The Economic Times 6 April 2018

Revealed: How Walmart plans to rock Amazon's boat with Flipkart

Walmart completed a thorough due diligence process on e-commerce firm Flipkart this week, two sources said, as the US retail giant looks to take a controlling stake of 51 percent or more in the Indian company. Walmart has already floated a shareholder agreement, or offer proposal, and is looking to shell out about $10 billion to $12 billion for the stake that would value Flipkart at roughly $20 billion, one of the sources familiar with the matter said. A deal is far from finalised, however, and talks between the two parties and investors in Flipkart are ongoing, said a third source. The sources asked not to be named because the talks are private. A stake in Flipkart would pit Walmart against Amazon.com in India and local media have reported that Amazon is exploring a rival offer for India's largest home-grown e-commerce player. Walmart is now seeking a bigger stake than previously expected. Reuters reported in February that it was in talks to purchase a stake of over 40 percent in Flipkart, which is backed by the likes of SoftBank Group , Tiger Global, eBay, Accel Partners, Naspers, Tencent Holdings and Microsoft Corp. Walmart and Flipkart declined to comment. SoftBank also declined to comment, while Tiger, its other lead investor, was not immediately reachable for comment. Bengaluru-based Flipkart, started by two former Amazon employees, is fighting Amazon to grab a bigger piece of India's massive online retail market which, according to Morgan Stanley, could be worth $200 billion in a decade. Walmart's investment would give Flipkart not just additional funds to fight Amazon, but also arm it with a formidable ally with extensive experience in retailing, logistics and supply chain management. It is seen as a more likely investor than Amazon. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that the probability of a Flipkart-Amazon deal was low, and that such a deal may spark competition fears as Flipkart and Amazon dominate India's e-commerce market.Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart could also aid Flipkart in developing its private label business, one of the sources said. For Walmart a deal would open up a vast market and another front to take on its biggest rival. Walmart is initially not expected to rock the boat and is likely to retain top management. It may, however, look to bring in some of its own people on the legal and finance teams at Flipkart, one of the sources said. Walmart would also likely have a say in the appointment of a chief financial officer at Flipkart, if the deal is concluded, said another of the three sources. Two of the three sources said Tiger Global Management, Accel Partners and Naspers, would likely sell their entire stakes in Flipkart to Walmart if a deal is reached. Accel and Naspers declined to comment. Japan's SoftBank, which has invested in Flipkart through its Vision Fund, may also consider selling a part of its roughly 20 percent stake if Walmart offers a good price, two sources said. SoftBank last year invested $2.5 billion in Flipkart through prime and secondary share purchases.

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India sets the ball rolling for mother-of-all defence orders. Here are all the details

India asked global companies to submit proposals for 110 fighter jets, the world’s biggest such order currently.The Indian Air Force sought requests for information for the supply of single- and twin-seat jets to be mostly manufactured locally, it said in a statement on its website. The Asian nation had earlier scrapped a deal to buy 126 fighter jets from Dassault Aviation SA, and instead opted to import 36 Rafale aircraft.The order announced on Friday could be worth at least $15 billion, and will be the world’s largest fighter aircraft deal, said Rahul Bedi, a New Delhi-based analyst at Jane’s Information Services. At least 85 percent of the jets -- three-quarters of which are single-seat aircraft and the rest twin-seat -- have to be made in India and manufacturers interested in bidding need to send their proposals by July 6, according to the government.Getting new aircraft is crucial for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the South Asian nation faces increased risks from neighboring Pakistan and China at a time when the Russian MiG fighters -- India’s mainstay -- are being phased out. The country’s air force and navy require as many as 400 single- and double-engine combat aircraft, according to the government. The first aircraft must be delivered within three years of signing the contract.The South Asian country started looking for new warplanes in 2007, a contest that ended with the government selecting Dassault Aviation for 126 Rafale jets for $11 billion. With talks stalling over price and quality guarantees, the government scrapped the purchase in 2015 and bought 36 jets separately to speed up the process.India was revising the specifications to allow manufacturers such as Boeing Co. and United Aircraft Corp. to pitch their twin-engine combat aircraft in the deal, people familiar with the matter said in February. Modi wants to modernize the country’s aging military equipment with a $250 billion spending, but it has been bogged down by a defense procurement process which is known for delays, backtracking and a history of corruption, making it a sensitive, slow-going process.

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As the Budget session comes to an end, its productivity takes a nosedive

NEW DELHI: The Budget session of Parliament, which ended today, was the least productive since the year 2000, a legislative research body has said.The ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have blamed each other for the impasse during the session which saw daily disruptions in both the Houses.According to data provided by Parliamentary Affairs minister Ananth Kumar, the productivity of the Lok Sabha (LS) was 134 per cent, and that of the Rajya Sabha (RS) around 96 per cent during the brief Part I of session. The Part I of the session had seven LS and eight RS sittings.But Part II of the session which began from March 5 saw productivity taking a nose dive due to daily disruptions and adjournments. The productivity of the LS was four per cent and that of the RS eight per cent, the minister said."The productivity of the complete Budget session was 23 per cent for the LS and 28 per cent for the RS," he said.According to PRS Legislative Research, "this was the least productive Budget session for both Houses since 2000".According to PRS data, during the session, on an average, Lok Sabha worked for 21 per cent of its scheduled time, while Rajya Sabha worked for 27 per cent.So far in the 16th (the present) Lok Sabha, the average productivity of Lok Sabha is 85 per cent, and that of Rajya Sabha is 68 per cent.Former Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Acharya said the productivity of the just-ended session reminds him of the Winter session of 2010 when the 2G scam led to its complete washout.The protests by the BJP and other parties had rocked Parliament after the CAG reported on the alleged 2G scam.The LS and the RS could utilise only six per cent and two per cent of their allotted time.But the UPA government, in a bid to avoid another washout, agreed to form a Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G scam in the 2011 Budget session.Acharya said as the leader of the House, the prime minister has the authority to ensure that the House functions.He was of the view that Parliament "can function if the government wants"."Disruptions for a couple of days is alright, but legislations have to be passed...disruptions should not happen daily," he said.He recalled that India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru used to reach out to the opposition leaders and was present in the Lok Sabha every day.Several MPs gave notices to move no-confidence motion in the LS against the government. However, due to disruptions caused by members raising various issues such as PNB scam, special status for Andhra Pradesh and Cauvery water dispute, it could not be admitted.This was the first time a notice to move a no-confidence motion was given in the 16th Lok Sabha."A no-confidence motion was also moved in the 15th Lok Sabha in 2013 but was not discussed. In the 14th Lok Sabha, a no-confidence motion was converted to a confidence vote, which the government had won," said PRS Legislative Research.

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Fmr RBI deputy governor HR Khan questioned by CBI

The CBI questioned former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank, H R Khan, in connection with alleged bank fraud cases involving diamond traders Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and relaxation of gold import policy by the erstwhile UPA government, reports said today.Reports claimed he was questioned about the UPA government's 20:80 gold import scheme, which was cleared by then Finance Minister Chidambaram on May 13, 2014, barely three days before the counting of votes of the general election.The central investigation agency, which is probing the alleged Rs 13,000-crore PNB fraud involving billionaire diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, had yesterday questioned three Chief General Managers and one General Manager of RBI. PNB has said it is working with investigative agencies and regulators in the probe, in which authorities have so far arrested 20 people including executives from the state-run bank. The RBI has faced criticism that it failed to detect the long-running fraud, or correct a breakdown of normal practices at the nation's second-largest state-run bank. The regulator, however, has argued that it had "very limited authority" over state-run banks and called for reforms to give the RBI more powers to police such lenders.In a strongly worded speech last month, RBI Governor Urjit Patel said there were numerous limitations in the RBI's powers over state-run lenders, such as its inability to remove directors, or replace management.

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24 flight diversion due to rains in Delhi

NEW DELHI: The Delhi airport today saw 24 diversions due to dust storm and rain in Delhi this evening. “There have been 24 diversions...delay numbers will be ascertained only post mid night tonight,” said a Delhi airport source. The flights were diverted to nearby airports like Jaipur, Lucknow and others.

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AccorHotels to strengthen presence in India with its existing brands

Global hotel chain AccorHotels is focusing on strengthening its existing brands in India while looking for suitable opportunities to expand its luxury brands.The French group at present has 48 hotels spread across nine brands in the country with a total of 8900 rooms. The group has 28 brands globally."We are not looking to bring all the brands but trying to densify our presence with existing brands in the Indian cities. If we find a good opportunity for luxury brands we will go for it," said Jean Michel Casse, chief operating officer, India and South Asia for AccorHotels, at the launch of its Novotel Kochi Infopark in association with Muthoot Pappachan group on Friday.This is the second hotel of the group in Kochi after Ibis. The primary focus of the group is expansion of its medium-scale and upscale brands in India. It is looking to expand its luxury brands like Sofitel in bigger cities.Muthoot Pappachan Group has constructed the hotel. "With this hotel, we have so far invested Rs 400 crore in Kerala in hospitality segment," said Thomas John Muthoot, CMD of the group. The group has two hotels in Thiruvananthapuram managed by Taj and Hilton."We have acquired land in Mararikulam in Alappuzha and Bekal in Kannur, where we intend to set up luxury resorts," Muthoot said. The group also has plans for couple of hotels in Chennai at Sriperumbudur and near Old Mahabalipuram Road.

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Nifty forms an indecisive Doji, faces resistance at 10,350 level

NEW DELHI: The Nifty50 settled on a flat note on Friday, forming an indecisive 'Doji' pattern on the daily chart. The index failed to see a follow-up rally after Thursday’s rise. With gains in four out of five sessions, the index made a bullish candle on the weekly chart, the second in a row. The index may see immediate resistance at around 10,350 level, while levels around 10,220 should act as immediate support for the index, analysts said.“On the weekly chart, a decent bullish candle formed for the second consecutive week, suggesting that the momentum is slowly shifting in favour of the bulls. Once the Nifty50 registers a firm close above 10,350, where the 50-day EMA average is placed, it can act as some sort of confirmation for a bigger move for a near-tern target of 10,650. The indices, though, may face stiff resistance around the 10,460 level,” said Mazhar Mohammad of Chartviewindia.in.The index settled the week at 10,331, up 2.15 per cent for the week.Chandan Taparia of Motilal Oswal Securities said the index is making higher highs and higher lows for last three sessions. As long as the Nifty50 holds above 10,276, it could extend its move towards 10,440. Downside supports are seen at 10,222 and 10,180 levels. Mohammad said any dip in the indices can be used only as an opportunity to go long for an initial target of 10,460. The 10,227 level shall be assumed as a critical support, below which the bullish momentum may fade away, he said.

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F&O watch: Nifty makes higher highs & lows for third session

By Chandan TapariaThe Nifty50 index opened flat on Friday and remained rangebound for most part of the session. It has been making higher highs and higher lows for last three sessions. It formed a Doji candle on the daily chart, which means followup buying was missing at higher levels.As long as it holds above 10,276 level, the Nifty50 can extend its move towards 10,440, while on the downside, supports are seen at 10,222 and then 10,180 levels.On the options front, maximum Put open interest stood at strike price 10,000 followed by 10,200 while maximum Call OI was at 10,500 followed by 11,000. Put writing was seen at strike prices 10,300 and 10,000 while Call writing was seen at 10,500 and then 10,450. Options data suggested Nifty’s trading range between 10,200 and 10,450 levels.India VIX remained flat at 14.74. However, VIX needs to hold below 13.50-13 zone to get short-term stability in the market.Bank Nifty opened flat and managed to settle above 24,750 on a closing basis. It finally negated formation of lower highs on the weekly chart and started making higher highs and higher lows since last three sessions.The index formed a bullish candle on the daily chart, which implies that the bulls had an upper hand in the market. Now, Nifty has to hold above 24,750 level to extend its move towards 25,000 and then 25,250 levels, while on the downside, major support exists at 24,500 level.Nifty futures closed with a 0.10 per cent loss at 10,342. Long buildup was seen in Jubilant Foodworks, MindTree, Allahabad Bank, Torrent Pharma, NIIT Tech, Havells, Sun TV, Titan and PTC while shorts were seen in Godrej Industries, Apollo Hospital, Siemens, TVS Motor, Bajaj Auto and Marico.(Chandan Taparia is Technical & Derivative Analyst at Motilal Oswal Securities. Investors are advised to consult financial advisers before taking an investment calls based on these observations)

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Can you have your privacy and eat it too?

By Arnav JoshiWhen Aristotle seminally made a distinction between the polis and the oikos, laying the early foundations of the confidential zone, he did so around clear societal demarcations and a very different understanding of what was private, and what privacy needed protection from.In an era of automated public and private spheres mediated by all-powerful, all-pervasive online intermediaries, these boundaries have dangerously blurred, and the fallout of this is visible for all to see.A number of the technologies that we spent the best part of the last decade celebrating have fallen from grace, and more watershed moments than one would have liked have heralded renewed demands for privacy in a new avatar -- that what is proverbially whispered into the palm of your hand isn't proclaimed from the vast house-tops of cyberspace, to your detriment and in ways you cannot even foresee.In this environment, privacy takes on a whole new meaning and context, and is not just about preserving a sacred mental and physical space, but also informational control. As Danah Boyd recently proffered, beyond simply restricting access, privacy today is about strategically controlling the availability of one's information in different social contexts, as well as its interpretation and reach.But how do we balance this with, going back to Aristotle, our inherent disposition to be social animals? Can we continue doing so online and expect a fair privacy bargain in the process?The privacy paradox -- our claim to hold privacy as a high virtue, yet part with our information for a voucher code, Farm Coins, or free Wi-Fi -- is very real. The blame for this, however, does not, try as the tech giants might, lie squarely on users, who have every right to be spooked by Cambridge Analytica, Strava or Netflix's "creepy" tweets -- and others that did and didn't make it to the headlines.The internet was born as a free and open space for people, who have instead been thrust into walled gardens, unwittingly and systematically misled, monetised, and offered unfair, sometimes dire, choices online. A recalibration then, was long overdue.For big tech, balancing meaningful privacy and control with business models inherently at cross purposes with the Net's ethos, is going to be an uphill task. Built around the data-for-ads value exchange, cutting off, controlling or reshaping the supply of that data has direct consequences for businesses, as Facebook, Acxiom and other stock prices reliant on maintaining that status quo have recently shown.Also challenging is the manner in which the current ecosystem has technologically been constructed. The Move-Fast-and-Break-Things dicta translate into systems designed to incentivise (over)sharing and then vacuum up, analyse and disseminate data, primarily so that it can be monetised with tremendous speed and accuracy.Imbuing these systems with respect for user-agency, contextual integrity and accounting for meaningful privacy in networked environments -- where you may choose to be a social media hermit but turn up regularly on your friend's (public) Instagram -- is going to require going back to the drawing board on several fronts.As rights go, the solution to addressing this doesn't lie in simply providing greater individual ownership and control over and consent for using data, although these are key constituents of the privacy toolkit. Preserving privacy includes balancing the data-for-services barter so it is no longer askew. Knowing what you're signing up for doesn't make up for being given a raw deal you have no choice but to agree to.An important premise of right to privacy being inviolable is that choices inconsistent with these rights cannot be presented to begin with, and they cannot simply be circumvented by burying things in fine print and engineering consent.With comprehensive new data protection regulation flowing from such rights in place and on the anvil in many parts of the world (including in India), carefully accounting for a majority of these issues, the hope this time is that the law will not have to continue to keep playing catch-up, reactively bandaging our privacy wounds one at a time.Rather, the idea is to send users out into the web forearmed with comprehensive rights, meaningfully in control of their data, and shielded by privacy -- by design and default. The shift in the privacy burden, and it is a heavy burden to bear, onto those we entrust with our data to do right with it, is what is hoped will be key to ensuring much of this.Beyond this, it is also time we as users meaningfully utilised the increased agency we're being offered. Perfunctorily taking steps like deleting Facebook or slapping a webcam cover on your laptop are, while not entirely meaningless, largely placebos and can leave our understanding of, and response to, privacy stunted, keeping us vulnerable to being gamed in newer ways yet again.Our informational privacy demands and deserves more of our time and attention, and proactively developing an objective, more nuanced understanding of our personal data, its use and our rights over it is an important obligation we must all fulfil. Our collective action in doing so, backed by powerful rights balancing the scales online, may just let us, at least in part, have our privacy and eat it too.(Arnav Joshi is a technology lawyer, data ethics researcher and Data and Society master's candidate at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He can be reached via twitter @boom_lawyered)

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IIM Nagpur completes final placements for its second batch with highest domestic package of Rs 19 lakh

IIM Nagpur has completed the final placement process for the second batch of PGP students with a highest domestic salary of Rs 19 lakh and an average salary of Rs 12.05 lakh. The final placement process saw 40+ recruiters, including many first-time participants, on campus, across sectors like FMCG, Analytics, IT Consulting, BFSI and Logistics and others. Prominent recruiters included Yes Bank, ICICI Lombard, JK Technosoft, VLCC, TechAspect, Fractal Analytics, Larsen & Toubro, Value Labs, Bajaj Allianz, SBI Funds, IndiaMart, Infosys BPM, DTDC, 4Tigo among many others.IT & ITES, followed by BFSI, FMCG and Analytics recruited more than 70% of the batch. The average package offered for the top quartile of the batch was Rs 16.08 lakh, and the median package for the same group was Rs 15.40 lakh. The median of top quartile, increased by 14% as compared to last year and offers in IT sector increased by 28%. Marketing, consulting, and analytics, were the most sought after roles, closely followed by finance, and operations, among students.

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