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Friday, June 23, 2017

PwC India sets up centre of excellence for forensics in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad, Jan 12:

PwC India has set up a centre of excellence (CoE) for forensics in Hyderabad.

The CoE, with a trained team of over 100 professionals in India, plans to hire 150 more due diligence and anti-money laundering professionals in the next one year. This facility will provide clients with solutions related to anti-money laundering compliance, third-party due diligence, e-mail and document review, and investigation support.

Dinesh Anand, Leader, Forensic Services, PwC India, in a statement said: “The establishment of this CoE demonstrates our commitment to help clients navigate the complex and varied regulatory landscape across geographies. Non-compliance with anti-money laundering, anti-bribery, corruption regulations, etc. are not just operational issues but also bring in reputation risks. Compliance with these regulations requires significant number of resources as well as specialised professionals.”

Built at an investment of $1.5 million, the facility is well equipped in terms of technology, capability and also has suitable security systems in place to maintain confidentiality of information. The team also has multilingual capabilities — Mandarin, Bahasa, Cantonese and Spanish, to name a few — to cater to the demands of resource requirements for PwC network firms.

Apart for the CoE in Hyderabad, the forensics services team at PwC India has two forensics technology labs at Gurgaon and Mumbai with niche capabilities like data analytics, electronic discovery and computer forensics.

This will be first among the Big 4 to have a dedicated centre of excellence with capability to handle expertise in anti-money laundering, KYC, remediation and third-party due diligence.

PwC is a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 208,000 people.

Bajaj Corporation to go for acquisitions, tap rural market for growth

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NEW DELHI: FMCG firm Bajaj Corporation Ltd (BCL) plans to pursue acquisitions targeting niche brands and tap rural areas to push growth, particularly in light hair oil segment, where it aims to have a market share of 65 per cent.

The company, which has key brands, Almond Drops, Brahmi Amla, Jasmine, Kailash Parbat, Amla Shikakai in its hair care portfolio, said it “will seek inorganic growth opportunities in the FMCG and hair oil market as part of growth strategy.”

In an investor presentation, the company said: “The inorganic growth opportunities will focus on targeting niche brands, which can benefit from BCL’s strong distribution network so that they can be made pan India brands.”

Focusing on the hair oil segment, the company said it plans to convert coconut hair oil users to light hair oil users “through sampling, targeted advertising campaigns, product innovation and creating awareness about product differentiation, including communicating the advantages of switching to lighter hair oils”.

Spelling out the target, the company said it would “aim for a market share of 65 per cent by the year 2016-17” in the lighter hair oils segment.

Quoting AC Nielsen Retail Audit Report, November 2015 data, the company said hair oil market stood at Rs 8,972 crore, while that of the light hair oil market was at Rs 1,517 crore.

In FY 2014-15, BCL had a total consolidated revenue of Rs 857.17 crore.

Emphasising on the importance of rural market in its strategy, the company said it would tap the increase in disposable income of rural India and “convert rural consumer from unbranded to branded products by providing them with an appropriate value proposition”.

“Among its key competitors, our Almond Drops is the only brand which is available in sachets – a marketing initiative to penetrate the rural market,” the company said.

In the light hair oil segment, 64 per cent consumption is from urban areas and the rural markets contribute 36 per cent, the company said, however adding urban market dominated the segment due to its relatively higher pricing but rural is leading the growth.

The company also said it would leverage on its existing strengths to introduce new products.

“BCL has over the years created a strong distribution network across 2.92 million retail outlets, which can be optimally utilised by introducing new products,” it said, adding it “intends to extend ‘Almond Drops’ platform developed by its Almond Drops Hair Oil brand to other personal care products to leverage on the strong connotation of Almonds with nutrition”.

Hike Messenger Raises Funds From Quora Founder, Dropbox VP

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New Delhi: Home-grown Hike Messenger on Tuesday said it has raised an undisclosed funding from Silicon Valley veterans like Quora founder and CEO Adam D’Angelo, Dropbox’s Vice-President Aditya Agarwal and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg.

Ruchi Sanghvi, former Vice-President Operations Dropbox, has also invested in Hike which is run by Kavin Mittal, son of Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal.

Some of the world’s top notch tech veterans have invested in the company in their personal capacities and are playing advisors to it, Hike said in a statement.

The details of the funding were, however, not disclosed.

The company has raised $86 million from Tiger Global and BSB till date.

“It’s great to have the world’s top brains in tech share Hike’s vision, and not just entrust us with their investment, but more importantly, also advise us on our product and strategy,” Kavin Mittal said.

Each of the them brings with him/her a core area of expertise, which Hike finds immensely useful, he added.

Hike’s platform, which has 70 million users, facilitates over 30 billion messages per month. It competes with the likes of WhatsApp, LINE and Viber in India.

Over the last year, Hike has brought on board brands like PepsiCo, Amazon, Unilever and Zynga.

“As an online social media entrepreneur myself, I have keenly observed India. I believe in Hike Messenger’s vision and I can see the team gearing up and are well positioned for aggressive growth in the country,” Mullenweg said.

ONGC Aims to Cut Operational Cost on Falling Crude Oil Prices

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New Delhi: With oil prices sliding to 12-year low, state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) plans to cut operational cost by at least 10 per cent by prioritizing activities and putting off the less-important ones to future.

ONGC plans to hire a consultant to suggest cost cuts and controlling operating expenditure as Brent falling to $31 per barrel almost equals to the company’s cost of production of every barrels of crude oil, sources with direct knowledge of the development said.

The company’s cost of producing every barrel of crude oil is $36 and after including return on investment as well as taxes and levies, the cost comes to $51.52 per barrel.

The slump in oil prices to 12-year low will means that ONGC pays less royalty and assuming the government lowers its Rs 4,500 per tons burden of cess, the cost of production will come to about $30 per barrel.

This compares to realisation of $30-32 per barrel in the current quarter, just about squaring off the cost.

Sources said the company has already initiated measures to cut avoidable expenditure and is putting money only in priority tasks or activities needed to sustain its oil and gas exploration and production. There will be no cut in capital expenditure in oil and gas projects as such investment will help the company sustain or increase output, they said.

The drop in international prices has also resulted in a corresponding drop in oilfield services cos, which the company wants to captalise on and continue exploration and development works. Sources said ONGC is unlikely to cut capex but only look at triming its operating expenditure by shedding non-priority spendings.

ONGC produces 24 million tons of crude oil annually which is sold at international parity price. It loses Rs 900 crore in revenue on every $1 per barrel drop in oil price.

The company had planned a capital expenditure of Rs 36,249 crore in the current fiscal and another Rs 34,000-35,000 crore in the next.

ONGC’s gross billing for crude oil it produced in the first half of the current fiscal was $57.33 per barrel as compared to $105.75 for the first half of last fiscal. The net realisation after subsidy payout was $53.72 per barrel.

In the third quarter, its gross billing was about $43 per barrel.

Sources said ONGC is hoping to get exempted from paying subsidy on LPG and kerosene after the oil price drop.

Upstream firms like ONGC sell crude oil to refiners at a discount so as to allow them to sell cooking fuel at government controlled rate. ONGC is also hoping that the Rs 4,500 per ton cess on domestically produced crude oil is made ad valorem to help cut the statutory outgo by $6 per barrel to $8-9.

Sensex ends 143 points lower, Nifty50 at 6-mth low of 7,510

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NEW DELHI: The domestic equity market tanked on Tuesday, as the bears took charge on Dalal Street after crude oil prices slumped below the $31 a barrel mark for the first time in 12 years.

Bank stocks led the slump, after December quarter numbers of two lenders showed a spike in bad loans, raising fresh asset quality concerns.

The S&P BSE Sensex slumped to its fresh 52-week low in intraday trade before closing 54 points, or 0.7 per cent, lower at 7510.30. The 50-share Nifty50 made its fresh 52-week low, ending the day at 24,682.03, down 143 points, or 0.58 per cent. Federal Bank and Gruh Finance were the top losers on the BSE benchmark.

Selling pressure from foreign investors pulled the domestic benchmark indices lower, continuing their recent weak trend. The counters of Axis Bank, HDFC, TCS, HDFC Bank saw maximum selling.

For minute-by-minute market/stock updates, follow our Twitter handle @ETMarkets

“On the index, there is an oversold reading, but otherwise, the trend is on the downside. What might happen is that we might get a pullback one of these sessions, which can take us back to 7,610 or 7,630 on the upside but immediately it would be difficult to see any upside beyond the current level. I would still maintain a negative bias. But after having seen the market drop by about 450-plus points in the last seven sessions, there is always a chance of a pullback,” said Mitesh Thacker of miteshthacker.com.

The broader market indices underperformed the benchmark indices with the BSE midcap and smallcap indices ending the day lower by 0.94 and 1.03 per cent, respectively. Among the sectoral indices, the BSE telecom was the top loser followed by BSE bankex and BSE Finance.

Market experts said the selling pressure seen in the market is limited only to the largecaps and that the midcap end of the market will be able to cope up with it. They believe sooner or later DIIs and HNIs will enter the market to lap up the stocks that are available at cheaper valuations.

“I think the midcap end of the market is holding up pretty well. It has been consistently outperforming the largecaps, and wherever there is growth, those stock valuations would be still rich. That trend we have been observing for past two-three years and this is definitely going to continue going into 2016. But we are in the uncharted territory when it comes to China and global growth and with the US increasing interest rates, the international scene is a very hotchpotch and complicated,” said Dipan Mehta, member, BSE & NSE.

Shares of IndusInd Bank slipped 3.31 per cent over asset quality concerns after the company announced its December quarter earnings during the session. Federal Bank, too, slumped 7.46 per cent after reporting a 39 per cent decline in Q3 net profit. Scrips of Tata Consultancy Services ended 1.65 per cent lower ahead of its Q3 earnings announcement, scheduled for release after market hours.

European markets traded with smart gains bucking the selling pressure seen in some of the Asian markets. The German DAX rose 1.45 per cent while the French CAC40 was up by a per cent. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 traded 0.65 per cent higher. Britain’s FTSE100 index was also up by 0.52 per cent.

Earlier in the day, other Asian markets ended on a mixed note. Japan’s Nikkei fell to its three-month low, closing 2.71 per cent lower. The South Korean Kospi was down 0.21 per cent at close. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ended the day 1 per cent lower while mainland China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.35 per cent.

WHAT TOP EXPERTS ARE SAYING:

Hero Moto’s 68% of volumes to see rising competition in FY17: CLSA

Merger of Advanta to be value accretive in long term for UPL: BofA ML

NTPC stock looks cheap in our view, trading at FY17 P/BV; dividend yield of 3%: Citi

Here is a list of top ten stocks that are likely to be in focus today:

TCS Ltd: TCS is likely to report marginal fall in net profit of 0.56 per cent for the quarter ended December 31 on Tuesday to Rs 6021.30 crore, compared to Rs 6055 crore reported in the year-ago period, said an ET Now Poll.

IT companies: India’s export-driven IT outsourcing firms are likely to raise client fees and process more work from their centres in India to cushion the impact of an increase in fees for work visas in the United States, their top market, investors said.

HDFC Ltd: HDFC Life has set up a a wholly-owned subsidiary in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) called the ‘HDFC International Life and Re Company Limited’ (HILRCL) with an initial capital outlay of $12.33 million., said a media report.

Tata Motors Ltd: Tata Motors, part of conglomerate Tata Group, declared its sales volumes for the month of December 2015. The Group, which owns brands like Jaguar and Land Rover, witnessed Global sales at 91,762 units, a growth of 7% YoY.

Road infrastructure stocks in focus: In a bid to reduce accidents by 50 per cent, the government will spend Rs 11,000 crore in the next five years to fix black spots across the country. It will also set up the Road Safety Authority to reduce the number of accidents on Indian roads, said a media report.

Unitech Ltd: Delhi court on Monday granted three days’ interim bail to top Unitech officials in alleged cheating case. Earlier in the day, Unitech Ltd Chairman and its two managing directors were sent to 14-day judicial custody. The case was filed by two investors.

Vivimed Labs Ltd: Vivimed Labs has informed that the Board of Directors of the Company has approved, resolved, and taken note of the sub division proposal of Company’s Equity Shares from the existing face value of Rs 10 per Equity Share to Rs 2 per Equity Share subject to the approval of Company’s shareholders.

Omax Autos Ltd: Auto component maker Omax Autos said it has sold the remaining 51 per cent stake in its subsidiary Gmax Auto.

IOB: Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) said it will rationalise the number of its regional offices by closing 10 such offices to improve efficiency.

PI Industries Ltd: PI Industries Limited has commenced the Commercial Production at its 3rd Unit located at Sterling SEZ facility, Jambusar in State of Gujarat w.e.f. January 11, 2016.

MARKETS THROUGH THE DAY:

Markets @ 3

Sensex 24,676, down 149 points, Nifty 7,511, down 53 points

Top Gainers:

NTPC (2.47%), WIPRO (2.34%), M&M (1.20%), ADANI PORTS & SEZ (1.11%), BHEL (0.87%)

Top Losers:

AXIS BANK (2.66%), TATA STEEL (2.46%), ONGC (2.34%), SBI (2.03%), BHARTI AIRTEL (1.84%)
Markets @ 2

Sensex 24,695, down 130 points, Nifty 7,515, down 48 points

Top Gainers:

NTPC (2.22%), M&M (1.75%), SUN PHARMA (1.05%), BHEL (0.90%), ADANI PORTS & SEZ (0.88%)

Top Losers:

AXIS BANK (2.97%), ONGC (2.65%), TCS (2.08%), BHARTI AIRTEL (1.96%), TATA STEEL (1.87%)
Markets @ 1

Sensex 24,638, down 187 points, Nifty 7,504, down 61 points

Top Gainers:

NTPC (2.08%), SUN PHARMA (0.71%), ADANI PORTS & SEZ (0.53%), L&T (0.52%), BHEL (0.47%)

Top Losers:

AXIS BANK (3.16%), ONGC (2.50%), TATA STEEL (2.16%), TATA MOTORS (2.08%), TCS (2.03%)
Markets @ 12

Sensex 24,679, down 146 points, Nifty 7,517, down 47 points

Top Gainers:

NTPC (1.87%), L&T (1.53%), BHEL (1.10%), ADANI PORTS & SEZ (0.81%), GAIL (0.72%)

Top Losers:

AXIS BANK (2.79%), ONGC (2.58%), TATA MOTORS (1.91%), BHARTI AIRTEL (1.67%), TCS (1.57%)
Markets @ 11

Sensex 24,691, down 134 points, Nifty 7,519, down 45 points

Top Gainers:

ADANI PORTS & SEZ (2.18%), NTPC(1.59%), L&T (1.55%), BHEL (1.07%), GAIL (1.03%)

Top Losers:

ONGC (2.50%), AXIS BANK (2.05%), INFOSYS LTD (1.88%), TCS (1.39%), SBI (1.32%)
Markets @ 10

Sensex 24,798, down 28 points, Nifty 7,557, down 7 points

Top Gainers:

NTPC (2.29%), L&T (1.80%), BHEL(1.70%), ADANI PORTS & SEZ (1.24%), GAIL (0.92%)

Top Losers:

ONGC (1.92%), AXIS BANK (1.73%), TCS (1.06%), DR. REDDYS LAB (1.04%), WIPRO (0.81%)
At 09:20 AM:

The 30-share index was trading at 24,861, up 37 points or 0.15 per cent. It touched a high of 24,825.04 and a low of 24,819.30 in morning trade.

The Nifty50 was at 7,574 up 11 points or 0.14 per cent. It touched a high of 7,588.30 and a low of 7,565.30 in the first 30 minutes of trade.

The S&P BSE Midcap Index was up 0.44 per cent and BSE S&P Smallcap Index was trading 0.48 per cent higher.

NTPC (up 1.8 per cent), L&T (up 1.6 per cent), BHEL (up 1.5 per cent), Tata Steel (up 1 per cent), and Asian Paints (up 0.88 per cent), were the major Sensex gainers.

ONGC (down 1.7 per cent), Axis Bank (down 1.1 per cent), Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (1.08 per cent), and Hero MotoCorp (down 0.61 per cent) were among the major Sensex losers.

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