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Tube strike makes it manic Monday for Londoners
A strike by London Underground workers on Monday left millions of commuters facing massive disruption and having to endure journeys on grid-locked roads, with most tube stations closed and crowded rail and bus services elsewhere in the capital, the media reported.
 
Transport for London (TfL) said it was running a limited service on eight of its 11 tube lines on Monday and would open 60 per cent of its stations across the network, the Guardian reported. 
 
The 24-hour tube strike started at 6 p.m. (local time) on Sunday but was expected to cripple services until the end of Monday. 
 
The unions accused TfL of "dangerously exaggerating" the level of service available, leading people to expect to travel and causing overcrowding at stations.
 
Commuters used cars, boats, bicycles and over-crowded buses to cope with a 24-hour walkout by underground station staff that left the majority of "Tube" stops closed and no services operating from mainline stations such as Victoria, Kings Cross and Waterloo.
 
Clapham Junction, the country's busiest interchange on a normal day, was evacuated after the "worst overcrowding seen for many years" -- leaving thousands on the streets, said the report.
 
Many more people were seen walking as heavy traffic blocked major roads. There were long queues reported for buses and taxis. 
 
Station staff in the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers' (RMT) union and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) union walked out after last-minute talks aimed at limiting the impact of the industrial action ended unsuccessfully on Sunday.
 
The strike is part of a continuing row over the impact of ticket office closures and 900 posts being cut as part of TfL's "modernisation" plans which were brought in under previous Mayor Boris Johnson.
 
Although TfL has admitted that too many jobs were cut, unions say that its offer to replace 200 of the posts did not go far enough.
 
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who had campaigned on a pledge to end strikes by talking to the unions, said he had significantly reduced the number of days lost to industrial action.
 
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday: "I think strikes ultimately are a sign of failure. This strike is completely unnecessary. All strikes can be called off and averted if reasonable minds resolve things amicably."
 
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said that while hiring more staff was a step in the right direction, "200 jobs cannot plug the gaping hole that's been left in the system by devastating Tory attacks on TfL's budget".
 
Monday's walkout on the Tube, which carries up to 4.8 million passengers a day, begins a week of industrial action which will hit rail and air passengers, and there are warnings the problems could spread across the country.
 
Train drivers on Southern Rail are striking on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, bringing all rail services used by hundreds of thousands of passengers from the south coast and Gatwick Airport to London to a halt.
 
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.
  

 

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Bulls struggle to break out - Monday closing report
We had mentioned in Friday’s weekly closing report that bulls may have a tough time. Profit booking, coupled with rupee depreciation subdued the Indian equities markets on Monday. However, recovery in banking, IT (information technology) and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) sectors somewhat arrested the downward spiral. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) inched down by 7.75 points to 8,236.05 points. The Sensex touched a high of 26,860.88 points and a low of 26,701.18 points in the intra-day trade.
 
The trends of the major indices in the course of Monday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls - with 1,599 advances and 1,215 declines. Broader markets, specifically Midcap and Smallcap yet again beat the benchmark indices by closing 0.24% and 0.43% higher. Pharma tumbled 1.5% whereas Metal and Auto turned negative with 0.1% of marginal losses. All eyes are on third quarter earnings season and macro data especially after the currency demonetisation.
 
BEML was the most active stock on bourses after the government decided to divest 26% stake in the company to strategic investors. The stocks surged 20% to Rs1,189 in intra-day to end 16.2% higher. 
 
Granules India has dipped nearly 11% in early morning trade to end 10% lower after the pharmaceutical company said it has received 11 observations from Infarmed (InstitutoNacional da Farmacia E Do Medicamento), the Portuguese drug regulator, for its facility located at Gagillapur, Telangana.               
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
Asian markets rose on Monday tracking strong closure from main three indices of Wall Street. The Markets remained buoyed post US jobs data and ahead of policy measures under the reign of newly elected President Trump. China was moderately higher by 0.5% led by rise in defence stocks while Hang Seng rose 0.25%. European markets opened lower where investors remained cautious ahead of fresh data from euro zone and volatile energy stocks.
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 

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Ratan Tata says he had differences with Mistry since 2013: report
Ratan Tata, the Chairman of Tata Trusts and Interim Chairman of Tata Sons Ltd, had said that differences between him and Cyrus P Mistry, the ousted Chairman of the group's holding company were simmering since 2013.
 
Citing an affidavit filed by Mr Tata before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), a report from the Economic Times, says, "The affidavit strongly rebuts charges levelled by Mistry, and says the latter did a poor job of turning around companies such as Tata Steel and Tata Motors, resulting in a fall in dividends to the Tata Trusts."
 
The NCLT is hearing a petition filed by Mr Mistry alleging mismanagement and oppression of minority shareholders of Tata Sons and seeking the ouster of the current management of Tata Trusts and Tata Sons. 
 
Responding to the accusation that he has a minor stake in Tata Sons and, therefore, it is the real stakeholders including Mistry’s investment firms, which are suffering because of the losses incurred by Tata Steel Europe, Mr Tata called the insinuation distressing. "It is the trusts which hold a majority stake far exceeding that of Mr Mistry’s firms. Such inconsiderate allegations effectively degrade my lifelong contribution to the success story of the Tata Group, which began with Tata Motors and Tata Steel more than five decades back,” the report says.
 
According to ET, on 24 September 2013, Mr Tata sent a handwritten letter to Mr Mistry that reveals the differences of opinions. "(Mr) Tata, in a handwritten letter dated 24 September 2013, seemed alarmed at what he thought were clear conflicts that Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons should avoid. This included disassociating himself (Mistry) from family businesses to ensure that there was no conflict of interest brought about by the personal holdings in Tata group companies," the report says.
 
The letter goes on to prod (Mr) Mistry to set up a ‘Blind Trust’ that will disassociate the latter from his Tata shareholding, and also not to have any transaction of business between Shapoorji Pallonji Group and Tata Group as long as Mr Mistry was its chairman, ET says citing the 2013 letter from Mr Tata. 
 
As per the report, (Mr) Mistry responded to Mr Tata's letter through an email. It says, "(Mr) Mistry responded to (Mr) Tata’s letter in an email, agreeing with him (Mr Tata) that issues of conflict continue to be of great concern to him (Mr Mistry), but said (Mr) Tata’s letter and conversations had “insinuated” that his actions or not taking them has compromised the ethical values of the founder. He (Mr Mistry) reiterated that he would ensure that principles are not compromised and can stand the strictest global levels of public scrutiny." 
 
"(Mr) Mistry explained in his reply that time was taken only because the issue ethically, emotionally and financially impacted him, and because of his busy travel schedule in the face of multiple challenges faced by the group at a critical juncture," the report from ET says.
 

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