Connect with us

Business

Very critical situation for Vodafone in India, says CEO Nick Read

Published

on

Vodafone said its future in India could be in doubt unless the government stopped hitting operators with higher taxes and charges, after a court judgment over licence fees resulted in a €1.9 billion group loss in its first half. Chief executive officer (CEO) Nick Read said India, where Vodafone formed a joint venture with Idea Cellular in 2018, had been “a very challenging situation for a long time”, but Vodafone Idea still had 300 million customers, equating to a 30% share of the sizable market.

“Financially there’s been a heavy burden through unsupportive regulation, excessive taxes and on top of that we got the negative Supreme Court decision,” he said on Tuesday.

Vodafone had asked the government for a relief package comprising a two-year moratorium on spectrum payments, lower licence fees and taxes and the waiving of interest and penalties on the Supreme Court case, which centred on regulatory fees.

Asked if it made sense for Vodafone to remain in India without such a relief package, he said: “It’s fair to say it’s a very critical situation.”

India’s top court upheld a demand from the country’s telecoms department for $13 billion in overdue levies and interest last month, hitting the shares of both Vodafone Idea and rival Bharti Airtel.

Vodafone has clashed with Indian authorities over tax and regulatory issues ever since it entered the country with a $11 billion deal to buy 67% of Hutchison Essar in 2007.

The arrival of new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm in 2016 added to Vodafone’s problems by sparking a brutal price war.

It responded by combining its operations with Idea Cellular, a deal that closed in 2018.

Read said Vodafone was not committing any more equity to India and the country effectively contributed zero value to the company’s share price. As a result of the ruling, it has written down the value of its stake in the joint venture to zero.

It also owns a stake in Indian tower operator Indus Towers, along with Bharti Airtel.

Vodafone’s shares were up 1.7% at 163 pence at 1040 GMT as investors focused on an upgrade to its earnings forecast rather than India.

UPGRADED FORECAST

The world’s second largest mobile operator reported improving organic revenue growth with signs of improvement in Spain and Italy and as it integrates a German cable acquisition.

It said organic service revenue rose 0.3% in the first half, as it returned to growth in the second quarter, while organic core earnings rose 1.4%.

It increased its forecast for adjusted core earnings to €14.8-15 billion from its previous forecast of €13.8-14.2 billion, but said India and lower cash flows following the sale of assets in New Zealand meant free cash flow would be “around” €5.4 billion, rather than the “at least” €5.4 billion previously forecast.

Apart from India, Read said he was pleased with progress.

“This is reflected in our return to top-line growth in the second quarter, which we expect to build upon in the second half of the year in both Europe and Africa,” he said.

Read cut Vodafone’s dividend for the first time in May after tough market conditions and a need to invest in its networks and airwaves caused him to backtrack on his pledge not to reduce the payout.

source

Business

Amazon bridges language gap, allows seller to register and manage in Hindi

Published

on

E-commerce giant Amazon on Thursday announced that its sellers will now be able to register on Amazon.in marketplace and manage their online business in Hindi.

This will include everything from registering as an Amazon seller for the first time to managing orders, inventory management and accessing performance metrics, all of it in the language of their preference breaking the language barrier for millions of Indian entrepreneurs, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), local shops and retailers and help them benefit from e-commerce, a statement said an Amazon statement.

Amazon also provides Seller Support Services and Seller University videos and tutorials in Hindi.

“The experience has been made available on the Amazon seller website as well as on the mobile app. Amazon also provides Seller Support Services and Seller University videos and tutorials in Hindi,” it said.

According to the company, hundreds of Amazon sellers from tier-I, II and III cities across Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh have switched to the Hindi experience to manage their accounts during the six-months testing phase.

During the testing phase, for the first time new sellers from markets like Darbhanga in Bihar, Barmer in Rajasthan, Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh, Hailakandi in Assam and Bardhaman in West Bengal signed up on the Amazon.in marketplace.

Gopal Pillai, VP Seller Services, Amazon India, said: “As we look at enabling more and more of Indian MSMEs to embrace ecommerce to grow, we continue to doubledown our efforts on vernacular, voice and video powered initiatives. The launch of the vernacular registration and account management experience for sellers starting with Hindi is a step in that direction.”

This becomes all the more significant as businesses emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and explore new opportunities for growth, Pillai said.

source

Continue Reading

Business

Rupee settles on a flat note, slips 1 paisa to 75.58 against US dollar

Published

on

The rupee surrendered all intra-day gains to provisionally close on a flat note at 75.58 against the US dollar on Friday as investors looked for cues to move forward and take positions.

Forex traders said positive domestic equities, sustained foreign fund flows, revival of business activities and weak US dollar supported the local unit, but there were still a slew of risks, including US-China trade tiff, that weighed on the currency.

At the interbank forex market, the rupee opened strong at 75.38, but later pared gains and finally settled at 75.58 against the US dollar, down 1 paisa over its last close of 75.57.

“The USD/INR spot has been trading in a very tight range 75-75.65 as investors await catalyst to move forward and take positions,” said Rahul Gupta, Head of Research- Currency, Emkay Global Financial Services.

Currently, the spot is in indecisive market and going forward the focus will be on Jio-Mubadala deal related dollar flows, US-China trade spat and whether there is a second wave of infection.

The expectations of more stimulus measures from the US government drove the optimism in the market, however, Trump administration postponed the meeting to next week crashing investors’ hopes, he said.

Technically, 75 is a crucial support and break off which can take spot towards 74.50 or bounce from there can take prices towards 76.50,” he added.

source

Continue Reading

Business

Foreign investors pull out over $16 bn from India amid Coronavirus pandemic: Report

Published

on

Increasing concerns of a major economic recession in Asia amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, foreign investors have pulled out an estimated $26 billion from developing Asian economies and over $16 billion out of India, an independent Congressional Research Center said in its latest report on global economic effects of COVID-19.

In Europe, over 30 million people in Germany, France, the UK, Spain, and Italy have applied for state support, while first quarter 2020 data indicates that the eurozone economy contracted by 3.8 per cent, the largest quarterly decline since the series started in 1995, it said.

In the US, preliminary data indicated that the GDP fell by 4.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, the largest quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 2008 during the global financial crisis, the CRS said.

According to CRS, the pandemic crisis is challenging governments to implement monetary and fiscal policies that support credit markets and sustain economic activity, while they are implementing policies to develop vaccines and safeguard their citizens.

In doing so, however, differences in policy approaches are straining relations between countries that promote nationalism and those that argue for a coordinated international response.

Differences in policies are also straining relations between developed and developing economies and between northern and southern members of the eurozone, challenging alliances, and raising questions about the future of global leadership, the report said.

Amid growing concern across the world that Chinese companies are buying cheap, distressed assets hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, India, last month, reviewed the extant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for curbing opportunistic takeovers/acquisitions of Indian companies.

With the amendment, an entity of a country, which shares a land border with India or where the beneficial owner of investment into India is situated in or is a citizen of any such country, can invest only under the Government route.

Until before the new arrangement was made in the policy, the curb on FDI was only on Pakistan and Bangladesh as a citizen of Bangladesh or an entity incorporated in Bangladesh can invest only under the Government route. Further, a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan can invest, only under the Government route, in sectors/activities other than defence, space, atomic energy and sectors/activities prohibited for foreign investment.

This change has brought China in the ambit of ‘government permission’ before investing in any sector in the country.

China had slammed the move saying New Delhi is “against liberalisation”.

China claimed that India’s new rules for FDI “violate WTO principles of non-discrimination and are against free and fair trade”. It further called for a “revision of discriminatory practices”.

However, the Indian government has said that it is “not denial” of permission but only an approval process, which is in no way a violation.

Meanwhile, according to the Congressional report, while almost all major economies are shrinking as a result of Coronavirus, only three countries China, India, and Indonesia are projected to experience small, but positive rates of economic growth in 2020.

source

Continue Reading

Newsletters

Enter your email address to get latest updates

Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2018 - 2019 Delhi Wire.