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Intel Inside Jio Platforms

Excuse the ugly image but some news just don’t lend themselves to many license-free image options. In a bid to speeden up it’s progress towards becoming the next big thing in digital, Reliance Industries announced a strategic partnership. Intel Capital has invested $253.5 Million in Jio Platforms for a tiny 0.39% stake. It is expected that this partnership will help RIL in three areas, namely artificial intelligence, 5G and maybe even a Jio laptop. Maybe not Anil, but Mukesh bhai might just be serious with the tagline of – Kar lo (digital) duniya mutthi mein.

Jio Meet: Jio Platforms launched a salvo by launching a free video conferencing app called Jio Meet. With the possibility of 100 simultaneous callers and a time limit of 24 hours continuous free calling, they seem to be going by the adage of making the first impression count.

Why the excitement around Jio Platform? In the last three months, this is the eleventh entity to invest in the Jio platforms for a 25.09% stake worth Rs. 1.17 Trillion. The line-up includes top private equity firms, Facebook, General Atlantic, Abu Dhabi investment authority, Mubadla investment co and Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Jio is being seen as a major platform to make inroads into the vast numbers of Indian population where telecom and internet is increasingly seen as a basic amenity. With a current subscriber base of 400 million, this is projected to grow to 500 million by 2023 and a 50% market share by 2025!

Current value of India’s latest scandal? Merely Rs. 705 Crores

83-year old GV Krishna Reddy and his son GV Sanjay Reddy are being probed into a possible case of “fraud, forgery, cheating and criminal misconduct”, as per New Indian Express. Among a number of charges, the crux of the accusation hinges on them diverting the resources under Mumbai International Airport Limited or MIAL and Airport Authority of India or AAI for the use of GVK group companies. As per some estimates, practices like the misuse of funds in the guide of inflated contracts, nepotism, under-reporting of revenue earnings and installing other group company employee on MIAL roles have been going on since 2012!

How was this suddenly discovered? This is not the first time that someone has come whiffing to the accounting of MIAL. While a whistle blower report did not find evidence, in FY 19 Price Waterhouse had raised warning signs. Now, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate or ED are set to charge the group for corruption. While the confirmed number for this scam is 705, some reports suggest it could be more than Rs. 1000 Crores.

Why would GVK do that? The GVK group has six subsidiaries and 18 step-down subsidiaries, of which 90% of their revenue comes from the airport business. As for other business, including the flagship power vertical, they are struggling. So much so, that GVK defaulted on principal and interest payments worth Rs.1,570 Crore during FY18 and FY 19.

US economy “roaring back” in June

Calling the June jobs report spectacular, US president Donald Trump said that the US economy is “roaring back”. He also predicted that the economic resurgence would have come full circle perfectly in time for presidential elections in November, consider quarter three results would be announced around then.

What got him excited? On Thursday, the US Department of Labor released their June jobs report. The headline number stated that 4.8 million new jobs were created as compared to the previous month, bringing down the unemployment rate to 11.1%. If you are looking for more in-depth analysis, Business Insider and Guardian have got you covered.

What’s the catch? If you are trying to make sense of this data in conjunction with the news of rising infections in the US, you are not alone. While the data is called June Jobs report, it shows a scenario only till 12th June! Later in the month is when a lot of the businesses have started rolling their shutters down again. Many experts are claiming this could be a peak before an upcoming fall in numbers.

IN SNIPPETS

Emami and HUL fight over the closest synonym for Fair: Emami is now threatening legal action against HUL and they are fighting over the grammatically incorrect name “Glow and lovely”

Salary reverts to normal: In a rare piece of good news, the digital education firm Upgrad became the first company to announce reversal of salary cuts. Although, it might be too soon to celebrate considering online education has been a beneficiary rather than a pandemic-hit industry.

Some relief for investors stuck in the six Franklin wound-up schemes: Franklin India recovered Rs. 2666 Crores in the six debt schemes which were wound up about three months back citing illiquidity for lower rated papers in the debt market.

Google and Apple under scanner in UK: Anti-competition regulators are now scrutinising a deal whereby Google paid Apple majority of $1.5 billion to be the default search engine on Safari browser

British pull the gold strings of Venezuelan government: Recognising Juan Gaido as Venezuela’s leader, a British judge ruled against allowing access to the country’s gold for the current president Nicolas Maduro

MARKET PULSE

With worries of a second wave of infection in parts of the US, crude oil prices slumped on a fall in the demand outlook

Watch out for Tata Consultation Services (TCS), Karnataka Bank and South Indian Bank as they take the lead in announcing Q1 results to revealing the carnage of this exceptional period.

WILD CARD

Kayne West announced his bid for US presidential elections 2020 on, you guessed it, Twitter! Elon Musk responded saying “You have my full support”. We are still scratching our heads on this, wondering if this is in jest or if the next US president could well be rapping his way through the State of the Union.

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