Formula One: Force India open to offers, says Vijay Mallya

Mallya says he had lost count of how many offers he had received for the team, and expected that to continue with changes in the distribution of prize money expected from 2021

Force India’s shareholders would consider serious offers for the British-based Formula One team but there are none at present, according to co-owner and principal Vijay Mallya.

The Indian businessman, who has a 42.5 per cent stake, said there was a possibility of main sponsor BWT getting more involved and changing the team’s name.

“If somebody comes along and wants to pay an attractive price for anything, you have to put your commercial hat on and think about it commercially, not emotionally,” Mallya told Reuters at the British Grand Prix. “And that’s precisely where I am.

“I cannot comment on the status of offers or discussions. But there is no agreed offer on the table backed by cash.”

Mallya is fighting in court against extradition to India on fraud charges, with Indian banks seeking to recover loans granted to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

His difficulties and those of co-owners Sahara Group have triggered speculation about the team’s future. But Mallya insisted they had no bearing on the day-to-day running of the team.

India’s Sahara conglomerate has been ordered to repay billions of dollars to investors in bonds that were ruled to have been mis-sold.

“Sahara’s problems and my problems are not new problems. They have been going on for more than three years. And within that period we have finished twice in fourth position in the world constructors’ championship,” said Mallya.

“This team is independent, it’s professionally managed. And it performs. So whatever difficulties the shareholders may or may not have, it doesn’t impact the team.”

ALSO READ: UK court entitled to take assets in my name, can’t go a step beyond: Mallya

Mallya said he had lost count of how many offers he had received for the team over the last 10 years and expected that to continue with changes in the distribution of prize money expected from 2021.

“When Liberty (Media) took over (the sport last year) and everybody thought things would change, there was serious interest from even private equity,” he said.

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Apple App Store turns 10 with 500 mn weekly visitors in 155 countries

Subscriptions are up 95 per cent from 2017, and as of June 2018, developers have earned over $100 billion from the App Store

Customers in 155 countries are visiting Apple App Store more often, staying longer and downloading and using more apps than ever before, the Cupertino-based iPhone giant has said.

App Store, that will turn 10 on July 10, now sees 500 million weekly visitors and hundreds of stories on the “Today” tab that have been read by more than 1 million people.

“When Apple introduced the App Store on July 10, 2008, with 500 apps, it ignited a cultural, social and economic phenomenon that changed how people work, play, meet, travel and so much more,” Apple said in a statement on Friday.

With the introduction of in-app purchase (IAP) in 2009, customers could download an app and then pay to unlock different levels and functionality.

By June 2010, $1 billion were paid out to developers from IAP and paid apps.

Subscriptions are up 95 per cent from 2017, and as of June 2018, developers have earned over $100 billion from the App Store, the company informed.

“In its first decade, the App Store has surpassed all of our wildest expectations. We could not be more proud of what developers have created and what the next 10 years have in store,” said Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Apple.

According to Marco Arment, a long-time iOS developer, App Store has been by far the easiest way for developers to reach the most people with his apps.

“It eliminated the friction and overhead of setting up our own distribution and payment systems, making development far more accessible to everyone and letting us focus on our true passion: making the best apps we can,” he said.

Later, start-ups including Instagram, Calm, Uber and Instacart embraced features like the iPhone camera, Apple Pay, GPS and Location Services to deliver on-demand and personalised experiences — with many creating billion-dollar businesses that started with apps in the App Store.

“At the same time, both traditional companies and those that started as websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, eBay, Yelp, Airbnb and Amazon, began building apps to meet changing customer behaviour,” Apple said.

The App Store brought gaming mainstream owing to the Multi-Touch technology on iPhone and iPad and the convenience of playing on the go.

Article Source : BS

Flipkart set for financial services foray; to lend to consumers and sellers

E-commerce firm in process of getting NBFC licence, to lend to consumers and sellers initially

In a move that could disrupt the consumer lending segment, e-commerce giant Flipkart is set to enter the financial services space, offering credit and insurance products to consumers and sellers on its platform.

The Bengaluru-headquartered firm has begun the process of applying for a non-banking financial company (NBFC) licence, which will allow it to open lines of credit to its 100 million-odd customers and over 100,000 sellers. In time, the company will offer these services beyond its platform, taking on firms like Paytm and Bajaj Finserv.

It is also partnering insurance companies to co-create micro-insurance products that will align with a customer’s e-commerce journey, according to the company. “Our vision for fintech at Flipkart is to create highly differentiated financial solutions for our customers, both consumers and sellers, leveraging data and technology to make it very inclusive, simple and transparent,” said Ravi Garikipati, senior vice-president and head of financial services at Flipkart. “A strong understanding of customers helps us arrive at credit-risk profiles very differently and will play a big role in underwriting.”

Currently, over 60 per cent of the consumers shopping on Flipkart do not have any access to formal credit. This deters them from making large purchases on the platform, which, the company says, hinders its growth. While Flipkart has for some time partnered banks and Flipkart NBFC to offer customers EMIs on making big purchases, it says a gap still exists.

On the seller front, Flipkart scrapped its lending programme after it witnessed gaps in the speed at which credit could be delivered to them. Garikipati says the new products will reduce the time taken for sellers to access credit from a few days to a few minutes or even seconds. The company is also looking at lending to sellers from its own balance sheet.

“Be it consumer lending or seller lending, we have a hybrid strategy. We are planning to apply for an NBFC licence on our own and when we have that in place, we would like to drive most of the loans using our own balance sheet. It is not exactly a marketplace, but a curated set of partners who will work with us,” added Garikipati, who in his previous stint served as the CTO and head of engineering at Flipkart.

On the insurance front, Flipkart will at first partner select insurers to offer byte-sized micro insurances pertaining to specific purchases on its platform.

For instance, customers will be able to buy a comprehensive protection plan for their smartphones right on Flipkart and sellers will be able to insure their products against damage in the reverse shipping process.

Microsoft ‘secret’ Surface device is a hybrid of mobile, tablet, PC: Report

Codenamed Andromeda, the secret device has been appearing in company’s internal documents from last few years

Microsoft, an American software giant, has been working on a new Surface device with foldable screen that would reportedly blur the lines between computers and mobile devices. Codenamed Andromeda, the secret device has been appearing in company’s internal documents from last few years. However, it is until recently the device concept images based on information from company’s patent filings and other documents started to appear publically.

According to a technology information portal The Verge, which had reportedly accessed Microsoft internal documents, the Andromeda project has been undertaken by the company to design a mobile device in a form factor that brings together innovative new hardware and software experiences.

ALSO READ: Microsoft Surface Pro with Surface Pen now available in India at Rs 64,999

While the information around the Andromeda project has been kept under tight wraps, designer David Breyer has created 3D renders based on details taken from patent images, which gives a fair understanding on how the device would look. Based on the renders, the device is seen sporting a hinge-based design, and not the curved display design that the device was reported to feature in earlier reports. However, the device shows a wraparound display on one side that bridges the gap of the hinge.

Last year, the company suspended its Windows Phone 8.1 mobile platform that marked the end of Windows Phone era. However, it was since then the Andromeda project has started to appear in company’s internal documents. In one of the interviews, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also dropped a hint of the existence of a Surface-branded device, a device more than just a smartphone as shown in the concept renders.

RITES IPO opens for subscription on June 20. Should you invest?

Established in 1974, RITES has undertaken projects in over 55 countries including Asia, Africa, Latin America, South America and Middle East

The initial public offer (IPO) of RITES – a government-owned railway consultancy firm and a Miniratna (Category – I) Schedule ‘A’ Public Sector Enterprise – opens for subscription on June 20. The price band for the issue has been fixed at Rs 180-185 a share (discount of Rs 6 per share for retail shareholders and employees), and the government aims to raise up to Rs 460 crore via this sale. The issue closes on June 22.

Established in 1974, RITES has undertaken projects in over 55 countries including Asia, Africa, Latin America, South America and Middle East regions. It is the only export arm of Indian Railways for providing rolling stock overseas (otheRITES IPO, IPO, Angel Broking, Centrum Wealth, Arihant Capital, Indian Railways, Infrastructure, PSU IPO, Markets, Market newsr than Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia).

Going ahead, the company plans to scale up operations in the transport infrastructure space (expansion into turnkey railway, airport, metro projects etc.) along with strengthening its international operations, reports suggest.

So, should you subscribe to this IPO? Here’s what leading brokerages across the country suggest.

ANGEL BROKING

In terms of valuation, pre-issue price-to-earnings (PE) works out to 12x of annualised FY18 earnings per share (EPS) of Rs 17 (at the upper end of the issue price band), which is reasonably priced considering: (a) 3.5x of order book with execution capability and experienced management, (b) maintaining the RoE level in the range of 17- 18%, (c) diversified client base and (d) increasing opportunity of revenue from Railways due to new investment in electrification and infrastructure.

Also Read: Investors will know we are here for 44 yrs, like an Indian MNC: RITES CMD

Given that the RITES is a preferred consultant of Indian Railways along with other government authorities with exposure in international operation and fair valuation of issue, we recommend subscribing to issue.

CENTRUM WEALTH

Over FY13-17, RITES registered revenue and PAT CAGR of 9% and 11%, respectively. Average earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margins and return on equity (RoE) over the period stood at 28% and 18%, respectively. RITES is a virtually debt free company.

At the higher end of the price band of ₹185, the issue is priced at P/E of 10.5x (post dilution) on FY17 and 11.4x on 9MFY18 (annualized) basis, which we believe is attractive. The company has no listed peer. Given RITES competence along with good track record, healthy financials and attractive valuations, we suggest that investors Subscribe to the issue.

From Fifa 2018 live broadcast to Jio double data offer: Last week in tech

Here is everything you need to know about the news from technology space that made headlines in June 11-17 week

XIAOMI LAUNCHED SELFIE CAMERA-CENTRIC REDMI Y2

Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, on June 7 announced the Redmi Y2 – a selfie camera-centric budget smartphone. Priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 12,999 for the 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB RAM and storage configurations, respectively, the phone went on sale at Amazon India, Mi Home and Mi Store on June 12. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Redmi Y2 review: A budget smartphone with great camera, battery life

According to a report in The Verge on Tuesday, iPhone maker Apple has introduced a new section on cryptocurrency in its guidelines on App Store that applies to iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS app. Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes such as cryptocurrency mining, said the guidelines.

ALSO READ: After Facebook, Apple bans cryptocurrency mining on iPhones, iPads

A phone directory cum search engine platform on June 14 announced a strategic investment into the payments space in India by acquiring Chillr, the country’s first multi-bank payments app. Truecaller co-founder and chief strategy officer Nami Zarringhalam said the founders of Chillr — Sony Joy, Anoop Sankar, Mohamed Galib and Lishoy Bhaskaran — will join Truecaller. Sony Joywill be the vice-president of Truecaller Pay. Zarringhalam said the company intended to leverage its reach of over 150 million users in India as well as its 300-plus existing partnerships in the country. ALSO READ: Truecaller set to make deals with Chillr to foray into digital payments

According to a report in Forbes, Apple would unveil at least two smartphones this year. Both would feature an iPhone X-inspired design with notch-based screens. However, one of them would be a premium device with three cameras on the back, and the other an affordable iteration with a single camera on the back. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 2018 will have the iPhone X design: Know everything hereAccording to a report in Forbes, Apple would unveil at least two smartphones this year. Both would feature an iPhone X-inspired design with notch-based screens. However, one of them would be a premium device with three cameras on the back, and the other an affordable iteration with a single camera on the back. ALSO READ: Apple iPhone 2018 will have the iPhone X design: Know everything here

Reliance Jio and India’s leading telecom operator Bharti Airtel on June 15 announced free live broadcast of Fifa World Cup 2018 matches on JioTV and AirtelTV app, respectively. Bharti Airtel had rolled out an updated Airtel TV app, which would enable users to watch live broadcasts of the football tournament. The matches are broadcast in various regional languages in addition to Hindi and English. JioTV, on the other hand, live broadcast Fifa World Cup alongside the India-Afghanistan Test Match series. ALSO READ: Here’s how to watch Fifa World Cup 2018 for free in mobile devices

Daiwa 55-inch 4K TV review: Inter-app switching lag mars brilliant display

The Daiwa 55-inch UHD TV is undoubtedly an affordable option that does not compromise on picture quality

Daiwa 55-inch 4K TV : The smart television segment has seen some interesting movements in the first half of 2018, with Chinese and home-grown companies slugging it out for a larger pie of the India market by packing in their products as many features as possible without burning a hole in buyers’ pocket. The TV industry has come a long way from Oval shaped idiot-box to flat screens to the ultra-modern super-thin LEDs, many of them with no bezels at all. As technology progressed, the common man’s payout for buying these increased leaps and bounds.

Having a giant-screen TV in the drawing room is a matter of prestige for many. While everyone wants to own one, not everyone can afford these devices.

Noida-based Videotex International has recently launched the Daiwa series of TVs that claim to address this. The company says it provides a feature-packed entertainment solution at a much affordable price. Priced at Rs 36,999, the TV seems a bargain for consumers. Let’s have a look at how the 55-inch LED fares in terms of viewing experience and quality.

Design and display

The TV looks modern with minimal bezels. The panel is built on a slim frame that also houses a 20W speaker. But the plastic finish looks cheap, even as it comes in handy if you are on-the-move.

The back and the right side of the TV house all the input ports and connectors. The list of ports is pretty standard — 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, VGA port, Rj45 port for internet connectivity, etc. The simple and clutter-free design is something I liked the most, but this might not appeal to many.

At this price point, the picture quality is great and there is no doubt about that. The clarity and colours that are produced on screen give you a brilliant viewing experience. The ‘HRDP’ technology termed by Daiwa works well in providing clear and high contrast images. I did not feel that any colour was too dominant compared to others and the colour balance was on a par with higher range products. The viewing angles are not bad, either; I noticed minimal contrast degradation when viewing from extreme angles.

Sound

A 55-inch TV is likely to be placed in your drawing room, so properly balanced sound output is necessary for a good audio experience. The speakers on this TV are loud but feel inadequate sometimes. The bass output is low and the speakers struggle a bit in high audio frequencies. If you want to have a true experience of a giant screen like this, I would suggest that you invest in a dedicated 5.1 channel home theatre.