Vivo Looks Set to Launch First Smartphone With In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor at MWC Shanghai

Last week, a short leaked video clip showed a Vivo smartphone with an on-screen fingerprint sensor and while the authenticity of that video was still under scrutiny, the company has now launched an official teaser that hints at the feature. As per the launch teaser, the company might be launching its upcoming smartphone with in-screen fingerprint sensor at Mobile World Congress 2017 in Shanghai, scheduled to start on June 28.

The launch teaser, shared by Vivo India on Wednesday, shows that fingerprint sensor logo going in and out of a plane, seemingly indicating that the sensor will be embedded in the display. Moreover, the company has mentioned a tagline that says “Unlock the Future” on the teaser image. While it is possible that the company could be indicating some other security feature related to the fingerprint sensor, our best guess for now would be a display-integrated fingerprint sensor.

Vivo Looks Set to Launch First Smartphone With In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor at MWC Shanghai

In its tweet, Vivo India said, “We are thrilled to be launching a new solution in just a few days at Shanghai #MWC2017. Let’s unlock the future together!” If Vivo indeed becomes the first company to launch a smartphone with in-screen fingerprint scanner, it will come across as quite an achievement for the company as tech behemoths Apple and Samsung are said to be struggling with the feature’s implementation on their upcoming flagship smartphones.

While Samsung is said to have ditched plans for the feature altogether on Galaxy Note 8, Apple’s iPhone 8 smartphones have been tipped to face delayed shipments as the company is still contemplating the manner in which the sensor should be introduced to its upcoming iPhone 8.

 

 

 

Karbonn Aura Note 2 With AI-Based Fashion App Launched at Rs. 6,490

Karbonn on Thursday unveiled the Aura Note 2 smartphone with an artificial intelligence (AI)-based solution at Rs. 6,490. It is available in Coffee-Champagne and Black-Champagne colour variants. The company is touting a fashion-centric app that uses AI-based technology to find matching apparel from photos.

Commenting on the launch of the Karbonn Aura Note 2, Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn Mobiles, said, “With this, we aim to enrich the experience of our users making fashion as effortless as it can be. A balance of simplified technology and innovation, ‘Aura Note 2’ will surely be a sought-after smartphone.”

The Karbonn Aura Note 2 comes integrated with an app ‘Vistoso’ which allows users to search for an outfit by simply clicking its picture, with the AI engine of the app automatically recognising the print, pattern and colour of the outfit to give relevant results.

Karbonn Aura Note 2 With AI-Based Fashion App Launched at Rs. 6,490

The dual-SIM Karbonn Aura Note 2 smartphone runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display. It is powered by a 1.25GHz quad-core SoC, coupled with 2GB of RAM. For optics, the Aura Note 2 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera alongside a 5-megapixel front camera.
The smartphone bears 16GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB).

Connectivity options on the Karbonn Aura Note 2 include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, and FM radio. Sensors on the phone include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. It is powered by a 2900mAh battery, measures 115x78x8mm, and weighs 164 grams.

 

 

 

Cabinet Clears Bill To Deal With Crisis In Banks, Insurers

New Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday gave approval to a proposal to introduce a Bill in Parliament for setting up a Resolution Corporation to deal with bankruptcy in banks, insurance companies and financial entities. The Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill, 2017, which aims to instil discipline in financial service providers in the event of a financial crisis by limiting the use of public money to bail out distressed entities, was approved by the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an official statement said.

The proposed Bill will provide for a comprehensive resolution framework to handle any bankruptcy situation in banks, insurers and financial sector entities.

According to the statement, the Bill when enacted will pave the way for setting up of the Resolution Corporation. It would also lead to repeal or amendment of resolution-related provisions in sectoral Acts as listed in Schedules of the Bill.

Cabinet Clears Bill To Deal With Crisis In Banks, Insurers

“It will also result in the repealing of the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation Act, 1961, to transfer the deposit insurance powers and responsibilities to the Resolution Corporation,” it said.

The Resolution Corporation would ensure the stability and resilience of the financial system, protecting the consumers of covered obligations up to a reasonable limit and public funds to the extent possible.

The government recently enacted the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 for the insolvency resolution of non-financial entities.

The proposed Bill complements the Code by providing a resolution framework for the financial sector. Once implemented, this Bill together with the Code will provide a comprehensive resolution framework for the economy. It seeks to give comfort to consumers of financial service providers during any financial distress.

It would help in maintaining financial stability in the economy by ensuring adequate preventive measures while at the same time providing necessary instruments for dealing with a post-crisis situation.

The Bill aims to strengthen and streamline the current framework of deposit insurance for the benefit of a number of retail depositors. Further, this Bill seeks to cut down the time and costs involved in resolving the problem of the distressed entities.

 

RBI Identifies 12 Large NPA Accounts: What Happens Next

On 12 June, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) identified 500 of the largest loan defaulters of the country. Of which, 12 accounts – each with exposure of greater than Rs. 5,000 crore – were rounded up as a matter of priority. These 12 accounts are said to account for 25 per cent or a fourth of the banking sector’s bad loans (worth a massive Rs. 7 lakh crore). In a bid to speedily resolve the issue, the government last month gave the central bank power to direct lenders to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against those with loan defaults. The process – being carried out under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) enacted in 2016 – is expected to break the deadlock between the creditors and loan defaulters.

As the government and RBI focus their energies on resolving the NPA issue, here is how the public sector banks could proceed against the loan defaulters in the coming days:

India's NPAs amount to about Rs 7 lakh crore by December 2016

  • Due to this regulation, banks will be forced to evaluate for a time-bound resolution instead of just ageing NPAs on their books, failing which there will be a forced liquidation which is also faster under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Court (IBC).
  • Banks have to decide on a resolution plan in 180 days, failing which the National Company Law Tribunal or NCLT can force the creditor (bank) for liquidation.
  • Once a creditor files a motion with the NCLT, an insolvency professional with substantial powers is appointed to take control of the process. This interim insolvency professional or bankruptcy professional supervises the defaulting company on repayment of the loan.
  • The IRP or bankruptcy professional runs the operations of the defaulting company as a going concern for a certain period. During this period, he or she collects the claims and forms a panel of creditors, which then decides what to do with the corporate.
  • According to Nomura analysts, a majority of resolutions could be around right-sizing of debt ( around 50 per cent haircut) and forcing sale of non-core assets.
  • While such partial waivers were largely expected before, Nomura said that “now on these 12 large accounts we will hear of the haircut decisions faster”.
  • Under IBC rules, if no resolution plan is accepted by the NCLT within the stipulated 180 days, the defaulter goes into liquidation. A one-time 90-day extension can be given to the committee to come up with a plan under some circumstances.
  • For the rest of the loan defaulters identified – the remaining 488 out of 500 – by the RBI, the committee has recommended that banks finalise a resolution plan. If no resolution plan is finalised in six months, banks will have to file for insolvency proceedings under IBC rules.

 

RBI Directs IDBI Bank To Start Insolvency Proceeding Against Lanco Infratech

New Delhi: Lanco Infratech today said the Reserve Bank has directed its lead lender IDBI Bank to initiate insolvency proceedings for the company under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). “Lanco Infratech Limited (LITL)…vide letter dated June 17, 2017, intimated under Regulation 30 of SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, that Reserve Bank of India directed IDBI Bank Limited, the lead bank of LITL to initiate Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) for LITL under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016,” the company said.

The company is among 12 firms identified by the central bank with a combined debt of over Rs. 1,50,000 crore, a quarter of the total NPAs, for proceedings under the newly enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.

“The amounts mentioned…shall be read as Rs. 8,146 crore for fund based outstanding exposure and Rs. 3,221 crore for non-fund based outstanding exposure as on March 31, 2016,” Lanco Infratech said in a BSE filing.

RBI directed IDBI Bank to start insolvency proceedings against Lanco Infratech

On the heels of RBI naming these largest defaulters for insolvency proceedings, bankers are meeting from Monday to finalise their next course of action.

Last week, the RBI’s internal advisory committee (IAC) had sent the list of 12 accounts to bankers for immediate reference under IBC. These accounts are with SBI (six of them), PNB, ICICI Bank, Union Bank, IDBI Bank and Corporation Bank, according to bankers.

These 12 accounts referred by RBI have an exposure of more than Rs. 5,000 crore each, with 60 per cent or more classified as bad loans by banks as of March 2016.

Total NPAs of the banking system stand at over Rs. 8 lakh crore, of which Rs. 6 lakh crore is with public sector banks.

 

Government To Launch National Data Repository On June 28

New Delhi: The government will next week launch India’s maiden National Data Repository (NDR) that will assimilate, preserve and upkeep country’s vast sedimentary data for future use in oil and gas exploration and production.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will on June 28 launch the NDR, which will aid India to switch over to an open acreage licensing regime where companies can choose areas they want to explore.

At present, the government selects and demarcates areas it feels can be offered for bidding in an exploration licensing round.

It will aid India to switch over to an open acreage licensing regime.

Under the open acreage licensing (OAL), companies can visit NDR and look at vast seismic data of currently producing fields and explored areas as also those of unexplored areas, official sources said.

From the areas that are not under any licensee, they can then carve out an area suitable to them and evince interest in doing exploration and production.

Once an area is selected, the government will put it up for bidding and any firm offering the maximum share of oil or gas produced from the area would be awarded the block.

Sources said already a vast amount of data has been populated – over 9.3 lakh line kilometres of 2D seismic, 2.8 lakh square km of 3D seismic and 1,717 well data.

The NDR will be wholly funded by the government of India and housed with the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH).

It will have the ability to store data online, near line and offline, and provide independent web-based access.

The DGH, they said, has already begun sale of geophysical data of speculative surveys in east and west coast of India in 2005 and 2008.

The mammoth volume of data collected by E&P companies and other agencies over more than six decades of activities was hitherto lying scattered at different work centres of ONGC, Oil India and DGH or held by the operating companies.

This necessitated an establishment of a system at national level that could assimilate, preserve and upkeep the vast amount of data which could be organised and regulated for use in future exploration and development, besides use by R&D and other educational Institutes.

With this objective, the government initiated the establishment of the NDR.

The NDR is a government sponsored project with state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure to create E&P data bank for preservation, upkeep and dissemination of data so as to enable its systematic use for future exploration and development.

The DGH being the agency of the central government will be responsible for creation, setting up and operation of the NDR.

Sources said the OAL will be beginning of a new era in oil and gas exploration and production.

Till now, the government has awarded 254 exploration blocks under nine rounds of bidding between 2000 and 2012.

Prior to that, 29 discovered fields were awarded to private and foreign companies.

Of the 254 blocks awarded under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) between 2000 and 2012, 156 have already been relinquished due to poor prospectivity.

 

Mumbai’s Real Estate Launches Dip By 24% In January To March: Survey

Mumbai: The real estate project launches in Mumbai dropped by 24 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, a recent survey said.

Launches dropped by 24 per cent at 4,900 units against 6,500 a year ago, a study conducted by the property consultancy firm Colliers International found.

The trend may continue for a short term as developers are adjusting to the new Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) rules, it said.

Mumbai's Real Estate Launches Dip By 24% In January To March: Survey

“The developers have been selling projects and units based on the marketing plan and layouts, and super built-up areas often represent a loading on the nature of amenities a project offers. Since the FSI norms and rules have been differed from sale plan and chargeable areas of projects, it is posing a challenge for developers,” Colliers International Executive Director, Office Services and Investment Sales, Ravi Ahuja said.

Developers now have to upload on website all sanctioned and approved plans and the buyer can do diligence and be privy to artificial mark-ups in such super built-up areas that sometimes go as much as 40-60 per cent higher than carpet area.

“There is hesitation of under-construction projects sold prior to RERA to follow RERA rules,” Ahuja added.

The rules stipulate that all new under-construction projects must register with the authority by July 31, 2017.

After that date, developers without registration won’t be allowed to advertise or sell projects in the market.

“With the RERA becoming a reality now, it is important for developers to prepare for the changes promptly. The change in the real estate cycle may act as an entry barrier for small players and speculators. We believe improved project planning will help developers avoid delays and manage project funds efficiently,” Colliers International Senior Associate Director, Research, Surabhi Arora said.

 

No Ads Of Realty Projects Without Registering With Regulator

New Delhi: Clearing the air on real estate developers issuing advertisements, the government has said no ongoing or future projects can be advertised without registering them first with the new regulator.

The clarification is likely to further dampen the already subdued real estate market that has seen no real appreciation in value of property or sales growth during the last few years.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act was passed last year to regulate the sector, eliminate fly-by-night operators and protect buyers’ interest. The Act came into force from May this year.

No Ads Of Realty Projects Without Registering With Regulator

Realtors’ body NAREDCO had submitted a representation to Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation seeking clarity on advertisement and sale of the ongoing projects amid conflicting reports and interpretation on the issue.

“Section 3 (1) of the Act prohibits advertisements for all projects (ongoing/future) without registration with the real estate regulator. This provision has come into effect from May 1, 2017,” the ministry said, while responding to the NAREDCO’s letter.

NAREDCO President Parveen Jain said the prohibition on advertisements and sale in the ongoing projects will hit the industry.

As per the Act, Section 3 (1) specifies that “no promoter shall advertise, market, book, sell or offer for sale, or invite persons to purchase in any manner any plot, apartment or building…,in any real estate project or part of it, in any planning area, without registering the real estate project with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority established under this Act.”

For the ongoing projects, this section provides that the promoter should make an application to the authority for registration of the project within a period of three months from the date of commencement of this Act.

Ending the 9-year long wait, the real estate law, which will regulate the realty sector involving over 76,000 companies, came into force from May 1, 2017.

With all the 92 Sections of the Act coming into effect, developers are required to get all the ongoing projects that have not received completion certificate and the new projects registered with regulatory authorities within three months, ending July.

This would enable the buyers to enforce their rights and seek redressal of grievances after such registration.

 

Sensex Consolidates For Second Day, Nifty Settles Below 9,650

Indian shares ended flat on Wednesday as consolidation continued after the benchmark Sensex gained over 2 per cent in last one month and 7.25 per cent in last three months. Sensex shed 13.89 points to end at 31,283.64 while the benchmark Nifty closed below the crucial 9,650 level at 9,633.60, down 19.90 points or 0.20 per cent.

The BSE Sensex opened marginally lower on Wednesday tracking weakness across other Asian shares and fell as much as 104 points during the day. However, late buying in banking heavyweights like HDFC Bank, SBI and FMCG shares like Hindustan Unilever helped it recover most of the lost ground.

Sensex Consolidates For Second Day, Nifty Settles Below 9,650

FMCG shares were the biggest gainers today with the Nifty FMCG sub-index rising 0.77 per cent. Hindustan Unilever was the top gainer in Nifty, up 2.78 per cent followed by Kotak Mahindra Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Sun Pharma, HDFC Bank, which gained between 0.7-0.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, metal stocks witnessed maximum selling pressure today with the Nifty Metal sub-index falling 1.17 per cent.

Among Nifty stocks, Hindalco Industries was the top loser, down 2.69 per cent. ONGC, Tata Motors, Bosch, Gail India and Lupin were the other prominent losers in the index, which fell between 1.5-2.55 per cent.

 

Government Working On New Industrial Policy

New Delhi: The government is working on a new industrial policy with a view to promoting and developing frontier technologies, innovation and enhancing competitiveness of domestic products.

“With the changing manufacturing scenario, introduction of new technologies, innovation, R&D, artificial intelligence and automation, there is a need to completely revamp the industrial policy of 1991. We are working on that,” a senior official said.

The official said the new policy would focus on several areas like ways to encourage innovation, further simplification of taxation system and address new challenges of the manufacturing sector.

The DIPP, under the commerce and industry ministry, is working on this proposal.

It would also be aligned with the government’s flagship programmes such as Make in India, Skill India, Startup India and the foreign direct investment policy.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), under the commerce and industry ministry, is working on this proposal.

“The draft of the new policy should be ready by September this year,” the ministry official said.

As per the DIPP website, industrial policy since 1991 has been more for facilitating the industrial development rather than anchoring it through permits and controls.

Industrial licensing was abolished for most of the industries and there are only four industries, including defence and explosives, where licence is currently required.

It said that a number of initiatives have been taken for ease of doing business for industrial licensing, increasing initial validity period of those licences and simplification of application forms.