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Tata may get back in airline biz after 60 years

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February 20, 2013


15:39  Tata may get back in airline biz after 60 years:  Malaysia's AirAsia Bhd, Asia's biggest budget carrier, said on Wednesday it is seeking approval to establish a joint venture involving unlisted Indian firms Tata Sons and Telestra Tradeplace Pvt.
15:35  Both BSE, NSE end in the positive region, after a dull day.
15:12  Premji to sign up for Gates-Buffett charity:  Azim Premji has become the first Indian to sign up for the Giving Pledge, an undertaking by large-hearted billionaires to dedicate a majority of their wealth to philanthropy.
The Wipro founder and chairman, who has already committed nearly Rs 9,000 crore to the cause of education, will direct more of his charitable giving towards the endowment supporting his philanthropic foundation.
14:11  Air India too may slash fares:  With major carriers slashing airfares following Jet Airways' offering of 20 lakh seats at Rs 2250 for travel till the year-end, Air India today said it might join the competition to bag more air travellers.
However, the government did not expect the low fares to breach the lowest fare bucket given by the airlines to aviation regulator DGCA.
13:19  India Inc to give average salary hike of 10.3%:  India Inc employees can expect a dismal average salary hike of just 10.3 per cent in 2013, the lowest salary hike in a decade barring 2009, according to the annual salary increase survey of HR consulting firm Aon Hewitt.
Reflecting the growth expectations of 5 per cent, India Inc. has projected an average salary increase of 10.3 per cent for 2013, according to the survey.
The survey is based on responses from 518 organisations across 20 industries. Financial services, technology, outsourcing have seen the greatest volatility and remain cautious in 2013. Consumer and industrial sectors which so far have been resilient, also reported conservative increase projections in the survey.
13:19  India Inc employees can expect a dismal average salary hike of just 10.3 per cent in 2013, the lowest salary hike in a decade barring 2009, according to the annual salary increase survey of HR consulting firm Aon Hewitt.
Reflecting the growth expectations of 5 per cent, India Inc. has projected an average salary increase of 10.3 per cent for 2013, according to the survey.
The survey is based on responses from 518 organisations across 20 industries. Financial services, technology, outsourcing have seen the greatest volatility and remain cautious in 2013. Consumer and industrial sectors which so far have been resilient, also reported conservative increase projections in the survey.
13:17  Sensex still above 19K, but pares gains.
12:16  Boeing may get 787s flying by April: AI:  The chairman of state carrier Air India said on Wednesday that Boeing Co is hopeful of getting their Dreamliner aircraft back in service by early April.
"They said that these planes should start flying again from early April. They can't be sure but they are hopeful," Rohit Nandan said.
Boeing's 50 Dreamliners in service have been grounded since mid-January following two incidents involving battery problems.
Air India has six Dreamliners and has ordered 21 more. The issue of the airline seeking compensation from Boeing for the jet's glitches would be taken up once the aircraft are flying again, Nandan said.
12:08  Top 10 H-1B visa cos outsource jobs:  The Top 10 companies benefitting from H-1B visas are offshore outsourcers, a US  publication reported Tuesday, prompting an eminent American engineering organisation to seek a review of the ongoing  immigration reforms.
Among the top companies to have received H-1B visas in 2012 are Cognizant (9,281 H-1B visas), Tata (7469), Infosys (5600), Wipro (4304), Accenture (4037), HCL America(2070), Mahindra Group (1963), IBM (1846), Larsen and Tourbo (1832), Deloitte (1668), Microsoft (1497), Patni Americas (1260) and Syntel (1161), the report said.
11:45  Google seeks to cut funds to illegal piracy sites

Internet search giant Google is in talks with Visa, Paypal and Mastercard to block illegal websites from receiving funding.
According to a report by the Telegraph, the move means Google could avoid making more alterations to its search results to disadvantage illegal sites, the report said.
Google has in the past urged authorities to 'follow the money' when it comes to stamping out piracy sites, the BBC reports.
The report said that the US-based firm did not comment directly on reports it was having discussions with payment companies, but it stressed it had stepped up its efforts on piracy in the past year.
In a report published last year, Google, in partnership with PRS for Music, outlined ways to choke businesses making money from illegal activity.
The report analysed various funding models in use by sites offering music downloads, movie streaming and other unlicensed content.
11:41  PSU bank employees go on two-day strike

Normal banking operations were hit today as employees of public sector banks went on a two-day strike in response to a call given by central trade unions to press for wage hike in the backdrop of rising inflation.
The nation-wide strike call has been given by United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), consisting of nine national level unions, including AIBEA, NCBE, BEFI, INBEF, NOBW and AIBOC.
Apprehending disruption in their normal banking operations, many banks had already informed their customers about the proposed strike.
11:38  ANZ Bank will cut 70 jobs from its Australian operations and replace the staff with workers in India, a report has said.
An earlier statement from the Financial Services Union (FSU) said that over 130 jobs would be off-shored.
But an ANZ spokesperson said this figure was incorrect and only reflects the number of employees in the impacted department.
He added that ANZ has advised staff in its wealth operations area that around 70 positions will be made redundant, News.com.au reports.
The jobs targeted for off-shoring involve administration of the pension funds of high net worth individuals, the report said.
11:31  Major trade unions on Wednesday began a two-day strike, as the government prepares to present an austerity budget to parliament and weather a corruption scandal in a big arms deal.
The unions are demanding urgent steps to control price rise, strict enforcement of labour laws in all places of work, social security net for workers in the unorganised sector, end to disinvestment in PSUs and raising minimum wage to Rs 10,000.
Financial services, mining and transport are likely to be affected by the strike, called by all major trade unions to protest high inflation, a fuel price increase and what they say are violations of labour laws.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, grappling with the country's worst economic slowdown in a decade, asked the unions to call off the strike, but talks between a ministerial panel and union leaders broke down on Monday.
11:19  Markets pare gains: At 1120 hours, BSE, up 27 points at 19,662.24, NSE up 10 points at 5,949.30.
11:18  FM keen to narrow infrastructural deficits

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has emphasised the need to meet the financing requirements of the infrastructural deficit.
In order to meet the financing requirements of the infrastructural deficit, many more institutions are required to share this responsibility, Chidambaram had said on Tuesday, while launching operations of India's first Infrastructure Debt Fund.
10:43  The Sensex is still hovering around 19K, up 41 points at 19,677.05, NSE is up 14 points at 5,953.60.
10:41  Dreamliner: Boeing cash drain worries grow

Paine Field Airport, next door to Boeing Co's widebody plant north of Seattle, is getting crowded as 10 new 787 Dreamliners flank the runway, sparkling with contrasting and colorful liveries, including Poland's LOT, Britain's Thomson Airways and China Southern Airlines.
It is a similar story several thousand miles away, outside the company's North Charleston, South Carolina final assembly building, where space is taken up by four 787s destined for Air India.
A month after the global fleet of the carbon-composite jets were grounded as US and Japanese regulators carry out investigations into overheating batteries, the parked airliners are a stark symbol of deepening problems this is causing Boeing.
At Paine Field in Everett, Boeing plans to move some of its other planes around to make room for new 787s coming off its two production lines, and says it has room to store all the 787s it is making.
10:41  Apple targeted by Facebook hackers:  Tech giant Apple has said its computers were attacked by the same hackers that targeted Facebook last week.
The US-based firm said a small number of its machines were affected, but added there was no evidence of data theft.
Last week Facebook said it had traced a cyber attack back to China, which had infiltrated employees'' laptops, the BBC reports.
In a statement, the iPhone maker said that it has 'identified malware which infected a limited number of Mac systems through a vulnerability in the Java plug-in for browsers.'
It added that the firm is working closely with law enforcement to find the source of the malware.
10:33  Google's shares have vaulted above the $800 threshold for the first time ever, as the world's No.1 search engine continues its impressive performance in 2013.
The latest rally gives Google a market capitalisation north of $264 billion and comes as the major market indexes edge closer to all-time highs.
According to Fox News, the US-base firm the $800 mark for the first time ever on Tuesday, trading as high as $804.00 during intraday trading.
10:17  India's benchmark bonds rose to their highest level in two-and-half years after the government cancelled the last scheduled debt sale for the current fiscal year, raising expectations the government is serious about managing its high fiscal deficit.
The finance minister has said he would contain the fiscal deficit for the current fiscal year ending March at 5.3 per cent of the gross domestic product and cut it to 4.8 per cent in the next fiscal year.
The cancellation of the 120-billion-rupee debt auction scheduled for this week comes after the government has already announced several spending cuts and accelerated its stake sales to meet the deficit target, building up its cash position. 
10:15  'More of the same' type Rail Budget expected

In the coming Railway Budget (2013-14), minister Pawan Bansal is unlikely to spring any major surprise and there is little chance of the first leg of a medium-term road map being laid out for a significant improvement in the finances of the national carrier, according to informed sources.
10:12  At 1012 hrs: BSE is up 41 points  to 19,677.05, and NSE is up 14 points to 5,953.60.
10:11  Retail investors' mid-cap bets backfire:  Retail investors' bullish bets on select mid- and small-cap counters have backfired as many of the stocks they invested during the December quarter have fallen by 10-70% so far this year, reports Economic Times. Worse still, much of the money was raised by these investors after pruning their holdings in bluechip stocks, most of which have risen this year.
The number of retail shareholders has risen in companies like Kingfisher Airlines, Opto Circuits, Zylog Systems, Tulip Telecom, Glodyne Technoserve, GTL Infrastructure, Geodesic and Pradip Overseas during October-December from the preceding quarter. On the other hand, retail holding has declined in large-caps like RIL, Axis Bank and State Bank of India.

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