Emaar MGF Files Demerger Scheme In Court

Representational image
New Delhi: Realty firm Emaar MGF Land has filed a demerger scheme in the Delhi High Court following a decision by the two joint venture partners – MGF Developments and Dubai-based Emaar Properties – to part ways.

In a filing to BSE, Emaar MGF Land Ltd said the demerger scheme was filed with the Delhi High Court on May 16.

“The scheme provides for the demerger of an undertaking, being part of the construction and development business of Emaar MGF Land Ltd (demerged company) to MGF Developments Ltd (resulting company)…,” the filing said.

It provides for consequent issue of shares by the MGF Developments to the shareholders of the Emaar MGF Land, except to the extent shares held by the resulting company in the demerged company.

MGF Developments will issue 9 equity shares of Rs 10 each for every 416 shares held in the Emaar MGF Land Ltd, as a consideration for the demerger of the demerged undertaking, to shareholders of the JV firm.

According to sources, the undertaking to be demerged comprises of development rights held by Emaar MGF on various undeveloped land parcels and this would be transferred to MGF Developments.

All the shareholders of Emaar MGF Land would become the shareholders of MGF Developments as per the ratio given in the scheme. Various present and future liabilities will get transferred to MGF Development including Rs 713 crore of debentures of Emaar MGF Land Ltd, they added.

Emaar Properties and MGF Developments last month decided to end their 11-year-old joint venture.

Emaar Properties, which entered India in 2005 with the largest FDI in the realty sector, has invested about Rs 8,500 crore in

Indian real estate market through its JV firm Emaar MGF.

In a filing to Dubai Financial Market, Emaar Properties had said it has “agreed to take steps for the reorganisation of Emaar MGF Land by way of scheme of arrangement (demerger)”.

“This reorganisation will enable Emaar to implement the focused strategy for its real estate business in India and will allow the business to undertake future expansion strategies. It will also enable Emaar to drive the development of ongoing projects in India,” Emaar Properties had said.

Sebi Proposes Relaxed Infra Investment Trusts Rules To Woo Investors

Sebi Proposes Relaxed Infra Investment Trusts Rules To Woo Investors
Mumbai: With Infrastructure Investment Trusts (InvITs) failing to catch sufficient attention, markets watchdog Sebi on Thursday proposed relaxation in norms including by reducing the mandatory sponsor holding to hold 10 per cent.

At a meeting, the Sebi board also approved a proposal for allowing InvITs to invest in two-level SPV (special purpose vehicle).

The new proposals would form part of a consultation process and the final norms would be put in place after taking into account the suggestions from all the stakeholders.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in 2014, had introduced InvITs — an investment vehicle which would enable promoters to monetise completed assets — to make it easier to raise funds for infrastructure projects.

However, InvITs have failed to garner due attention from business houses in the country. At an event earlier in the day, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha said the regulator has so far received four applications for setting up InvITs, out of which it has already cleared two proposals.

“For smoothening the process of registration of InvIT with Sebi and launching of the offer, Sebi board has approved for bringing out a consultation paper proposing certain changes/providing clarification in the InvIT Regulations,” the regulator said.

Under the proposal, Sebi may allow InvITs to invest in two-level SPV (special purpose vehicle).

The regulator plans to remove the restriction on the SPV to invest in other SPVs, thus allowing InvIT to invest in a holding company which subsequently holds stake in SPVs.

Currently, InvIT holds a controlling stake in SPVs that do not invest in other SPVs.

Besides, Sebi has proposed reducing the mandatory sponsor holding in InvIT to 10 per cent of the total units of such units on a post-issue basis for a period of three years, from the current requirement of 25 per cent.

PF Body To Consider Housing Scheme For Members Next Month: Report

PF Body To Consider Housing Scheme For Members Next Month: Report

New Delhi: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is working on a proposal to provide low cost housing to its more than five crore subscribers.

“The EPFO is working on the proposal to provide low cost housing to its subscribers, which will come up for discussion in the meeting of its trustees expected sometime next month,” a source said.

Earlier this month, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had in the Lok Sabha said the government is exploring the possibility for providing a suitable low cost housing scheme for Employees’ Pension Fund subscribers.

He was replying to a question whether the government or the retirement fund body have introduced/proposes to introduce a scheme to allow its subscribers to pledge their future PF contributions to buy low cost houses.

Last year, the proposal was also on the agenda of EPFO’s trustees meeting held on September 16.

A report of an expert committee on housing facility for the subscribers was also presented to the trustees for their perusal.

The committee had unanimously recommended a scheme to facilitate subscribers to buy houses where they will get an advance from their PF accumulation and will be allowed to pledge their future PF contribution as EMI (equated monthly instalment) payment.

Under the proposed scheme, there will be a tripartite agreement with EPFO, the member and the bank/housing agency for pledging future PF contributions as EMI payments.

The panel had suggested that the subscribers will purchase a dwelling unit with loans from bank or housing finance companies and hypothecation of property in favour of the latter.

However, the panel had suggested this scheme for those EPFO subscribers who are low income formal workers and could not buy a house during their entire service period.

Piramal Fund Management Invests Rs 425 Crore In Lodha’s Project

Piramal Fund Management Invests Rs 425 Crore In Lodha's Project

New Delhi: Piramal Enterprises real estate fund has invested Rs 425 crore in realty firm Lodha group’s housing project in central Mumbai.
Piramal Fund Management (PFM) has invested Rs 425 crore in a Central Mumbai project being developed by Lodha Group, Piramal Enterprises said in a statement.

Piramal Enterprises through its PFM Division, provides comprehensive financing solutions to real estate companies.

PFM has committed Rs 425 crore to a project being developed by a 100 per cent subsidiary of Lodha Developers Pvt Ltd, the flagship company of Lodha Group.

The investment is towards construction of premium residences being developed by Lodha Group in a project with more than 5 lakh sq ft of saleable area. The project, which is already 40 per cent sold, is in the midst of construction.

“The deal has been structured as a fixed return debt investment with periodic coupon payments and has an appropriate security mechanism in place including hard asset cover as well as escrow of receivables,” the statement said.

PFM is uniquely capable of catering to the entire capital stack – right from early stage equity to late stage debt and construction finance and is therefore able to act as a perpetual provider of capital for the real estate development life cycle, it added.

Mumbai-based developer Lodha Group recorded sales of over Rs 8,000 crores in 2015-16 fiscal.

“This is our first structured deal with the realty developer. We look forward to deepening our ties as we evaluate their portfolio of projects,” said Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Fund Management.

Lodha group MD Abhishek Lodha said: “We are constantly looking to grow our pool of credible funding partners and look forward to a long term relationship with them.”

Piramal Enterprises is one of India’s large diversified companies, with a presence in Healthcare, Healthcare Information Management and Financial Services. Its consolidated revenues were around USD 1 billion in 2015-16, with 61 per cent of revenues from outside India.

Government Must Ease Approval Process For Realty Projects: Adi Godrej

Industrialist Adi Godrej has commended the government for taking up a slew of measures to improve the ease of doing business in the country.
New Delhi: Although the ease of doing business has improved in the last two years of the NDA government, more work needs to be done especially in the real estate sector which has a “complicated” approval process, industrialist Adi Godrej has said.

The $4.1-billion Godrej Group has a large presence in the real estate sector through its firm Godrej Properties, besides in a variety of other sectors, including FMCG, consumer durables and agri-products.

“Real estate permissions have become very complicated in our country. (As permissions are) given by the state governments, the Centre should work on improving the ease of starting in new real estate projects,” Mr Godrej told PTI in an interview.

According to realtors’ apex body CREDAI, it takes at least 18 months to get various approvals for starting a real estate project.

While commending the government for taking up a slew of measures to improve ease of doing business, he, however, said, “They have said that they would not levy retrospective taxes, clarified many things in many ministries. One of the things on which they may have to do is ease of doing business in real estate permissions.”

Overall, he said, “ease of doing business has improved but some more work needs to be done”.

“We should continue to keep improving.”

Rating the performance of the Modi government as “by and large good”, Mr Godrej said, “The only thing which remains to be delivered on the major reforms is GST (Goods and Services Tax).”

He hoped that it would be passed in the monsoon session and likely be implemented by April 1, 2017.

Samsung Galaxy C5, Galaxy C7 Leaked in Promotional Material

Samsung Galaxy C5, Galaxy C7 Leaked in Promotional Material
Samsung’s alleged Galaxy C-series smartphones, the Galaxy C5 and Galaxy C7, have been leaked in new promotional images ahead of expected May 26 unveiling.

In the new leaked image, the Galaxy C-series handset (not clear whether the Galaxy C5 or the Galaxy C7) looks to feature metal unibody design with antenna bands running at the rear. Apart from the rear, the front panel of the unannounced Galaxy C series smartphone is seen sporting a home button which will most likely embed the fingerprint scanner. The Samsung logo is seen on the front as well as rear panel of the handset.

According to a Chinese publication, the Samsung Galaxy C5 will be priced at CNY 2,199 (approximately Rs. 22,500) for the 32GB model and CNY 2,399 (approximately Rs. 25,000) for the 64GB model. The Galaxy C7 is said to come at CNY 2,599 (approximately Rs. 27,000) for the 32GB and CNY 2,799 (approximately Rs. 29,000) for the 64GB model.

The latest leaked pricing of the upcoming Galaxy C-series smartphones contradict previously leaked pricing of the two handsets. Based on the new leak, the Galaxy C5 and C7 will be come with price tags on a higher side.

For specifications, the Galaxy C5 is said to feature a 5.2-inch full-HD display; Snapdragon 617; 4GB of RAM; 16-megapixel rear camera; 8-megapixel front camera, and pack 2500mAh battery. The Galaxy C7 is likely to feature a 5.7-inch full-HD display; Snapdragon 625 SoC, and 3000mAh battery. Rest of the specifications are expected to be same as the C5. Both the handsets are said to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Samsung’s own skin running on top.

Hacking Terrorist’s iPhone Was Easy Compared to Next FBI Hurdle

Hacking Terrorist's iPhone Was Easy Compared to Next FBI Hurdle

The next frontier in the battle between the FBI and technology companies over encrypted communications will be more legally complicated – and messy – than trying to get into the iPhone of a dead terrorist.

Messaging tools like Facebook’s WhatsApp and Internet services that automatically encrypt the content of texts, phone calls and other data while they’re being sent are increasingly becoming a problem for national security and criminal investigations, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Capturing that data while it’s in transit is essential, the agency says. Not so fast, say privacy advocates. Not even possible, say the companies.

“We’re kind of all waiting for the next big test case,” said Andrew Crocker, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, which is suing the Justice Department over whether the government has ever used secret court orders to force technology companies to decrypt the private communications of their customers.

And while legal strategies are plotted in the US, the threat of encrypted applications isn’t theoretical. Supporters of Islamic State and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula have already found alternatives to US-based apps, potentially limiting intelligence gathering on terrorist plots after a year in which scores were killed in attacks in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino, California.

Although the FBI found workarounds for two high-profile cases involving data on locked iPhones, law enforcement agencies confront unique legal challenges to compel companies to provide access to encrypted communications, including laws written more than two decades ago when the Internet was just emerging. And as players in the debate stake out their positions, the results of new cases are likely to define the rules for digital rights for several decades.

“This is the new frontier and it is a much more expansive frontier in terms of its effect on law enforcement investigations,” said Edward McAndrew, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a partner with the law firm Ballard Spahr.

While the FBI and other law enforcement agencies can seek court orders compelling companies to comply with wiretap orders, at least two issues make it harder for agencies to get the data they’re seeking in cases that are likely to come:

– Investigators say they have been left behind by rapid advances in technology. In order to intercept the content of communications being sent in real-time, investigators have to use laws that limit their reach, such as the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.

– The ability to protect information with encryption, which scrambles data using a secret code that can be unlocked only with a special key known solely to the user, means companies may not even be able to provide law enforcement the data sent on their networks or through their applications.

WhatsApp on April 5 finished giving its users encryption by default as well as complete control over the keys for all its messaging services, including photos, phone calls and group chats, said spokesman Matt Steinfeld. Apple Inc. said it began offering full end-to-end encryption for its iMessage platform and FaceTime video service about five years ago.

WhatsApp’s encryption arose as an issue in Brazil this month, when a judge shut down the service for a day for not making data available to law enforcement. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg called the move against WhatsApp, which has more than 1 billion subscribers worldwide, frightening.

“The idea that everyone in Brazil can be denied the freedom to communicate the way they want is very scary in a democracy,” Zuckerberg said in a May 3 blog post.

In the United States the FBI showed its willingness to bring a legal case over encryption when it served Apple with a court order in February compelling the company to help access the data stored on an iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife carried out a deadly December attack in San Bernardino, California. The bureau ultimately backed down in March when it bought a hacking tool to get into the phone without Apple’s help.

The government has a weaker legal argument when it comes to requiring a company to provide access to encrypted “data in motion” as it travels over the Internet than it does in demanding “data at rest” stored on a device, said Marc Zwillinger, a former federal cybercrime prosecutor.

The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act doesn’t cover many Internet services and expressly states that a telecommunications provider can’t be responsible for decrypting any communication if it doesn’t possess the information necessary to do so, said Zwillinger, a managing member of ZwillGen who often represents technology companies, including Apple in the San Bernardino case.

Even if the government succeeded in getting a company to break encryption, users could move to another encrypted messaging service located outside the U.S., said Peter Toren, a former federal computer crimes prosecutor and now a partner with the law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley.

“The FBI certainly has no jurisdiction, nor ability, to extract information from providers that are outside the United States,” Toren said. “Technology is changing the game.”

One such application is Telegram, which lets users build message groups of as many as 200 people and has been favored by Islamic State and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, according to a report by the Middle East Media Research Institute. While Telegram has blocked public message channels used by Islamic State, it has said it won’t limit encrypted private messages, which can self-destruct on a timer.

Sometimes the only way to obtain the content of communications is when it’s in transit because companies don’t retain it on their servers, according to the FBI.

In a limited number of cases, even encrypted information can be useful to the bureau. The agency might find a way to decrypt it at a later time, or combine it by using other investigative techniques to pursue a case. But the agency says there’s no substitute for having the content of communications.

“As you see WhatsApp, Viber and others moving to what they’re calling end-to-end encryption for messaging, that all but guarantees the government, at least through its criminal investigative authorities, would not be able to intercept that content,” said McAndrew.

If the FBI concludes it needs access to such data, “the court system is not going to be the proper place to resolve it,” Zwillinger said.

Toren and McAndrew said the best solution would be for Congress to update laws governing wiretaps and access to data.

Amid the impasse, the problems for law enforcement keep mounting.

From July to December last year, law enforcement agencies requested information for 5,192 Apple accounts, according to the company’s latest transparency report. The company said it provided some data in response to 82 percent of government requests. The report doesn’t specify how many of the requests were wiretap orders.

US officials fear more companies will “develop and market easy-to-use, seamless, end-to-end encryption,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a May 5 letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat.

“This means that law enforcement and national security personnel are losing access to the one area that we care about the most – the content of communications of violent criminals and terrorists,” according to the letter from Deirdre Walsh, the intelligence office’s director of legislative affairs.

Groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation say they worry, however, that agencies might try to use the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that oversees spying in an effort to compel a company to decrypt data in motion without the public knowing.

“The real worry from the privacy and advocacy community is that it would be happening behind closed doors, under seal and in secret,” Crocker said. “That’s not going to set a good legal precedent.”

Intex Aqua Secure With Fingerprint Sensor, VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 6,499

Intex Aqua Secure With Fingerprint Sensor, VoLTE Support Launched at Rs. 6,499
Intex has launched its new 4G-enabled smartphone Aqua Secure in India. Priced at Rs. 6,499, the smartphone will be available via retail stores, and e-commerce websites across the country.

The Intex Aqua Secure sports matte finish back cover and will be available in Golden and Grey colours. The company says that the Aqua Secure is the first smartphone in the company’s lineup to sport a fingerprint scanner, which is housed on the back panel.

The Aqua Secure supports 4G LTE bands in India – FDD-LTE Band 3 (1800MHz) and TDD-LTE Band 40 (2300MHz). Both handsets also support VoLTE (voice over LTE) with HD voice call compatibility.

The dual-SIM supporting Aqua Secure smartphone features a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display and runs Android 5.1 Lollipop out-of-the-box. The company says both SIM slots are 4G enabled; though, at one time only one SIM can use 4G while the other will work on 3G/ 2G. The handset is powered by a 1GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735M SoC clubbed with 1GB of RAM. It packs 8GB of inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 32GB).

The Aqua Secure sports a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera with dual-LED flash along with a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. Some of the camera features on the Aqua Secure include face detection, and smile detection modes. Connectivity options include GPRS/ EDGE, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Micro-USB. Measuring 133.5×66.5×9.4mm, the Aqua Secure weighs 130 grams. It packs a 1900mAh battery.

The smartphone comes preloaded with Matrabhasha app while also comes with HotKnot, an NFC-like feature from MediaTek, to share pictures, movies with friends by simply getting the smartphone closer to other mobile and turning the sharing on. It also comes pre-installed with Opera Max.

Commenting on the launch, Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, Mobile Business Head, Intex Technologies said, “4G connectivity, big screens, high definition displays and powerful RAMs are the current trends. Intex brings this 4G enabled device with advanced security feature like finger print sensor and VoLTE. Aqua Secure will provide our consumers with an advanced technology experience at a very competitive price.”

Apple Is in India for a Thousand Years: Tim Cook

Apple Is in India for a Thousand Years: Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with NDTV’s Vikram Chandra in an exclusive interview at the Apple India office on Friday. Cook spoke about several things, from the company’s India strategy, to how much the country had influenced former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs.

Cook said India was one of Apple’s top priorities for the next decade, and that the company was investing “enormous energy” in the country. Apple was thinking of long term prospects in India, he said, adding, “we are here for [a] thousand years.”

The company was rethinking its model for India strategically, and that was the real reason behind his visit, besides opening the Maps development centre in Hyderabad. Speaking about the key items on his India agenda, Cook said, “I wanted to understand [the country] from our point of view, I wanted to understand the infrastructure and the role of 4G. We think this is really critical to the progress of the country and it’s also critical in terms of bringing out the life of iPhone and really doing things you couldn’t do before. And I’m leaving very encouraged with what I’ve heard.”

Having met with telecom operators on his tour thus far, Cook revealed he was speaking to them both about the rollout of 4G LTE networks, as well as the sale of Apple smartphones in the country, but admitted the latter remained a long shot. “Yes, I’m doing both. It’s the truth and as you know it’s difficult for an operator here, to sell the product themselves because of the tax structure, so usually it’s the retailer that does that. And so the conversations are primarily around the service and the rollouts of the 4G. But we’ve has some interesting discussions about a number of different alternatives,” Cook said.

Speaking about the thus far thwarted plans of selling refurbished iPhones in the country, Cook defended Apple against charges it was just dumping its products in India. “First of all we would never ‘dump’ anything, this in virtually all countries in the world we have a process by which a phone that’s been used by the first owner or is taken back and made to be new, if you will, and a warranty is placed on that, just like a warranty for a new phone,” he said, also revealing that the company was planning on refurbishing iPhones within India borders, and that could be a good starting point for properly manufacturing in India.

As for plans to open Apple Stores in India, Cook said that though it wasn’t a “done deal” yet, the company had applied for the right to do so and was working closely with the government to achieve that goal. Cook added Apple’s plans weren’t to compete on price in the country, saying there will be segments of the market it will not enter. The company was also looking to optimise the user interface and services ecosystem for the country.

Speaking about the reasons behind the moves to open a Maps development centre in Hyderabad, and an iOS app Design and Development Accelerator in Bengaluru, Cook said India had an enormous talent pool to tap. “What we see here is talent, the talents of the Indian people are unbelievable. And for us that means getting the developer community moving on iOS. We are also utilising a lot of skills in India for maps,” he said.

LG G5 India Pre-Bookings Open on Saturday, Cam Plus Module Bundled

LG G5 India Pre-Bookings Open on Saturday, Cam Plus Module Bundled

LG has announced that pre-bookings for its latest flagship smartphone, the LG G5, will begin in India from Saturday. The smartphone will be available for pre-booking via retail stores, LG brand shops, and Flipkart.

The company made the announcement in an emailed statement on Friday, and said the LG G5 pre-bookings will remain open till May 30. Those who pre-book the smartphone during this period will get one of the modular companions free alongside – the LG Cam Plus. The company has not announced the pricing of the LG G5 for the Indian market so far. We can expect LG to announce the pricing near local release date.
Speaking about the development, Amit Gujral, Marketing Head – Mobiles, LG India, said, “The wait for the most anticipated smartphone, in fact the first ever modular phone of 2016 to arrive in India is now over. Customers can now pre-book the LG G5 and we hope more and more people will take advantage of this opportunity. The G5 is our most innovative smartphone till date and consumers would surely be awestruck on the most innovative modular concept of LG G5. We are very excited to bring LG G5 to India.”
The biggest highlight of the new LG G5 flagship is the modules or add-ons called the LG Friends, meant to signify the companion devices that can be attached to the G5. LG Cam Plus is a camera module that adds physical buttons for camera operations along with expanding the total battery capacity to 4000mAh. The Hi-Fi Plus module, co-developed by Bang & Olufsen, is a portable Hi-Fi DAC which can be used as a standalone portable DAC or with the G5 to enable 32-bit audio playback. The South Korean company can also be expected to showcase the companion devices in India with the LG G5 including LG 360 VR, LG 360 CAM, LG Rolling Bot, LG Tone Platinum, H3 by B&O Play, LG Smart Controller, and LG Friends Manager.
As for the specifications, the LG G5 sports a 5.3-inch QHD display (1440×2560 pixels) featuring always-on display technology. The always-on display will allow users to check time, notifications and battery status among other pieces of information. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded using a microSD card.