Curbing tech piracy can stimulate Asian economies: Report

Singapore: Asian economies led by China can reap a financial windfall and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in a few years by cracking down on software piracy, reports PTI quoting an industry study.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) and research group IDC said nearly 60% of the software programmes installed on personal computers in 2009 across the world's largest region were unlicensed.

Reducing software piracy to about 50% in four years would produce almost 41 billion dollars in economic activity, create 350,000 new jobs and generate nearly nine billion dollars in taxes, according to the joint study.

Achieving the same reduction in two years would boost the economic benefits for the region by another 33%, a press statement said.

Worldwide, a cut in piracy rates from the current 42% to 32% over four years would add $142 billion to the global economy, 500,000 new jobs and $32 billion in tax revenues, the study said.

Roland Chan, BSA's senior regional director for marketing, said the Asia-Pacific region will capture "more than three fifths" of the new jobs forecast be generated globally because of the size of the market.

"Reducing software piracy is an opportunity to inject much-needed stimulus into Asia Pacific economies," he said.


Vedanta open offer for Cairn India yet to get SEBI nod

Mumbai: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has not yet approved the open offer made by the Vedanta Group to Cairn India shareholders, even as the target company formed a two-member panel to look into the offer made to minority shareholders, reports PTI.

Billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Group is buying Cairn Energy Plc's 40%-51% stake in Cairn India and has made an open offer for an additional 20% stake - which will take the deal size to up to $9.6 billion.

"SEBI will look at the financials of the transaction and will decide on the open offer price," Cairn Energy Plc CEO and Cairn India chairman Bill Gammell told reporters after the AGM of Cairn India.

Mr Gammell said: "We will seek all necessary approvals from the government" and said that Cairn India's skill-sets are its people and the company will retain the management structure even after the change of ownership.

"This is a corporate transaction involving change of shares at the corporate level. Cairn India is about its people and the knowledge resides in these people and not in Cairn Energy Plc," he said when asked if Vedanta's lack of experience in oil business may become a stumbling block to obtain regulator approvals.

Vedanta is paying Rs405 per share to Cairn Energy, including a non-compete fee of Rs50 per share, while it has made an open offer to Cairn India shareholders at Rs355 (offer price minus non-compete fee). The open offer will start on 11th October.

Cairn India CEO Rahul Dhir said the transfer of shares does not affect the operations of Cairn India and the company would continue to do business as usual.

Mr Gammell refused to comment on Vedanta's offer price, saying it is for Vedanta to decide.

"The matter is with SEBI. They have not yet decided," he said.

Meanwhile, Cairn India has formed a committee of two independent directors - Omkar Goswami and Ed Story - to look into issues of minority shareholders.

Mr Goswami said: "We are looking at various matters of transactions. One of the matter is difference between offer made to minority shareholders and that extended to the Cairn Energy Plc.

"We did ask the chairman of Cairn India whether the difference can be eliminated...under section 20(8) of SEBI Takeover Code up to 25% premium can be given as non-compete fee. This Rs50 is only 14% of the offer size so that is no clear legal deviation.




7 years ago

I filed a complaint with SEBI on the 16th August 2010 against the non compete fee, I received a response from the lead manager(JM Financial Pvt Ltd) of the ensuing open offer and I believe I have a decent case to counter the arguments put forward by JMFinancials. I am taking the liberty of attaching the Letter I received from JM Financial and also my response to the same for your kind attention.

My purpose of this email is to ask for your help in bringing the letter and my response to the attention of your members, you being a recognised investor association you would have access to members who may be unhappy like me with the price being offered. I would greatly appreciate it if you could request every member in your organisation who may be interested to contest the matter, to please copy my response with minor modifications and email the same to SEBI to exert pressure, in the process ensuring that SEBI and SAT takes a rationale desicion in accordance with the principles enshrined in SEBI'S preamble.

Thanking you in anticipation of your help.

Kind Regards

K. Prashant

Small cars, big battles: Pricey Honda Jazz falls behind Ford Figo, VW Polo and Nissan Micra

The cost of a car, especially a small car, matters a lot in India. This is a truth that other carmakers, except Honda and Skoda, seem to have learned

We have been hearing a lot of noise about every automaker's wish - or plans - to enter the small car market in India. Although some foreign carmakers have ventured into the market, they are finding the ground realities, like the price sensitivity of an Indian buyer, the biggest hurdle to overcome.

Take for example, Honda Siel Cars India Ltd (HSCI), which is finding it difficult to sell its pricey Honda Jazz in the crowded compact car (A2) segment, while other low-priced cars are selling like hot cakes.

During August 2010, the total sales of A2 cars in the domestic market rose 27% to 116,558 units from 91,539 units a year ago, according to data provided by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The biggest gainer in terms of volume, during the month was, surprisingly, Ford India Pvt Ltd, which sells its Fusion and Figo variants in the compact car category. During August, Ford sold 6,382 units in the A2 segment from 47 units the same month a year ago, on the back of its newly-launched small car Figo. Ford has received about 34,000 bookings for Figo since its launch in March.

Similarly, new entrants like Volkswagen and Nissan also witnessed good sales in the A2 category during the month. While Volkswagen sold 3,211 units of its Polo, Nissan sold 1,182 units of its newly launched Micra in August.

Three carmakers were losers in terms of sales in the A2 category - Fiat India Automobiles Pvt Ltd, Tata Motors and HSCI. During August, sales of Fiat, which is handled by Tata in the country, fell by 44.7% to 1,012 units from 1,830 units. Even Tata Motors, the country's biggest vehicle maker, could not arrest sales of its famous Indica from falling. During the month, sales of Indica fell 21.5% to 7,531 units from 9,598 units a year ago.

While variants from Fiat and Tata are relatively older and hence could have lost their sheen, for Honda it was the higher price that put the spanner in the works. While all variants from other carmakers in the compact car segment are available between Rs3.72 lakh to Rs7 lakh, the price of Honda Jazz starts from Rs7.56 lakh.

The Indian customer, more sensitive to price-related issues, seems to have simply ditched the Jazz for more lucrative and low-priced offerings from other carmakers like Ford, Volkswagen and Nissan. New launches by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, the country's largest carmaker that is famous for its 'value for money' cars, also played their role in curtailing the growth of the pricey Jazz.

While Volkswagen's Polo was gaining ground in terms of sales, its other subsidiary, however, had to face a fate similar to Jazz. Reason? Again higher price. Fabia, the offering from Skoda India is priced between Rs4.86 lakh to Rs7.62 lakh. Compare it with the prices of other top selling compact cars, which ratify the low price and higher sales theory.

Ford's top selling car Figo is available for Rs3.72 lakh to Rs5.59 lakh, ex-showroom Mumbai, while VW Polo and Nissan Micra are priced between Rs4.34 lakh to Rs6.70 lakh and Rs4.13 lakh to Rs5.59 lakh, respectively.

In order to regain market share and attract new customers, Honda has to seriously rethink on its price strategy. Despite able and good support from the Tata team, Fiat is still finding it difficult to maintain its sales momentum. Maybe Fiat also needs to revisit its pricing policy, especially for its variants in the compact car segment. As far as Tata Motors is concerned, can we have some new models in the A2 segment before someone starts comparing Tata Indica to the everlasting (and unchanging) Ambassador from Hindustan Motors? 




7 years ago

cost of honda jazz in thiruchirapalli

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