# Internet companies to be the nemesis for banks?
Jeff Bezos,Agustín Carstens, Chairman, Bank for International Settlements, has opined that the rise of internet and ‘big data’ giants like Amazon and Alipay could prove to be the undoing of traditional banks.
According to Jeff Bezos, the sheer volume of customer data that is available with these internet companies gives them potential competitive advantages over banks. Since internet companies are well armed with data and insights into spending and lifestyle patterns of customers, it is easier for them to judge the risks of giving loans to these customers.
He adds, “This can be an existential threat to some financial intermediation firms so it is very important for us to get all of this early on and try to steer it without distortions.” In fact Alipay, which is the third party online, mobile and in-store payment solution owned by Alibaba, is closing in on HSBC on the parameter of market capitalisation.
It is quite possible that companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook could make their forays into financial services. The extent of competitive advantage with these companies is also not known, according to Carstens, and there are also fears of an increase in risky lending and destabilisation of the financial system.
#ISRO launches its heaviest satellite, which will provide high speed broadband across the country
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched its heaviest satellite GSAT-11 through an Arianespace rocket from French Guiana at 2:07 am IST today. The Ariane-5 vehicle put the GSAT-11 into orbit after a 33-minute flight.
With a weight of around 5,854 kg and a designed lifetime of over 15 years, the satellite is the third in a series of four satellites being launched to provide 100 GBPS data connectivity to gram panchayats under Bharat Net as well as for enterprise network and consumer broadband applications.
ISRO Chairman K. Sivan stated, “The satellite has 38 spot beams as well as eight sub beams, which would cover the entire country, including the remote places … it is going to provide something like 16 GBPS data link services to the country.”
The satellite will be placed in Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit for now, and subsequently raised to Geostationary Orbit by firing the on-board Liquid Apogee Motor. While it was initially scheduled for May 25, ISRO delayed the launch for additional checks.
# AgustaWestland fixer brought to India, major boost for BJP ahead of elections?
Christian Michel, the alleged fixer in the AgustaWestland scam, was extradited to New Delhi from the UAE late Tuesday night and straightaway taken to CBI headquarters for questioning.
Michel is expected to be produced in CBI court for questioning on Monday.
This can be viewed as a major political development in the context of elections, as the AgustaWestland scam pertains to charges of organised bribesbeing facilitated by Michel to award a Rs 3,600-crore contract for VVIP helicopters for top leaders during the UPA regime.
The contract was for 12 luxury helicopters that were to be used by the President, Prime Minister, former Prime Minister and other VIPs. When the allegations of bribery by AgustaWestland’s parent company Finmeccanica came up, the government scrapped the deal.
Michel is accused of getting Euro 30 million or Rs 225 crore in kickbacks from AgustaWestland by the Enforcement Directorate.
His extradition had been requested 18 months ago. The extradition could be a major political bonus for the BJP against the Congress.
A diary owned by Michel allegedly has entries mentioning then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel have been mentioned as Sonia’s key advisors along with a mention of Euros 15–16 million for a ‘family’ and Euros 3 million for ‘AP’.
# China could import more agri-products from India to bring down trade deficit
China is reportedly planning to increase imports of a wide variety of agri-products to India as a part of ongoing efforts to reduce the trade deficit. India’s exports to China reached US$ 33 billion in 2017–18 while imports reached US$ 76.2 billion.
Beijing will be sending across teams for inspection of pomegranate and grape orchards and soy processing units.
A delegation from India also met Chinese vice minister Hu Wei, where it made the case for exports of okra, chikoo, milk and bovine meet. Beijing also asked India to restart imports of apples, pears and milk and dairy products.
Imports of dairy products from China were disallowed in 2008 after the products were found to contain melamine, while China had stopped bovine imports from India on concerns of foot and mouth disease.
Other issues could come up in subsequent meetings, including China’s rules for mandatory annual registration of back houses and grape exporters, which India is requesting a relaxation on.
# SpaceX creates new US record by launching 64 satellites in one mission, ISRO retains global record of 104 satellites
Elon Musk-owned SpaceX successfully launched 64 small satellites on a twice-reused Falcon rocket at 12:02 am IST on Tuesday from a launchpad in California.
The launch was historic in two aspects. Firstly, it managed the third successful reuse of Falcon 9, and secondly it was the largest satellite ride-share in US history. The global record is still held by Indian space agency ISRO, which launched 104 satellites in a single launch mission in February 2017.
The satellites launched also included India’s ExseedSAT-1, manufactured by one-year old private space startup Exseed to boost India’s private radio capabilities.
This was also SpaceX’s 19th launch in 2018, bettering its previous record of 18 satellites in 2017. Such launches validate expert opinions of the dawn of an era of small satellites that could potentially power a number of businesses from internet service to supply chain monitoring.
SpaceX aims to continue reusing equipment to bring down costs and has already made significant achievements on that front. The Falcon-9’s latest version Block 5 is made to last for upto 100 times before it can be laid to rest.
# Now ISB students win big in placement season
After the IITs reported a 30% growth in offers with over 3,000 jobs to their students in the first three days of placement season, it’s time for the ISBs to celebrate.
Graduates from the ISB campuses in Hyderabad and Mohali have secured 1,194 job offers during the first week of their campus placement. The number of job offers have increased by 46% as compared to 816 offers during the previous year, and the number of companies visiting ISB campuses has increased by 29% yoy.
The average pay package for ISB was Rs 25.06 lakh per annum with 18 companies making over 15 offers each. Consulting, IT and e-commerce companies accounted for 25%, 18.6%, and 10.6% of the job offers made to ISB students respectively.
Some of the marquee names visiting the campuses include Bain, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, McKinsey, Flipkart, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Reliance Industries, Uber, Citibank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase and Apple.