Category Archives: Business

Jaitley says 7-8% growth 'absolute normal' for India

NEW YORK: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said India will continue to grow at 7-8 per cent rate, an ‘absolute normal’ for the nation under the current global environment.

Jaitley said as far as the economy is concerned, all the decisions taken by the Modi-Government are consistently in one direction.

“The aspirational class in India has become very large and therefore, through the decision making of the government there is a popular support. Election results have indicated that.

“Most important decisions as a result of this pressure of public opinion are also finally resulting in decisions with larger political support,” said the minister who is on an official visit here.

“My own impression of the Indian economy today is that under the current global environment, certainly the 7-8 per cent range is the absolute normal that we have.

“All our economic parameters in terms of fiscal prudence, fiscal deficit, current account deficit, inflation control, I think the figures have been quite encouraging. They have never been so good as far as India is concerned,” he said while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations.

India continues to be the world’s fastest growing large economy. The country is likely to register a growth of 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal.

Jaitley also said if global growth picks up, then “we are quite capable of improving on our present normal and then creating a new normal”.

The finance minister added that at least for the next two decades India needs high growth to reduce poverty.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Microsoft India employees to get family caregiver leave

MUMBAI: Microsoft India has introduced a new family caregiver leave benefit of four weeks of full paid leave to take care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition. The company said the enhanced family leave benefits are directed at helping employees meet their needs to be fully present at home and work.

In addition, maternity benefits for those who are adopting a child or who choose to have a child via surrogacy is at 26 calendar weeks of paid leave. The company has also increased paternity leave to six weeks paid at 100 percent, to give both parents more time to bond with a new child.

Ira Gupta, director, human resources, Microsoft India, said, “At Microsoft, we are committed to fostering a healthy work-life balance by enhancing productivity and efficiency for our employees through a flexible work environment as part of our workplace advantage philosophy. Our employees bring their best to work every day, to support our mission, strategy and culture. So, in turn, we are aiming to bring the best to our employees by continually assessing, refining and enhancing the world-class benefits we offer to ensure that they have the time they need to care for the people who matter most in their lives.”

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

TCS launches Merchant Pay to help retailers integrate payments

NEW DELHI: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has launched ‘Merchant Pay’ to help retailers seamlessly integrate payments across multiple channels like Aadhaar, credit and debit card as well as phone-based payments through a single interface.

‘Merchant Pay’ will allow consumers to transact by using fingerprint and confirming identity at stores that are enabled with this platform, TCS said at a statement.

“The Merchant Pay platform will effectively integrate with various banks to provide multiple-mode payment options to suit one’s own business model and provide a unified view of all payments,” it added.

Additionally, it will also serve as a business analytics platform for strategic business decision making to reduce cost of payment.

The solution will facilitate advanced analytical data by offering analytical report based on transaction pattern analysis.

TCS has worked with the government to develop the payment acceptance using Aadhaar.

“With numerous digital payment methods like UPI, eWallets, Aadhaar Pay, Debit and Credit cards available, there was a need for a unified platform that integrates all digital payment methods offering convenience to customers and also allowing merchants to accept any form of digital payment,” TCS President Growth Markets Ravi Viswanathan said.

To ensure seamless adaption of this cloud hosting solution, TCS will conduct special drives to on-board and train merchants and have a 24×7 professional support set-up for merchants.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Jet Airways to add 42, domestic, weekly flights

MUMBAI: Jet Airways on Monday announced that it will add 42 weekly flights connecting three new city pairs as part of strengthening its domestic network to meet growing demand between metros and emerging cities.

The carrier will commence operations between Nagpur and Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata, and Kozhikode and Bengaluru as part of its broader strategy of connecting India’s emerging / Tier II cities with India’s metros via direct flights.

“Introduction of additional frequencies and wide-body deployments between key metros will also boost capacity on existing sectors this summer as the airline bolsters its already extensive network to meet an expected surge in demand during the holiday season,” said the airline in a press statement.

It will also introduce additional frequencies on the highly traveled Delhi – Amritsar and Mumbai – Kolkata sectors and boost capacity on the New Delhi – Bengaluru and New Delhi – Bhopal routes with the introduction of the wide-body Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 services, respectively.

The changes are a part of Jet Airways’ summer schedule which will see the airline operate upto 650 flights per day connecting 65 destinations in India and abroad, the release said.

Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Our summer schedule has been meticulously planned to meet the expected surge in demand over the holidays. New flights, additional frequencies, greater capacity including the introduction of wide-body services across more sectors are meant to offer greater choice, convenience, connectivity and added comfort.”

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Rupee surges to nearly 2-week high of 64.44, up 17 paise

MUMBAI: The rupee today came back strongly against the US dollar by surging 17 paise to close at a two-week high of 64.44 on heavy dollar selling by exporters and banks.

The domestic currency was further supported by unwinding of long-dollar positions by speculators against the backdrop of rising risk-on sentiment.

In equities, benchmark Sensex too saw a smart rebound of 291 points, its biggest single session gain in nearly 6 weeks, and ended at a fresh two-week high of 29,656 buoyed by robust earnings outcome amid global rally.

Healthy FII inflows into equities and debt also supported the recovery momentum.

Foreign investors pumped in a staggering $3 billion in the capital markets this month so far as regulator Sebi has raised investment limit for FPIs in government debt.

According to the depository data, FPIs infused a net sum of Rs 1,132 crore in equities during April 3-21 and another Rs 17,758 crore in the debt segment, translating into a combined inflow of Rs 18,890 crore ($2.91 billion).

The home unit resumed firmly higher at 64.55 from last weekend’s closing value of 64.61 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market owing to smooth supply of dollars.

Maintaining its strong edge over greenback, the rupee touched a fresh intra-day high of 64.43 in late afternoon deals before ending at 64.44, showing a smart gain of 17 paise or 0.26 per cent. Today’s rupee closing was the highest since April 14, when it closed at 64.41.

The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 64.4757 and for the euro at 69.9884.

In worldwide trade, the US dollar traded lower against most major world currencies ahead of key macro data this week for clarity on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

The dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of six major rivals, was sharply down by 0.77 per cent at 98.95.

In cross-currency trade, the local unit fell back against the pound sterling to settle at 82.61 from 82.55 per pound and also retreated against the euro to finish at 69.95 compared to 69.16 earlier.

The domestic currency, however, bounced back sharply against the Japanese Yen to finish at 58.45 per 100 yens from 59.23 yesterday.

Meanwhile, country’s forex kitty rose by $889.4 million to $369.887 billion in the week ended April 14, helped by increase in foreign currency assets, the Reserve Bank said.

They had declined by $956.4 million to $368.998 billion in the previous reporting week.

On the equity front, the flagship Sensex skyrocketed by a whopping 290.54 points to close at 29,655.84, while Nifty jumped over 98 points to 9,217.95.

In the forward market today, premium for dollar declined modestly owing to persistent receivings from exporters.

The benchmark six-month premium for September softened to 143-145 paise from 144-146 paise and the far-forward March 2018 also eased to 303-305 paise from 303.5-305.5 paise last weekend.

In the global commodity front, crude prices recovered some lost ground on Monday on expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts till the end of 2017, although a relentless rise in US drilling capped gains.

Brent crude futures rose 42 cents to USD 52.38 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures also added 42 cents to trade at $50.04 a barrel.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Rupee surges to nearly 2-week high of 64.44, up 17 paise

MUMBAI: The rupee today came back strongly against the US dollar by surging 17 paise to close at a two-week high of 64.44 on heavy dollar selling by exporters and banks.

The domestic currency was further supported by unwinding of long-dollar positions by speculators against the backdrop of rising risk-on sentiment.

In equities, benchmark Sensex too saw a smart rebound of 291 points, its biggest single session gain in nearly 6 weeks, and ended at a fresh two-week high of 29,656 buoyed by robust earnings outcome amid global rally.

Healthy FII inflows into equities and debt also supported the recovery momentum.

Foreign investors pumped in a staggering $3 billion in the capital markets this month so far as regulator Sebi has raised investment limit for FPIs in government debt.

According to the depository data, FPIs infused a net sum of Rs 1,132 crore in equities during April 3-21 and another Rs 17,758 crore in the debt segment, translating into a combined inflow of Rs 18,890 crore ($2.91 billion).

The home unit resumed firmly higher at 64.55 from last weekend’s closing value of 64.61 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market owing to smooth supply of dollars.

Maintaining its strong edge over greenback, the rupee touched a fresh intra-day high of 64.43 in late afternoon deals before ending at 64.44, showing a smart gain of 17 paise or 0.26 per cent. Today’s rupee closing was the highest since April 14, when it closed at 64.41.

The RBI, meanwhile, fixed the reference rate for the dollar at 64.4757 and for the euro at 69.9884.

In worldwide trade, the US dollar traded lower against most major world currencies ahead of key macro data this week for clarity on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

The dollar index, which tracks the US currency against a basket of six major rivals, was sharply down by 0.77 per cent at 98.95.

In cross-currency trade, the local unit fell back against the pound sterling to settle at 82.61 from 82.55 per pound and also retreated against the euro to finish at 69.95 compared to 69.16 earlier.

The domestic currency, however, bounced back sharply against the Japanese Yen to finish at 58.45 per 100 yens from 59.23 yesterday.

Meanwhile, country’s forex kitty rose by $889.4 million to $369.887 billion in the week ended April 14, helped by increase in foreign currency assets, the Reserve Bank said.

They had declined by $956.4 million to $368.998 billion in the previous reporting week.

On the equity front, the flagship Sensex skyrocketed by a whopping 290.54 points to close at 29,655.84, while Nifty jumped over 98 points to 9,217.95.

In the forward market today, premium for dollar declined modestly owing to persistent receivings from exporters.

The benchmark six-month premium for September softened to 143-145 paise from 144-146 paise and the far-forward March 2018 also eased to 303-305 paise from 303.5-305.5 paise last weekend.

In the global commodity front, crude prices recovered some lost ground on Monday on expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts till the end of 2017, although a relentless rise in US drilling capped gains.

Brent crude futures rose 42 cents to USD 52.38 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures also added 42 cents to trade at $50.04 a barrel.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Reliance Q4 profit jumps 12.3% on higher refining margins

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries today reported a 12.3 per cent rise in its March quarter net profit on the back of higher refining and petrochemical margins.

Consolidated net profit in January-March quarter at Rs 8,046 crore, or Rs 27.3 per share, was 12.3 per cent higher than Rs 7,167 crore net profit in the same period a year ago, the company said in a statement.

For the full 2016-17 fiscal, the company generated its highest ever annual profit at Rs 29,901 crore. The annual profit was 18.8 per cent higher than the previous year’s.

Reliance earned $11.5 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel in the fourth quarter as compared to a gross refining margin of $10.8 per barrel in the same period a year before.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Jet Airways may talk to its Indian pilots' union to resolve differences

MUMBAI: The Jet Airways management is likely to hold talks on Wednesday with its domestic pilots’ union, which has threatened to boycott foreign commanders.

The airline’s local pilots body, National Aviators Guild (NAG), had on April 15 issued a directive to its around 1,000 members, asking them not to fly with the expat pilots from May 1 after a foreign pilot allegedly assaulted a trainer in Bengaluru early this month.

“The Jet Airways management and Guild representatives are meeting in Mumbai on April 26. The pilots’ body is firm on its decision not to fly with the expat commanders from May 1 and the issue is to be resolved before that,” a source in the airline said.

According to the source, if the pilots stick to their boycott call, the airline operations could be affected due to unavailability of first officers.

The carrier has around 60 expat commanders who mainly operate its Boeing 737 and ATR fleet.

In a statement last week, the guild had alleged that the airline’s management has for a very long time treated the Indian employees, including pilots, in a step-motherly manner, a charge the airline has rebutted.

The Jet Airways management “has disregarded the legitimate expectations of its employees to be treated fairly, reasonably and in a just manner,” the guild had alleged.

In a strongly-worded statement, NAG had also said that disparaging, inappropriate and racist comments allegedly made by certain expat pilots cannot be taken lightly.

“This is in addition to the verbal and physical abuse of a senior trainer by an expat pilot employed by the airline,” the NAG claimed.

It has also sought removal of all expat pilots from the airline.

Denying any “step motherly” treatment to the Indian pilots vis-a-vis foreign pilots in the airline, Jet Airways had said that as a part of the airline’s open door policy, it encourages all employee groups to engage in consultative processes and arrive at amicable solutions.

“As an Indian airline operating internationally, all employees, regardless of nationality, are governed by a strict and common code of conduct,” the spokesperson said.

The airline spokesperson had in a statement on March 19 also said there are robust HR processes to ensure that instances of contradictory nature are duly investigated and appropriate actions taken as per the company’s policy.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Gold futures slip by Rs 268 on weak global cues

NEW DELHI: Gold futures plunged by Rs 268 to Rs 29,150 per 10 gram on Monday as speculators trimmed their positions amid a weak global trend.

Gold for delivery in June dropped Rs 268, or 0.91 per cent, to Rs 29,150 per 10 gram in a business turnover of 539 lots at the Multi Commodity Exchange.

Similarly, the metal for delivery in August was trading down Rs 238, or 0.81 per cent, at Rs 29,265 per 10 gram in 14 lots.

The fall in gold futures was mostly in step with a weak trend overseas where it has sank the most in more than seven weeks after centrist Macron led the first round of voting in the French presidential election, boosting stocks and triggering a sell-off of safe-haven bullion, analysts said.

Meanwhile, gold prices tumbled 1.5 per cent, the biggest decline since March 2, to trade at USD 1,265.51 an ounce in Singapore.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Euro surges as France's Macron set for presidential win

HONG KONG: The euro surged on Monday after moderate Emmanuel Macron won the first round in France‘s presidential election and looked set to triumph in the run-off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen next month.

Investors globally had been watching the vote fearing that a wave of populism, which swept Donald Trump to the White House and saw Britain leave the EU, could lead to a win for the anti-European Le Pen and put the future of the bloc in doubt.

However, Macron is widely expected to gallop to victory over the divisive Front National leader and traders gave a huge thumbs-up, sending the euro flying above $1.09 at one point before paring the gains to $1.0846 from $1.0726 in New York on Friday. It also jumped to 119.40 yen from 117.07 yen.

“Markets are happy to buy what they see as the fact – that 39-year-old Emmanuel Macron will be confirmed as the next president of the French republic in two weeks’ time,” Ray Attrill, head of FX strategy at National Australia Bank, said in a commentary.

The boost in optimism also hit the yen – considered a safe bet in times of uncertainty – which in turn lifted Japanese exporters.

Tokyo’s Nikkei rose 1.3 percent, Sydney and Seoul each added 0.2 percent, and Wellington put on 0.4 percent.

However, Hong Kong gave up early gains and ended the morning session 0.1 percent down, while Shanghai sank almost 1.6 percent, extending a recent sell-off fuelled by profit-taking, liquidity and regulatory plans.

“Given that pre-vote polling shows that Macron should trounce Le Pen on May 7, markets are already celebrating as though Macron is already the president of The Republic,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, in a note.

The gains in Asia extended Friday’s rally that was built on comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who promised a tax reform plan would be unveiled soon.

That was followed by Trump saying Friday that there would be “a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform”.

Eyes are now on Washington where lawmakers have just four days to agree a funding bill to avoid a painful government shutdown that would cost the economy billions of dollars.

There are fears Trump will refuse to sign anything that does not contain spending for his controversial Mexican border wall, with Democrats saying they will not back anything that includes provisions for the plan.

Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.