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On Slack: Expats Worry about JNU Troubles, Jaypee Group's Endless Debt Woes, Exxon Mobile's CEO on Oil Prices, Vijay Mallya 'Escapes' the Country and much more…

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:

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#general: Troubles at JNU Worry Indian Expats

Indian community organizations in the Kingdom expressed their solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) who are facing an onslaught of sedition charges.

They also denounced attack on historic minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI).

#general: 10 Facts about Meldonium, the Substance that got Maria Sharapova into Trouble

Russian-born tennis star Maria Sharapova on Monday announced that she failed a dope test during this year’s Australian Open.

Sharapova said she received a letter from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) several days ago informing her that she had failed the test for meldonium during the Australian Open in January.

#stocks: Cipla Transfers Consumer Healthcare Business to Subsidiary

Drug major Cipla has transferred its consumer healthcare business to its arm Cipla Health Ltd.

“The company’s consumer healthcare business has been transferred to Cipla Health Ltd, subsidiary of the company, with effect from the close of business hours on February 29, 2016,”Cipla said in a filing to BSE.

#general: Miracles of Enzymes – Yamuna

Delhi has 22 drains carrying 2500 million litres of waste and polluted water into Yamuna river daily. One of the drains popularly known as Bara Pullah drain emanates near Ashoka Hotel and flows through Lakshmi Bai Nagar, Defence Colony, Lajpat Nagar, Kale Khan, Bara Pullah and merges into Yamuna River. All these drains emit deadly gases and foul smell.

#stocks: Govt cuts Bt Cotton Royalty fees by 74%

India on Wednesday cut prices of genetically modified cotton seeds and slashed royalty fees by 74%, disregarding global seed major Monsanto Co.’s threat to re-evaluate its India business if such a move is considered.

#general: 6 Telecos Hushed up Over Rs. 45K cr.: CAG

In what could be a mega scandal, the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) has unearthed under-invoicing of revenue to the tune of over Rs. 45,000 crore by six telecom companies from 2006 to 2010.

#general: Post-26/11, big Private Firms choose CISF to Provide Security cover

Perhaps the biggest step the government took post-26/11 was to change its rules allowing the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to guard private companies. Now, over 900 CISF personnel guard six private establishments including Infosys campuses, Reliance’s Jamnagar refinery and ADAG-promoted Delhi Airport Metro Express Line.

#stocks: No end in Sight for Jaypee Group’s Debt Woes

Manoj Gaur-led Jaypee Group has, over the past year, defaulted on its payment obligations on two tranches of bonds worth $350 million and analysts are of the opinion that the company’s capacity to service its debt has not improved despite efforts to sell assets and reduce debt.

#general: NAMO’s Battle With Kanhaiya, Perhaps A Sun Tzu Tactic, Splits Loyalties Of Ace Stock Pickers

NAMO has been flayed by the intelligentsia for the handling of the JNU-Kanhaiya affair and the EPF-tax fiasco. However, it is possible that both of these issues are actually red herrings designed to distract the opposition and divert their attention from more pressing issues. The ace stock pickers also appear to have fallen victim to NAMO’s gambit.

#general: Trump Represents America vs Washington (and Why he’s Just the Start)

Laws are passed with the virtual stroke of the pen in Parliaments in places like the UK, Germany and Canada and leaders there undoubtedly have more power within their borders.

The American system of government is overwhelmed with checks and balances. Without Congress the White House is left with only the threat of a veto that can still be overridden.

#stocks: Jaiprakash Associates Misses Interest Payment on bonds

Debt-laden infrastructure company Jaiprakash Associates Ltd has missed interest payment due on 7 March on its bonds worth $150 million. The interest will be paid later from proceeds of its sale of cement assets, the company said in a statement to BSE on Tuesday. “Interest was payable on the bonds on the semi-annual interest payment date of 7 March 2016. The issuer wishes to inform you that it has not paid such interest. The issuer intends to engage in discussions with holders of the bonds,” the statement said.

#macronomics: Govt Buries EPF tax after Massive Protest from Salaried Middle-class

Just over a week after the announcement, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday rolled back his controversial Budget proposal to tax Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal. The Budget had announced that 40 per cent of the total corpus withdrawn from the EPF would be tax-exempt and the balance 60 per cent would be taxable unless the amount is used to buy an annuity product.

#general: Is Group chat Making you Sweat?

2006 we launched Campfire, the first modern SAAS group chat and messaging tool for business.

Since then, quite a few business chat and messaging tools like Hipchat, Flowdock, Slack and others have sprung up. And we’ve since rolled group chat and instant messaging (we call them “pings”) into the all new Basecamp 3.

#stocks: Brooks Labs Shares hit Lower Circuit after SEBI Imposes 5-year ban from Capital Market

Brooks Laboratories shares hit a lower circuit limit of 10 per cent at Rs 58.30 on BSE on Friday after the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) barred the company and its top executives from the securities markets for five years. Meanwhile, Sensex was up 103.23 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 25,725.40.

#general: Single malt Scotch Prices Skyrocket as Demand Soars

Whisky lovers around the world are snapping up bottles of aged Scotch so quickly that prices are reaching an all time high.

Distilleries are ramping up production to help meet demand, but it’s not fast enough as collectors of older vintages face continually escalating prices for coveted single malt Scotches, reports CNN Money.

#stocks: Looking at Scaling up Operations and Getting more People to Use JD Omni: VSS Mani, JustDial

Yes, the traction has been phenomenal. We thank ourselves that we had the patience to build this product for 14 months and we got something which is really loved by the market. So, there is a big thumbs up from customers. Hence we are looking at scaling up our operations andgetting in more and more people to use JD Omni.

#stocks: Exxon Mobile CEO’s 41 Years Experience on Oil Prices

Exxon Chief Comment

#general: Islamic State Group: The full story

Abu Anis only realised something unusual was happening when he heard the sound of explosions coming from the old city on the western bank of the Tigris as it runs through Mosul.

“I phoned some friends over there, and they said armed groups had taken over, some of them foreign, some Iraqis,” the computer technician said. “The gunmen told them, ‘We’ve come to get rid of the Iraqi army, and to help you.'”

#general: Raghav Bahl, Bloomberg ink Deal to Launch news Channel, Website

Raghav Bahl, founder of Quintillion Media Pvt. Ltd that operates news website thequint.com, has signed a joint venture agreement with New York-based Bloomberg LP to launch a co-branded television news channel and website, a person close to the development said.

#stocks: Reshaping an Emerging-Market giant

The CEO of one of India’s largest makers of generic pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, explains how the company is organizing for the future.

When the late Anji Reddy founded Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) in 1984, his dream was to build a company that would survive for 500 years. Today, DRL is India’s second-largest maker of generic pharmaceuticals, and DRL chief executive officer and co-chairman G. V. Prasad is seeking to reshape the organization to realize that dream.

#general: Confirmed: Vijay Mallya has left India on March 2 and Probably Pocketed $40 mn; SC issues Notice

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to Vijay Mallya, the business tycoon who owes Rs 9,000 crore (including interest) to a consortium of 17 banks, and sought his reply within two weeks in response to a petition filed by the banks to block him from fleeing the country.

#macronomics: SC Upholds TRAI call Drop Compensation

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to stay TRAI’s mandate that telecom operators must compensate customers for call drops. The SC had been hearing a petition filed by the Cellular Operators’ Association of India, which challenged the recent decision of the Delhi High Court in favour of TRAI.

#general: The Epic Rise of John D. Rockefeller

Every once in a while I like to take a walk down memory lane and highlight an old-school entrepreneur who isn’t typically talked about nowadays. Why?

Because people today are soft and we’ve completely lost our grit. I don’t think that people nowadays are inherently weak, it’s just that modern life is so much easier than say, the late 1800s when American capitalism was in its prime.

And so, here is part 1 of The Epic Rise, a series on America’s grittiest, toughest business people.

#macronomics: EPF tax may Return in New Packaging

The controversy over it may have settled down for now, but the employees’ provident fund (EPF) tax will likely return with a different name and approach. The central government is now figuring out the mechanics of levying the EPF tax on people who earn higher salaries, according to two government officials who requested anonymity.

#general: Special to the Express: Why a Rare Amendment Produced a Significant Rajya Sabha Moment

History was created in the Rajya Sabha on March 9, 2016 after an amendment by Ghulam Nabi Azad to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address was adopted by the House. This is the second time in two years that the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address has been amended. Last year, the Motion of Thanks was amended on the issue of black money.

#general: LuLu Group Acquires Great Scotland Yard for £110m as UAE Company moves into Hotel Development

The hypermarkets operator Lulu Group International has paid £110 million (Dh626.6m) for Great Scotland Yard in London as the company expands into hotel development.

It plans to turn the former headquarters of the Metropolitan Police (between 1829 and 1890) into a luxury hotel.

#stocks: Five Tyre firms Operated as Cartel, finds CCI Probe

The investigation wing of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has found Apollo Tyres, MRF, CEAT, JK Tyres and Birla Tyres guilty of cartelisation.

#general: How a Hacker’s Typo Helped Stop a Billion Dollar Bank Heist

A spelling mistake in an online bank transfer instruction helped prevent a nearly $1 billion heist last month involving the Bangladesh central bank and the New York Fed, banking officials said.

Unknown hackers still managed to get away with about $80 million, one of the largest known bank thefts in history.

#general: In 1990s, Best and Crompton Workers Called Vijay Mallya ‘NPA’

Long before some Indian banks termed Vijay Mallya, the promoter of Kingfisher Airlines, a “wilful defaulter”, workers of the city based Best and Crompton Engineering had publicly called him an “NPA” — non-performing asset.

They also urged Mallya to quit the company.

#general: Flipkart in Talks to Raise $1 bn to Expand Business: Report

India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart is said to be in the market to raise as much as $1 billion, but at a valuation lower than its peak of $15.2 billion. The company is looking for investments to expand its business and ward off attacks from well-funded rivals Snapdeal and Amazon.

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