QBiz: New Apple iPhones Launched; Kochhar Absent at ICICI AGM
1. iPhone XS, Iphone XS Max, Iphone XR Prices in India, Launch Date Out
Apple Inc on Wednesday, 12 September, released three upgrades to the existing iPhone X—the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. All three phones vary in screen sizes with the iPhone XR being the least specced model with an LCD screen and single rear camera instead of the OLED panel and dual rear cameras on the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. The trio, however, feature the same Apple A12 chipset based on a 7nm process.
The top-of-the-line variant, the iPhone XS Max, starts at ₹ 1,09,000 while the iPhone XS starts at ₹ 99,900. The more affordable one of the three, the iPhone XR starts at ₹ 76,900. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will be available in India from 28 September.
The iPhone XR on the other hand will go on sale from 26 October while pre-orders will start from 19 October.
2. India August Inflation Falls Below RBI Target Despite Rupee Slide
India’s retail inflation fell below the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) medium-term target in August, increasing the likelihood it will keep interest rates on hold in October after raising them at its past two meetings.
Consumer price inflation (CPI) rose 3.69% from a year earlier, down from July’s 4.17%, the statistics ministry said on Wednesday. August was the first month in 10 in which retail inflation was below RBI’s medium-term target of 4%.
The median forecast of economists polled by Reuters for August was 3.86%, with three-quarters of those polled predicting inflation would be below the RBI’s target. Forecasts ranged from 3.55% to 5.40%.
3. Chanda Kochhar’s Absence Echoes at ICICI Bank AGM
Irked with ICICI Bank Ltd’s handling of the controversies surrounding CEO Chanda Kochhar, shareholders on Wednesday were scathing in their remarks on governance standards during the bank’s 24th annual general meeting.
Despite the ICICI Bank board requesting shareholders to refrain from asking any question related to Kochhar who is on a leave of absence, the shareholders asked uncomfortable questions and demanded more clarifications from the bank’s directors, two people directly aware of the developments said.
Chanda Kochhar, along with a few other directors, were not present at the 24th AGM held at Vadodara, Gujarat.
4. Arun Jaitley Denies Meeting Vijay Mallya Before He Left India
United Breweries Group chairman Vijay Mallya stoked political controversy on Wednesday, 12 September, saying he met finance minister Arun Jaitley before taking a flight to London in March 2016 amid ballooning business debts, a claim the minister denied.
The 62-year-old former Kingfisher Airline boss, who was in London to appear before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court to challenge an extradition request by India on fraud and money laundering charges, was asked by reporters if he was “tipped off” to leave the country.
“I left because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. I met the finance minister before I left, repeated my offer to settle with the banks. That is the truth,” he replied.
5. India’s Industrial Production Growth Moderates To 6.6% In July
India’s factory output declined slightly in July even as it continued to benefit from a low-base effect from last year when the industry was adjusting to the newly introduced goods and services tax regime.
The Index of Industrial Production rose 6.6 percent year-on-year in July, compared to a 1 percent rise in the same month last year, data released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation showed. A Bloomberg poll of economists had projected a 6.5 percent growth. IIP growth for June was revised down to 6.9 percent from a four-month high of 7 percent initially.
6. Cabinet Approves Scheme To Ensure MSP For Farmers
The Union Cabinet today approved an umbrella scheme to ensure remunerative prices to farmers for their produce.
Named ‘Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan’, the scheme’s launch follows the government’s announcement in this year’s budget to increase the support prices of kharif crops to 1.5 times that of the crop’s cost, it said in a release. The government has proposed doubling farmers’ income by 2022.
The cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Narendra Modi, also approved an additional government guarantee of Rs 16,550 crore for the scheme, taking the total of such guarantees to Rs 45,550 crore.
7. Weaker Rupee Erodes GST Rate Cut Gains On Appliances, Electronics
A weaker rupee has eaten into the benefit of lower taxes for consumers looking to buy appliances and electronic goods this festival season.
Makers of refrigerators to televisions increased prices as they now pay more for imported electronic components with the Indian currency falling to new lows every day. Godrej Appliances Ltd., Dixon Technologies Ltd., a contract manufacturer, and Blue Star Ltd. hiked prices by 2-7 percent at the start of the month.
Goods and services tax rate on consumer durables was cut from 28 percent to 18 percent in July. Manufacturers followed that by reducing prices by up to 10 percent.
8. Cabinet Approves 100% Electrification of Railways at a Cost of Rs 121.34 Bn
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal for 100 percent electrification of all the broad gauge (BG) routes of Railways by 2021-22.
It cleared the proposal for electrification of the balance un-electrified BG routes of Indian Railways comprising 108 sections, covering 13,675 route kilometers (RKM), at a cost of Rs 121.34 billion. This comes at a time when global giant General Electric (GE) is set to come up with a diesel locomotive manufacturing unit at Marhowra in Bihar.
The Railways had ordered GE to supply 1,000 fuel-efficient Evolution series locomotives in November 2015.
(Source: Business Standard)
9. Jack Ma's Retirement Will Not Impact Alibaba's India Investments: Analyst
The retirement of Alibaba founder Jack Ma will not impact the company's investments in India as his successor will not make significant changes in the strategy, an industry analyst in China said on Wednesday, 12 September.
On 10 September, Ma named the company's Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang as his successor who would take charge in September next year, while he would continue to be company's Director.
Alibaba has diversified portfolio in India, including investments in digital payment platform Paytm, cloud computing via Alibaba Cloud and the digital media space via UCWeb as well as several other innovative initiatives.