Floods Kill 52 In Bihar, Assam. Rajnath Singh Says ‘Grim’ Crisis: 10 Facts

Floods Kill 52 In Bihar, Assam. Rajnath Singh Says 'Grim' Crisis: 10 Facts

GUWAHATI: Union home minister Rajnath Singh is in Assam to take stock of the damage caused by the ongoing floods, which have so far killed 26 people. Floods are ravaging Bihar too, where 26 people have died and 25 lakh people have been displaced.
Here are the 10 facts in this big story:
  1. After an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas of Assam, and meeting the victims in Morigaon district, Rajnath Singh said, “The situation is grim”. “No efforts are being spared (to help) and the people are satisfied with government’s response,’ he said.
  2. “Declaring floods as a national calamity is not a solution to the problem. There is a need for a action plan to deal with such serious flood situation,” he said.
  3. The minister, who took an aerial survey of Nagaon, Morigaon and the Kaziranga national park, was accompanied by junior Home minister Kiren Rijiju and minister for development of the north east, Jitendra Singh.
  4. The army tweeted, saying, “Nine army columns deployed for floor relief in Assam & Bihar. 2000+ rescued. Brahmaputra breach being plugged.”
  5. In Bihar, around 25 lakh people have been affected by floods across 10 districts — Purnia, Kishanganj, Araria, Darbhanga, Madhepura, Bhagalpur, Katihar, Saharsa, Supaul and Gopalganj.
  6. Assam is reeling under heavy floods, which affected at least 18 lakh people in 22 districts of the state. More than 3,300 villages have been affected.
  7. The affected districts include Lakhimpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Bongaigaon, Dhemaji, Barpeta, Goalpara, Dhubri, Darrang, Morigaon, Sonitpur, Nalbari, Sivasagar, Kokrajhar, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Biswanath, Kamrup Metropolitan, Chirang, Nagaon, Kamrup and South Kamrup.
  8. With houses submerged, boats have become homes to many. They sleep, cook and eat on the boats.
  9. Almost 80 per cent of the Kaziranga national park, home to the one-horned rhino, is submerged in water.
  10. The government says the rains in Assam have been unprecedented this year. The locals and the administration officials, however, allege that flood mitigation measures, like building of large dams, have not been taken.

[Source  NDTV]

Hit By Bad Loans, PNB To Focus On Lending To Better-Rated Firms

PNB had reported a 58% decline in net profit to Rs 306 crore for April-June period.

Mumbai: Impacted by asset quality woes, state-run Punjab National Bank on Friday said it will focus on lending to better-rated corporates for credit growth.

“We are looking for highly rated accounts like AAAs and AAs, but it does not mean we will shy away from the B-rated accounts.

“However, the preference is always for the higher rated corporates,” the bank’s Managing Director and CEO Usha Ananthasubramanian told reporters.

She said even if income is going to be less from such accounts, there is stability in this segment as the capital charge is reduced.

“We also encourage the B-rated companies because that rating does not mean they are bad. The only thing is that where the capital charge is more, we re-look and want them to be supported by collateral,” Ms Ananthasubramanian said.

Although the bank gets proposals from sectors which are not performing well, it takes a conscious decision not to get into them, she said.

“We do not want iron and steel but where we are already in, it is difficult to come out. Thermal power, gas-based power plants are some of the sticky areas. The old projects we have to continue and should support but we are not keen on incremental fresh exposure,” she said when asked which sectors the bank is more cautious about.

The bank had on Thursday reported a 58 per cent decline in net profit to Rs 306 crore for April-June period on account of rising bad loans.

Provision for NPAs jumped almost three-fold to Rs 3,620 crore from Rs 1,291 crore in the same period a year ago. GNPA ratio shot up to 13.75 per cent.


[Source  NDTV]

Toyota Named Most Valuable Car Brand in the World By Millward Brown; BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla in Top 10 List


Story Highlights

  • Toyota’s brand value has increased by 2 per cent since last year
  • BMW and Mercedes-Benz take the 2nd and 3rd spot respectively this year
  • Tesla finally enter the top 10 list thanks to the upcoming Model 3

Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota Motors has been named as the world’s most valuable car brand by British market research giant – Millward Brown. Toyota has taken the number one spot in BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands recently released by the market research firm. Apparently Millward Brown has been carrying this study for the past 11 years and since then Toyota has taken the top spot as the most valued car brand 9 times.


Toyota’s Brand Value Went Up By 2 Per Cent at $ 29.5 Billion dollars

Now, the way Millward Brown assesses these brands is by combining measures of brand equity using information obtained during interviews with more than two million car owners from all over the world. According to their report, Toyota Motors brand value has gone up by 2 per cent since last year and currently stands at $ 29.5 Billion dollars. The credit for this success goes to Toyota’s efforts on improving customer experience and increasing its value benchmark, says Global BrandZ director Peter Walshe.


BMW Took the Second Spot

As for the second most valued car brand in the world, it was taken by German luxury car maker BMW, which also saw an increase in brand value of 2 per cent at $ 26.8 billion. What facilitated BMW’s success was its latest flagship sedan, the new 7-series, the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar and the i3 EV.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Right behind was rival Mercedes-Benz, which saw the highest increase in brand value of 4 per cent among the top 10 cars at $ 22.7 billion. What aided the Stuttgart-based carmaker’s growth was the success of the revamped E-Class and the brands popularity in China.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

This year American luxury electric carmaker Tesla joined the top 10 list at the No. 10 spot with a brand value of $ 4.4 billion. Incidentally, this position was previously occupied by Toyota’s luxury car brand Lexus. According to the report what worked as Tesla’s ticked to the top 10 list was the recent the carmaker’s most affordable electric Sedan, Model 3, which was unveiled a few months back. The car will also be the first Tesla model to enter the Indian sub-continent. Among the rest of the car brands in the top 10 most valuable car brands list we have – Honda was at the fourth position, Ford at fifth, Nissan took the sixth spot, and Audi, Land Rover and Porsche took the seventh, eighth and ninth position respectively.


[Source  NDTV]

Sensex Trades Flat Above 27,000, Banking Shares Slip

Sensex Trades Flat Above 27,000, Banking Shares Slip

9:35 a.m.: The broader markets were outperforming the benchmark indices. The BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices were up 0.2 per cent each. Alphageo was the top gainer in the mid-cap space, up 20 per cent at Rs 78.30. GMR Infra, Jindal Steel, Bharat Forge, Indian Bank, Reliance Communications and Bharat Electronics were also among the gainers, up 1.8-3.7 per cent each.

9:25 a.m.: Sensex continue to trade above its crucial psychological level of 27,000, however, the gains in the benchmark indices were capped due to selling pressure in select banking and IT stocks.

As of 9:23 a.m., the Sensex traded 0.11 per cent or 30 points higher at 27,039 and Nifty was at 8,270, up 3 points or 0.03 per cent.

Meanwhile, select banking and IT shares were witnessing a mild selling pressure which were exerting pressure on the benchmark indices. The Nifty Bank was the top sectoral loser, down 0.3 per cent and the Nifty IT index was also quoting n red.

From the Nifty50 basket of stocks, 28 stocks were advancing while 23 were declining.

Kotak Mahindra Bank, Yes Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, IndusInd Bank, Asian Paints and Bajaj Auto were among the losers.

On the other hand, Bharti Airtel was the top Nifty gainer, up 1.8 per cent at Rs 355. Ambuja Cements, ONGC, Hindustan Uniliver, Tata Power and BHEL were also among the prominent gainers.


[Source  NDTV]

Bezos Says Amazon to Up India Investment to $5 Billion

Bezos Says Amazon to Up India Investment to $5 Billion


  • Amazon would open a Web Services Cloud Region in India this year.
  • Hyderabad centre would create jobs for thousands of people.
  • The investment would accelerate India’s role as a hub for innovation.

Amazon Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said on Tuesday the company would invest an additional $3 billion (roughly Rs. 20,026 crores) in India, boosting its committed investment in the country to over $5 billion (roughly Rs. 33,376 crores).

Bezos told an event in Washington attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – who met earlier on Tuesday with President Barack Obama – that India was Amazon’s fastest growing region.

“I can assure you it’s only the beginning and as we say in Amazon, it’s only day one,” Bezos said, adding that the investments would help startups in India and accelerate the country’s role as a hub for innovation and digital entrepreneurship.

He said Amazon would open a Web Services Cloud Region in India this year and the country would soon become home to the firm’s largest software engineering and development centre outside of the United States, located in Hyderabad.

Bezos said Amazon had so far built 21 fulfillment centres with more than 5 mln cubic feet of storage space. He said its link-up with India Post enabled it to reach all serviceable postal codes in the country.

He said the Hyderabad centre would create jobs and career development opportunities for thousands of people and a “significant” number of jobs would be created over time because of the deployment of Amazon Cloud Services.

Bezos, the world’s fourth-richest man, made the comments the same day Warren Buffett, the world’s third richest man, praised him for embodying the potential of small business owners who build their companies.

[Source  NDTV]

Next Generation Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV Spotted Testing

Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV Rear Profile

Story Highlights

  • Next-gen Mercedes GLE SUV has been codenamed W167
  • The SUV is expected to be based on a new platform
  • The SUV is likely to be launched in 2018
Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

Mercedes-Benz has started testing the next generation GLE-Class SUV, which has been codenamed as W167. We know the the test mule that has been caught testing is the next generation GLE because it came with make-shift headlights, tail lamps, among others and a small badge that read ‘W16-101’. The current generation model was codenamed W166. The car is currently in the initial stages of testing and we do not expect to see the final version of the new-gen Mercedes-Benz GLE before 2018. Moreover considering Mercedes launched the current-gen GLE just last year, three year should be the ideal time before the next model comes in.

new GLE Class W167

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV – W167

Mercedes-Benz launched the GLE as a refreshed version of its previous ML-Class. Essentially a facelift of the latter, the SUV was named according to the brand’s new nomenclature, which is currently being followed for all its SUVs. The latest was Mercedes-Benz GLC, which was launched in India earlier this month. While nothing is concrete yet, but you can expect to see the production version of the car at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.

Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV Rear Profile

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV Rear Profile

Coming to the new GLE, the exterior profile of the test mule looked a lot identical to the current model. But as mentioned before, a lot of its exterior features were just for testing purposes including the ORVMs and the wheels, which were each of different design. That said we do not expect to see any drastic change in the design of the car, but the new GLE will comes with some considerable updates for sure. Although there are talks about the next-gen SUV being based on a lighter modular platform called, Modular High Architecture that will also come with a larger wheelbase. Also that the new-gen model will get the new powertrain options, possibly the new in-line six engines the carmaker has been developing for the new E-Class.

GLE SUV Side Profile

New Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV Likely to Come With a Longer Wheelbase

As for the current generation model, Mercedes-Benz GLE SUV comes in two engine options in India – 250d 4MATIC and 350d 4MATIC. The former is powered by a 2.1-litre diesel four-cylinder diesel engine that makes 201bhp and develops 500Nm of peak torque, while the latter is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 that churns out 24bhp and 620Nm of peak torque. Both the engines come mated to the 9-speed 9G-TRONIC automatic gearbox as standard.

[Source  NDTV]

Vodafone failed on customer complaints, says Ofcom

vodafone store

Telecoms provider Vodafone is facing the prospect of a large fine, after the regulator found that it failed to deal with customer complaints properly.

Ofcom said it believed that Vodafone had broken the rules on handling complaints over a two-year period up to November 2015.

It accused Vodafone of failing to have the proper procedures in place.

Vodafone – which can be fined up to 10% of its turnover – said it would study the report in detail before responding.

Ofcom also accused the company of failing to send out written notifications to customers where a complaint was not resolved after eight weeks – a requirement under the industry code of practice.


Figures from the regulator show that Vodafone is the most complained-about network in the UK.

In March this year, the number of customers complaining about Vodafone rose from 20 to 32 per 100,000.

In a statement, a Vodafone spokesperson said, “We note Ofcom’s statement on this investigation, with which we have been cooperating fully. We will be reviewing the Ofcom report in detail before deciding what representations to make.”

Ofcom launched its inquiry into Vodafone last summer.

The company now has a chance to respond before Ofcom announces its final decision.


[Source  BBC]

Middle-class ‘face savings squeeze’

piggy bank

A third of middle-class families would need to borrow to pay an unexpected bill of £500, according to a new survey.

The YouGov poll for the Times found 31% of ABC1 workers, which includes junior managers and professionals, would struggle to pay a sum of that size.

The figure rises to 46% for manual workers and the unemployed.

Although inflation is currently low, many workers have not had pay rises for years.

The Bank of England said last month that it expected inflation to increase in the second half of the year, which could put more pressure on some households.

The survey of 1,648 adults across the UK was conducted by YouGov on 16 and 17 May. It found that 14% of those questioned could not pay a bill of just £100 without borrowing.

Women were less likely to have spare cash than men, while almost half of those aged 18 to 24 would not be able to find £500, compared with 23% of those aged 65 and over.

Many Americans are also in a similar financial position. Since 2013 the Federal Reserve has been asking US consumers how they would cope with a $400 (£276) emergency.

This year 47% of respondents said they would have to either borrow, or sell something they owned to be able to find that much cash.

Rising debt

The Money Advice Service has found that four in 10 UK adults have no more than £500 in savings, while a survey by ING bank suggested that 28% had nothing at all in their bank account.

Family debt stood at an average of £13,520 at the start of the year due to the availability of cheap credit, according to Aviva.

The figure had jumped by £4,000 in just six months to the highest since the summer of 2013, the insurer said.

The Aviva report suggested that the typical family had a savings pot worth £3,150.

Martin Lewis, the MoneySavingExpert.com founder, recommended that families put aside enough cash to pay their bills for “at least six months”. However, he admitted that would be difficult for many on low incomes.


[Souce  BBC]

Volkswagen launches limited editions of the Polo and Vento

Volkswagen launches limited editions of the Polo and Vento

Volkswagen has introduced limited editions of the Polo and Vento for the Indian market. Both the cars get some exterior and interior enhancements over the standard vehicles.

The special editions are dubbed as the Polo Select and Vento Celeste. These are based on the highline DSG variants of the VW cars and get some additional features. Both the cars get black side body moulding, a carbon finish for the ORVMs and a black vinyl roof. While the Polo select gets a chrome embellishment on the tail gate, the Vento Celeste features a trunk lip spoiler. The cabin of the cars boast of a carbon finish centre console, detachable window blinds and textile mats. The Polo additionally gets new seat covers with the VW logo and four scuff plates. The Vento, on the other hand, gets a Blaupunkt touchscreen infotainment system with navigation.

Polo and Vento limited edition

There are no mechanical changes and the powertrain remains the same for both the cars. Volkswagen hasn’t mentioned a particular price for these variants, but says that these variants will be limited in number. Dealers in Mumbai are offering this kit as per the customer’s requirement. One can pick and select required equipment from this kit ranging from Rs 16,000 to Rs 45,000.

These small tweaks do enhance the appeal of the car and many customers have already opted for these kits earlier as after-market accessories. If you are planning to buy a Polo or a Vento soon, do have a look at these variants. However, we would also suggest to wait for a while and also consider the upcoming compact sedan from Volkswagen – the Ameo. The car is exclusively designed for the Indian market and is expected to be launched this month. Stay tuned to CarWale to read our first drive of the Ameo in a couple of days.

Polo and Vento limited edition


[Source  carwale.com]

Datsun Redigo prices might undercut Maruti Alto 800

Datsun Redigo prices might undercut Maruti Alto 800

We were expecting a price tag of around Rs 2.5 lakh for the Datsun Redigo, considering the fact that the hatchback will be positioned below its partner company’s Renault Kwid. However, a supposed leak from yesterday suggests that Datsun may opt for a shock price, under cutting the segment leader Alto 800, with a sticker price of Rs 2.39 lakh.

The Datsun Redigo, based on the same CMFA platform of the Kwid, is a new generation car, compared to most of its competitors. Also, like the Kwid, it is designed to look like a mini crossover with decent street presence. While the Kwid in itself had a very competitive price, to bring down the price further Datsun will offer fewer features.

The price announcement for the Redigo is scheduled for June 7. The Datsun Redigo uses the 800cc engine with a five-speed manual transmission, sending 53bhp and 72Nm of torque to the front wheels. The top-end trim will have a music player and driver-side airbag, though it will miss out on other safety features. Datsun had opened the bookings for the hatchback a while ago and will offer the car in five colours – ruby red, white, silver, lime green, and grey.


[Source  carwale.com]