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On Slack: LPG for taxpayers, PVR chases southern market, Marc Faber takes on Janet Yellen, Preschool Coding Classes, United Spirits seeks protection under BIFR, Parag Milk gets SEBI clearance and more…

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The Slack Discussions

The Slack group at Capital Mind Premium has been extremely active and if you haven’t been there, pop us a note by replying to this email. (If you’re a trial member this probably sound like Greek to you; it will be available when you sign up!)

A brief summary of some of the interesting things discussed there in the last few days:

#general: No subsidised LPG for taxpayers earning over Rs 10 lakh a year

Taxpayers with annual income more than Rs 10 lakh will not get subsidised cooking gas (LPG) from next month.

At present, all households are entitled to get 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each at a subsidised rate of Rs 419.26, while the market price is Rs 608. The government had asked well-off people to voluntarily give up subsidised LPG, and buy cooking fuel at the market price.

So far, over 5.75 million LPG consumers, out of nearly 150 million, have given up subsidies. (Link)

#general: Saudi Arabia cuts spending after posting record $98 billion budget deficit for 2015

Saudi Arabia has cut investment spending by almost two thirds as it wrestles with the oil price rout. Spending on transport and infrastructure will fall 63 per cent in 2016, as the kingdom axes capital expenditures in a bid to trim next year’s deficit.

The overall budget has also taken a cut. Saudi Arabia plans to spend 840bn riyals next year, a cut of 2.3 per cent against its 2015 budget allocation of 860bn riyals. It plans to run a deficit of 326bn riyals – equivalent to about 16 per cent of GDP, according to National Bank of Abu Dhabi calculations. (Link)

#general: Planting of wheat lower by 7% even as rabi sowing nears end

Rabi crops have been planted in 52 million hectares, 6.5% lower than the normal area of 55.6 million hectares. (Link)

#stocks: PVR chases southern market for bulk of new screen additions

PVR will add close to 40% of the roughly 500 new screens planned in the next three years in markets such as Bengaluru, Kochi, Mysore and Chennai. (Link)

#general: Cheating case: Now, Samruddha CMD Mahesh Motewar arrested

Mahesh Motewar, the chairman and managing director of controversial multi-crore collective investment scheme company, Samruddha Jeevan Foods, was detained from the city on Mondaymorning by the Osmanabad police and later arrested in the evening, in connection with a case of cheating registered in 2012, in which he was already declared an absconder about a week ago. (Link)

#stocks: India Inc’s Debt-Wish Is Coming True: They Now Have To Downsize And Focus

(Link)

#macronomics: Marc Faber takes on Janet Yellen with recession call, likes treasuries

Marc Faber recommends treasuries and says the US is at the start of an economic recession, clashing with Janet Yellen’s view that things are improving. (Link)

#general: Indian textile firm to pay Rs 66 lakh for using pirated software

In 2013, Harris sued Pratibha Syntex on the basis that it did not pay licensing fees for software it relied on for its business, including products manufactured by Adobe, Microsoft, and others, giving the company a significant cost advantage in the low-margin business of apparel manufacturing, shipment and sales. (Link)

#general: Latest Craze for Chinese Parents: Preschool Coding Classes

Wu Pei began teaching her 6-year-old son to code this year, thinking he’d enjoy learning a skill that might boost his future job prospects in an increasingly digitized world. Now, she runs classes in Nanjing, China, and is helping more than 100 parents introduce their children to coding.

The 35-year-old former computer programmer with Foxconn Technology Group is tapping growing demand from parents intent on preparing their preschoolers for a world in which Oxford University researchers predict half the jobs in some countries may be eliminated by robots and computers. (Link)

#general: SpiceJet to raise funds worth up to Rs.5,000 crore

Low-cost air carrier SpiceJet Ltd on Tuesday said its shareholders have approved a proposal to raise funds worth up to Rs.5,000 crore.

The shareholders, at the company’s 31st annual general meeting held in New Delhi on Monday, also approved the appointment of promoter Ajay Singh and his wife Shivani Singh as directors, the company said in a regulat
ory filing. (Link)

#general: Diageo owned United Spirits seeks protection under BIFR

Diageo-controlled United Spirits plans to declare itself sick and approach the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, as the liquor maker said its net worth has dropped below half the peak level.

The company has sought shareholders’ approval for this on January 22, it said a stock exchange filing. The development comes 18 months after Diageo acquired a majority stake in the company that was earlier controlled by Vijay Mallya. (Link)

#general: Don’t fall for R-Jio’s media blitzkrieg, Ambani brothers may now control entire telecom space

(Link)

#general: Khan Market traders to sue Salman Khan for taking their name

The actor’s decision to name his new e-commerce website khanmarketonline.com has not gone down well with the businesses that operate out of the popular Delhi shopping hub. (Link)

#general: Income Tax Department Names 18 Defaulters Owing Rs 1,100 Crore

The Income Tax Department Wednesday published a fresh list of 18 tax defaulters, including gold and diamond traders, who owe taxes of over Rs 1,100 crore to the government for the past many assessment years but have either gone untraceable or have inadequate assets to pay.

The list has been compiled by the department and issued by the Finance Ministry in leading national newspapers carrying names of the defaulting individuals or entities, their last known addresses, PAN numbers, arrear amounts, last known source of income and the assessment years for which they have not paid their due taxes. (Link)

#general: PM Modi wants to revamp cabinet, but can’t find the right people

After a drubbing in a state poll in November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to overhaul his cabinet to weed out underperformers and improve his government’s image. Problem is, several sources said, he can’t find the right replacements.

As the country buzzes with speculation about changes in several ministries, senior members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and a close aide to PM Modi said some changes could come early next year but the talent pool was too shallow to engineer a major revamp. (Link)

#general: A Reddit user turned Facebook’s Free Basics ads into ‘brutally honest’ one

As Facebook continues to bombard people in India with its Free Basics advertisements, a Reddit user decided that he could take no more and converted the ads into some brutally honest posters.

The posters quickly spread across the internet and hilarity ensued. (Link)

#general: Shrinking Congress strength in Rajya Sabha will make GST happen: Arun Jaitley

Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Goods & Services Tax (GST) will be implemented because the strength of the main opposition party is “shrinking” in the Rajya Sabha, hitting out at the Congress party’s stand on the much-awaited reform. Speaking to reporters as the year draws to an end, Jaitley said the global economy, agriculture and tepid private investment continued to be a drag on the Indian economy. (Link)

#general: Apple said to pay Italy 318 million euros, sign tax deal

The deal comes as the European Union and national governments take a tougher stand against profit-shielding arrangements used by multinationals. (Link)

#general: Government plans to allow single foreign investor to hold 15% in Indian stock exchanges and depositories

The proposal comes in the wake of requests from foreign investors to allow them have a larger pie of the country’s marquee public utilities. The government recently sought the views of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) on the matter. Last month, the capital market regulator had given green signal to exchanges and depositories to sell their shares to public. (Link)

#general: Parag Milk gets SEBI clearance for IPO

The proceeds of the issue to be utilised for expansion and modernisation as well as investment in its subsidiary. (Link)

#general: L&T’s A M Naik steps down as IIM-Ahmedabad chairman

The move has taken the academic circles by surprise given Mr Naik’s huge interest and involvement in the growth of IIM-A. Speculations within the academia point towards ego tussles between the institute and the HRD ministry which however remain unconfirmed. (Link)

#general: Iranian banks to open in India

Iran’s leading banks will soon open branches in India to energise commercial ties between New Delhi and Tehran.

The decision was amongst a slew of commercial measures taken by the India-Iran Joint Commission that met for the first time since Iran and the P-5+1 grouping struck a deal to end sanctions on Iran. After the meeting led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Iranian Finance Minister Ali Tayebnia India decided to allow the Pasargan Bank and Parsian Bank of Iran to set up branches in New Delhi and Mumbai. (Link)

#stocks: Europe’s Turbine Manufacturers Doubling in Record Year for Wind

(Link)

#general: Windfall awaits oil cos as under-recoveries to dip 58%: Report

Oil companies are poised for a windfall as under-recoveries are set to drop by a massive 58 per cent to Rs 30,000 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 72,300 crore. (Link)

#backtobasics:

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Disclosure: The authors at Capital Mind have positions in the market and some of them may support or contradict the material given above, or may involve a direction derived from independent analysis.

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