MobiKwik’s losses widen sixfold in FY15

MobiKwik is eyeing financial services as an additional revenue stream to reduce the burden on commission.

Mobile payment wallet firm MobiKwik’s losses widened almost six times to Rs 41.5 crore in FY15 from Rs 6.4 crore in the previous year, according to a company filing with the registrar of companies. The company has been posting losses since its establishment in 2009 but expects to generate profits by FY17, according to Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO.

The m-commerce company generated income worth Rs 14 crore during the period, which is up almost three times from Rs 5.1 crore registered in FY14. MobiKwik’s revenues are largely generated from commission it charges its merchants for every transaction that ranges from 3% to 4%.

MobiKwik is eyeing financial services as an additional revenue stream to reduce the burden on commission. Controlling losses will continue to be a challenge for payment companies unless they find alternate revenue sources and offer exclusive deals.

As on March 31, 2015, majority shares of the company are held by promoters Upasana Taku and Singh, who hold 415,000 and 585,000 shares, respectively. Other investors such as Sequoia Capital India Investments holds 411,620 shares, Tree Line Asia Master Fund 88,058 shares and American Express Travel Relates Services Company holds 47,120 shares.

In April, MobiKwik had raised $25 million via Series B funding and investors included Tree Line Asia, Cisco Investment, American Express and Sequoia Capital. in 2013, it had raised $5 million in Series A funding from a US-based VC firm.

Later in August 2015, Mobikwik purchased a 99.9% stake, or 10,100 shares, of Delhi-based payment platform Zaak ePayment Services, according to a filing with the ROC. Taku and Singh had founded the company in 2010.

No non-veg food for passengers on AI flight of 90 min duration

non veg reuters L

Come January 1, loss-making government-run Air India will not serve non-vegetarian food to its economy class passengers on flights upto 90 minutes duration.

The national carrier has also decided to struck off both tea and coffee from its lunch and dinner menu.

As of now, Air India serves sandwich (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) and cake on its flights, which are up to 90 minutes of duration, which will be discontinued from January 1, 2016, replaced with “all vegetarian” hot meal, an airline circular said.

“It has been decided to provide all Indian vegetarian hot meals in economy class on all domestic sector flights between 61 and 90 minutes duration from January 1, 2016.” the circular issued late last week said.

Flights to most of the non-metro routes fall in this category.

While Air India has defended the move saying it has upgraded the meals, a travel industry expert said the decision is unilateral.

“We have, in fact, upgraded and improved the meals. So far, we were serving only sandwiches and cakes, which have now be replaced with hot meals,” a senior airline official said.

He said, with 150-odd passengers onboard and just two crew cabin members to serve, “at times it becomes difficult to cater as per the passenger’s choice in such short-duration flights.”

However, according to travel industry expert Rajji Rai, the state-owned airline should have first carried out a passenger survey, which is an industry practice, before affecting any change in the menu.

“Airlines world over carry out customer surveys before taking such decisions. Unfortunately, Air India is very poor in such practices. This decision to discontinue non-vegetarian food on these non-metro flights is just one-sided,” he said.

Air India had flown 1.18-million passengers with a market share of 16.2 per cent in the previous month.

HomeIndustry Companies Jet Airways Christmas, New Year scheme offers up to 10% discount on fares (0) Jet Airways Christmas, New Year scheme offers up to 10% discount on fares

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Jet Airways offer: As part of its Christmas and New Year offering, premier international airline, Jet Airways, has announced special attractive festive fares for its guests travelling on the airline’s global network. This offer is available exclusively on airline’s website jetairways.com and mobile app.

This Jet Airways offer is applicable for travel on international flights from India to destinations in the SAARC, ASEAN, Europe, and Canada regions. Similarly, the offer is also valid on flights originating from Paris, Canada, Brussels, ASEAN and SAARC regions, and on the airline’s newest destination – Amsterdam.

Passengers can enjoy 10% savings on base fares for one way as well as for return journeys, across Jet Airways’ international network for First Class, Premiere and Economy.

Travel from Canada & Paris
The airline’s guests travelling from Canada on direct Jet Airways’ flights to destinations on the airline’s network get to enjoy a discount of Canadian Dollar 30, on base fares. Similarly, the airline’s guests journeying from Paris will enjoy a 10% saving on base fares as a special offer. Bookings from both these destinations will be available for sale from December 25 to 29, 2015. Under this offer travel is valid from January 11, 2016 onwards.

Travel from India and SAARC region
For a sale period of December 25 to 29 2015, guests  between India and destinations in ASEAN and SAARC regions will get to enjoy 10% on base fares with travel effective January 11, 2016 onwards.

Furthermore, for a sale period of December 30, 2015 to January 3, 2016, a 10% discount on base fares is valid on the airline’s direct flights booked from India to Canada, Europe, and the Gulf region, and for flights originating from SAARC countries. Travel for guests availing this offer is effective January 11, 2016 onwards.

Travel ex- ASEAN region
Guests travelling from the ASEAN region on flights operated by Jet Airways can enjoy a discount of 10% on tickets booked between Dec 24 and 31, 2015 for travel effective January 11, 2016.

Travel ex- Brussels and Amsterdam
Jet Airways’ flyers from Brussels may avail of a 5% discount on base fares when they book their travel onboard all Jet Airways’ direct flights between December 30, 2015 to January 3, 2016, with travel effective January 11,2016.

Passengers travelling on direct flights originating from Amsterdam, Jet Airways’ newest European gateway, will enjoy a similar 5%  saving on base fares, when they book their flights between December 30, 2015 to January 3, 2016. With the commencement of operations from/to Amsterdam,  the travel validity will be effective March 27, 2016.

Gaurang Shetty, Sr. VP – Commercial, Jet Airways, said: “This global festive fare sale offer is a goodwill gesture to our loyal guests while they celebrate the festive season and ring in the New Year, with family and friends. Guests will now be able to plan and schedule their travel much in advance and benefit from these special fares. At Jet Airways, we have always endeavoured to provide our guests with an unmatched travel experience and these special festive fares will allow guests to experience our award winning services, its extensive network, flexible schedules and enhanced connectivity at attractive fares. I am confident that this promotion will be popular with our guests.”

To add to on board festivities, Jet Airways’ will serve specially created plum cakes on Christmas Day for guests travelling across Jet Airways’ domestic and international flights from India.

Why leading telcos like Airtel, Idea against auction of 700 Mhz band

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Leading telecom operators like Airtel and Idea have asked regulator Trai not to auction the premium 700 Mhz band until enough devices are available for services that are to be provided through it.

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio, which is yet to launch its 4G services, has also suggested two-year evaluation of the ecosystem before radiowaves in this band are auctioned.

“It will be prudent to not auction the spectrum in 700 Mhz band now. A recommended approach would be to do an ecosystem evaluation in two years’ time and plan the auctions accordingly,” Reliance Jio Infocomm said in reply to Trai’s consultation paper on value of spectrum for the next round of spectrum auction.

As per a paper of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the cost of delivering mobile services in 700 Mhz band is approximately 70 per cent cheaper than 2100 Mhz band.

Telecom major Bharti Airtel said: “Any immediate auction of the spectrum in 700 Mhz band will lead to underutilisation of the spectrum for several years and block industry’s fund” and therefore it should be auctioned “only after development of a strong device ecosystem”.

Vodafone said that while the ecosystem in this band is developing, “necessary caution may be exercised in respect of the terms of auction, including valuation, reserve price, rollout obligations, etc”.

Two telecom operators – Telenor and Tata Teleservices – have, on the other hand, have favoured the auction of spectrum in 700 Mhz band.

Telenor said the device ecosystem for APT700 Band 28 is developing at a good pace and 214 devices are already available in this band globally.

“Assuming that the auctions are concluded in first quarter or second quarter of 2016 and the allocations of spectrum happens by third or fourth quarter of 2016, telecom service providers (TSPs) in India will be ready with their 700 MHz networks by mid 2017 and there will be big momentum in APT700 eco system by that time,” Telenor said.

Reliance Communications suggested that the 700 MHz price should be calculated by indexing the last auction determined price of 800 MHz and then levying a 25 per cent premium over and above the price arrived at after indexation.

A divide among telecom operators was also seen with respect to new spectrum holding limit rule proposed by the regulator.

As per present rule, spectrum cap in a frequency band is 50 per cent of the spectrum assigned in each band in the respective service area and 25 per cent of the total spectrum assigned in all bands put together in each service area.

While Reliance Jio, RCom and Sistema Shyam Teleservices favoured Trai proposal to consider 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz and 900 Mhz as one for the purpose of imposing spectrum holding limit, telecom major Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Telenor and Tata Teleservices voiced against it.

“RJIL believes that with liberalisation of spectrum, the intra-band spectrum caps have lost their relevance,” Reliance Jio said, adding that spectrum being technology neutral, the intra-band limit has become redundant.

Airtel said that Trai to recommend increasing of overall spectrum cap from current 25 per cent to 33 per cent of the total airwaves holding but continue with 50 per cent limit in a particular band.

The telecom major said that during the last few auctions, when a substantial amount of the spectrum in 900 MHz was assigned, the operators were subjected to band specific cap.

“We believe that changing these rules midway is illegal, unconstitutional and anticompetitive. The proposed sub 1 GHz cap would only help one operator, who has not even launched its services, to grab/consolidate entire spectrum in 800 MHz band and create a non-level playing field,” Airtel said.

Even GSM industry body COAI echoed opinion similar to Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular on new spectrum cap rule proposal.

GM Recalls 1.4 Million Cars; Oil Leaks Can Cause Engine Fires

2000 05 Chevrolet Impala LSDETROIT — For the third time in seven years, General Motors (GM) is recalling cars that can leak oil and catch fire, in some instances damaging garages and homes.

The recall, which covers 1.4 million vehicles dating to the 1997 model year, is needed because repairs from the first two recalls didn’t work. More than 1,300 cars caught fire after they were fixed by dealers, the company said.

In the previous recalls, in 2008 and 2009, GM told owners to park the cars outside until repairs can be made since most of the fires happened shortly after drivers turned off the engines. A spokesman was checking to see if the same recommendation applies this time.

In addition, GM will notify owners of 500,000 more cars that weren’t repaired in the previous recalls, spokesman Alan Adler said.

The latest recall, mainly in North America, includes: the 1997-2004 Pontiac Grand Prix and Buick Regal; the 2000-2004 Chevrolet Impala; the 1998 and 1999 Chevrolet Lumina and Oldsmobile Intrigue; and the 1998-2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. All have 3.8-liter V6 engines.

Over time, a valve cover gasket can degrade, allowing oil to seep out. Under hard braking, oil drops can fall onto the exhaust manifold and catch fire. Flames can spread to a plastic spark plug wire channel and the rest of the engine.

GM says it has reports of 19 minor injuries in fires caused by the cars. In 2008, a GM spokeswoman said the cars were responsible for 267 fires, including at least 17 that burned structures.

The problem first surfaced in 2007, when 21 consumer complaints about engine fires in some of the cars prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate. That probe found three injuries. Most of the blazes happened five to 15 minutes after the engines were turned off, according to agency documents.

The investigation led to the recall in March 2008 of more than 200,000 U.S. cars with supercharged engines. A year later GM recalled almost 1.5 million more cars that weren’t supercharged. Dealers replaced the spark plug wire channels but documents filed with the government don’t mention any repair of the oil leaks.

GM is finalizing a fix in the most recent recall. The company will use state registration databases in an effort to track down the owners and notify them by mail, he said.

The 1,300 fires were discovered when GM began investigating whether to recall some 2004 models that weren’t part of the earlier recalls, Adler said. He said he didn’t know why the recall wasn’t done sooner given the large number of fires.

Company investigators ultimately found 1,345 fires in previously recalled cars and decided “that the recall would be to come up with a better fix for the vehicles that were out there,” Adler said.

The recall is so large that it could have an impact on GM’s fourth-quarter earnings, although Adler said that hasn’t been determined.

“Since we have not decided on the remedy, we do not know whether the cost will result in a material charge to earnings,” he said.

7 Keys to Successful Price Matching

Caucasian woman admiring shirt in mirrorThe best way to get a good deal is to shop around, right? But running from store to store can gobble up time and gas. That’s where price matching comes in: Top retailers from Best Buy to Walmart have pledged to match competitors’ prices, so consumers can get the best deals from around town with only one stop. Target recently expanded its policy to include a total of 29 online retailers. Problem is, these guarantees are far from straightforward. Cheapism examined eight retailers’ price-match policies and found scads of rules and exclusions. Here are seven things every bargain shopper should know about price matching.

Only a few stores match online prices. Some retailers match local competitors’ websites, but many policies exclude online pricing. Target is one of only a few stores that have agreed to match prices at select online retailers, even if there is no corresponding store nearby. The price-match guarantees at Best Buy and Walmart also extend to specified online competitors, including Amazon. Shoppers can scan items at these stores with the Amazon app on their phones to find out if they can get a better price without ordering online. One catch with online price matching: It does not extend to marketplace items listed by third-party sellers.

‘Local’ has different definitions. Most policies require the competitor to be a local store, but what qualifies as “local” may be up for debate. Retailers tend to leave it to store managers familiar with the area to decide what lies within the same market or within a “reasonable distance.” Best Buy sets a specific radius of 25 miles, while JCPenney stores in Alaska will match the prices of any similar store in the entire state.

A competitor’s print ad is the best evidence. Each retailer has its own rules about what qualifies as proof that another store is offering a lower price. A print ad with the competitor’s price clearly displayed is the only verification accepted everywhere. A photocopy, picture or mobile version of the ad may not work. Walmart doesn’t officially require any form of proof (an employee can call the other store to verify a claim), but shoppers suggest bringing in an ad to minimize the wait and hassle.

The items must be identical. The item you’re buying and the item offered for less at the other store must be identical in every way — brand, style, color, condition, size, weight and — perhaps trickiest of all — model number. Retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy sell many high-priced appliances and electronics with store-specific model numbers, which rules them out for price matching.

Certain sales and promotions are excluded. Retailers won’t match another store’s going-out-of-business or clearance-sale prices. Limited-time promotions, rebates and offers of free products or gift cards with purchase are also unlikely to be eligible. One exception: Walmart matches buy-one-get-one-free offers as long as the ad lists the price of the item. In general, an ad must specify a price in order for a retailer to match it; a percentage or dollar amount off is not enough.

Many retailers offer price adjustments even after purchase. Shoppers may be able to request a price match for something they’ve already purchased, depending how much time has passed. Some policies include a specific time frame for price adjustment — Target now allows 14 days, for example — but often the decision is left to a store manager. Some stores offer a price adjustment only if they’ve dropped their own price, not if a customer spots a better deal from a competitor.

Policies are subject to employee interpretation. This can cut both ways. At JCPenney, Cheapism found that managers seem to have a lot of authority to match competitors’ prices, so it may not hurt to stretch the limits of the store’s price-matching policy. At Walmart, on the other hand, shoppers complain that employees deviate from corporate policy in denying customer requests. In either case, it helps to know the fine print going in. Cheapism’s comparison of stores that price match highlights important features of each policy and offers some store-specific money-saving tips.

Nissan Expands Fuel Leak Recall to 59,000 Cars

FILE - In this April 2, 2015 file photo, the 2016 Nissan Maxima SR is presented at the New York International Auto Show, in New York. A Nissan recall for possible fuel leaks in crashes has been expanded to include nearly 59,000 Altima and Maxima sedans worldwide. The recall now covers certain 2013 to 2016 Altima midsize cars and some 2016 Maxima large cars. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)DETROIT — A Nissan recall for possible fuel leaks in crashes has been expanded to include nearly 59,000 Altima and Maxima sedans worldwide.

The recall now covers certain 2013 to 2016 Altima midsize cars and some 2016 Maxima large cars. Also included are some 2014 to 2016 Teana sedans made in Russia. All have V6 engines.

Nissan says in documents posted by U.S. safety regulators that in a crash, fuel could leak from a seal between the gas tank and the fuel sending unit. That could cause a fire.

The company says the problem was discovered in crash tests, and it has no reports of fires, injuries or fuel leaks.

Dealers will install a retainer ring to help maintain a proper seal. The recall should begin within the next two months.

The recall began in July with about 5,500 2016 Maxima sedans, but Nissan said at the time it was investigating to find out whether more models were affected.

A company spokesman said Monday that no Infiniti luxury brand vehicles are affected by the recalls.

FedEx Sees Record Holiday Shipments on Rising Retail Sales

Earns FedexCHICAGO — Package delivery company FedEx (FDX) said Monday that it expects to see a record number of shipments during this year’s busy holiday season, driven by rising retail sales and a jump in e-commerce.

The Memphis-based company said it expects to handle 317 million shipments between Black Friday, traditionally the busiest U.S. shopping day of the year, and Christmas Eve, an increase of 12.4 percent over the previous year.

“Each year we face a challenge that’s greater and that’s driven by e-commerce,” Patrick Fitzgerald, FedEx senior vice president for integrated marketing and communications told Reuters. “We’ve learned that planning and preparation is key.”

The National Retail Federation has predicted retail sales in November and December — excluding automobiles, fuel and restaurant sales — will increase 3.7 percent to $630.5 billion after a 4.1 percent increase last year. The NRF said online retail sales could increase up to 8 percent, to as much as $105 billion.

FedEx said that it expects to see three spikes in package volumes during peak season, on Cyber Monday and the first two Mondays in December. The company said its holiday projections are included in its full-year fiscal 2016 earnings guidance of between $10.40 and $10.90 a share.

The rapid rise of e-commerce poses challenges for retailers and package delivery companies alike. In 2013 bad weather and a late surge in online retail packages caught FedEx and main rival United Parcel Service (UPS) off guard, leaving an estimated 2 million packages undelivered on Christmas Eve, the majority in UPS’ network.

Last year both companies touted investments in their networks and close collaboration with major retailers to manage package flows during the holidays. UPS ended up over-spending to prepare for package volume spikes that didn’t materialize, hurting its fourth-quarter earnings. FedEx didn’t report any problems.

This year FedEx has invested $1.6 billion in capacity and automation projects at FedEx Ground to help with peak season.

FedEx’s Fitzgerald said that if retailers come in way above forecast with a sudden surge in packages, the company may “need to cap volumes” in order to protect its network.

Market Wrap: Stocks Slip on Rate Uncertainty, Earnings

Financial Markets Wall StreetNEW YORK — U.S. stocks slipped Tuesday on uncertainty over the U.S. rate outlook and disappointing results from Ford and other companies.

Upbeat results from Apple after hours, however, could give the market a boost Wednesday.

Shares of Apple (AAPL), the biggest company by market capitalization, rose 2.8 percent to $116.89 after it reported higher-than-expected earnings and revenue. Apple’s stock ended the regular session down 0.6 percent at $114.55.

Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures also edged up after Apple’s results.

“Both earnings and revenues were above expectations, which I think was well embraced based on the fact that a lot of companies have been struggling on the top line,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Co., which owns Apple shares.

Also after the bell, shares of Twitter (TWTR) dropped 11 percent to $27.89 after it reported results. Twitter’s stock ended the regular session up 1.5 percent at $31.34.

During the regular session, Ford (F) dropped 5 percent to $14.89 after quarterly results missed expectations, while JetBlue Airways (JBLU) fell 3.2 percent to $25.36 after it said it will make less money per mile in October than it did a year ago.

Shares of other airlines also fell, and the Dow Jones transportation average dropped 2.6 percent.
The Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting Tuesday. While expectations for a rate hike this week are slim, investors are looking for clues in its policy statement Wednesday as to when the Fed will begin to raise interest rates.

That’s going to be parsed every way possible,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.

Casting more doubts on whether the Fed will raise rates this year, data showed U.S. non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, slipped last month after a downwardly revised decline in August.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 41.62 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,581.43, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GSPC) lost 5.29 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,065.89 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 4.56 points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,030.15.

Movers and Shakers

Alibaba (BABA) rose 4 percent to $79.44 after the e-commerce giant reported better-than-expected revenue. After the bell, shares of Twitter dropped after it reported results. Twitter (TWTR) stock ended the regular session up 1.5 percent.

Declines in crude oil weighed further on energy shares, and the S&P energy index, down 1.2 percent, led sector declines for the S&P 500.

Health care was only one of two S&P 500 sectors to end in positive territory for the day. The index was up 1.7 percent after better-than-expected earnings from top drugmakers Pfizer and Merck. Pfizer (PFE) was up 2.4 percent at $34.99 and Merck (MRK) was up 1.1 percent at $53.47.

Rite Aid (RAD) shares jumped 42.6 percent to $8.67. Sources said Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is nearing a deal to buy the rival drugstore chain.

Among other gainers, shares of hotel operators rose after The Wall Street Journal reported at least three Chinese firms were looking to bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Starwood (HOT) shares were up 9.1 percent at $74.81 while shares of Marriott International (MAR) were up 1.8 percent at $77.99.

NYSE declining issues outnumbered advancing ones 2,293 to 797, for a 2.88-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 2,003 issues fell and 820 advanced, for a 2.44-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 14 new 52-week highs and 13 new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 122 new lows.

Federal Reserve policymakers meet to set interest rates and release a statement at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

Earnings Season:
These selected companies are scheduled to report quarterly financial results:

  • Anthem (ANTM)
  • Amgen (AMGN)
  • General Dynamics (GD)
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Mondelez International (MDLZ)
  • Northrup Grumman (NOC)
  • Occidental Petroleum (OXY)
  • PayPal (PYPL)
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
  • Williams Cos. (WMB)

Walgreens Says Will Buy Smaller Drugstore Rival Rite-Aid

A Rite Aid pharmacy is pictured in MaineNEW YORK — Drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance said Tuesday it would acquire smaller peer Rite Aid for $17.2 billion including acquired debt.

The $9-a-share cash deal would combine the second- and third-largest U.S. drugstore chains by sales, creating the largest U.S. retail pharmacy chain in numbers of stores.

The price represents a 48 percent premium to Monday’s closing price of Rite-Aid, the day before the agreement was signed, the companies said in a joint release.

A Walgreens-Rite Aid deal would need approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which studies retail mergers to ensure they comply with antitrust law.

Shares of Rite Aid (RAD), which had a market value of $6.36 billion at Monday’s close, rose as much as 44 percent to $8.74 on Tuesday after the Wall Street Journal first reported the news. Walgreens (WBA) stock rose as much as 7 percent to $95.48.