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QBiz: PNB Fraud Could Be Rs 1,323 Crore More; 3 iPhones Planned

1. PNB Fraud Amount Could Be Rs 1,323 Crore More, Says Bank

Amid the multi-agency probe into the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam, the state-run bank on Monday said the amount of fraudulent transactions could be Rs 1,300 crore more than the current estimate of about Rs 11,400 crore.

The latest announcement from the public sector lender assumes significance against the backdrop of the probe going on into the Rs 11,400 crore scam, which is already one of the biggest in the Indian banking sector.

On 14 February, the bank had detected the fraud wherein billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and associates had allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from one of the branches of the PNB for overseas credit from other Indian lenders.

(Source: PTI)

2. Apple Plans Three New iPhones for 2018: Report

Apple Inc is preparing to release three new smartphones later this year, including the largest iPhone ever, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the products.

The trio also includes an upgraded handset the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive model with some of the flagship phone's key features.

The iPhone maker is already running production tests with suppliers and is expected to announce the new phones this fall. However, the plans could still change, the report said. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Source: Reuters)

3. Indian Equities No Longer Top Pick Among Emerging Markets

India is no longer the top pick among emerging markets (EM), as fund managers wait for an earnings recovery and peer markets turn attractive. The Rs 11,400 crore fraud at state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) hasn’t helped either.

“Our global strategists like Korea, Indonesia and Brazil the most, but are neutral India. Other markets look more attractive, compared to India. Earnings growth has to come by, and all the current noise around PNB is also hurting,” said Gautam Chhaochharia, head of research at UBS Securities India Pvt Ltd.

Corporate earnings showed the first signs of recovery in the December quarter as the negative effects of demonetization and the subsequent goods and services tax (GST) implementation started to reverse, but analysts stopped short of calling it a full-fledged turnaround.

(Source: Livemint)

4. You Will Not Lose Money in Mobile Wallets: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India has allayed apprehension over mobile wallet money and said, customers will not lose money even if wallet companies remain non-compliant to its full KYC (Know Your Customer) guidelines after the last deadline expires on Tuesday.

But, such assurance came with restrictions, which are aimed at strengthening the system.

"PPI (Pre-paid instrument) issuers not obtaining the KYC related inputs of their customers within the timeline, the customer will not lose their money,” said BP Kanungo, deputy governor of RBI. “Reloading of the PPI and remittances can resume after completing the KYC requirement.”

(Source: The Economic Times)

5. TRAI Begins Consultation to Fix Service Quality Norms for LTE Calls

Telecom regulator Trai on Monday began an industry-wide consultation to fix service quality norms for voice calls on Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

The exercise is expected to culminate in framing of the parameters on call drops and service quality measurement for voice services to LTE users, much like the rules laid down by Trai recently for assessing the quality of cellular mobile and basic telephony services.

“This consultation is focused and limited to QoS (quality of service) issues related to voice services to LTE users e.g. silence or voice mute for VoLTE (Voice over LTE) users and voice call related issues experienced by users served via CSFB (Circuit Switched Fallback)...” Trai said in its latest consultation paper.

(Source: Livemint)

6. Court Allows ED To Issue Letter Rogatory To Six Countries In PNB Fraud

A court that hears cases under the money laundering law accepted the Enforcement Directorate’s plea to issue letter rogatory to six countries seeking judicial assistance in over Rs 11,400-crore fraud related to billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his companies.

The letter rogatory will be issued to the US, the UK, Hong Kong, the UAE, South Africa and Singapore.

ED argued that Rs 6,498 crore were siphoned off to set up companies and also buy properties in the six countries and it’s seeking related documents. The companies Modi set up in the countries, the investigating agency said, included Diamonds R Us and Firestar International.

Modi is an integrated diamond manufacturer who bought rough diamonds, polished them and then sold them out of the country.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

7. ACC-Ambuja Cements Merger Put On Hold

ACC Ltd. and Ambuja Cements Ltd announced that they aren’t proceeding with the merger proposed in May last year.

“There are certain constraints to implementing the merger at present,” said the cement majors in separate stock exchange filings without elaborating on what the constraints were. The merger, however, remains the ultimate goal, the companies maintained.

The boards of both companies have approved an arrangement for sale and purchase of materials and services on mutually agreed terms in a bid to “maximise synergies and unlock additional value for shareholders,” the statements added.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

8. Siemens, BHEL Bid For Electric Vehicle Charger Contract

Eleven companies bid for setting up 2,000 electric vehicle chargers in the second phase of electric vehicle programme as India takes first steps towards its target to end fossil-fuel powered passenger transport.

The 2,000 chargers will be set up in government offices. The companies include Analogics Tech India Ltd, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Delta Power Solution India Pvt, EVI Technologies Pvt, Exicom Telesystems Ltd, Imperial Engineering Company, Ornate Agencies Pvt, RRT Electro Power Pvt, SBO Green Energy and Infra Pvt, Siemens Ltd, and VIN Semiconductors Pvt.

These companies had participated in earlier bids as well, Saurabh Kumar, managing director at Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, told BloombergQuint. “These are under technical evaluation and the price bid hasn't been opened yet.”

(Source: BloombergQuint)

9. Amazon Opens 15 Warehouses for AmazonNow in 4 Cities

Global e-tailing giant Amazon.in has announced a specialised network of 15 warehouses for AmazonNow, an app-only service with speedy delivery of daily essentials items, in Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.

"The expansion is set-up to ensure speed and enhance the delivery experience for the customer. With the launch of these `fulfilment centres', Amazon India has dedicated close to 1,20,000 cubic feet of storage space for AmazonNow deliveries in key metros," an Amazon statement said.

The warehouses are equipped with temperature-controlled zones to store and deliver perishable products such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products and chilled frozen products.

(Source: The Economic Times)

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