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ED seeks attachment of Nirav Modi’s Rs 56-cr Dubai assets

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New Delhi, Nov 6 : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said it has sent a request for attachment of 11 properties of fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi and his group company Firestar Diamond FZE worth Rs 56.8 crore in connection with its ongoing probe into Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case.

A senior ED official said the financial probe agency has sought attachment of the assets by UAE authorities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act by sending a provisional attachment order in the form of Letters Rogatory.

He said it has to date attached properties worth Rs 4,800 crore in connection with the case in India and abroad.

Earlier in October, the ED had attached assets in India and sought seizure abroad of properties worth Rs 255 crore and Rs 218 crore belonging to Nirav Modi and his maternal uncle Mehul Choksi. The two had fled the country before the scam broke.

They are accused of defrauding state-run PNB of Rs 13,500 crore in connivance with certain bank officials by fraudulently getting the Letters of Undertaking and Letters of Credit issued without following the prescribed procedure.

Nirav Modi and Choksi of Gitanjali Group are under probe by both Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED. The ED launched the money laundering investigation against Nirav Modi and others on February 15 on the basis of an FIR registered by the CBI.

The ED had on May 24 and May 26 filed charge-sheets against the two.

Non-bailable warrants have been issued against them.

The Interpol had issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal and sister Purvi — both Belgian citizens — as well as Mihir Bhansali and Aditya Nanvati, close associates of Modi.

However, an RCN request against Choksi, who acquired Antiguan citizenship earlier in 2018, is pending with the Interpol.

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French Amundi threatens to sell-off SBI bonds over proposed Rs 5,000 cr Adani coal mine loan

Protesters were wearing a t-shirt which read slogans such as “#StopAdani”, “Stop Coal” and “#StopAdani”. Several anti-Adani protesters also gathered outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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New Delhi: France-based Amundi, which is one of the largest investors in India’s State Bank of India (SBI), threatened to sell off SBI green bonds held by it unless it stops its scheduled Rs 5,000 crore loan to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Australia.

“We consider SBI should not finance this project. Ultimately it’s their decision but we’ve been extremely clear on the fact that if they decide to do it, we would immediately disinvest,” Director of the Institutional Corporate Clients Division & ESG, Jean Jacques Barberis, was quoted as saying by a global wire service.

“Financing the mine would be in “total contradiction” to the SBI activities financed through its green bond, he added.

“We have engaged SBI asking them not to participate (in the loan) and now we are waiting for their answer”, he was quoted as saying.

Amundi, which holds the SBI green bonds as part of its Amundi Planet Green Emerging Fund, said it learnt recently that the public lender is slated to fund the controversial coal mine project in Australia.

Adani’s billion-dollar Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland, Australia, has been the centre of many controversies ever since its inception as activists owing to environmental problems posed by it.

The development comes within days of Samsung Securities, the investment arm of South Korean conglomerate, announcement that it won’t back the project after it was targetted by protesters for having links to the coal miner.
Earlier this week, the first One-Day International (ODI) match between India and Australia in Sydney was halted briefly after two protesters appeared on the field holding placards against SBI and Adani Carmichael coal mine project.

Six overs into Australia’s innings, protestors walked to the center of the ground holding placards which read ‘No $1b Adani loan’ signs.

Protesters were wearing a t-shirt which read slogans such as “#StopAdani”, “Stop Coal” and “#StopAdani”. Several anti-Adani protesters also gathered outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.



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Manufacturing GVA growth in Q2 ‘surprising’: SBI Report

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New Delhi, Nov 28 : The manufacturing sector played a major role in narrowing down the India’s GDP contraction in Q2 of FY21. An SBI Ecowrap report, however, dubbed the growth in manufacturing GVA as “astonishing” as the IIP manufacturing for the same period declined by 6.7 per cent.

India’s GDP in the July-September period contracted 7.5 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The GVA in Q2 2020-21 from the manufacturing sector grew 0.6 per cent, as compared with a degrowth of 0.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The report by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India, said: “Though the whole press release is full of surprising numbers, the most astonishing number is the positive growth in manufacturing in Q2.”

He noted that despite being the worst affected sector in Q1 (due to lockdown), it is quite puzzling how manufacturing turned itself around.

The IIP manufacturing and manufacturing GVA growth are highly correlated (almost more than 0.90) and this correlation collapsed in Q2 when IIP manufacturing declined by 6.7 per cent (average of July/August/September) while manufacturing GVA grew by 0.6 per cent.

He said that one possible reason for this could be stellar corporate GVA numbers in Q2 on the back of massive purge in costs.

Further, he said that small companies, with turnover of up to Rs 500 crore, are more aggressive in cutting cost, displaying reduction in employee cost by 10-12 per cent.

“This could turn a potential headwind in future in terms of a drag on consumption. Additionally, there is evidence of inventory build-up that could act as a drag on future manufacturing growth,” said the report.

“Interestingly, government consumption expenditure has also nosedived in Q2, that is difficult to explain, as such expenditures are typically pro cyclical.”

During the July-September period, agriculture sector continued to perform well with its growth pegged at 3.4 per cent. Services remained in the negative territory, although the decline was contained as trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting showed recovery.

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Apple patents new MacBook Touch Bar with Force Touch technology

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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San Francisco: Apple is reportedly planning to add Force Touch sensors to the OLED Touch Bar on a future MacBook Pro.

A new patent published by the US Patent And Trademark Office, suggests Force Touch could have an expanded role in the future on the Mac, with the development of a new pressure-sensitive Touch Bar, reports MacRumors.

The patent offers visual examples of how force-sensing technology would be implemented in a MacBook Touch Bar, with Force Touch circuitry surrounding the touch-sensitive OLED strip.

“The secondary display and force-sensing circuitry may be encapsulated between two glass layers that are bonded to one another by a frit. In some embodiments, the force-sensing circuitry is formed from or constitutes part of, the frit,” reads the abstract of the patent application

Force Touch sensors were introduced for the first time with the first-generation Apple Watch and they allow the screen to identify the touch pressure in order to perform different actions based on touch intensity.

This technology was then introduced to the MacBook trackpad in 2015.

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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