The Centre on Thursday handed over the management control of national carrier Air India to a subsidiary of Tata Sons. With this Air India's strategic disinvestment was complete after the Centre received a consideration of Rs 2,700 crore from the 'Strategic Partner' -- Talace -- which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons. Besides the upfront payment, Talace will retain a debt of Rs 15,300 crore. Notably, the transaction covered three entities - Air India, Air India Express and AI SATS. "The strategic disinvestment transaction of Air India successfully concluded today with transfer of 100 per cent shares of Air India to M/s Talace Pvt Ltd along with management control. A new Board, led by the Strategic Partner, takes charge of Air India," tweeted Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM).
On Thursday, Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi ahead of the official handover of Air India. Afterwards, at 'Airlines House', the HQ of Air India, a new board was constituted which included Tata Group's executives. "We are excited to have Air India back in the Tata Group and are committed to making this a world-class airline," Chandrasekaran said. "I warmly welcome all the employees of Air India, to our Group, and look forward to working together." Last month, the Competition Commission of India had approved the acquisition of Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace. The acquisition envisaged 100 per cent equity share capital of Air India and Air India Express, and 50 per cent for that of Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace. The airline, along with AIXL, is primarily engaged in the business of providing domestic and international scheduled air passenger transport service, along with air cargo transport service.
Air India SATS Airport Services is engaged in the business of providing ground handling services at Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram airports, and cargo handling services at Bengaluru airport. Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace had emerged as the highest bidder for the national carrier under the divestment process. It had quoted an enterprise value of Rs 18,000 crore for 100 per cent equity shareholding of the Centre in Air India along with that of Air India Express and AISATS. On its part, the Centre had stipulated a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore.
Samsung on Thursday said that despite a poor demand for smartphones and tablets amid weak seasonality and uncertainties over component supply, it aims to secure solid profitability by expanding flagship sales such as Galaxy S21 FE and upcoming release of a new Galaxy S series.
The company further said that it will proactively target replacement demand with competitive mass-market 5G lineup and growth opportunities in the market while continuing to increase sales of Device Ecosystem products such as PCs, tablets and wearables.
For Samsung's quarter ending December 31, the revenue of the Mobile eXperience (MX) Business increased slightly led by sales of premium products such as foldable phones and Device Ecosystem products.
"Despite the component supply shortage, the MX Business saw a slight revenue growth quarter-on-quarter driven by sales increase in premium smartphones including foldable lineup and Galaxy S series," said the company.
Device Ecosystem products such as PCs, tablets and wearables have also contributed to the revenue growth.
Looking ahead to the first quarter, the company is bullish on flagship sales of Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy S22 series.
Samsung ‘Galaxy Unpacked' event will take place on February 9. According to the company, the company will set an epic new standard for smartphones with the most noteworthy S series ever created.
The S22 series, powered by either Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or the Exynos 2022 depending on region, is expected to come in three models -- the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra could have a built-in S Pen for the first time for a Galaxy phone, effectively succeeding the Galaxy Note line.
According to Samsung, in 2022, uncertainties related to prolonged pandemic and component shortage are likely to persist.
"Yet, the smartphone market is expected to continue to grow and the wearable market is likely to see a double-digit growth. The MX Business will solidify its leadership in the flagship market by accelerating innovations and differentiated experiences such as Galaxy S and foldable series," it added.
Equity benchmark Sensex tanked over 1,100 points or 2 per cent in opening trade on Thursday, tracking losses in index-majors Titan, Wipro and HDFC twins amid a weak trend in the Asian markets.
The US Federal Reserve's indication to raise interest rates soon and persistent foreign fund outflows weighed on market sentiment, traders said.
The BSE gauge was trading 1,155.61 points or 2 per cent lower at 56,702.54 in early trade. Likewise, the Nifty declined 329.15 points or 1.91 per cent to 16,948.80.
Titan was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 4.06 per cent, followed by Wipro, Dr Reddy's, HDFC Bank, Tech Mahindra and Infosys.
On the other hand, Maruti and NTPC were the gainers.
Equity, forex and bullion markets were closed on Wednesday on account of Republic Day.
On Tuesday, the 30-share BSE Sensex finished 366.64 points or 0.64 per cent higher at 57,858.15. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty rose 128.85 points or 0.75 per cent to close at 17,277.95.
The US Fed on Wednesday indicated that it may raise interest rates in March to fight inflation.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo were trading with deep losses in mid-session deals.
Stock exchanges in the US ended on a mixed note in the overnight session.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.93 per cent to USD 89.12 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital markets, pulling out Rs 7,094.48 crore Tuesday, as per provisional data.
Meta (formerly Facebook) reportedly charged its Internet users in developing countries like Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, in the name of offering them free access to the Web.
Meta's Internet service, called Free Basics, is offered via Meta Connectivity (formerly Facebook Connectivity) and is supposed to provide users with "access to communication tools, health information, education resources and other low-bandwidth services" at no charge.
Launched in 2013, the initiative currently serves more than 300 million people globally.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the users in Pakistan have been charged the most for using Facebook's "free" Internet at a total of $1.9 million, with nearly two dozen additional nations also affected.
According to the social network, the issue stemmed from a glitch in its software, which has now been fixed.
Facebook partners with mobile carriers in developing countries to give users free access to Facebook and some other websites.
"Internal company documents show that many of these people end up being charged in amounts that collectively add up to an estimated millions of dollars a month," the report mentioned.
Many of the users have inexpensive cell phone plans that cost just a few dollars a month, often prepaid, for phone service and a small amount of internet data.
They don't realise they've been getting charged for using mobile data until they run out of funds.
The issue appears to stem from Facebook's software and user interface (UI), with videos at the root of the problem.
Glitches in Meta software let some videos appear in the Free Basics programme, which let users pay for watching those videos.
Meta said it has fixed the problem.
"We tell people that viewing photos and videos will result in data charges when they sign up, and we do our best to remind people that viewing them may result in data charges," a Meta spokesperson told The Verge.
"The issue identified in the internal report that affected some of those reminders has largely been addressed. We'll continue to work with our partners to meet our obligations to these users and ensure accurate and transparent data charges."
The Free Basics programme is not available in India as in 2016, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had disallowed service providers from offering or charging discriminatory tariffs for data services purely on the basis of content.
Facebook later cut off free internet service for India, saying "Free Basics is no longer available to people in India".
Smartphone maker Micromax on Monday launched its new handset 'Micromax In note 2' with quad rear cameras and 20:9 AMOLED display in India.
The IN note 2 will be available in 4+64GB in two shades - black and brown from January 30 onwards on micromaxinfo.com.
"Consumers today are aspiring to own a stylish smartphone without compromising on the performance. With the IN note 2, we have struck the right chord where style meets performance," Rahul Sharma, Co-Founder, Micromax India said in a statement.
The smartphone features a 6.43-inch full-HD+ (1,080x2,400 pixels) AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 550 nits of peak brightness.
Under the hood, there is the MediaTek Helio G95 SoC, along with 4GB of RAM.
The smartphone comes with the quad rear camera setup that houses a 48MP primary sensor, along with a 5MP ultra-wide shooter, 2MP macro shooter, and a 2MP depth sensor.
For selfies the device offers a 16MP selfie camera sensor at the front.
The handset also houses a 5,000mAh battery that supports 30W fast charging.
Connectivity options include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Equity benchmark Sensex slumped over 900 points in opening trade on Tuesday, tracking losses in index majors Wipro, RIL and HDFC Bank amid a weak trend in Asian markets.
Besides, frantic foreign capital outflows also weighed on domestic equities, even as concerns over the US Federal Reserve's possible aggressive monetary policy tightening deepened, traders said.
The BSE gauge was trading 905.16 points or 1.57 per cent lower at 56,586.35 in early trade. Similarly, the Nifty fell 253.80 points or 1.48 per cent to 16,895.30.
Asian Paints was the top loser in the Sensex pack, shedding 4.38 per cent, followed by Wipro, Tech Mahindra, L&T, Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank.
On the other hand, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, and PowerGrid were the gainers.
In the previous session, the 30-share index ended 1,545.67 points or 2.62 per cent lower at 57,491.51. Likewise, the NSE Nifty slumped 468.05 points or 2.66 per cent to settle at 17,149.10.
Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo were trading with losses in mid-session deals amid rising geopolitical uncertainty over the Russia-Ukraine tussle.
Stock exchanges in the US ended on a positive note in the overnight session.
Meanwhile, international oil benchmark Brent crude rose 0.85 per cent to USD 87.00 per barrel.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) remained net sellers in the capital market, as they sold shares worth Rs 3,751.58 crore on Monday, according to stock exchange data.
A massive flight of foreign capital along with prospects of a global conflict in Europe heavily battered Indian equities on Monday. Besides, high oil prices, upcoming budget and lackluster quarterly results added to the volatility in the market.
Though triggered on different counts, some analysts compared the day's fall to the 'Black Monday' crash in the US that took place in 1987. As per data, FIIs sold Rs 3,751.58 crore on BSE, NSE and MSEI in the capital market segment.
FIIs had sold equities worth more than Rs 15,000 crore in January until last Friday. Lately, a FIIs sell-off has been brought upon by a possible US Fed rate hike to contain inflation. Notably, a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve can potentially drive away more FII money from India and other emerging markets.
Other global markets such as Asian shares slipped on Monday as investors braced for a Federal Reserve meeting at which it is expected to confirm it will soon start draining the massive lake of liquidity that has supercharged growth stocks in recent years.
Similarly, European stock markets started the week in the red as worries about a possible Russian attack on Ukraine dented sentiment and investors braced for the US Fed's meeting this week.
On the domestic front, the volumes on the NSE were higher than the recent average. Sector wise, all indices ended in the red with Realty, Metals and Consumer Durables leading the downfall whereas bank index fell the least. India's volatility index, (India VIX) rose by 21 percent at 22.8 levels ahead of key events as well as monthly FNO expiry this week.
Consequently, the S&P BSE Sensex settled 2.62 percent or 1,545.67 points down at 57,491.51 points, whereas NSE Nifty50 ended at 2.66 percent or 468.05 points down at 17,149.10 points.
"Nifty came under intense selling pressure on January 24 due to fund outflows from FPIs ahead of the monetary withdrawal by global Central Banks and rate hikes, rising crude oil prices whose outlook has worsened following the Russia-Ukraine standoff and the forthcoming Union Budget followed by the state election outcome," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
"Though the Nifty has not closed at the intraday low, not many would attempt to do aggressive bottom fishing on Tuesday ahead of the holiday on January 26 and the US Fed meet outcome."
According to Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services: "All the gains of January has now been wiped out, with Nifty down 2.7 percent from January 1, 2022. Global cues and the upcoming Union budget would be the key factors driving the market direction in the near term. On the political front, developments in the upcoming assembly polls which will be held between February 10 to March 7 in five states would also be closely monitored."
"After correction of more than 7 percent from its recent peak, Nifty may now find some support near to the psychological level of 17,000. Some of the heavyweight stocks have corrected around 8-10 percent and offer better entry opportunity for long-term investors."
In addition, Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said: "While all sectors hit rough weather, stocks of the new-age tech companies were the most affected due to drop in growth of profitability amid expensive valuations."
The divestment of national carrier Air India will take place on Thursday (January 27). In a communication to the airlines employees, a senior company official wrote: "The disinvestment of Air India is now decided to be on January 27, 2022.
"The closing balance sheet as on January 20 has to be provided today, i.e., January 24, so that it can be reviewed by Tatas and any changes can be effected on Wednesday." The communication, which was reviewed by IANS, was sent to the employees by Director of Finance, Vinod Hejmadi.
The communication further read: "The next three days will be hectic for our department and I request all of you to give your best in these last three-four days before we get divested. We may have to work till late in the night to complete the task given to us."
Last month, the Competition Commission of India approved the acquisition of Air India, Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons.
The acquisition envisaged 100 per cent equity share capital of Air India and Air India Express, and 50 per cent for that of Air India SATS Airport Services by Talace.
The airline, along with AIXL, is primarily engaged in the business of providing domestic and international scheduled air passenger transport service, along with air cargo transport service.
Air India SATS Airport Services is engaged in the business of providing ground handling services at Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mangaluru and Thiruvananthapuram airports, and cargo handling services at Bengaluru airport.
Tata Sons' subsidiary Talace had emerged as the highest bidder for the national carrier under the divestment process.
It had quoted an enterprise value of Rs 18,000 crore for 100 per cent equity shareholding of the Centre in Air India along with that of Air India Express and AISATS.
On its part, the Centre had stipulated a reserve price of Rs 12,906 crore.
Google on Monday announced plans to open a new office in Pune this year, that will hire professionals for building advanced enterprise cloud technologies.
Expected to open in the second half this year, the facility will hire people for Cloud product engineering, technical support and global delivery centre organisations.
The company said it has kicked off recruitments, alongside rapidly growing teams in Gurugram, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
"As an IT hub, our expansion into Pune will enable us to tap top talent as we continue to develop advanced cloud computing solutions, products and services for our growing customer base," said Anil Bhansali, VP of Cloud Engineering in India.
The hires will be responsible for building advanced enterprise cloud technologies in collaboration with Google Cloud's global engineering teams, providing real-time technical advice, and delivering product and implementation expertise that customers turn to Google Cloud for as their trusted partner.
Google Cloud has hired some key industry people in recent months in India, including former AWS veteran Bikram Singh Bedi as Managing Director, Google Cloud India.
In November last year, the company hired senior IBM executive Subram Natarajan as Director of Customer Engineering for its India operations.
Google last year opened it second Cloud region in the country -- in Delhi-NCR and close to the government quarters -- to further serve businesses of all sizes especially the public sector.
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) and broader 50-scrip Nifty on National Stock Exchange (NSE) extended losses from January 21 and declined sharply during early trade on Monday primarily due to sell-off by foreign institutional investors.
This is the fifth consecutive decline in sessions for the indices.
At 10.20 a.m., Sensex traded at 58,58,402 points, down 1.1 per cent or 635 points from the previous close of 59,037 points.
It opened at 59,023 points.
Nifty traded at 17,423 points, down 1.1 per cent or 193 points from the previous close of 17,617 points. It opened at 17,575 points.
Divi's Labs, Bajaj Finance, Wipro, JSW Steel, and Tech Mahindra were some of the top losers, NSE data showed.
Top gainers during the early trade were Cipla, ONGC, Sun Pharma, ICICI Bank, and Bharti Airtel.
"The heightened tensions in the Russia-Ukraine border is a major geopolitical concern.FIIs again turning big sellers is a major headwind. Investors have to move cautiously," said V.K. Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services.
"An important feature of the tech sell-off is that bulk of the selling is happening in non-profitable tech stocks. This trend is impacting stocks like Zomato and Paytm in India too."