TOP STORIES: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ECONOMY, and FINANCE
In this column, we will daily present before you the top stories in the country related to science, technology, economy, and finance.
HDFC Bank Q3 net profit rose by 33% to ₹7,417 crores.
The private sector lender reported a 32.8% growth in its net profit to ₹7,416.5 crores for the third quarter (October – December). The net profit earned was mainly driven by interest and non-interest income.
Last year, the bank earned a net profit of ₹5,585.9 crores in the same quarter. The net NPAs of the bank also increased to 0.48% of the assets in Q3 2019 as compared to 0.42% in Q3 2018. Overall, the total income of HDFC Bank in December quarter (2019) was ₹36,039 crore against ₹30,811.27 crores in 2018.
IIT-Bombay has efficiently removed heavy metals from water.
Earlier, simultaneously removing heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and mercury from the water was not much successful. But now, a team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has made it possible with very high efficiency.
The team had fabricated carbon-based nanostructure that showed 80-90% absorption efficiency for all the four heavy metals mentioned. The nanostructures can be recycled and reused. And no electricity is required for the nanostructure to remove heavy metals from water because it employs a gravity-driven purification (of the water) process.
Iran to utilize oil sale funds for bank capital.
Bank Pasargad of Iran had already received RBI’s approval for opening its maiden branch in India in 2019. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that Iran may use the capital it already has in India for the functioning of Pasargad’s India’s branch.
He further said both the countries were working on operating banks in each other’s countries. Here is a statement from the Iranian Minister himself, “we are in the process of finalizing the agreement with India for initial capital. Because of difficulty in transferring hard currency, we can use initial capital we already [have] in India… gained by the sale of oil.”
Keki Mistry has stepped down from HDFC Bank Board.
He was serving as the vice-chairman and CEO of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) Bank. According to the Banking Regulation Act, no director of a banking company except its chairman or whole-time director, can continue to hold office after eight consecutive years.
Engineering goods, petroleum products drove India’s export growth
Finished petroleum products, gems and jewelry, and engineering goods have helped India to reach a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9 percent in commodity exports from 2015 to 2019.
Engineering goods and gems & jewelry together accounted for 35.5 percent (the highest share) of the total exports in 2019. The exports of petroleum-based products also grew by 7.8 percent in 2019.
A subsidiary of M&M is set to acquire Fifth Gear Ventures.
Mahindra & Mahindra has announced that one of its subsidiaries, Mahindra First Choice Wheels Ltd. (MFCWL), has entered into an agreement to acquire the e-commerce platform Fifth Gear Ventures Ltd. (FGVL) for up to Rs. 30.45 crores.
The acquisition shall be completed by March 31, 2020. MFCWL claimed that this acquisition is intended for expanding the company’s presence in the digital automotive space and seamlessly integrating the offline and online user experience.
German Minister claimed Germany needs Huawei for building a 5G network.
Germany’s interior minister has suggested that for building a 5G network in the country it would need help from the Chinese tech giant Huawei. His suggestion came as an intervention in the ongoing tensions between the US and its allies.
The US alleged that the company poses some serious espionage threats. And this is why the US has been pressurizing its allies to ban the world’s biggest telecom supplier (Huawei) from 5G networks.
Google has added annoying icons to search on the desktop.
Google has made a major design tweak and added tiny favicon icons to its search results for some unknown reasons. The users are finding the new feature to be annoying as it creates more clutter to the existing clean interface. Favicon icons help users to distinguish between results so that they are aware of which website they are going to click.
US judge has ordered Facebook to disclose malicious apps’ data.
The order from the US judge is a part of the probe related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal where 87 million users are involved in it.
The US judge has ordered Facebook to hand over the data of thousands of apps that violated user privacy. Last year, Facebook admitted that it has suspended a huge number of apps for possible privacy violations.
Huawei is expected to launch affordable 5G phones by the end of 2020.
The President for 5G product line in Huawei, Yang Chaobin feels that smartphones with 5G technology and priced around $150, shall be launched by 2020 end or early 2021.
The Chinese smartphone manufacturer and its sub-brand Honor have a range of 5G smartphones already launched in the market in 2019; including Mate 20X 5G, Mate X 5G, Mate 30 5G series, Honor V30 series, Nova 6 5G, and a few others.
Xiaomi India’s MD has handed over the offline retail business to the company’s COO.
Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi India’s managing director will now play a major role in deciding the Chinese electronics company’s entry into some new global markets and product categories. And, the responsibility of expanding the company offline will now be taken care of by its chief operating officer Muralikrishnan B.
Fiat Chrysler in negotiation with Foxconn to develop electric cars.
Fiat Chrysler is in talks with Foxconn, a Taiwanese company, to build and manufacture battery-powered electric vehicles.
The US-Italian automaker is also in a process of merging with France’s PSA Peugeot. Peugeot is 12% owned by Chinese company Dongfeng Motor Co. Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot have lagged in manufacturing electric cars, and have been struggling to increase sales in the world’s largest auto market, China.
Reliance Jio’s net profit has jumped 62.5 % to Rs. 1,350 crores in December.
The addition of more users and earnings from increased tariff plans per subscriber has helped the company to see a 62.5% jump in its net profit at Rs. 1,350 crores.
While its rivals are facing a tough time because of the mammoth penalty dues, Jio has reported a 28.3 percent hike in its operating revenue of Rs. 13,968 crores.