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Private Equity investments ease to USD 14.60 bn in Jan-Sept: report

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New Delhi: Private Equity (PE) investments moderated to USD 14.60 billion during January-September period, owing to macroeconomic concerns, market volatility and valuations of companies, a report said.

According to Grant Thornton’s latest PE Dealtracker, 621 PE investments worth USD 14.60 billion were announced in the reported nine-month period of 2018. In the year-ago period, the value stood at USD 15.60 billion.

“India’s rupee has slumped to an all-time low amid an investor exodus from emerging markets, which threatened to dent business confidence, cautioning PE investors,” the report said.

 

Meanwhile, the July-September quarter marked 217 PE investments worth USD 5.20 billion, registering 41 per cent growth in terms of number of deals, even as the value dipped by 28 per cent.

“The environment for private equity market has been sluggish due to concerns like the economy, market volatility and valuations, among other things,” said Prashant Mehra, Partner, Grant Thornton India LLP.

Mehra further said: “We expect to see a rise in the PE activity due to the government’s focus on providing a fertile ground for digitisation and tech investment through policy initiatives by incubating tech funds with traditional banks”.

As per the report, the September quarter was dominated by investments in startups, which contributed to 60 per cent of total investment volumes garnering USD 1 billion.

FinTech also attracted significant attention from investors with 20 deals, followed by retail and health tech segments. Some of the other top deals during the third quarter include ADIA and TPG Capital’s investment in UPL Corp, KKR’s investment in REEL, Udaan’s series C funding for USD 225 million, the report said adding that Curefit raising USD 120 million marks the biggest ever fund raise by an Indian healthcare startup.


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Air India to start new domestic and international flights from next month

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Air India on Wednesday announced that various new flights would begin from next month on domestic as well as international routes in order to meet heavy demand of seats during the summer vacation.

The national carrier said it will offer additional 3,500 seats per week on Mumbai-Dubai-Mumbai route from June 1.

Moreover, it will offer additional 3,500 seats per week on Delhi-Dubai-Delhi route too from June 2 by operating two new flights using its B787 Dreamliner aircraft.

 

“The airline will offer one way Economy class promotional fare of Rs 7777 (all inclusive) from both Delhi and Mumbai to Dubai for sale and travel up to July 31, 2019,” Air India said in a statement.

On its domestic front, Air India said it will introduce new flights on Bhopal-Pune-Bhopal route and Varanasi-Chennai-Varanasi route from June 5.

“The number of flights on Delhi-Bhopal-Delhi will be increased from present 14 flights per week to 20 flights per week by introducing third frequency to the historical city of Tals,” the statement added.

The national carrier would be increasing its flights on Delhi-Raipur-Delhi route from existing seven flights per week to 14 flights per week.

According to Air India, the number of flights per week would be increased on routes such as Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi, Delhi-Amritsar-Delhi, Chennai-Ahmedabad-Chennai and Chennai-Kolkata-Chennai.

The flights per week would also be increased on Delhi-Vadodara-Delhi route and Mumbai-Vizag-Mumbai route, the statement added.

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Sensex gains 140 pts ahead of election outcome

Press Trust of India

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Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex jumped 140 points Wednesday, driven by gains in banking and auto stocks ahead of the general election results.

After swinging over 300 points during the day, the 30-share index ended 140.41 points, or 0.36 per cent, higher at 39,110.21. The gauge hit an intra-day high of 39,249.08 and a low of 38,903.87.

In similar movement, the broader NSE Nifty rose 28.80 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 11,737.90.

 

IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 4.84 per cent, followed by Sun Pharma, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, Coal India, Tata Motors, SBI, ICICI Bank, Hero MotoCorp, ONGC, HDFC, Vedanta, L&T, Kotak Bank, Maruti and Axis Bank, ending up to 2.92 per cent higher.

On the other hand, Yes Bank, ITC, PowerGrid, TCS and HUL ended in the red, slipping up to 2.34 per cent.

According to experts, investor sentiment turned positive this week after most exit polls forecast a win for the Narendra Modi-led NDA. The results of the seven-phased polls will come out Thursday.

Unabated foreign fund inflows too buoyed market mood here, traders said.

Foreign institutional investors net bought equities worth Rs 1,185.44 crore on Tuesday, while domestic institutional investors sold shares to the tune of Rs 1,090.32 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.

Meanwhile, the Indian rupee appreciated marginally to 69.68 against the US dollar.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at USD 71.72 per barrel, higher by 0.64 per cent.

Globally, bourses in Asia ended on a mixed note, while those in Europe were trading in the green in early deals.

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Database inadvertently exposed but did not include personal data: Chtrbox

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi: Mumbai-based Chtrbox, which was allegedly responsible for leaking data of millions of Instagram users, has said database for a limited number of influencers was inadvertently exposed but that did not include any sensitive personal data.

The company termed the reports of private data being leaked as “inaccurate” and acknowledged that “a particular database for limited influencers was inadvertently exposed for approximately 72 hours”.

“This database did not include any sensitive personal data and only contained information available from the public domain, or self reported by influencers,” it said in a statement late Tuesday night.

 

On Tuesday, Facebook-owned Instagram said it is investigating whether a third-party – Chtrbox – improperly stored its user data in violation of its policies after reports that information of millions of users being available online allegedly in an unsecured database emerged.

These reports said the database found online – with over 49 million records – contained information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities and brand accounts. The database was allegedly traced back to Chtrbox.

The reports had said apart from public data (like bio, profile picture and number of followers), the database also allegedly contained users’ private contact information such as email address and phone number.

An Instagram spokesperson had said the company is “investigating whether a third party improperly stored Instagram data, in violation of our policies. It’s also not clear whether the phone numbers and e-mails in Chtrbox’s database came from Instagram”.

Chtrbox, in its statement, asserted that no personal data has been sourced through unethical means by the company.

“Our database is for internal research use only, we have never sold individual data or our database, and we have never purchased hacked-data resulting from social media platform breaches. Our use of our database is limited to help our team connect with the right influencers to support influencers to monetize their online presence, and help brands create great content,” it added.

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