QBiz: Infosys Gets Clean Chit in Visa Probe, Markets Lose $300 bn

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1. US Clears Infosys, TCS of Work Visa Misuse Allegations: IE

India’s top two IT services exporters – Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys — have been cleared of all charges on allegations of misuse of work visas by the US Department of Labor. The issue first came to light in June this year following reports that Infosys and TCS had displaced US employees with cheaper resources from India, thereby allegedly violating labour regulations.

Infosys is pleased to report that the US Department of Labor concluded its investigation with a determination of compliance regarding labour condition applications filed in the Southern California Edison project. Infosys fully cooperated with the Department of Labor in its investigation, and over 145 files were reviewed, with no violations found.
– Statement by Infosys

Indian IT services companies have long been the largest recipients of non-immigrant H-1B work visas, leading to intense scrutiny by lawmakers and other public bodies. There is a notion in the US that Indian IT companies regularly replace American tech workers with lower-cost resources from India.

Read the rest of The Indian Express article here.

2. JSW Buys 2 Jaypee Units for Rs 9,700 cr : TOI

Sajjan Jindal’s JSW Energy said it would acquire Jaypee Group’s thermal power plant at Bina in Madhya Pradesh, even as it concluded its earlier deal to buy the cash-strapped group’s two hydropower projects for Rs 9,700 crore.

This is the largest transaction in the power sector in the country and two of JPVL’s (Jaiprakash Power Ventures) most prized assets are going to JSW Energy, another notable player in the power sector.
– Statement by Jaypee group Chairman Manoj Gaur

JSW Energy did not disclose the price it is paying for buying the Bina plant, though market insiders pegged the deal size at Rs 3,500 crore. The developments take JSW Energy a step closer towards achieving its aim of having over 10,000 MW power generation capacity by 2025, the company said.

Read the rest of the Times of India article here.


3. Most Bankers Expect Bad Loans to Worsen: TOI

The banking sector’s prospects do not look all that good with a majority of lenders expecting the bad loan situation to worsen in coming years. There is lack of faith in stressed borrowers who, bankers believe, are misusing the restructuring facility and are responsible for the problem in bank loans.

Describing the bad loan situation as a ‘crisis’, management consultancy firm Ernst & Young said that 72% of the respondents in a survey of lenders feel the situation was set to worsen, while only 15% feel that the slippage of loans into default category would get arrested due to measures taken by the Reserve Bank of India.

The findings gain significance considering that the total size of bad loans in the country is estimated to be over Rs 2.6 lakh crore with the top 30 defaulters accounting for close to Rs 95,000 crore. This does not take into account restructured loans. Stressed loans, which are a combination of bad loans and restructured loans, now account for over 11.1% of all bank advances.

Read the rest of the Times of India article here.


4. Flipkart in Talks to Buy Stake in MapmyIndia: ET

India’s largest e-tailer Flipkart is in talks to acquire a stake in MapmyIndia, a digital mapping company, whose venture capital investors are looking for an exit. The deal, which could help Flipkart strengthen its logistics and customer analytics, is likely to see the Bengaluru-based company acquire a significant stake in MapmyIndia, according to two people close to the development.

The sources said that Flipkart could shell out around $60 million (Rs 400 crore) for a majority stake in the New Delhi-based company. However, another person close to the development insisted that the deal size could be around Rs 500 crore. “The deal would allow all investors in MapmyIndia to exit. The promoters could, however, retain some stake in the firm,” said a person close to the development.

Read the rest of the Economic Times article here.


5. Indian Market Loses More than $300 bn of its Value Since March: FE

The Indian market has lost more than $300 billion of its value since touching a record high capitalisation of $1.72 trillion in March 2015. This fall is second only to the contraction in China’s market capitalisation in the same period. China lost $382 billion of market value in the last six months, although since its peak in June this year, its market capitalisation has more than halved to $5 trillion. With this slide, the Indian market has fallen back to its position of being the 10th biggest equity market exactly a year after toppling the likes of Australia and Switzerland to the ninth spot. India now boasts of a total market value of $1.38 trillion, after losing 14.4% from the peak of March 2015.

The fall in market cap of Indian companies accounts for 4.9% of the world market cap, which came off by $6.84 trillion during the same period. India now comprises 2.3% of the market cap of global listed equities compared with 2.5% at the beginning of March 2015.

Read the rest of the Financial Express article here.


6. PM Asks Industry to Take Risks, Step up Investment: BS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with industrialists, bankers and economists on Tuesday to take stock of the global economic turmoil turned into a brainstorming session on startups, smart cities, job creation and ‘Make in India’. The stock market and the rupee recovered later in the day.

At the meeting, Modi asked businesses to increase their risk appetite and step up investments, while corporate leaders sought lower interest rates and more policy action to enhance the ease of doing business in India. Industry captains who attended the meeting included Mukesh Ambani, Cyrus Mistry, Sunil Mittal, Kumar Mangalam Birla, YC Deveshwar, Dilip Shanghvi, Gautam Adani and Azim Premji.

Read the rest of the Business Standard article here.


7. Everstone to Buy HUL’s Modern Bakery Biz: BS

Fifteen years after acquiring Modern Foods from the central government, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), India’s largest consumer goods company, is set to offload the bread and bakery business to private equity major Everstone.

On Tuesday, HUL said it had signed an agreement to sell the business, along with related brands and assets (including six Modern factories), to Everstone-controlled firm Nimman Foods. The deal, according to people in the know, is valued at Rs 250 crore.

HUL said the divestment was part of its decision to exit non-core businesses.

Read the rest of the Business Standard article here.


8. Falling Rupee Hits Foreign Equity Schemes: BS

The performance of international schemes offered by mutual funds has been severely hit by a falling rupee in the past year.

The average return of international funds is -11.01% in the past year, among the worst across scheme categories. The value of Rs 100 invested a year ago stands at Rs 88.99.

Gold funds have returned -5.2%, while the Sensex has lost 7% in the past year. The rupee is down nearly 10% against the dollar over the same period.

Some of the worst performing international schemes are HSBC Mutual Fund’s Brazil Fund and Emerging Markets Fund, Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund’s Latin America Equity Fund and Global Commodities Fund, DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund’s World Energy Fund and Mining Fund and Mirae Asset Global Commodity Stocks Fund.

Read the rest of the Business Standard article here.


9. Marans Highest Paid Executives for Third Year in a Row: LiveMint

Kalanithi Maran and his wife Kaveri Kalanithi, promoters of Sun TV Network, were the highest paid corporate executives in India for the third year in a row. They took home a salary of Rs 122 crore (Rs 61 crore each) in the financial year that ended on March 31. Their salary rose 2% from the previous year despite the profit of the media company being the same at Rs 1,434 crore.

Onkar S Kanwar, Chairman and Managing Director of Apollo Tyres, climbed to the third position in 2014-15 from ninth last year. Kanwar’s salary was Rs 42 crore, a 32% annual increase. The company’s profit jumped 45% in the year ended March 31.

Pawan Munjal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officers of Hero Motocorp, took the sharpest salary cut of 88% at Rs 4.4 crore.

Read the rest of the LiveMint article here.

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