SC on AGR: Not a penny paid; summons telcos bosses
The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the telecom companies for not paying dues to the tune of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the government and summoned their top executives to court to explain, why the top court order on clearing dues was not followed.
 
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also warned the telecom companies that the court may initiate contempt proceedings against them and government officials for not complying with it's order.
 
The top court has ordered the managing directors of Bharti Airtel , Vodafone, MTNL, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Telecommunication and others to be present in the court on March 17.
 
The top court also directed the Centre to immediately withdraw order passed by its desk officer to not take coercive action against the telecom companies. 
 
Justice Mishra also added that the telecom companies haven't even paid a single penny and the government officer wants stay on the order. 
 
The top court warned that this officer was liable to jail term if that order was not withdrawn within an hour.
 
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had ordered telecom companies to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) to the government.
 
On January 16, Justice Mishra-led bench had dismissed review petitions of telcos seeking review of its earlier order asking them to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore in statutory dues by January 23, saying it did not find any "justifiable reason" to entertain them.
 
The top court had on October 24 last year ruled that the statutory dues needed to be calculated by including non-telecom revenues in AGR of telcos.
 
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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    China smartphone sales may decline 20% in Q1: Counterpoint
    In the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, sales of smartphones in China may decline 20 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to an estimate by Counterpoint Research on Thursday.
     
    While companies like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo could suffer the most due to this decline, the impact may be limited on smartphone makers like Xiaomi, OnePlus and Realme "as they are more online-centric and overseas-focused".
     
    The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in China's Wuhan area in December 2019 has impacted social and production activities in the country.
     
    To curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese government issued a strict travel ban on January 24 following which retail and commerce activities slowed sharply, Counterpoint said. 
     
    "Demand-wise, we see the market getting impacted severely. We estimate more than a 50 per cent YoY (year-onyear) decline in offline smartphone sales during the lock-down period. Therefore, we have lowered our sales forecast 20 per cent for Q1," Brady Wang, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, said in a statment.
     
    "The situation may worsen and we may lower our forecast even more depending on the February sales. The plummet in Q1 is likely to generate a surge in channel inventories and further influence shipments and new products launches through Q2," Wang said. 
     
    The coronavirus outbreak has led to the death of over 1,300 people in China.
     
    "Huawei group is likely to suffer as China has accounted for over 60 per cent of its total smartphones sales. OPPO and Vivo will also be impacted because of their greater reliance on offline sales channels. The influence on sales of Xiaomi, OnePlus and Realme will likely be less severe as they are more online-centric and overseas-focused," Flora Tang, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, said. 
     
    As Apple announced a shutdown of its offline stores across China until February 15, the company could face a sales loss of about one million units of iPhones. 
     
    "Apple's new product development plans will also be affected as engineers from the USA and Taiwan cannot travel to China. The iPhone SE2 set for a late March launch is likely to have troubles in ramping up volume due to the insufficient labour force in Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory," Mengmeng Zhang, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, added.
     
    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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    Coronavirus scare forces shutdown of global brands like Hilton in China
    The novel Coronavirus epidemic is threatening a meltdown in the Chinese economy for sure with global brands bolting for the door as hotel brand, Hilton announced that it is shutting down 150 hotels in China, 60 per cent of its total capacity in the country.
     
    Hilton has had to close 150 hotels in China because of the Coronavirus, CEO Christopher Nassetta announced during the company's fourth quarter earnings call. These constitute 33,000 rooms and are 60 per cent of its total capacity in China.
     
    Assuming that the outbreak lasts three to six months, with an additional three to six month recovery period, Hilton expects a $25 million to $50 million hit on full-year adjusted EBIDTA.
     
    The worst hit are the hotel, travel, aviation companies which have restricted travel to China and it is forecast that the Coronavirus will have a multibillion-dollar impact on the travel industry.
     
    While Hilton has shut down hotels, Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has warned of the impact on Chinese economy. It said that that the Coronavirus is exerting a fundamental impact on the country's consumers and merchants, and will hurt its revenue growth in the current quarter.
     
    Alibaba warned that production is being hit as workers are not being able to go to work. Discretionary spending has collapsed in China including in restaurants, it said.
     
    Ralph Lauren too has warned of sales taking a hit due to the virus. The apparel maker said its fourth quarter will take a sales hit of as much as $70 million because of the virus. It has warned that supply-chain disruptions in China could also affect a "small portion" of the company's fourth-quarter orders globally. About two-thirds of Ralph Lauren's stores in mainland China have been temporarily closed.
     
    As the virus spreads other to countries causing deaths, the European Commission has called the virus a key downside risk, further dampening the outlook for European economic growth.
     
    Japan on Thursday confirmed its death from the virus with the death of a 80-year-old woman outside of Tokyo.
     
    With the global economy headed for a meltdown, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has forecast the first global oil demand drop in a decade.
     
    As several events get postponed, Hong Kong Rugby Union and Sport Singapore have confirmed that the World Rugby Sevens Series 2020 will be postponed to October from April due to concerns over Coronavirus.
     
    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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