Reliance Industries hits over 7-year high as Jio promises to end freebies

Reliance Industries (RIL) hit an over seven-year high of Rs 1,172, up 8% on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), recording its sharpest rally in intra-day trade in past 21 months.

The stock hit its highest level since June 2009. Earlier, on May 16, 2014, it rallied 8.7% during intra-day trade. On the BSE, the stock hit high of Rs 1,187 on November 1, 2010, during intra-day trade.

In past two trading sessions, the stock surged 9% from Rs 1,075 on February 20, 2017 after Reliance Jio Infocomm (“Jio”), a subsidiary of RIL, announced that its tariff plans will become applicable from April 1, 2017.

The new offerings will no longer be free but Jio has priced its services attractively to retain its 100 million customers, who have signed up since September 5, when the services were first offered. Jio is seeking to retain them through special prime memberships at a one-time fee of Rs 99 and Rs 303 a month for unlimited voice, data and content. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REPORT.

“Consolidation within incumbents effectively improves their financial position and allows them to match JIO on pricing for longer, and this would be negative for JIO as it would India Company News bring down the industry ARPUs (average revenue per users) and lower margins. However, if JIO sticks to its stated or ARPUs where the actual base pack starts at Rs 499, it would be positive for JIO in the long term,” analysts at JP Morgan said in report dated January 31, 2017.

In brokerage view, JIO’s investment case depends on higher paying ARPU subs. 50 million subscribers paying Rs 400 APRU would likely be far more profitable than 100 million subs paying Rs 200 per month. RJio needs the higher paying ARPU subs as only they would be able to pay for more of the services that RJio plans to offer eventually.

At 10:13 am; the stock was up 7% at Rs 1,165, the top gainer from Nifty 50 and S&P BSE Sensex. The trading volumes on the counter jumped more than five-fold with a combined 10.23 million shares changed hands on the BSE and NSE.

Meanwhile, RIL is back into number two position in overall market capitalization (m-cap) ranking with m-cap of Rs 377,423 crore. The market valuation of RIL increased by Rs 24,410 crore from Rs 353,013 crore on Monday, the BSE data shows.

Modi urges US to keep an open mind on H-1B visas for skilled Indians

Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the United States on Tuesday to keep an open mind on admitting skilled Indian workers, in comments that pushed back against Republican President Donald Trump’s “America First” rhetoric on jobs.

Modi’s comments reflected concern that India’s $150 billion IT services industry would suffer if the United States curbs the visas, known as H-1B, it relies on to send its software experts to the United States on project work.

“The prime minister referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society,” Modi’s office said in a statement after he met a bipartisan delegation of 26 members of the U.S. Congress.

“He urged developing a reflective, balanced and far-sighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals.”

Indian nationals are by far the largest group of recipients of the 65,000 H-1B visas issued each year to new applicants under a cap mandated by Congress. Exemptions on the H-1B cap are available to up to 20,000 further applicants who have obtained a U.S. master’s degree.

The actual number of Indian nationals working in the United States under the H-1B programme is significantly higher, however, because many visas are rolled over.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, India Business News who was born in India, also met Modi on Tuesday. He told the Economic Times earlier that his own career had been made possible by “an enlightened immigration policy”.

Initial confidence that Asia’s third-largest economy would benefit from Trump’s election victory has given way to concern that his isolationist rhetoric and hostility to free trade would hurt India’s hi-tech and outsourcing industry.

The sector, led by Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Ltd and Wipro Ltd, employs 3.5 million people and is lobbying against proposed U.S. visa curbs – including increases on salaries that H-1B visa holders must earn.

Part of the delegation led by Congressman Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, met Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s minister in charge of electronics and IT.

Goodlatte, speaking at the meeting with Prasad, declined to answer a question on visa restrictions, saying it was up to the president to reassess his policies on immigration.

A senior Indian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said India hoped to resolve the visa issue with the United States but declined to be drawn on the details.

The government supported a move by NASSCOM, India’s high-tech industry association, to lobby U.S. lawmakers and companies to urge the administration not to crack down on allowing its skilled workers into the United States, the source said.

Wall Street hits record high on Trump tax talk

US stocks hit record highs shortly after the open on Friday, a day after President Donald Trump said he would release a major tax reform plan in the coming weeks.

Trump’s promise of a “phenomenal” tax plan helped reignite a post-election rally, which had stalled in recent weeks on concerns over his protectionist stand and the lack of clarity on his policies.

The biggest theme for investors is that Trump’s tax plan will move quickly and he has always maintained that it is going to be very aggressive, said Uriel Cohen, founder of Alpine Global in New York.

“No one wants to miss a large pop when that news does come out.”

Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chairman of a key House of Representatives committee, laid out his plan to roll back Wall Street and consumer protection rules, which were put in place after the 2008 financial crisis, according to a staff memo seen by Reuters on Thursday.

Banks, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and JPMorgan, were slightly higher. The S&P 500 financial index rose 0.31 per cent, giving the broader index its biggest boost.

Goldman Sachs rose 0.78 per cent and was the top stock on the Dow.

The dollar index was up 0.3 per cent to a three-week high of 101.01. Gold was down 0.3 per cent.

Oil prices rose 1.5 per cent after news that Opec members’ initial compliance with last year’s production cut deal reached a record high.

At 9:38 a.m. ET (1438 GMT) the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 55.34 points, or 0.27 per cent, at 20,227.74.

The S&P 500 was up 4.65 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 2,312.52 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 10.07 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 5,725.25.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with energy’s 1 per cent rise leading the gainers.

Activision Blizzard surged 13.7 per cent and gave Wall Street the biggest boost to the S&P 500. The videogame maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and a $1 billion share buyback program.

Sears Holding jumped 31 per cent to $7.27 after the struggling retailer said it would cut debt and pension obligations by at least $1.5 billion this year.

Mead Johnson was up 4.7 per cent after Reckitt Benckiser finalised a $16.6 billion deal to buy the infant formula maker.

Skechers USA was up 17.8 per cent after its fourth-quarter revenue beat expectations.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,770 to 837. On the Nasdaq, 1,396 issues rose and 859 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 25 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 75 new highs and nine new lows.

100,000 visas revoked under Donald Trump’s travel ban

Over 100,000 visas have been revoked since US President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban a week ago, media reports said.

According to the Washington Post on on Friday, the attorney revealed the data during a hearing in a lawsuit filed on behalf of two Yemeni brothers who arrived last Saturday at an Dulles airport near Washington D.C. but were sent back to Ethiopia due to the controversial order issued.

“The number 100,000 sucked the air out of my lungs,” Xinhua news agency quoted Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg of the Legal Aid Justice Center, who represents the brothers.

For people like the Yemeni brothers, the US administration appears to be attempting a case-by-case reprieve. They and other plaintiffs in lawsuits around the US are being offered new visas and the Donald Trump opportunity to come to the US in exchange for dropping their suits.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer, when asked about the case during his daily briefing, said he had no information about it.

The White House has downplayed the order’s effects on people in transit after chaos and protests erupted at airports around the country last Friday.

Under the executive order Trump signed on January 27, refugees from all over the world will be suspended US entry for 120 days while all immigration from so-called “countries with terrorism concerns” will be suspended for 90 days.

Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Last Sunday, thousands of protesters rallied before the White House, at more than 30 US airports and in big cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago.

‘Angel’ singer Taher Shah has a Valentine’s Day ‘gift’ for you

Call it good news or bad, Taher Shah is coming up with a special gift for you!

After taking the world on a stir with ‘Eye to Eye’ and ‘Angel’, Taher is back with a Valentine’s Day ‘gift’ for his fans.

The Pakistani singer, known for making unique and absurd music, recently announced on Twitter that he will release a song this Valentine’s Season.

“Valentine’s Day gift of honor coming soon for Valentine’s Day worldwide angelic fans. Stay tuned,” the tweet said.

Shah shot to fame with his first song, ‘Eye to Eye’ that quickly became an internet sensation and attracted a lot of attention, followed by his second song, ‘Angel’ (2016) that (surprisingly) also won an award in the US.

Later in December, Shah left Pakistan after receiving death threats from people not known to him.

Trump questions University of California’s funding after protests

The US President raised questions about whether the University of California should continue receiving federal funds after demonstrators at the Berkeley campus forced the cancellation of a speech by Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulos.

“If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” Donald Trump said in a Twitter post on Thursday.

The 33-year-old Yannopoulos is a vocal far-right supporter of Trump and self-proclaimed Internet troll. His comments have been criticized as racist, misogynist, anti-Muslim and white supremacist.

He was forced to cancel a speech on Wednesday at UC-Berkeley when protests against his appearance turned violent.

Writing on his Facebook page, Yiannopoulos said he had been evacuated from the Berkeley campus when “violent leftist demonstrators” put up barricades, set fires University of California and threw rocks and fireworks at the building’s windows.

Hundreds of protesters gathered on Wednesday afternoon at Berkeley and some of them clashed with police.

Once Yiannopoulos’s speech was cancelled, the gathering turned into a celebration with music and dancing as police looked on.

Yiannopoulos, a controversial British writer, works as an editor for Breitbart News, a media outlet run until last August by Steve Bannon, who is now the chief strategist for Trump at the White House.

Vaishali S to again showcase at New York Fashion Week

After giving new hope to acid attack survivors by choosing Reshma Qureshi as a showstopper for her Spring/Summer 2017 collection, Indian designer Vaishali S is set to showcase her new line ‘Chaatak’ in association with Coolpad at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) on Friday.

It will be the second time on the NYFW runway for Vaishali S, who will unveil her Autumn/Winter 2017 collection at the gala.

“I’m thrilled to be showcasing my collection in New York. The area of Indian handwoven textiles is very vast, so this time, I’m presenting a beautiful blend of different textiles from different states in India. The collection showcases a unique harmony of contemporary silhouettes, rooted culture and global appeal,” the designer said in a statement.

Described as a unique harmony of contemporary silhouettes, rooted culture and global appeal, the collection will include jackets, drapes, tunics and long dresses. The colour story contains New York Fashion Week, blue and brown and a hint of gold.

Vaishali S’s collection will be presented amongst other illustrious names such as Zac Posen, Oscar De La Renta, Carolina Herrera, Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs, the statement read further.

Known for her craft of utilizing lesser-known and diverse weaves of India imaginatively, the designer’s new line uses a mix of Khadi, Merino Wool along with other weaves of India. An interesting aspect within the runway collection includes special garments with pockets allocated to place the C1 Coolpad phone.

Also, the entire campaign shoot and imagery for the new collection will be presented by using the phone — merging fashion with technology.

The collection will also be showcased using jewellery pieces by homegrown label, Brand Mission Pluto. The jewellery is known for sustainability and an inclusive art form, heralding a new wave of recycled fashion. Materials used are scotch brite, washer pipes, plumber pipes, mop heads and A/C Filter foam.