QBiz: Reliance Reports Profits; Nasscom Backs TCS, Infosys on H1-B

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Reliance reported profits better than first estimated. (Photo: Reuters)

1. RIL Net up 12.3% to Rs 8,046 crore

Reliance Industries (RIL) reported record annual profits for the last financial year (2016-17), riding high on refining and petrochemicals businesses. For the March quarter, its consolidated net profit rose 12.3 percent to Rs 8,046 crore, against Rs 7,167 crore for the same period a year ago.

With a significant part of its capital expenditure on the hydrocarbons business complete, the company expects it to contribute to its income in the current financial year (2017-18). The full impact would be visible in the next financial year (2018-19). The coming quarters, however, will see accounting for both revenue and expenses from its telecom venture.

The company’s turnover in the March quarter rose 45.2 percent year-on-year to Rs 92,889 crore, largely meeting Street expectations for net profit. In a Bloomberg poll, analysts estimated a consolidated net profit of Rs 8,046.5 crore and a revenue of Rs 86,908 crore.

2. Reliance Jio Writes Down Net Worth By Rs 12,000 Crore

Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has written off nearly Rs 12,000 crore from its net asset value after adopting the new accounting standards which came into effect from financial year 2016-17.

The net effect on the balance sheet will be Rs 7,889 crore, the company said in a stock exchange filing, after it accounted for a deferred tax worth Rs 4,174 crore, as per IND AS.

The country’s newest telecom operator, which started charging consumers only from 1 April, also posted a loss of Rs 22.5 crore in the last six months of the last financial year. Total income in the last six months of FY17 stood at Rs 0.5 crore.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

3. NASSCOM Slams White House Over Comments on TCS and Infosys Garnering Large Portion of H1-B Visas

IT industry body Nasscom on Tuesday came out in defence of its members TCS and Infosys, saying the two accounted for only 7,504 – 8.8 percent – of the approved H-1B visas in 2014-15.

The US has accused top Indian IT firms TCS and Infosys of "unfairly" cornering the lion's share of the H-1B work visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system.

Indian technology firms use H-1B visas to send their employees to work at customer sites in the US, which is the largest market for the over 110 billion dollars Indian IT export industry.

Over the past few weeks, there is a growing sentiment of protectionism across various markets, including the US, that are seeking to safeguard jobs for locals and raise the bar for foreign workers.

(Source: PTI)

4. Shenzhen Stock Exchange to Facilitate Indian tech startups’ Access to Chinese Investments

The China-based Shenzhen Stock Exchange is creating a platform which will facilitate access of Chinese capital for Indian fin tech companies and technology based startups. The Tech 2.0 platform which already exists for Chinese companies will now be extended for new generation of Indian tech companies – called as Cross-border Capital Services Platform.

The platform will be operated by Shenzhen Securities Information Co, Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) is the largest in China by trading volume, with average daily turnover of about 50 billion dollars in 2016.

Officials of the exchange, including its Chairman Wu Lijun were in India last week for a roadshow to showcase Indian companies to Chinese investors.

(Source: Livemint)

5. SEBI Pending Cases Surge After Implementation of New Norms

The capital markets regulator’s decision to exclude certain violations, including insider trading, from its consent mechanism has led to an unexpected surge in the number of pending cases and a steep fall in incomes from out-of-court settlement processes.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is now saddled with an uphill task of clearing 7,000 cases after the decision to exclude insider-trading, front-running, violating open-offer norms, and fraudulent and unfair trade practices from the scope of consent mechanism, a window available to settle disputes, by paying a fee.

Cases outside the scope of the consent mechanism are mostly settled through orders either under adjudication proceedings or as per section 11 of the SEBI Act, which typically includes prohibitive orders such as debarment from the market or certain securities.

(Source: Livemint)

6. Pharma Companies Discuss Order on Generic Drugs

Honchos of India's leading drug companies met on Monday evening in Ahmedabad to take stock of a recent diktat by the health ministry on prescription of medicines by their generic name.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries managing director Dilip Shanghvi and Pankaj Patel of Zydus Cadila were among those who gathered in the Gujarat city to discuss the matter.

The issue of generic drug prescription returned to the spotlight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Surat last week that the government would bring in a law to force doctors to prescribe medicines by their generic names.

This was followed by the ministry's directive.

7. Apex Courts Warns Unitech of Attachment of Property if it is Unable to Pay Interest

The Supreme Court on Monday directed real estate firm Unitech to deposit 14 percent interest on Rs 16.55 crore invested by 39 home buyers in its project in Gurugram by 8 May.

The apex court also warned that failure to meet the deadline could invite attaching the realtor’s property. It also refused to grant more time to Unitech Residential Resorts Ltd, which has delayed handing over of flats to these home buyers.

The 39 home buyers had booked flats in Unitech’s Vista housing project in Gurugram. They had sought a refund of their principal amount, totalling Rs 16.55 crore with interest, after the developer, which had promised to give the possession by 2012, delayed it.

(Source: PTI)

8. Centre Issues Model Law to End APMC Monopoly

The central government on Monday issued its model of a law to replace the one of 2003 for the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act. Under the new model, buyers might not have to pay more than 1 percent of the transacted value as mandi fee in case of fruit and vegetables and two percent in case of other items.

Agriculture is a state subject; the Centre can recommend what it wishes to see. The new model would open the door for multiple modes for sale and purchase of produce — private wholesale market (mandis), market yards operated by groups of individuals, licences to private entities for temporary bulk purchase directly from farmers. All towards the aim of ending the decades-old stranglehold of mandis in this regard.

The Act would also empower the state director of agricultural marketing as the sole authority for granting trading licences to traders or commission agents, taking this over from existing APMCs.

9. PMO Mulls Bringing Container Freight Stations Under Vigilance to Curb Unseen Charges in Ports

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has decided to bring container freight stations (CFS) across the country under vigilance in order to bring about a check in the invisible costs of handling containers in the major ports of the country.

The invisible costs involved in handling are making the government owned major ports un-competitive against the private ports for which the shipping ministry has been long insisting on direct port delivery.

But the manipulation continues and this has prompted the PMO to bring the country’s major ports under its direct vigilance. This may even lead to crack down on certain container freight stations involved in increasing cost of handling above slot rates, said a key shipping ministry official.

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