Diageo Buys George Clooney’s Tequila Casamigos For $1 Billion

London: Diageo, the British maker of alcoholic drinks, said Wednesday it had agreed to buy Casamigos, an upscale tequila brand co-founded by Hollywood star George Clooney, in a deal worth up to $1 billion.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Diageo to strengthen its participation in the fast growing tequila category, as well as expand the brand internationally,” the company said in a statement.

It called Casamigos the fastest-growing super-premium tequila brand in the United States.

Casamigos has won numerous awards since it was created in 2013 by Clooney and two friends, and sales have climbed fast.

Diageo Buys George Clooney's Tequila Casamigos For $1 Billion

The tequila has promoted itself as “made by friends for friends”, and the founders plan to stay involved.

“Casamigos has always been brought to you by those who drink it and we look forward to continuing that, working alongside the expertise and global reach of Diageo,” said Casamigos Tequila Co-founder Rande Gerber.

Diageo said the deal includes an initial consideration of $700 million and up to another $300 million depending on performance over 10 years.


Mutual Funds Get 19 Lakh New Investors In 2 Months

New Delhi: Mutual fund houses added close to 19 lakh investor accounts in April-May of 2017-18, taking the total tally to a record 5.72 crore, driven by growing interest from retail and HNI investors alike.

This is on top of 77 lakh folios added in the entire past fiscal and 59 lakh in the preceding financial year. In the two years, investor accounts went up following robust contribution from smaller towns.
Folios are numbers designated to individual investor accounts though an investor can have multiple ones. According to data from the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) on total investor accounts with 42 active fund houses, the number of folios rose to a record 5,71,90,112 at the end of May from 5,53,99,631 at March-end, a gain of 17.90 lakh.

Growing participation from retail as well as HNI (high net worth individuals) categories have contributed to higher overall investor accounts, FundsIndia.com Head of Mutual Fund Research Vidya Bala said. The number of retail investor accounts, which comprise equity, equity-linked saving schemes and balanced categories, surged to 4.60 crore in May-end from 4.4 crore at the end of March.

Mutual funds have gained popularity among Indian investors in the last two years

“A good percentage of investors stay invested in equity oriented schemes for at least 24 months or more than that. This increase in equity-oriented schemes holding period is for applicability of long-term capital gain,” Bajaj Capital CEO Rahul Parikh said.

“Even the Investors’ confidence in MF has increased. Now they are holding their investments in equity-oriented schemes for a longer period of time for both lumpsum as well as SIP (systematic investment plan) investments,” he added. Overall, the country’s mutual fund industry managed an asset base of over Rs. 19 lakh crore, which is likely to cross the Rs. 20 lakh crore mark this fiscal.

Mutual funds are investment vehicles made up of a pool of funds collected from a large number of investors. The funds are invested in stocks, bonds and money market instruments, among others


Asian Stocks Rise As Oil Tries To Claw Up From 10-Month Low

Singapore: Asian stocks advanced on Thursday as oil prices struggled to climb off a 10-month low hit overnight on concerns over a supply glut and falling demand.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan climbed 0.3 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.1 percent, with shares in auto air bag maker Takata Corp plunging 50 percent as they exchanged hands for the first time since sources said last week it was preparing to file for bankruptcy.

South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.2 percent, while Australian shares jumped 0.6 percent.

Chinese shares added to gains made on Wednesday after MSCI included mainland shares in its emerging market indexes. The blue-chip index rose 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat.

Asian Stocks Rise As Oil Tries To Claw Up From 10-Month Low

Crude oil crept up from multi-month lows hit on Wednesday after data showed a drop in U.S. inventories, but gains were capped as investors fretted about whether OPEC-led output cuts would dent a three-year glut.

“The time for contrarian trades in oil is fast approaching, but I would want to see some stability in price and the technicals start to become more convincing,” said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne.

U.S. crude futures rose 0.1 percent, or 5 cents, to $42.58 a barrel. They closed down 1.6 percent on Wednesday after touching their lowest level since August.

Global benchmark Brent climbed less than 0.1 percent, or 3 cents, to $44.85. It closed down 2.6 percent on Wednesday after touching a seven-month low.

The resulting decline in oil shares hit indexes in Europe and on Wall Street overnight.

Britain’s FTSE, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 closed between 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.3 percent, while the S&P 500 was slightly lower. Nasdaq closed up 0.7 percent, lifted by biotech stocks.

Financial stocks also contributed to losses on Wall Street, driven lower by a drop in the Treasury yield curve to its flattest in almost a decade, as investors tried to reconcile a hawkish Federal Reserve with deteriorating inflation measures.

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer suggested they are concerned less about raising rates too fast or too high than about keeping them too low for too long.

“I think the market may be pricing in a little higher odds of another rate hike before the end of the year, and that is helping drive some of the flattening,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, an interest rate strategist at TD Securities in New York.

The yield curve between five-year notes and 30-year bonds flattened to 95 basis points, the narrowest since December 2007, on Thursday.

The dollar eased, falling 0.3 percent to 111.03 yen.

The dollar index edged lower to 97.502, extending Wednesday’s 0.2 percent loss.

The New Zealand dollar gained 0.4 percent to $0.7248 after the central bank left its interest rate unchanged at a record low as expected and reiterated it would remain steady for a while.

Sterling was slightly lower at $1.267 after Wednesday’s 0.3 percent gain on comments by the Bank of England’s chief economist that he was likely to vote for an interest rate hike this year. Until now, he has been seen as largely supportive of keeping rates low.

The euro was flat at $1.117, holding on to Wednesday’s 0.3 percent gain.

The weaker dollar lifted spot gold, which rose 0.6 percent to $1,252.60 an ounce.


Provide Adequate Transaction Details In Passbooks: RBI To Banks

Mumbai: The RBI today asked banks to provide “adequate details” of transactions in the passbooks and statements of accounts so that customers can cross-check them.

Earlier, the Reserve Bank had advised them to avoid inscrutable entries in passbooks/statements of account and ensure that brief, intelligible particulars are invariably entered with a view to avoiding inconvenience to depositors.

However, the RBI said it has come to its notice that many lenders still do not provide adequate details.

Earlier, RBI had advised banks to avoid inscrutable entries in passbooks.

“In the interest of better customer service, it has been decided that banks shall at a minimum provide the relevant details in respect of entries in the accounts,” the central bank said while prescribing a list of details to be provided.

The details to be provided by banks in passbooks, include name of the payee, mode of transaction, nature of the charges (like fee/ commission/ fine/ penalty), and loan account number.


Sensex Jumps Over 100 Points; Energy, Pharma Stocks Gain

Indian shares opened higher on Thursday tracking Asian shares, which advanced as oil prices climbed off a 10-month low hit overnight on concerns over a supply glut and falling demand. The BSE Sensex jumped over 130 points to 31,417 while the Nifty50 index gained nearly 35 points to 9,669. Buying was visible across the sectors although energy and auto stocks gained the most.

Reliance Industries was the top gainer in Nifty up 1.2 per cent. Including today’s gains, the stock has rallied over 10 per cent in last one month. Tata Motors DVR, Ambuja Cements, Yes Bank, Aurobindo Pharma were the other major gainers in the Nifty rising between 1-1.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, Gail India was the top loser in Nifty, down 1.29 per cent followed by Hindustan Unilever, Lupin, Tata Power, Wipro and ONGC.

Sensex Jumps Over 100 Points; Energy, Pharma Stocks Gain

Buying was also visible in mid and small cap shares. The BSE Mid Cap index gained 0.49 per cent while BSE Small Cap index advanced 0.63 per cent.

Elsewhere, other Asian shares advanced on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.13 per cent, Shanghai Composite added 0.76 per cent while Shanghai Composite advanced 0.76 per cent as of 9.35 am.

Overnight, Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.3 per cent tracking continued selloff in crude oil prices, the S&P 500 was slightly lower and Nasdaq closed up 0.7 per cent, lifted by biotech stocks.


Sensex Surges Over 200 Points To Record High, Nifty Near 9,700; Infosys Leads Gains

Indian shares extended gains in noon trade with the BSE Sensex rising nearly 240 point to a fresh all-time high of 31,522 and Nifty gaining nearly 60 points to 9,698. Gains in the market were led by banking and financial services and IT shares. Nifty Bank, NSE’s sub-index for banking shares nearly 0.8 per cent to a record high of 23,897.85 led by gains in Yes Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, PNB and SBI. Nifty IT, the IT sub-index of NSE rose as much as 0.82 per cent.

Sensex crossed the 31,500 mark for the first time on Thrusday (June 22).

Infosys was the top gainer in Nifty, up 2.5 per cent, followed by Yes Bank, Aurobindo Pharma, Sun Pharma and HDFC, which rose between 1.5-2.1 per cent.

As of 11:35 am, Sensex was up 233.54 points or 0.74 per cent at 31,517.18 and the NSE benchmark Nifty traded 61.70 points higher at 9,695.30.


Sensex Ends Flat After Hitting Record High; Metal, Energy Stocks Drag

Indian equity indices ended flat on Thursday as traders booked profit in recent gainers after the benchmark Sensex hit a record high during the day. A lower opening in European indices also impacted sentiment. Sensex closed 7.1 points higher at 31,290.74, while Nifty settled 3.60 points lower at 9,630. Except pharma and banking stocks selling was visible in most of the sectors. Metal and energy stocks were the worst hit in today’s trade with their respective sectoral indices falling 1.38 and 0.72 per cent respectively.

Earlier in the day Sensex surged over 230 points to hit a record high of 31,522.87 led by banking stocks, which gained on steps taken by capital markets regulator Sebi.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) proposed on Wednesday to ease some rules for foreign portfolio investors to steer more funds. It also relaxed open offer rules for investors buying distressed companies from banks to tackle mounting debt.

Sensex Ends Flat After Hitting Record High; Metal, Energy Stocks Drag

The Nifty Bank, banking sub-index of NSE, rose as much as 0.8 per cent to a record high of 23,897.85 during the day before settling 0.11 per cent higher.

Other than banking, pharma stocks also witnessed buying in today’s session. The pharma sub-index of NSE gained 0.15 per cent.

Among Nifty stocks, Sun Pharma was the top gainer, up 1.9 per cent followed by Aurobindo Pharma, HDFC, Ambuja Cements and Yes Bank, which rose between 1.2-1.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, IOC fell 3.68 per cent to be the top loser in Nifty. Lupin, Hindustan Unilever, Hindalco Industries, ONGC and Gail India were the other prominent losers in the market down between 2-2.8 per cent.


Indian IT Export To Grow 7-8% In Current Fiscal, Says Nasscom

Hyderabad: Indian IT export is projected to grow by 7-8 per cent in 2017-18, industry body Nasscom said in its guidance today.

The domestic market is expected to grow 10-11 per cent, it said.

The IT-BPM industry is expected to add 1.3-1.5 lakh new jobs during 2017-18, Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar told reporters here. In the previous fiscal, the industry’s net hiring stood at 1.7 lakh.

Keeping in view the political and economic uncertainties in key overseas markets that impacted decision-making and discretionary spend, and also the performance of IT companies last year, Nasscom expects the future outlook to be positive, he said.

The domestic IT market is expected to grow 10-11 per cent in FY17, says Nasscom.

“India’s share in the global IT sector is not only steady, but also growing,” Chandrashekhar said.

The size of the Indian IT industry is pegged at $154 billion, including $11 billion incremental revenues added in the previous fiscal, according to Nasscom.


Telecom Minister Meets Sunil Mittal, Anil Ambani; Assures ‘Corrective Steps’

New Delhi: Communications Minister Manoj Sinha today assured industry bigwigs Sunil Mittal and Anil Ambani as well as other telecom players that “corrective steps” will be taken to ensure growth of the debt-ridden sector.

“The report (of the inter-ministerial group) will come soon…corrective steps will be taken by the government for ensuring orderly growth in this sector in terms of services to the common man,” Sinha said after a two-hour meeting with telecom honchos to discuss the financial difficulties being faced by the sector.

The meeting comes just days after an inter-ministerial group held a dialogue with all telecom companies on the industry’s financial stress and measures that can be taken to ease the situation.

The government is looking for measures to ease the situation in the telecom sector.

Apart from Bharti Airtel Chairman Mittal and Reliance Communications Chairman Anil Ambani, today’s meeting was also attended by Idea Cellular Managing Director Himanshu Kapania, Tata Sons Director Ishaat Hussain and Reliance Jio Infocomm Board Member Mahendra Nahata.

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan was also present at the meeting.

Jio had last week ascribed the financial stress in the sector to existing operators like Airtel and Idea running businesses on debt and investing heavily in unrelated sectors.

Jio alleged that the incumbent operators had been reluctant in infusing equity and hence the financial stress is their own creation.

Asked about Jio’s allegations that operators were not infusing enough equity, Mittal quipped, “You can see our balancesheet.”

The incumbent operators have been saying that the current call connect charge (or Interconnection Usage Charges) of 14 paise/minute is below cost and needs to be corrected to “prevent predatory voice pricing environment”.

India’s largest telecom company Bharti Airtel had earlier accused Jio of predatory pricing and demanded that operators be paid more for calls terminating on their networks as also the right to retain customers through incentives.

The large operators have also been asking for reduction of levies like licence fee, spectrum usage charges and GST.

They have also sought an extension on deferred spectrum liabilities, meaning that the amount they bid for radiowaves should be payable over a longer period.

Citing Rs. 4.6 lakh crore cumulative debt of the sector, the incumbents have made a case for urgent relief measures like extension on payment of deferred spectrum liability and cut in levies.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India too had met the telecom companies last week, where Idea Cellular suggested imposition of a minimum floor price for voice and data services.


iPhone 8 Bezel-Less Display Tipped by Leaked Dummy Unit, Cases, and Screen Protector

iPhone 8 rumours refuse to die down even though the device is still months away. The smartphone is expected to have gone into mass production, and therefore leaks have started to come out in full force. Today’s bout of leaks bring a dummy unit which is then compared to the iPhone 7; Olixar cases for the iPhone 8 which are already up for pre-order, as well as a screen protector that flaunts the bezel-less design apart from the top cut-out for sensors and front camera.

iPhone 8 Bezel-Less Display Tipped by Leaked Dummy Unit, Cases, and Screen Protector

The first leak is in the form of an iPhone 8 dummy unit, with videos as well as photos shared by Shai Mizrachi and published by 9to5Mac. The dummy unit corroborates previous leaks with a bezel-less display at the front, no Home Button, a new function area, a vertical dual camera setup at the back, and a wider, taller metal frame. The power button on the right edge is a bit elongated than the one seen on iPhones now. At the bottom edge, there are dual speaker grilles, and the Lightning Port is in the middle. Shai Mizrachi has also shared a video showing the iPhone 8 from all angles, and you can see it below.

Separately, case maker Olixar has started selling iPhone 8 cases which it claims are very accurate. The cases are being sold on MobileFun, and it claims that it has created them using “information and schematics they’ve acquired through their factories and contacts in the far east,” reports 9to5Mac. The cases show all the same things as the dummy unit, albeit in a more polished manner, and Olixar guarantees that it will fit the iPhone 8.

Olixar has also listed a screen protector for the iPhone 8 on MobileFun, pretty much cementing the arrival of the almost bezel-less display. The sensors on top are for the front camera, ear mic, and probably the rumoured infrared sensor, and the protector is up for pre-order on MobileFun. A video of the screen protector has also been shared bySlashLeaks.

iPhone 8 is also tipped to sport an OLED display, a fast A11 chip, wireless charging, and better waterproofing.