tax deparment's jurisdiction.

The decision is significant as it has a far-reaching impact effecting a host of cross-border mergers and acquisitions that have happened in the past and even those that are likely to happen in the future.

It has been learnt that Vodafone will challenge the decision of Bombay High Court in the Supreme Court of India.
Boeing's Dreamliner 787 delivery further delayed to 2011 (Business)
27-08-10  Delivery of the 787 Dreamliner - Boeing's latest development in passenger transportation - has been delayed once again.

Boeing has attributed the delay in the availability of an engine needed for the final phases of flight test later this year.

Boeing said last month that the cumulative impact of a series of issues, including supplier workmanship issues related to the horizontal stabilizer and instrumentation delays, could push first delivery of the 787 a few weeks into 2011. The delay in engine availability has extended that estimate to mid-first quarter 2011.

Boeing is working closely with Rolls-Royce to expedite engine availability.

The 787 is a family of airplanes in the 200- to 300-seat class that will be able to carry passengers on routes between 3,500 and 8,500 nautical miles (6,500 to 16,000 kilometers). The 787 is expected to allow airlines to offer passengers more of what they want: affordable, comfortable, nonstop, point-to-point travel to more destinations around the world.

Boeing says that 787 is the first commercial airplane to make the change from metal to composite structure. The majority of the 787's major structure is made out of composite material. The Dreamliner is the first commercial airplane to be built with a one-piece fuselage.

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