Companies & Sectors
Zomato shuts down operations in four cities
New Delhi : Food ordering app company Zomato announced on Monday it will be shutting down its online ordering service in Lucknow, Kochi, Indore, and Coimbatore, as the size of the markets are small in these cities now.
 
"We are shutting down the ordering business in Lucknow, Kochi, Indore, and Coimbatore. The size of the market is in these cities is small right now and is growing with time. We will re-launch when the time is right," co-founder Pankaj Chaddah said in a statement.
 
Zomato launched its online food ordering business in April 2015, which allows its users to order food online from restaurants using its app, and had since expanded this offering to 14 cities across India.
 
The company said despite its recent marketing efforts, including television ads, it didn't see a significant increase in the order volumes in these few cities. 
 
"These smaller cities are not yet entirely ready for the online food ordering business, but once they are, Zomato will reconsider its strategy," it added.
 
It said the combined order volume in these four cities accounted for less than 2 percent of its total order volumes. Overall, Zomato's online order volume is growing at 40 percent month-on-month.
 
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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Buyback of inflation indexed bonds announced
New Delhi : The government on Monday announced the buyback of its inflation indexed bonds (IIBs) linked to the wholesale price index (WPI).
 
The government will repurchase "1.44 percent Inflation Indexed Government Stock-2023" through reverse auction for an aggregate amount of Rs.6,500 crore (face value)," a finance ministry statement said here.
 
"The repurchase of the government stocks is purely ad hoc in nature." 
 
"Auction for securities will be on price-based auction format. The auctions will be conducted using multiple price method," the statement said. 
 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has adopted the consumer price index (CPI) as the key measure of inflation in April 2014, while WPI-based securities have not been reissued since then.
 
Though WPI-based inflation has been in the negative for the last 13 months, the rate has been rising for three months in succession and was minus 1.99 percent in November.
 
As per market data, IIBs worth Rs.6,500 crore have been issued since 2013, while major holders of the WPI-linked inflation bonds include mutual funds like ICICI Prudential, HDFC, SBI, Kotak Mahindra, Reliance and Deutsche.
 
Bids for the auction should be submitted in electronic format on the RBI's Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system on January 14 between 10.30 a.m. and 12.00 noon. The result of the auctions will be announced on the same day, the statement said.
 
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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Worry about tomorrow’s China, not today’s
The world is scared of the impact of China’s economic troubles today. It should worry more about future actions of an economically strong and militarily powerful country with the dictatorial governance that has no respect for the liberal-democratic framework of the West 
 
Human beings have a proclivity to overemphasise the current times and the immediate future, pushing even significant long-term problems into the background. Who wants to worry about the uncertain changes in climate years down the line, when we have apparently more pressing concerns staring us in the face now? That apart, we also get titillated by certain kinds of events. Indrani Mukherjee saga obviously captures more TV bites than a serious discussion of geopolitical situation in the Middle East. We obviously prefer to take a peep into a celebrity’s bedroom rather than go deep into the intricate psychology shaping the minds of young terrorists.
 
Ignoring such trends can come back to haunt us later. China has become an economically strong and militarily powerful country. It also suffers from a perceived feeling of historical injustice and persecution. The two together with the dictatorial governance of China are a recipe for disaster. 
 
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” There is no instance in history of a single individual wielding as much power as the head of the Chinese Communist party, Xi Jinping, does today. While the US continues to be much stronger and more influential globally, the US President does not enjoy absolute authority in his own country. Far from it, as we have witnessed repeatedly in recent years, where various policies and decisions of President Obama, have either been undone by the Congress or are lying in cold storage. The US constitution is based on the principle of checks and balances and consequently ensures that such power is not misused. The US President must incorporate the views of others in policymaking and implementation. 
 
What China and more specifically Xi, are not only capable of doing but have shown inclinations towards, portends extremely chilling scenario. China has a dictatorial governance system, with Xi assuming disproportionate power that brooks no dissent. Senior bureaucrats, defence officials and corporate executives simply disappear if they incur Xi Jinping’s wrath, as we have seen frequently in the recent past. The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television (SARFT) in China regulates all Internet content in that country. The press is completely muzzled, Facebook, Google and Twitter are banned or partially allowed, individual freedom is non-existent and any form of dissent is curbed forcefully. Inconvenient journalists are picked up at night from their homes in hundreds and imprisoned without any charge. Heck, you cannot even decide how many children you will have. For three decades, China enforced a policy that allowed couples to have only one child. Now, it has selectively permitted two children per couple. Would we be wrong in presuming that the Chinese government, over the last 30 years, has been responsible for killing crores of human beings even before they were born? It is shameful that lack of freedom and such extensive human rights violations are not issues with the global community.
 
Sign of things to come are already visible. China has usurped islands in South Sea that are disputed by its neighbours. Many countries in the region including the Philippines and Vietnam are already feeling uneasy. Philippines has taken China to the International Criminal Court but China flatly refuses to respond. Coming after a similar dispute with Japan, there seems very little scope for peaceful resolution of disputes, in accordance with international laws. China has repeatedly used its wealth to seek influence with unsavoury regimes. It continues to favour Assad in Syria and is the only country to support and maintain relations with the North Korean regime. The way it has treated some of the multinationals is shameful. There is no remedy since a fair system of justice is non-existent in that country. It shirks its own responsibility on most issues that concern the international community such as the current fight against religious fanaticism. It shies away from fighting the ISIS. It has no respect for the liberal-democratic international institutional framework that exists today.
 
It is, therefore, a surprise that the world ignores these realities while continuing to interact and do business with China. People have a tendency to question democratic governments when they are perceived to be following wrong policies. But China seems to be immune from such criticism, which at best is highly muted. Multinational companies are ready to do business in China irrespective of the restrictions placed and the favouritism shown to local companies. Chinese yuan is now a part of the special drawing rights (SDR) despite the fact there is no free trade in yuan and its value is actually determined by the People's Bank of China (PBOC). The way British government fawned over the Chinese during Xi’s recent visit was a sickening spectacle, coming from a country that can justifiably claim to be the bastion of democratic traditions.  
 
Money obviously talks and talks loudly. A country that produces 13% of the global output and is among the fastest-growing in the world is too big to ignore or criticize. The economies of many countries are dependent on China and the recent downtrend in that country has already adversely impacted these countries. If the global community continues to turn a blind eye to Chinese indiscretions, we will ultimately have to pay a very heavy price when China would be too powerful to brook any serious opposition.
 
(Sunil Mahajan, a financial consultant and teacher, has over three decades experience in the corporate sector, consultancy and academics.)

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COMMENTS

SHraddha

10 months ago

The surprising factor for me personally is why exactly have the IMF accepted yuan suddenly in SDR. What might be the hidden agenda behind that? Trade is definitely one aspect, but I am just not satisfied by just that. Geopolitics has far exceeded trade!

There's definitely much more to what looks to the naked eye.

Kumar Swamy

11 months ago

Irony - greed and capitalism of the US propped up China, for its cheap labor and manufacturing. Then for communist China's huge investment in US treasuries.

Mean time, the US invaded and destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria by spending trillions of dollars - hundreds of thousands died, millions of homeless refugees with terrorists running around all over.

Who is worse, capitalist US or communist China? I am not sure. Are you?

Anand Vaidya

11 months ago

But are western countries, especially USA any better than China? USA has invaded the most foreign nations. Who can forget Hiroshima, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan etc

USA has given birth to Islamic terrorism starting from Afghanistan, even now Uncle Sam sponsors various terror outfits in Syria.

Less said about European powers like UK, Germany, etc the better.

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