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Ajay Banga, Chanda Kochhar among Fortune 2012 businesspersons

MasterCard's Banga ranks eighth in the list while ICICI Bank chief Kochhar comes in at the 18th position, one notch ahead of billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffet on the Fortune list of 50 global leaders

New York: MasterCard's India-born CEO Ajay Banga and ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar have been named by Fortune magazine among the '2012 Businesspersons of the Year', an annual ranking of 50 global leaders who are "the best in business", reports PTI.

 

The list has been topped by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos with Apple CEO Tim Cook coming in at the second place.

 

Another Indian giving Banga and Kochhar company in the list of 50 global business leaders is Deepak Narula, founder and managing partner of hedge fund firm Metacapital Management.

 

Banga, 52, ranks eighth in the list while Kochhar comes in at the 18th position, one notch ahead of billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffet. Narula ranks 36th.

 

Fortune said investors have so far been impressed with Banga's performance at the helm of MasterCard.

 

"Since Banga took the helm two years ago, MasterCard's stock has more than doubled, outperforming archrival Visa," it said, adding that the former Citigroup executive wants MasterCard to be a leader in the mobile payments revolution.

 

Banga's other big bet includes prepaid cards in emerging markets such as Mexico, South Africa and Brazil, a major reason why MasterCard now generates 60 per cent of its revenues outside the US.

 

On Kochhar, 51, Fortune said a bullish outlook through the recession helped her direct India's second largest bank, which has assets of $93 billion, to a "standout performance".

 

"Next up for the ICICI lifer: More global clients," the publication added.

 

On Narula, Fortune said the former Lehman trader's $1.5 billion mortgage-focused hedge fund has "left others in the industry in the dust this year, posting 37% returns through October".

 

"Metacapital has outpaced other funds for years by taking positions with near perfect foresight of policy change and movement in the housing market".

 

In compiling this year's businessperson of the year list, Fortune took stock of financial results, stock performance and market value of the company.

 

It also considered metrics such as strategic savvy, ability to steer a very large organisation, risk taking and cultural significance.

 

"It was a year of comebacks and cool performances for the executives on Fortune's annual Businessperson of the Year ranking," the publication said.

 

Bezos, who topped the list, had another stellar year, with revenue up 31% in the past year.

 

"It is his penchant for taking risks and disrupting industries that earned him the top spot on our list," Fortune said.

 

Bezos's philosophy of giving priority to long-term gains over short-term profitability is yielding palpable results for the tech giant he built from scratch.

 

Analysts estimate Amazon Web Services, a cloud-based computing platform used by hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world, could generate as much as $1.5 billion.

 

"Amazon's Kindle Fire line helped popularise the seven- inch tablet form such that Apple finally released a version of its own," Fortune added.

 

On Cook, Fortune said despite a shuffling of executive management, the first full-year as CEO for Steve Jobs's successor was "chock-full of milestones".

 

Apple's stock soared to an all-time high of $705 per share and its latest iPhone sold more than five million units during its first weekend on sale, creating a company record.

 

Among the other business honchos on the list are Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page at rank 6, Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson (9), Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison (14), Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke (17), IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (22), Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz (23) and Twitter co-founder and executive chairman Jack Dorsey (48).

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International news agencies boycott India-England Cricket Test series

The BCCI had withheld accreditation of photo agencies such as Getty Images and Action Images, saying that it will provide its own photographs

 
Ahmedabad: International news agencies on Thursday decided to boycott the high-profile Test series between India and England which began here to protest against the restrictions imposed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI),  on some photo agencies covering the tour, reports PTI.
 
International agencies Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Presse and Associated Press decided to suspend reports from the tour as well as pictures. The Press Association, national agency in the United Kingdom, will not also supply photographs, according to a release issued by the News Media Coalition (NMC).
 
"In addition to Getty Images, Action Images and two Indian photo agencies being barred, international news agencies have decided against providing pictorial or text coverage of the tour," the NMC, a coalition of international and domestic media organisations, said.
 
"The lock-out of photographic agencies by the BCCI will result in cricket fans worldwide having sight of far fewer images taken by press photographers," the NMC said.
 
"Normally, agencies would distribute thousands of images as part of their editorial coverage to the enjoyment of fans, the curious and sponsors of teams, such as Nike and Sahara," it added.
 
The BCCI had withheld accreditation of photo agencies such as Getty Images and Action Images, saying that it will provide its own photographs.
 
Meanwhile, editors of Britain's national newspapers today added their voice to the protests against BCCI's refusal to resolve the media dispute.
 
London-based 'The Telegraph' stated, "Photographic coverage of the first Test will be disrupted by media protests - supported by the Telegraph - at new restrictions imposed by the BCCI regarding the use of images and the threat they pose to media freedom."
 
Bob Satchwell, Executive Director of the Society of Editors, said, "Editors will be angered by this decision of the BCCI and confused by the motives. They just want to do the best job they can for their cricket-loving readers by choosing from the best news material. By damaging the ability of the press to cover cricket, the good name of the game also risks damage."
 
Earlier, the NMC had "deplored" the decision of the BCCI "to block attendance by reputable photographic agencies" and asked the Board to rethink.
 
"In our view, the BCCI's move will hit fans and cricket sponsors alike. The BCCI has offered to make its own photographs available but this is no substitute for independent and objective press photography," Executive Director of the NMC, Andrew Moger said.
 
"Despite numerous opportunities, the BCCI has yet to explain why it is discriminating against photographic agencies or indeed whether other news sectors will be targetted next.
 
We deplore this move and insult to organisations which have supported cricket worldwide," Moger added.
 
NMC members include Thomson Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, the international photo agency Getty Images, the Press Association, the numerous British titles via the Newspaper Publishers Association, the European Newspaper Publishers' Association (ENPA), the European Publishers Council (EPC), the World Association of Newspapers (WAN-IFRA), among others.
 

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