Companies & Sectors
HDFC ERGO to acquire L&T General Insurance
The Board of Directors of HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Limited in its meeting held on 3rd June 2016, approved the purchase of 100% stake in L&T General Insurance Company Limited subject to IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) and other regulatory approvals, according to a release from HDFC ERGO. The Board also approved the plan to merge the two companies subject to all regulatory approvals. 
 
"Considering the importance of scale in the insurance business, consolidation within the insurance industry is inevitable. This transaction marks the beginning of this consolidation phase. The acquisition will help HDFC ERGO to further strengthen its presence in the market. The combined size  and  expertise  will  result  in improved  cost  efficiencies  in  the  merged  entity  and  benefit  policy holders and other stakeholders," said Deepak Parekh, chairman  of  HDFC  Ltd  and HDFC ERGO  General Insurance.
 
For  the  all-cash deal structured  by Arpwood Capital Pvt Ltd., exclusive  financial advisors  to  HDFC ERGO, the transaction has been valued at Rs551 crore. The acquisition would help HDFC ERGO improve its market position. HDFC ERGO expects significant cost synergies arising out of business, technology optimisation and rationalisation of offices. 
 

User

Facebook seeks new rules to curtail Zuckerberg's full control if he quits
Mark Zuckerberg, who holds majority voting control of the social networking site, may not be an absolute power at Facebook if he decides to quit or his services are terminated in the future.
 
According to a regulatory filing by the Facebook board to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, the board will ask shareholders at its annual meeting on June 20 to vote on a proposal that would convert Zuckerberg's Class B shares into Class A shares if he ceases to be at the helm, PCWorld reported.
 
Class A stock has one vote per share while Class B stock has 10 votes per share.
 
“The aim of the regulations is apparently to make it easier for the company to hire a top-quality successor to Zuckerberg who would not be shadowed by the founder or be from his family,” the report added quoting the filing. 
 
Currently, Zuckerberg holds Class A and Class B common stock that collectively represents about 53.8% of the company’s total voting power. 
 
“Under current rules, if Zuckerberg were to quit the company or his employment terminated for any reason, he would not be required to give up his majority voting control,” the report said. 
 
The measure, however, appears to be more of a precaution as the 32-year-old Facebook founder has not indicated any intention to quit.
 
The new terms will ensure that Facebook “will not remain a founder-controlled company after we cease to be a founder-led company”.
 
The new rules would “provide significant value to our company by incenting Mr. Zuckerberg to remain with our company”, the filing said.
 
In December, Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan pledged to donate 99 per cent of their Facebook shares -- about $45 billion -- to advance human potential and promote equality for children.
 
Declaring the "Chan Zuckerberg Initiative" as they welcomed their first girl child Maxima Chan Zuckerberg or "Max", the couple said they have created a new foundation that would initially focus on "personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities."
 
"We will give 99% of our Facebook shares during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others," the couple wrote in a post.
 
Zuckerberg owns about four million of Class A shares in Facebook and approximately 419 million Class B shares.
 
Each Class B share is worth 10 votes apiece which gives Zuckerberg majority voting power and control over Facebook's strategic direction.
 
Facebook currently has over 1.6 billion monthly active users.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.  

 

User

3 Myths & Facts about Your Daily Bread

With the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) study highlighting most of the Indian breads laced with potassium bromate or iodate that damage human heath, people are wondering what bread to eat and what not to. In November 2014, Moneylife did a cover story on food to highlight usage of additives in processed foods and how it affects your health. While laws are designed to safeguard the consumer, most laws are implemented poorly in India, compromising your safety. And this continues, unchecked. 

In its study, the CSE tested 38 commonly available branded varieties of pre-packaged breads, pav and buns, ready-to-eat burger bread and ready-to-eat pizza breads of popular fast food outlets from Delhi and found 84% samples positive with potassium bromate or iodate. 
 
Potassium bromate or bromated flour is used as an oxidising agent in baking. It makes the bread rise better, gives it a uniform consistency, making it unnaturally whiter and fluffier. It also makes the baking process faster. Wraps, rolls, bread crumbs, bagel chips and flat breads contain potassium bromate. This additive becomes bromide in breads an excess of which is linked to iodine enzyme metabolism, which weakens the thyroid and kidneys. The potassium bromate that is not broken down remains in the baked item and is carcinogenic. 
 
In 1999, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified potassium bromate as possibly carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans. It was found to cause tumours of the kidney, thyroid and cancer of the abdominal lining in laboratory animals.
 
The European Union had banned its use in 1990. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Nigeria, Peru and Columbia have also banned the use of potassium bromate.
 
Myths & Facts about Your Daily Bread

Authentic breads are originally from Europe and the quality of baked products there are unmatched the world over. Unfortunately, many Indian bread manufacturers have given these breads a complete unhealthy makeover to suit the consumer’s palate and extend its shelf life though a number of food additives. Here are some myths about what we look for in our bread and the alarming truth about what really goes into the so-called healthy breads of India.

Myth 1: Softer is better

Ever been to a local baniya shop and seen consumers literally feel the bread for softness before purchase? One would think that they’re checking a pillow for its fluffiness! According to them, the softer the bread, the fresher and better it is.

Truth: Soft bread does not mean good bread. Surprised? Listen to this. To make the bread soft, the baker increases sugar content and adds harmful chemical additives and emulsifiers. They are called ‘volume enhancers’ or ‘softeners’ like potassium bromate, azodicarbonamide and even include harmful GMO emulsifiers which are banned in European countries.  
 
Quite contrary to the Indian mindset, in Europe, the crustier the bread, the better it is considered. When bread is soft (by adding chemicals & increasing sugar content), it lacks the nutritional value of denser, crustier bread and is unhealthy to consume. Soft breads do exist in the European market as a variant but they are made without the addition of artificial softeners.
 
Myth 2: The browner your brown bread, the more fibre it has 
 
Nowadays, every bakery caters to the health conscious consumer by having a separate rack of brown bread. For these consumers, the browner the bread, the more fibre it has and is seen as a healthier option than white bread. 
 
Truth: Most manufacturers in India add caramel colour to their normal bread to make it look brown. Even the caramel colour used is not natural as we would imagine (it’s made by heating ammonia). Research has proved that these colours are carcinogenic and make the breads dangerously unhealthy.
 
Check out the many types of bread marketed under premium brands that state that their major ingredient is ‘wheat flour’. Indian law allows ‘maida’ and ‘wheat flour’ to be used interchangeably. So do not assume it is ‘whole wheat flour’ unless specifically stated. In Europe, ‘brown bread’ is either authentic hi-fibre bread or the wholesome whole-wheat flour bread that derives its colour and fibre content from sources like malt flour, oats bran, wheat bran, etc. Not so in India. 
 
Myth 3: Good breads stay well for several days  
 
If you ever notice the difference between the manufacturing date and the ‘best before date’ on a bread packet, it is anywhere between five to six days. Nowadays, the fact that bread remains fresh for a longer time is a sign of technical advancement in the bakery industry. 
 
Truth: If bread remains fresh and soft for a long time, it is only because of the addition of harmful preservatives. In the bakery industry, these preservatives are mainly calcium propionate and sodium propionate, both of which are linked to ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
 
It is time we realise the repercussions of consuming breads with such harmful ingredients that can have dangerous long-term side effects. We are used to a particular sweet taste in our breads; this habit of ours can only increase the percentage of diabetics in our country which has been growing at an exponential rate in the past decade. Therefore, it is important that we first change our perception of what is really healthy and what is not. Our taste buds may protest initially; but, after a while, what is good for the body also feels good to our taste buds.
 
If we avoid using chemicals, there is, indeed, a chance that the bread may degenerate more quickly. So here are three tips to keep your bread fresh without using any preservatives. 
 
• Keep bread in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight.
• Freeze the unused portion within two days. French and Italian breads that are baked without any oils have a very short shelf life, so consider freezing them earlier.
• Allow frozen bread to thaw completely at room temperature. Heat it in an oven before serving.
 

User

COMMENTS

R Rangan

6 months ago

Most people buy bread from their neighbourhood bakeries.These are usually small operations and cater only to the neighbourhood. They do not label their product and contents and additives are not declared. Would that mean it is safer to go for branded breads of companies like Britannia etc.? Should'nt the food safety officials inspect and insist on proper labelling of the products sold by small bakeries?

REPLY

Clear Water

In Reply to R Rangan 6 months ago

As a matter of fact Britannia's bread has been found to be on the higher than average side for containing harmful carcinogenic chemicals. See the recent study conducted by CSE in Delhi. it seems like the bigger the brand the more the number/amount of harmful chemicals. And you don't know what the local bakery is putting into his bread. There is no check. All you can do is shut your brain and enjoy your processed food.

prakash nandedkar

6 months ago

an eye opener article

Ramesh Poapt

6 months ago

excellent eye opener!!! can we have something on pastry,pizza,biscuits please???

REPLY

Clear Water

In Reply to Ramesh Poapt 6 months ago

If you know what is being put into biscuits and sabudana, you will put a full stop to eating any outside/processed food. I have been to these factories and I don't touch any of these items. Also, its not harmful but, premium biscuits put worm flour to enhance their taste.

R A MURALI MOHAN

6 months ago

On reading this article, it is clear that whatever manufactured in the name of bread in India is not fit for consumption . Better we don't visit a bakery in future.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)