|“People in the trenches are usually in touch with impending changes early.”
“The person who is the star of previous era is often the last one to adapt to change, the last one to yield to logic of a strategic inflection point and tends to fall harder than most.”
– Andrew S. Grove, Only the Paranoid Survive
“Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.”
— Tim Tebow
… that today is the Instant Football Replay Birthday? In 1986, the National Football League first approved the use of instant replay to decide questionable calls by the referees. They later canceled replay, only to bring it back for the 1999 season.
|Ø Venezuela’s envoy to the US has said that the US is pressurizing India not to buy oil from that country as the Trump administration threatened more sanctions against Venezuela.
Ø Indian consumers will find it hard to buy goods from the US directly via Amazon’s Global Store in India because of the recent FDI norms for online retailers implemented last month. From a peak of 6 million products offered last year online, there were about 6000 products under this entity last month, according to some media reports.
Ø In a bid to prevent trolling of fake news on its platform ahead of India’s elections Facebook plans to start an operation center in Delhi , which will coordinate with the social media giants’ offices in California, Dublin and Singapore on a 24/7 basis.
Ø Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who encourages participation of women in development of technology products, celebrated International Women’s Day in Mumbai and also spent some time with young students on Friday. Pichai, who is visiting the country after two years, also took part in an event organised by Piramal Foundation, in which students of the school are learning to read using Google’s speech-based reading tutor app ‘Bolo’. All the reading material on the Bolo app is free and Google is working with other third party companies to bring in more content to the Bolo.
Ø Amazon India seems to be back on track after adding over 50,000 sellers since January. Their numbers are at an all-time high, at 450,000 merchants. This is after making drastic changes in its business model and going through a rapid transition to be compliant with foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in the e-commerce sector. The firm had to change the way they functioned after the government enforced new FDI norms in the sector on February
Ø Engineering services have emerged as the next growth segment for Indian IT services players with most firms taking aggressive steps to corner a larger share of the outsourcing deals. For instance, companies such as Infosys, with lesser presence in some segments of engineering services, have now reoriented their strategy to clinch more deals from marquee clients.
|Ø The RBI said it has no data on the old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes used to pay for utility bills such as fuel at petrol pumps, which are believed to have formed a good part of the demonetized currency that returned to the banking system. After the November 8, 2016 shock decision to ban the use of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, the government had allowed the exchange of the junked notes, as well as they, were used for payment of utility bills for 23 services. Of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, when the note ban was announced, currency worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore have been returned.
Ø Eight of the 10 most valued Indian companies together added Rs 90,844.8 crore in market valuation last week in an overall strong broader market, with RIL topping the list. TCS, HDFC Bank, ITC, HDFC, SBI, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank were also on the gainers’ side, while HUL and Infosys suffered losses in their market capitalisation (m-cap) for the week ended last Friday.
Ø Lok Sabha elections will begin on April 11 and will be held over seven phases followed by counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said the model code of conduct would come into immediate effect from Sunday and 10 lakhs polling stations would be set up this time as against about nine lakhs in 2014.
Ø The Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has issued directions to Johnson & Johnson Private Limited (J&J) for the payment of Rs 74.5 lakh as compensation to the first patient in the case of faulty ASR (Articular Surface Replacement) hip implants manufactured and imported by M/s DePuy International Limited (now Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd.).
Ø Oil markets will remain balanced in 2019, with a surge in non-OPEC supply (+1.8 mmbpd) being offset by OPEC cuts (-0.8 mmbpd) and global demand growth (+1.6 mmbpd), Edelweiss has said. Prices are expected to trade in $65–75/bbl range through 2023.
Ø Real interest rates are unlikely to fall sharply in the near term because inflation is expected to remain benign with just a small rise. Ideally, households should have been spurred into saving more at these elevated real rates of around 5% but the trends are otherwise. The pace of such savings has been stagnant over the last few years with the growth rate having dropped to 17.2% in 2017-18, from a robust 22.5% in 2012-13. The net financial savings rate in 2017-18 was just 6.6% compared with 7.4% in 2012-13. Consumers have been spending more as society turns more aspirational and, in fact, many are open to borrowing to make the purchases.
Ø IDBI Bank Ltd, the lender with India’s worst-bad loan ratio, is seeking to curtail its soured debt by selling Rs 100 billion ($1.4 billion) of stressed assets and stepping up efforts to recover dues from delinquent borrowers. Indian lenders burdened with the world’s worst bad-loan ratio are stepping up effort to recover delinquent debt after the Reserve Bank of India announced tougher rules.
Ø Indian businesses that paid most of their goods and services tax (GST) liability using input tax credit or reported a significant variation in turnover are being queried by taxmen, a move that has irked industry and prompted it to petition the authorities against such tactics, according to some reports..
Ø RBI is seen curtailing its support for the bond market, dashing hopes of relief for investors reeling under two straight months of declines. The Reserve Bank of India may buy 1.7 trillion rupees ($24 billion) of debt in the year starting April 1, according to some media reports. That compares with an estimated record 3 trillion rupees spent on such purchases this fiscal period. Tightening the spigot on purchases is bad news for a market already jittery about the heavy supply of paper from Prime Minister’s record $100 billion borrowing plan.
Ø Airport operators may soon have to face scrutiny over efficiency of costs incurred at their aerodromes as the regulator feels some reported expenses are high, which burden the passengers. Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) is planning to conduct efficiency studies, starting with Delhi and Mumbai airports, which are due for tariff revision from April 2019.Under the efficiency study, the regulator wants to determine if costs like maintenance and labour are reasonable for fixing tariffs. Airport tariffs mainly comprise user development fee (UDF) paid by passengers, and parking and landing charges levied on airlines.
Ø Commerce and Industry minister Suresh Prabhu said Saturday the government has set a target of attracting US $100 billion in foreign direct investments over the next two years.
Ø Amid a tug-of-war between the government and foreign multinationals, local television manufacturers are ramping up production capacity. As major players such as Samsung and LG, among others, raise concerns over the ‘unfavorable’ manufacturing ecosystem in the country, Indian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Super Plastronics (SPPL), Dixon Technologies and Mirc Electronics are pumping in money to expand capacity.
|Ø Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in an interview aired yesterday (Sunday) that he did not think he can be fired by President Donald Trump. While continuing to avoid direct comment on the president’s withering criticism of central bank interest rate policy, Powell told “60 Minutes” that Trump can’t remove him from office. “The law is clear that I have a four-year term, and I fully intend to serve it,” Powell told a news magazine show. Asked directly if he thought Trump could fire him, he said, “no.”
Ø President Trump will seek from the US Congress US$ 8.6 billion more for border wall in budget proposals to be announced today, which can trigger another round of fight between him and the Democrats.
Ø China’s People’s Bank Governor Yi Gang said that China and US have reached consensus on many crucial issues and have discussed the need to observe the autonomy of each other’s monetary policy.
Ø As the Democratic primary season kicks off, several candidates are embracing a “Medicare-for-all” health insurance plan to cover every American. Others who want to take a more incremental approach back a system where Americans can buy into Medicare or Medicaid. The debate shows just how much the Democratic Party has shifted on health care in recent years.
Ø A family feud over restaurant Palm Steakhouse has led the company to bankruptcy court. Just One More Restaurant, the company that licenses the Palm name to more than 20 restaurants in the U.S. and Mexico, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, according to Thursday filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Meyers, Florida. Company executives aim to negotiate a settlement over disputed royalty payments. The bankruptcy filing comes less than a month after a New York judge entered a final judgement ordering the company to pay nearly $120 million to minority shareholders, who had accused the majority owners of cheating them out of royalties over the past 40 years.
Ø House Democrats passed a bill Friday aiming to reduce money in politics and expand voting rights, following through on their top policy priority since they regained control of the chamber. The proposal would also require presidential and vice presidential candidates to release their tax returns — a clear swipe at President Donald Trump, who broke with precedent in refusing to release his financial information.
|INDO-AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE