Sebi may force full disclosure on loan defaults with rating agencies

first_imgNew Delhi: Amid concerns over banks citing ‘client confidentiality’ to resist sharing of information on delayed loan repayments and possible defaults by their borrowers, capital market regulator Sebi is planning to tighten its norms to make it mandatory for companies to provide these details to credit rating agencies. Amid numerous cases of huge loan defaults by corporates, including in cases like Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS), credit rating agencies have also come under the scanner for failing to flag potential credit risks of the securities and entities rated by them. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalHowever, the rating agencies have often sought to shift the blame to the companies and lenders by claiming that they find it difficult to get information about delay in meeting bank obligations and payment failures which are considered early indicators of a default. Officials said there have been occasions when some entities have sought to take the benefit of certain regulatory gaps as banks are regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) while rating agencies and listed companies come under Sebi’s jurisdiction, while the problem becomes more acute in case of unlisted companies. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostTo fill this regulatory gap, Sebi is now proposing to amend its regulations for credit rating agencies to ensure that any listed or unlisted entity, before getting rated, gives an explicit consent to obtain from their lenders and other entities full details about their existing and future borrowings as also their repayment and delay or default of any nature and provide the same to the rating agencies. The proposal is likely to be presented for approval by Sebi’s board at its meeting later this month, the officials said. The move is aimed at helping the rating agencies get timely information about the rated entity’s financial strength and incorporate the impact of these details in their ratings. The provisions of the rating agreement between a rating agency and its client or issuer of securities is governed by the Sebi (Credit Rating Agencies) Regulations, framed in 1999. This regulation provides that every rating agency needs to enter into a written agreement with each client whose securities it proposes to rate and mentions detailed provisions that every such agreement should include. As per these regulations, rating agencies are required to continuously monitor the rating of securities during the lifetime of such securities. Sebi is of the view that any default or delay in meeting bank obligations are often early indicators of default on other borrowing obligations of the issuer, an official said. “However, banks have not been forthcoming in sharing such information with credit rating agencies citing client confidentiality as a reason,” the official added. In order to address this issue, Sebi had earlier decided to mandate the rating agencies to incorporate an enabling provision in the rating agreement with their clients. The official said Sebi had also written to the RBI in May, apprising the banking regulator that the rating agencies are contemplating incorporating such enabling provision in the rating agreement. The RBI was also requested to advise banks to provide timely and accurate information to the credit rating agencies regarding any default or delay in payments by the rated entities, but no response was received in the matter till last month. In view of this, Sebi is now proposing to amend its regulations for the rating agencies to insert a clause requiring the clients to give an explicit consent for obtaining such details from their lenders and other organisations holding information on their borrowings and provide the same to the raters.last_img read more

Sarah Polley to adapt Zoe Whittalls The Best Kind of People

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Sarah Polley has optioned the film rights to Zoe Whittall’s novel The Best Kind of People and will write and direct the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.Whittall’s novel was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a national bestseller in Canada. The Best Kind of People is set in a small, wealthy American community where a popular teacher at a local prep school is charged with sexual assault. The book explores the perspectives of his wife, teenage daughter and adult son, a prominent family in the community now facing social exclusion.“In these frightening times, I believe it is more important than ever to tell this tale of rape culture, and how a family and a community grapples with who should be believed, and how far empathy can stretch itself,” said Polley to The Hollywood Reporter. Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement Polley is no stranger to adaptations of CanLit. She earned an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay for Away From Her, which was based on the Alice Munro short story “A Bear Came Over the Mountain.” She recently wrote and produced a six-hour miniseries adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace, which will star Sarah Gadon and air on CBC and Netflix.“I still can’t believe it’s happening,” said Whittall in an email to CBC Books. “She’s so iconic and makes such beautiful, meaningful films, that I’m just thrilled. Beyond thrilled. I know I can trust her with the material to transform the story for the screen.” Facebooklast_img read more

FCA leans on Harman and Google for new connectedcar services

first_img 2019 Maserati Levante GTS: Heart of gold 2019 Dodge Durango SRT: A big utility with big performance More From Roadshow More about 2019 Dodge Durango SRT AWD Review • 2019 Dodge Durango SRT review: Three-row muscle car Preview • 2019 Dodge Durango: Model overview, pricing, tech and specs 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country first drive: Small changes make a big impact null 73 Photoscenter_img Tags Share your voice Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Google Auto Tech Future Cars 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: First hybrid minivan wins on fuel economy 0 In the US, it’s been generally acknowledged that Fiat Chrysler has kept its focus on the older-school elements of the auto industry while others have gone all-in on things like electrification and connectivity. But now, its Uconnect telematics are set to receive a big boost to help adapt to the future of in-car services.Fiat Chrysler announced on Tuesday that it will rely on tech from Harman and Google to build out its connected-car services. This “ecosystem,” as FCA refers to it, is set to launch in the second half of 2019, and it’ll be part of all new FCA vehicles around the world by 2022.Harman’s Ignite cloud platform will serve as the base for the out-of-car side of FCA’s services. With 4G connectivity and tech that fosters “the evolution to 5G,” FCA says its cloud services will work with any service provider worldwide. It’ll cover all the normal stuff that other automakers have in their connected-car portfolios, like fuel and charging station locations, predictive maintenance and over-the-air updates. It should also be capable of working with vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.Enlarge ImageHere’s a quick look at the major things FCA wants its new system to deliver. Yes, it’s a lot. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Google comes into play inside the car. The next version of its Uconnect infotainment system will run on Android, further bridging the connection between phone and in-car telematics. While this might conjure memories of Volvo’s announcement that it will use Android OS in the upcoming Polestar 2, there’s one key difference. Whereas Volvo’s foray with the operating system includes Google Maps, Google Assistant and other apps and services, FCA’s system won’t have any of those ancillary bits, just the operating system.FCA was quick to note that these new foundations will allow for a number of services specific to electrified vehicles, too — an area where, at least in the US, FCA lags behind its competitors. These platforms will enable remote battery management, EV navigation that keeps range in mind and services that help the vehicle work better with the electrical grid.There’s even more than that in store. FCA has its sights set on alternate mobility methods, too — its system is capable of working with usage-based insurance, varying-term vehicle rentals and even peer-to-peer car sharing. The automaker didn’t say which parts would start rolling out first, but as we push into the next decade (just a few months away!), we’ll get a better idea of what FCA has in store.Originally published April 30, 8:08 a.m. PT.Update, 5:32 p.m.: Clarified differences between Volvo and FCA operating systems.last_img read more

Karnataka man stabs wife to death chops head off

first_imgGetty Images [Representational Image]A man chopped his wife’s head off after stabbing her to death and tried to dump her body in a canal. The victim, 19-year-old Nivetha, and her husband Muniappan, 28, had been married only for eight months and were living at Mettukadai near Erode in Tamil Nadu. Muniappan hails from Shimoga district of Karnataka.According to the police, the couple used to get into arguments that would eventually lead to a fight. It was reported  that Muniappan doubted her fidelity. A similar clash broke out between the couples on Monday and an angry Muniappan stabbed his wife on the neck and then beheaded her. According to the reports, after murdering Nivetha, Muniappan stuffed her body in a tow sack and her severed head in a bag. He tied the bag and sack to his motorbike and proceeded to dump them in a nearby canal when some people noticed a woman’s leg protruding from the sack.The alarmed public chased Muniappan, who abandoned his bike and jumped into the canal. The mob caught him forthwith. The police rushed to the scene after being alerted about the incident and arrested Muniappan. Police booked him for murder and initiated an investigation into the matter.last_img read more

In Texas Elections As In Schools Participation Is Part Of The Grade

first_imgThe education group’s most visible efforts revolved around a long shot: running little-known Rockwall Republican Scott Milder to oust incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Milder spent most of his time campaigning for educators’ votes — and was crushed, gaining only 24 percent of the vote.Milder first posted his concession statement on Reynolds’ Facebook group on primary night. In the spirit of the block vote, he encouraged teachers to give their vote to Democratic candidate Mike Collier in the general election. “I will be casting my vote for Mike Collier, the rational Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, and will strongly encourage all Texans who voted for me in this race to cast their votes for Collier as well,” he wrote.Some also posit educators were scared away from voting after Attorney General Ken Paxton released an opinion saying educators could not promote specific candidates or measures with public money, school district equipment or on school time. He also said school districts can’t pay to drive students to polling places “absent an educational purpose.” Soon before the primary, Paxton sent cease-and-desist letters to educators at three Texas school districts he said were conducting “unlawful electioneering” by using public money to advocate for political candidates.“I do think it’s disappointing that anyone, let alone the leaders of our state and elected officials, would go out of their way to discourage anyone from voting when there was no evidence of any wrongdoing,” said Laura Yeager, founder of Texas Educators Vote, a civic engagement group encouraging educators to be politically active.State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, who first asked Paxton to weigh in on what he saw as illegal electioneering, said Paxton’s letters did not stop educators from voting. “There’s simply no way that’s intimidating. Unless you’re doing it. And then you’re being told to stop, and nobody’s filing charges on you. They just want you to stop — stop doing it.” Bettencourt said.Retired Spring ISD teacher Margaret Womack started researching candidates for the primary after lawmakers put a Band-Aid on the broken teacher health care system, leaving many retired teachers with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. The block voting group sounded like a good vehicle for first-time political involvement, she said. “In 30-plus years of seeing what has happened in education, educators could never quite get themselves together to say, ‘This isn’t right.’ We’d wring our hands and we’d say, ‘Geez, I wish it was different,’” she said.Womack was disappointed but not surprised that Milder didn’t make it through the primary. She said she often votes for Democrats but eagerly voted in the Republican primary to support him. She knows other teachers had a harder time crossing over.Womack said she is still motivated to vote for Collier and will continue to recruit educators to block vote in the general election — but that she is dismayed at the evidence she’s seen on how little research voters do before voting. She said the movement needs to prioritize widespread voter education to be successful. “If we don’t have that, I don’t know. I’m at a loss.” Share Tiffany SzerpickiAn empty classroomWhen Fort Bend ISD board president Kristin Tassin announced in September that she was running for state Senate against incumbent Houston Republican Joan Huffman, public education advocates lined up to support her.Outspoken about the state’s failure to overhaul its school funding system, Tassin won an early nod from outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus and picked up endorsements from former and current superintendents, a parent-led political action committee, and Texas’ chapter of the national teachers’ union. Gov. Greg Abbott, while endorsing her opponent, appointed her to a state committee on special education.Tassin also received the endorsement of a Facebook group, “Texans for Public Education,” which planned to organize its thousands of members to vote in the Republican primary for a set of candidates the group deemed “friendly” to public education.She lost badly. Huffman was the favorite to win, as an incumbent endorsed by the governor — but the race was expected to be competitive. Instead, Tassin received just 27 percent of the vote. “[Block voting] wasn’t effective in my race. The teachers didn’t show up. They didn’t show up to vote,” she said. “If they voted, they voted in the wrong primary.”She said she ran into teachers who said they were block voting — but who registered for the Democratic primary.Tassin argued educator voting groups, despite their efforts, did not motivate a significant-enough faction of teachers to vote. But block vote cheerleaders say the primary elections were a shaky test run for a much larger mission: shedding teachers’ reputation for being politically apathetic or uninvolved and building their political clout in Texas over the next several election cycles.Like Tassin, Granbury ISD Superintendent Jim Largent partly attributed his loss against incumbent Rep. Mike Lang in House District 59 to the failure of teachers to show up at the polls. “The block voting group certainly was effective in a way and was able to get a large group talking about the same things,” Largent said. “There was still low voter turnout.”Troy Reynolds, founder of Texans for Public Education and an administrator at Splendora ISD north of Houston, publicly presented his mission at a rally on the Capitol green in July: to oppose Abbott’s proposed agenda for the summer special session, which educators argued was chock full of unfunded mandates for public schools. He rallied fellow educators to vote based on issues, not party, meaning party loyalists would need to hold their noses and support candidates on the other side of the aisle.“What we’re doing has never been tried before,” Reynolds said after the primary. He argues educators helped tip the vote for more than two dozen moderate Republicans vying for competitive state House seats. But he acknowledges the group’s limited success: “It truly strategically is not realistic to think a new organization can walk in and undo 10 to 15 years of infiltration by these profiteers in one election,” he said, referring in part to Empower Texans, a key conservative activist organization that poured more than $1 million into state-level campaigns this year.last_img read more

Robot firefighters help mitigate hazardous conditions

first_img(Phys.org)—Events worldwide remind us of the fact that modern-day fire-fighting has taken on added complexities such as explosions, chemical leaks, and nuclear accidents. In fact it was after Fukushima that two brothers in Waterboro, Maine, resolved to start making their fire-battling robots. The two had been working with the military and they realized how applicable their machines might be to help out in natural disasters. “We could have helped out in Fukushima,” they said, and they resolved to come up with robots that can reduce the exposure of human firefighters to out-of-control fires. Their company, Howe and Howe Technologies, offers a set of robots, in modular fashion, that are designed to clear paths, pull debris and bodies out of the way, and spray water, and the robots can be transported on an all-terrain customized truck. The Howe and Howe portfolio of robots includes the “Guardian” that uses its robotic arm to move debris out of the way of the disaster scene, the “Terra Maxa,” to clear the way with a plough, and the “Thermite” which uses a multidirectional nozzle that can spray 600 gallons of water every minute. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The creators developed the robots over three months. They were helped by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is interested in new gear for first responders. The Thermite alone would cost $98,500. Howe and Howe Technologies have commercialized their firebots for sale. The two brothers note that their helpers are not intended to replace firefighters but to be another tool that human firefighters can use to save lives including those performing the rescue operations. The idea is to use the robots to bring the situation under control. Once under control the firefighters can go in to continue putting out the fire and assist victims. © 2012 Phys.org Citation: Robot firefighters help mitigate hazardous conditions (2012, October 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-robot-firefighters-mitigate-hazardous-conditions.html South Korea’s little firefighting robots (w/ Video) The Thermite is the centerpiece, a fire-fighting and emergency response robot propelled by caterpillar tracks which is remote-controlled from up to 1/4 mile away. The robot is hand-made from steel and aircraft-grade aluminum. The Thermite is small and compact enough to go through average door widths. Startup time to assume full robot functions is five seconds. The robots can arrive at the scene on the back of a truck called the “Bulldog,” a non-robotic component that acts as the water source for Thermite. The truck is outfitted with 54″ tires and can cross rugged terrain. More information: howeandhowe.com/robotics.php#last_img read more

3 Lessons From Sony Pictures Cautionary Tale

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. December 29, 2014 It seems like as each day passes, another embarrassment unfolds in the Sony Pictures security breach saga — from unflattering internal discussions to Sony’s ill-advised DDoS counter offensive against the sites leaking their data.But more than just a PR disaster, the headlines spell out a cautionary tale for any business with sensitive data and high-value intellectual property. While the cost of the Sony hack has yet to be assessed, experts predict losses of up to $100 million resulting from the leak of personal financial info, unreleased movies and more.Related: 5 Lessons Leaders Can Learn From the Sony Hacking ScandalThe burning question on any business owner’s mind is: Could Sony have prevented this? Here are three key takeaways from the Sony hack, and what you can do to avoid these mistakes.1. The risk of a data breach is bigger than you think.In terms of probability and losses, the risk of a data breach is huge. If investing in security doesn’t provide a visible enough return to convince your chief financial officer, just look to the statistics: in the past year, 43 percent of companies have experienced a data breach. While the likelihood that you’ll get hacked is high, what makes or breaks your business is its ability to respond.Unfortunately, Jason Spaltro, Sony senior vice president of information security, didn’t get that memo: “It’s a valid business decision to accept the risk. I will not invest $10 million to avoid a possible $1 million loss.” Once he receives the final tally of damages from the Sony hack, he’ll likely revisit that ratio.2. Behave yourself in your emails.One of the biggest embarrassments from the Sony hack has been the leak of several unsavory emails, some of which may cost executive Amy Pascal her job. Racially insensitive comments about the president and declarations that Angelina Jolie is a “spoiled brat” count among her most egregious faux pas. Sony has hired attorney David Boies to try to put the lid on the leaked emails, but now that they’re out in the wild, there are no take-backs.Related: FBI Warns U.S. Businesses of ‘Destructive’ CyberattacksMost of us know better than to let our unscripted thoughts fly in business emails, but most of us also don’t expect our emails to show up on Gawker. If, by chance, you need a reminder to keep it classy, the Sony hack is a powerful example.3. Use email encryption.An email hack can cost you more than your reputation. Consider the sensitive data you send via email, from your business’s financials to important intellectual property. Encryption adds a layer of protection to your data by making it unintelligible to anyone who doesn’t have the decryption key. Even if a hacker manages to steal your data, without the key, they can’t do anything with it. End-to-end email encryption not only helps protect against data leaks, but also keeps your Angelina Jolie disses hush.As the Sony hack continues to prove, with cyber crime, more than money is at stake — besides the PR catastrophe, the threat to some jobs and leaks of unreleased films and other IP, employees and their families have had their medical data exposed and are receiving personal threats.While the loss is staggering, one thing is clear: much of this could have been prevented. By adequately investing in data security and encrypting sensitive files and emails, Sony might have avoided much of the fallout from this data breach.You never know where something you send could show up. Once you hit send, it’s out of your control, right? Wrong. There are new technologies available that give email users back control over how their messages are viewed and shared online. These tools (such as Virtru) provide email users with easy to install, and use, end-to-end encryption and unique privacy controls such as the ability to revoke a message after it’s been sent, restrict forwarding and set expiry for sensitive emails to auto-delete.The hard truth is that sending an email is like sending a postcard — the message is there for virtually anyone to see and use. If you’re an email user who has mistakenly sent an email to the wrong person or wants to ensure your private information remains private and confidential, an extra layer of protection is needed. Just ask Sony.Related: Make Hacking Harder (Infographic) Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

4 Choices Youll Make Running Your Startup in the Age of Robots

first_img There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the threat to our way of economic life from robots and artificial intelligence. Many see major problems, and the fears they express tend to draw attention.Related: Robotics Is Here and Already It’s Changing EverythingTesla founder Elon Musk, for instance, made headlines predicting the end of the world in what resembled — more than a little — the story line from the Terminator franchise. Others have described robots replacing workers in businesses and prompting unemployment rates of 50 percent or more. And still other naysayers have said they suspect robots will take over production, thereby forcing all humans to become marketers.But there also have been those who argue that the threat is exaggerated and robots and AI could be a real benefit, as they could free us from hard and dangerous work. These forecasters have said this will be a win primarily for low-skilled workers, an advantage good for business.Regardless of the eventual outcome, the  advances in technology and software will almost certainly change the economy in both the short- and long term. Regulators will respond to the challenges, raising still more dire predictions — this time from within the tech industry — where observers say they fear government will soon have to pay our salaries and therefore should foot the bill by taxing robots as “employeees.”Whatever the technology revolution eventually looks like, it will change the nature of business and the nature of how startups are managed and decisions made. In short, the robot revolution will affect how we hire and fire, and how human resources operates, in general. In that context, here are four potentail trade-offs every startup will need to make:1. Flexibility vs. productivityThe robots that are already out there can be enormously productive, working with unbeatable precision and stamina, and never needing a cigarette break. They don’t gossip or bully. They aren’t jealous of the next guy getting a raise. But their down side is that they can perform only one or a few very specific or standardized tasks, whereas an employee can chip in wherever needed.The truth is, nothing beats a real human being in terms of the scope of things we can do — and do well. That’s why 20th century economist Ludwig von Mises made a point of stating that human labor is unspecific but that other factors of production are not. “More specific” means more productive but less flexible.In startups, this flexibility is an enormously important quality that beats the productivity of machines any day. Robots and software can carry out specific tasks with superb productivity, but they cannot switch to sweet-talking a neglected customer when that’s what needs to be done.2. Problem-solving vs. productionRobots can’t solve problems that have not first been clearly defined. And even then, they can be used effectively only if a solution is available and engineered.This applies to machine learning and AI too, even though those technologies are super-powerful at finding proverbial needles in data haystacks. They can find patterns that are hidden to the naked (human) eye. But — again, the down side: Where patterns don’t persist and things change over time, these technologies simply don’t work well.Related: Robots Aren’t Taking Over The Job Market Just YetThe typical startup is also far from the structured environment that these technologies require. This is not a question of data availability, but of soft skills and innovative problem-solving.Most startups struggle with tweaking the business model, improving consumer relations and putting out (plenty of) fires. Those changes require advance interpretation and understanding; they need the ability to change quickly and go in a new and not necessarily well-defined direction.And these are qualities that people have but machines do not.Simply put, if the problems in your startup are straightforward or at least can be solved using codified information, then choose technology over people. Otherwise do not.3. The creation of value vs. structure It bears repeating that startups are not smaller versions of the larger company. They’re separate and unique; they do different things and do them differently.Startups also attempt to find and refine their market niche and value proposition, and they struggle to make ends meet, whereas established firms focus on structuring their organization and standardizing production processes.In other words, startups are in pursuit of creating new value and trying to discover the extent of their perceived entrepreneurial opportunity.Large companies, in contrast, are exploiting their opportunity. Their main focus is on profit maximization through cost-cutting, standardizing and streamlining production.So, large companies are solving an entirely different problem, approaching that solution through structure, control and management — which is  fundamentally conducive to automation and, therefore, to machines instead of people.4. Outsourcing vs. in-house productionWhile production in mature businesses is more streamlined and structured, these businesses have often established a cost advantage for what they do in-house.Startups are different and generally cannot afford to think in terms of optimized production volumes or cost minimization. Indeed, cash-flow problems kill 25 percent of startups.It’s more important for startups to avoid large up-front investments than to find the cheapest way to produce. Purchasing the machines necessary for in-house production makes little sense when the firm’s survival depends on cash flow.It could be a recipe for success to not produce in-house, to avoid huge outlays — even if that means higher COGS. If a company is in that positon, it should take advantage of other businesses’ cost minimization efforts by outsourcing.Undoubtedly, machines undoubtedly have a place in business, but humans do, too. The advances in robotics and AI shift the boundaries for what machines can do, but machines alone cannot replace humans in everything. We are unbeatable in dynamic milieus and open-ended tasks due to our “soft” skills: creativity, imagination and problem-solving.Related: Robotics: A Threat to Manpower?And these skills are core to entrepreneurship. So, perhaps there’s no reason to fear technology for the immediate future, if ever. Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 6 min read February 1, 2019 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more