News Leak Centre

Tata Group To Acquire Jet Airways, End Ties With Air Asia

Tata Sons have reportedly been planning to buy out the ailing Jet Airways. It has been reported that the airline suffered consecutive 3rd Quarterly Net Loss at Rs.1297 for the month of July and September this year. The Naresh Goyal owned ,Jet Airways, is said to not have been able to pay on time to its creditors, including aircraft lessors and employees.

In the first round of the acquisition,  TATA Sons is said to be acquiring a controlling stake while the 2nd round would be the purchase of the remaining stake by Singapore Airlines. Tata Sons have a joint venture with Singapore Airlines and collectively operates Vistara from Delhi-NCR.

Tata Sons also plans to end ties with the Malaysia owned Air Asia Berhad where the Tata Sons have 49 percent stake. Air Asia have 19 airline.

It has said that Tata Sons will be concentrating on operating its Vistara and buying out Jet Airways. Although, officials of Jet Airways have said that it is  ‘speculation’.

JetAirways have 124 fleets operating, with 51 percent owned by its founder, Naresh Goyal and his wife, Anita Goyal. Etihad Airlines owns 24 percent in it and it was the first private airline that operated post liberalization.

Gandhi Jayanti: SRK Pays Respect To Mahatma Gandhi By Pleading For Clean India

As India celebrates the birth anniversary of the father of our nation, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, took to his social media to share a new video about Swachh Bharat Mission.

In the video, the Zero actor pleads the people of this country to refrain from defecating in the open. He also alerts them about the health hazards that people are exposed to because of open defecation. The actor finally concludes the video by paying his homage to Mahatma Gandhi and requests people to join and support Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign.

The actor shared a second video, in which he wrote the following as the caption: “Ek kadam swachhata ki oar… @SwachhBharatGov @PMOIndia #MyCleanIndia #SwachhBharat.” The Zero star emphasises on the importane of keeping toilets clean while also requesting people to keep the floor and the toilet seat clean once they are done using it.

 

Not just Shah Rukh Khan, his Diwale Dulhania Le Jayenge co-star Kajol also shared her thoughts of Gandhi Jayanti while making a similar plea to the people of India – to keep toilets clean and only defecate in toilets and not in the open.

Meanwhile, on the work front, Shah Rukh Khan is prepping for the upcoming release titled Zero, which has been directed by Aanand L Rai and stars Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma.

This film will be the first time that Shah Rukh Khan plays a vertically-challenged individual, while Katrina Kaif is rumoured to be playing an addict

 

Coca-Cola to buy UK’s biggest coffee chain for £3.9bn

Costa Coffee owner Whitbread has agreed to sell Britain’s biggest coffee chain to Coca Cola in a £3.9bn deal.

Whitebread, a leisure group taking in coffee shops and hotels, said earlier this year it would spin off Costa and list it as a separate entity, following pressure from activist investor Elliott.

But on Friday the company said a sale of the business is now “in the best interests of shareholders”. Whitbread’s stock rose more than 18 per cent in early trading on Friday.

Proceeds of the deal will be used to pay down debt and boost the pension fund. Whitbread added it intends to return a significant majority of net cash proceeds to shareholders.

The Press Association reported earlier this year that Whitbread has been approached informally over a potential buyout of Costa.

The giant company said the sale of the coffee chain will allow it to focus on its Premier Inn hotels business.

Chief executive Alison Brittain said: “This transaction is great news for shareholders as it recognises the strategic value we have developed in the Costa brand and its international growth potential, and accelerates the realisation of value for shareholders in cash.

“This combination will ensure new product development, continued growth in the UK and more rapid expansion overseas.”

Whitbread acquired Costa in 1995 for £19 million from founders Sergio and Bruno Costa when it had only 39 shops.

It now has more than 2,400 outlets and is embarking on overseas expansion.

Cosat

Coca-Cola boss James Quincey said: “Costa gives Coca-Cola new capabilities and expertise in coffee, and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide.

“Hot beverages is one of the few remaining segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand.

“Costa gives us access to this market through a strong coffee platform.”

Facebook begins rating users on how trustworthy they are at flagging fake news!

Facebook has started rating its users’ trustworthiness in order to help the social network know how much to value user reports that a certain news story might be fake. . The system certainly sounds a touch dystopian, but Facebook sees it as a valuable tool for weeding out disinformation.

The trust ratings went into place over the last year, and were developed as part of Facebook’s fight against fake and malicious stories. Facebook relies, in part, on reports from users to help catch these stories. If enough people report a story as false, someone on a fact-checking team will look into it. But checking every story that racks up “fake news” reports would be overwhelming, so Facebook uses other information to figure out what it should and shouldn’t bother looking into.

One of those is this trust rating. Facebook didn’t tell the Post everything that went into the score, but it is partly related to a user’s track record with reporting stories as false. If someone regularly reports stories as false, and a fact-checking team later finds them to be false, their trust score will go up; if a person regularly reports stories as false that later are found to be true, it’ll go down.

In that sense, this may be less of a “trust” score and more of a “fact-check” score, and the name isn’t likely to do it any favors. Algorithms are often flawed and can have larger, deleterious effects that aren’t immediately visible, so Facebook will have to be careful about what other information it factors in and how else this score is used, lest it accidentally discount reports from a specific community of people.

No ATM To Be Refilled After 9 PM From 2019

No ATM will be refilled with cash after 9 pm in cities and 6 pm in rural areas from February next year, according to a new directive issued by the Home Ministry, as reported by PTI.

The notification also added that the private agencies handling the operations must collect money from the banks in the first half of the day and transport them in armoured vehicles. The deadline for refilling the ATM machine in Naxal-hit areas is 4 pm.

The new directive has come in the wake of rising incidents of attacks on cash vans, cash vaults, ATM frauds and will come into effect from February 8, 2019.

The Home Ministry order also directed that every cash van shall have one driver, two armed security guards, two ATM officers or custodians during transit. While one armed guard must sit in the front along with the driver, the other should be positioned at the back of the van. The van cannot be left unguarded and during loading or unloading, toilet break, tea or lunch break, at least one armed security guard shall remain present with the cash van all the time.

The Home Ministry has also ordered that the ATM officers should be appointed only after a thorough background check like police, Aadhaar and residence verifications, previous employment history, credit history and fidelity insurance. An ex-serviceman may preferably be appointed for providing security for cash transportation.

The cash van shall be provided with a small CCTV system with at least five days recording facility and three cameras installed in front, rear and inside of the cabin. The van will also be fitted with a GPS tracking device, fire extinguishers and emergency lights to ensure quick reaction in case of an attack. It will also have a security alarm with GSM-based auto-dialer and a motorised siren.

The private security agency will ensure that all cash handling, including counting, sorting, and bundling activities shall be carried out in secured premises in accordance with specific guidelines. The premises shall be designed to include two physically independent areas, one for general office purpose and other for secured cash processing and handling activities and it shall accommodate space for cash deposit, collection, sorting, counting and delivery and dispatch of cash on secured cash vans.

Rupee Plunges To Record Low of 69.62 against Dollar

The Rupee touched an all-time low of 69.62 per dollar in early trade on Monday, tracking broader weakness in other emerging market currencies on concerns of a spill-over from a crisis-hit Turkey.

The Reserve Bank of India was seen intervening to stem a sharp fall in the rupee as per market reports.

“The RBI was there to curtail the volatility in early trade, but not in a big way,” said a senior dealer at a foreign bank.

The Rupee reversed marginally from its record lows to trade at 69.53 to the dollar. It had ended at 68.84 to the dollar on Friday. The 10-year benchmark bond yield rose to 7.80% from its previous close of 7.75%, tracking the weakness in rupee.

Investors preferred safe-havens such as the US dollar and the yen after a plunge in the Turkish Lira sent all emerging market currencies sharply lower.

The lira has fallen about 45% against the greenback this year on worries over Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing control of the economy and a deepening diplomatic rift with the United States.

“There is no point spending a lot of dollars in defending a rupee when the force of the fall is so strong across emerging markets,” said a senior forex dealer at an Indian state-run bank.

The next crucial level for the rupee is 69.80 to the dollar, he added.

Traders will also watch out for India consumer inflation data for July due after market hours for further direction. A Reuters poll estimates July\ inflation of 4.51% compared with a five-month high of 5.0% hit in the
previous month.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex fell over 288 points and the NSE Nifty dipped below the 11,400-level in opening trade today on heavy losses in PSUs, auto, metal and banking counters amid a global rout in equity markets.

The rupee’s previous record low was 69.13, marked on July 20, 2018. On Friday, the rupee had lost 15 paise to end at 68.83 against the resurgent dollar.

Swedish Retail Chain IKEA’s Opening Bring Hyderabad To Stand Still

IKEA, the Swedish retail giant opened its first Indian store in Hyderabad on Thursday and going by the madness and enthusiasm among customers, it is already a blockbuster hit.

As the retail giant finally opened its doors for Indian customers, thousands of enthusiastic customers thronged the 400,000 sq feet store, easily the largest single brand outlet the country has seen.

About 40,000 people visited IKEA’s first India store on its opening day in Hyderabad according to a company spokesperson.

The store’s opening saw a stampede-like situation. About 10,000 customers had visited the store by 4 pm but the crowds swelled later as thousands of techies headed to the place while returning home from offices.

“With a huge crowd from across the city thronging the store in the evening, the IKEA staff found it a bit challenging to regulate the entry. There were also a few tense moments when some people tried breaking queues,” Store Manager John Achillea said.

The store in the southern city of Hyderabad is the first of 25 outlets the Swedish furniture giant hopes to open by 2025 across the country of 1.25 billion people.

As the sprawling store has come up in the heart of Hyderabad Information Technology and Engineering Consultancy City (HITEC), majority of the customers were techies.

There was traffic jam in front of the store located in the heart of HITEC City, the hub of information technology. The IKEA employees had to regulate the customers by allowing them in batches.

Patrick Antoni, Deputy CEO, IKEA India, had said on Wednesday that they are expecting an average daily footfall of 30,000 to 35,000.

IKEA welcomed the first customers at the 400,000-square feet facility with loud cheers from company officials and employees, holding Indian and Swedish flags amid loud band and music.

The store was formally inaugurated by Telangana’s Industry Minister K T Rama Rao along with first customer Rajni Venugopal, IKEA Group CEO Jesper Brodin and Sweden’s Ambassador to India Klas Molin.

Climate change is Turning the Middle East’s Breadbasket into a Cannabis Farm

Heeding the recommendation of international consulting group McKinsey, which was part of a broader development plan, Lebanon’s parliament is preparing to legalize medicinal cannabis and its cultivation. It’s meant to pave the way to a nearly $800 million industry, according to Economy Minister Raed Khoury, and could serve as a quick fix for some of the country’s many economic woes.

And Lebanon’s farmers say the change can’t come too soon. As in many parts of the region, the country’s farmlands have been disproportionately affected by global warming. The Bekaa Valley, nestled between Mount Lebanon and Syria, is stricken with droughts, and many wells are drying up. Growing potatoes, onions and other produce native to the region has been harder than ever before, experts and farmers say.

But cannabis is a drought-resistant crop, requiring little water and no pesticides. And it flourishes in the high altitudes of the Bekaa plains.

Lebanese officials hope that legalizing the crop will boost exports, helping to jumpstart Lebanon’s moribund economy. It has the world’s third-highest ratio of debt to gross domestic product and suffers from decaying infrastructure and ballooning unemployment. Lebanese agriculture experts say the move could also breathe life into a languishing agricultural sector buckling under the effects of climate change

This is how India will benefit from Walmart-Flipkart deal

Putting months of speculation to an end, American retail major Walmart earlier in the day confirmed that it would be acquiring a significant stake in Indian e-commerce major, Flipkart Group.

While reports of the deal have been surfacing time and again in the recent past, the American multinational announced that it would acquire 77 per cent stake in Flipkart against an initial payment of USD 16 billion (over 1 lakh crore).

With the deal in place, Walmart aims to serve customers, support job creation, small businesses, farmers, and women entrepreneurs, while backing Flipkart’s ambition to transition into a publicly-listed, majority-owned subsidiary in the future.

As per the company, India’s e-commerce industry is projected to grow four times faster than total retail through 2023, with a millennial population of 443 million and a growing middle class.

With this in mind, Walmart aims to channelise investments towards leveraging the advantages offered, including a sum of USD 2 billion new equity to accelerate Flipkart’s growth.

As Walmart scales in India, the company will continue to partner to create sustained economic growth across agriculture, food, and retail. On the forefront, the company is looking at extensive job creation through development of supply chains, commercial opportunity, and direct employment.

Furthermore, the retail major plans to support small businesses and ‘Make in India,’ through direct procurement as well as increased opportunities for exports through global sourcing and e-commerce.

Among other initiatives, Walmart will partner with Kirana store owners and members to help modernise their retail practices and adopt digital payment technologies. They will also support farmers and develop supply chains through local sourcing and improved market access.

On a related note, Walmart currently operates 21 Best Price cash-and-carry stores and one fulfilment centre in 19 cities across nine states in India, with more than 95 percent of sourcing coming from within the country itself.

After Facebook, Twitter admits of data breach via Cambridge Analytica

If you are still recuperating from the shock how Cambridge Analytica secured data from Facebook and manipulated your voting decisions in elections, the revelations by Twitter will give another shock to you.

Not only Facebook, but the world’s another biggest social media Twitter also sold data to the Cambridge University academic Aleksandr Kogan’s Global Science Research (GSR).

The microblogging site admitted to Bloomberg and said that in 2015, GSR was given one-time API access to a random sample of public tweets between a period from December 2014 to April 2015.

Aleksandr Kogan and his firm are complicit in gaining millions of Facebook Inc. users’ information and later passing to a political consulting firm without the users’ consent.

Twitter explained that it provides public data to certain companies, developers and users through its application programming interfaces (APIs), which often use them to analyze events, sentiment or customer service.

The clients, however, need to explain how they plan to use the data, and who the end users will be.

Amidst this, Twitter also registered a growth of about 20 percent, to $90 million, in “data licensing and other revenue” in the first quarter.

Besides, the microblogging site is under fire over the failure of Twitter preventing misinformation and abuse on its platform which has risen since the 2016 election. In the first quarter, the company deleted more than 142,000 applications connected to the Twitter API that was collectively responsible for more than 130 million “low-quality” tweets during the period.

Recently, Facebook was found itself embroiled in a controversy. Last month, The Observer published the account of a former worker at data firm Cambridge Analytica, who lifted the lid on the company’s relationship with Facebook.

Christopher Wylie revealed how Kogan harvested data from users via a personality quiz on the social network and, through his company GSR, shared it with Cambridge Analytica. Since then, there have been more revelations about both firms and about the way consumers’ data is used.

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