Companies & Sectors
Ratan Tata invests in Ola

Formerly known as Olacabs, the company currently serves millions of customers in over a 100 cities across India through 150,000 vehicles registered on its platform

 

App-based transportation aggregator Ola on Wednesday said Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata has invested in the company in his personal capacity.
 
"It is our honour to have Ratan Tata onboard as an investor. This is a huge endorsement from one of the most respected business leaders of our times. We look forward to learning from Tata's experience," the company's CEO and founder Bhavish Aggarwal said in a statement.
 
Ola said Tata's "strong inclination towards transportation as a segment" and the philosophy of creating widespread social impact through business creates a strong connection to this investment.
 
Formerly known as Olacabs, the company currently serves millions of customers in over a 100 cities across India through 150,000 vehicles registered on its platform.
 
Tata has made personal investments in e-commerce companies like Snapdeal, Urban Ladder, Bluestone and Cardekho.com in the recent past. Last month, he had picked up a stake in Kaaryah, a women's wear fashion portal and in April this month, he has invested in Chinese cellphone maker Xiaomi.
 

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Greece reveals new debt deal, pensioners line up at banks

The government dismissed media reports claiming that it fully accepted lenders' offer ahead of a crucial Eurogroup teleconference rescheduled for Wednesday evening, Xinhua news agency reported

 

The Greek government on Wednesday revealed its latest proposal for a debt deal with creditors to stave off a default and Grexit -- exit from the eurozone -- in the coming weeks even as thousands of pensioners lined up outside 1,000 bank branches opened to disperse pension payments.
 
The government dismissed media reports claiming that it fully accepted lenders' offer ahead of a crucial Eurogroup teleconference rescheduled for Wednesday evening, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
Athens' draft deal, which was submitted as Greece was declared in arrears to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday midnight. It sought a new two-year loan to deal with financing problems through the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), and requested a further restructuring of Greek debt.
 
"The Greek government has tabled a new proposal with a series of amendments to the institutions in a bid to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement," a statement issued to the media said.
 
"Reports that Greece has accepted all the terms of the creditors' proposal are unfounded," it was stressed.
 
Athens released the letter Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addressed to European partners and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
 
"The Hellenic Republic is prepared to accept this staff level agreement (as published on the European Commission website on June 28, 2015) subject to the following amendments, additions or clarifications, as part of an extension of the expiring EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility) programme and the new ESM loan agreement for which a request was submitted on June 30, 2015," Tsipras wrote.
 
"As you will note, our amendments are concrete and they fully respect the robustness and credibility of the design of the overall programme," he added.
 
The Greek government requested that a 30 percent discount of VAT rates on islands be maintained, while agreeing to reduce the expenditure ceiling for military spending by 200 million euros ($222 million) in 2016 and 400 million euros in 2017.
 
The labour reform framework would also be legislated in autumn 2015.
 
Meanwhile, thousands of pensioners lined up early Wednesday morning outside 1,000 bank branches opened to disperse pension payments to those without bank cards, Efe news agency reported.
 
Capital controls imposed by the Greek government have left retirees restricted to withdrawing a maximum of 120 euros ($133.5) each week, while all Greek banks have been closed since Monday, and will stay closed until July 6, a day after the referendum on whether Greece should stay in eurozone.
 
Banks have committed to issue credit or debit cards for the pensioners as soon as possible.
 
The cards will allow retirees to withdraw 60 euros ($66.7) per day from ATMs, and also make payments in shops and gas stations, or any place that accepts the card.
 
In alphabetical order, 1,000 bank branches will open from Wednesday through Friday to serve pensioners, while banks of Piraeus, a Greek multinational financial services company, will remain open throughout, the Greek finance ministry announced on Tuesday night.
 
According to another Xinhua report from Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday there would be no negotiations over a new bailout programme to Greece before the country's referendum on Sunday, though the door for talks remained open.
 
"We are waiting for the referendum. Before the referendum, there will be no negotiation over a new aid programme," she told the lower house of German parliament in a special session, adding that "we can wait calmly... Europe is strong, much stronger than five years ago when the European sovereign debt crisis started."
 
"The future of Europe is not at stake," Xinhua news agency quoted her as saying.
 
On Saturday, Greek Prime Minister Alexia Tsipras said the country would hold a referendum on July 5 on the latest debt deal proposed by its international creditors.
 
Merkel on Wednesday reiterated that the door to talks with the Greek government "was always and will always remain open", but she would not seek compromise at any cost.
 
"A compromise can only be reached when advantages outweigh disadvantages," she said. "A good European is not someone who seeks an agreement at any price. A good European is rather the one that respects the European treaties and relevant national laws and help in this way to ensure that the stability of the eurozone is not damaged."
 
Earlier on Wednesday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece's latest proposals displayed no further clarity on what Athens wanted. As the second bailout programme for Greece expired on Tuesday midnight, the situation had totally changed, and there was no basis for a new deal with Greece at the moment, he said.

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Arabian Warren Buffett' plans to give $32 billion fortune to charity

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world, said he wanted to donate to groups that promote health and help with disaster relief, the Daily Mail reported

 

A Saudi Arabian billionaire is planning to give his entire $32-billion fortune to charity, media reported on Wednesday.
 
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the richest men in the world, said he wanted to donate to groups that promote health and help with disaster relief, the Daily Mail reported.
 
The 60-year-old would also support women's charities and those that look towards eradicating disease.
 
Bin Talal is the grandson of Saudi Arabia's founder Ibn Saud.
 
He was said to have started his business with a $30,000 gift from his father and a $300,000 loan.
 
In 2005 he was worth $10 billion and earned the nickname "Buffett of Arabia" after American business magnate Warren Buffett.
 
His investments include London's Savoy Hotel, Apple, Citigroup and News Corp.
 
The businessman has been known for his extravagant gifts and previously gave 25 Bentleys to members of a Saudi football team.
 
He also promised to give a free Bentley to every pilot involved in the Yemen airstrikes earlier this year.
 
In 2013, he threatened to boycott Forbes magazine for underestimating his wealth and saying he was only in 26th place in a list of the world's richest.
 
The prince first came to the attention of the magazine when he contacted them following the publication of their first list in 1988.
 
He wanted to inform them of his wealth and ensure that he was included in the next one.
 
But the relationship soured when the 2013 annual list claimed he was worth "only" 13 billion pounds.
 
The super yacht owner, who is married to Princess Amira Al-Taweel and has two children, also enjoys the world’s largest private jet and a fleet of more than 200 cars.
 
His properties include a 420-room mansion in Riyadh, which boasts of various swimming pools and portraits of himself, as well as a 120-acre "farm and resort".
 

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