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Government to launch Bharat 22 exchange traded fund: Jaitley

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Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Aug 4: In a move to boost its disinvestment programme, the Centre on Friday announced the creation of the Bharat 22 exchange traded fund (ETF) comprising 22 companies, or investments, from among central public sector undertakings, public sector banks and strategic holdings in the Specified Undertaking of UTI (SUUTI), Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced here.

“A new ETF has been created under the name Bharat 22,” Jaitley told reporters here, adding that this was the most significant announcement so far this year on the government’s stake divestment programme.

“The 22 companies, oblique investments, comprise of central public sector undertakings (CPSEs), public sector banks (PSBs) and some strategic holdings in SUUTI,” he said.

“It is a diversified portfolio of six sectors, which are basic materials, energy, financial, FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), industrial and utilities. No sector crosses the 20 per cent sectoral capping and there is a stock capping of 15 per cent,” he added.

An ETF is a traded security that tracks an underlying asset like a group of companies or commodity. The government last month approved the alternative mechanism through the ETF route to divest its stake in CPSEs.

The alternate mechanism will be used to take decisions for divestment through ETF for all listed CPSEs, subject to the government retaining a 51 per cent stake in them.

While the National Aluminium Co (NALCO) is the only firm in the basic materials category in the Bharat 22 ETF, the energy sector includes the giants ONGC, Indian Oil, BPCL and Coal India.

The finance sector companies include the State Bank of India and Axis Bank, where the government holds some stake, while the only firm included in the FMCG sector is ITC.

Jaitley also said that the government had raised Rs 8,500 crore through the CPSE ETF route in the last fiscal.

The Centre has a disinvestment target of Rs 72,500 crore for the current fiscal, of which Rs 46,500 crore is planned to be raised through disinvestment, while Rs 15,000 crore is the target in the case of strategic disinvestment that involves surrender of government’s majority control of the company.

IANS

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Hyundai bets on diesel models, launches Tucson SUV

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Hyundai-Tucson-SUV

Chennai, July 14 : The second largest car maker in India Hyundai Motor India Ltd while continuing to bet on diesel powered vehicles is also looking at faster demand recovery from tier 2/3 cities, said a senior official on Tuesday.

Hyundai Motor also launched its new premium sports utility vehicle (SUV) Tucson for the Indian market.

Speaking to reporters, Tarun Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing and Service) said the timing of Tucson’s launch is right as there are over five lakh Creta buyers in the country who are looking for an upgrade to a premium SUV.

The new Tucson’s starting price is about Rs 22 lakh.

“With over 6.5 million customers worldwide, Tucson is one of the best-selling SUV’s across the world,” S.S. Kim, Managing Director and CEO told reporters.

He said the model was unveiled at the Auto Expo 2020.

Garg said the booking for diesel engine models are growing and the demand is across the country and more so from tier 2/3 cities.

He said when the fuel prices go up, buyers will look at fuel economy and diesel engines are fuel efficient.

According to Garg, Hyundai Motor has got over 45,000 bookings for its SUV Creta model and 56 per cent of that are for diesel engine variant.

Similarly, one third of the booking for Venue and Verna are for diesel models, Garg said.

“SUV lovers want much more than the fuel economy which diesel vehicles offer. It appears demand will stablilise at this level. There is also good demand for petrol models,” Garg added.

Queried about the pay cuts implemented by various companies and its impact on buyers scaling down their model preference Garg said he is not seeing any such trend.

According to him, buyers prefer to come to the showroom to take delivery of new cars even though Hyundai Motor offers to deliver the car at their door step.

Garg said it is not possible to predict the likely sales for 2020 as some states have Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

He said the company is watching the market behaviour on a monthly basis.

Garg said during June 2020, the company has reached 75 per cent of June 2019 demand figures, In July 2020 the car maker plans to touch 90 per cent of July 2019 levels.

On the availability of components as the company is planning to start third shift in its plant Garg said the localisation levels are very high and the dependence on components from China is very low.

According to Garg the company’s supply chain is ready to meet the demand for increased components as third shift production is soon to start.

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No lay-offs by Wipro amid crorona crisis, no such plan

The Bengaluru-headquartered IT behemoth employs more than 1.75 lakh people in several countries across the globe.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, July 13 : Global software major Wipro has not laid off any employee during the Covid-19 pandemic nor has any such plan at the moment, a top company official said on Monday.

“I just want to give comfort and say this categorically that we have not laid off a single employee as the pandemic unfolded,” Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji said at the company”s 74th annual general meeting (AGM) held virtually.

“At the moment, we have no plans to lay off anybody at the company,” he said, replying to a female shareholder.

“We are trying to drive cost deductions through various other means operationally and otherwise,” said Premji.

The Bengaluru-headquartered IT behemoth employs more than 1.75 lakh people in several countries across the globe.

–IANS

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Google to invest Rs 75,000 crore to boost digitisation in India

The investment will focus on four areas important to India’s digitisation– first enabling affordable access to information to every Indian in their own language.

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Sundar Pichai

New Delhi, July 13 : Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced a Google for India digitisation fund through which, the company will invest Rs 75,000 crore or approximately $10 billion over the next five to seven years to help India go digital.

“We will do this through a mix of equity investment, partnerships and an operational infrastructure ecosystem in India. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” Pichai said during the Google for India virtual conference.

The investment will focus on four areas important to India’s digitisation– first enabling affordable access to information to every Indian in their own language.

“Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India”s unique needs. Third, empowering businesses to continue or embark on digital transformation. And fourth, leveraging technology and Artificial Intelligence for social good in areas like health, agriculture and education,” the Google CEO said.

India’s Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were also present during the conference.

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