Digicel challenge for Grand Prix mascot

first_imgKINGSTON: Digicel is challenging Jamaicans to put their creativity to work and win up to $300,000 for designing an official mascot for the 2016 Digicel Grand Prix Athletics Championships. Following a successful inaugural staging of the high-school athletics series earlier this year, the full-service communications firm is adding a mascot that will become an important identifying feature of the event. Dubbed by fans as the ‘Diamond League’ of youth athletics, the Digicel Grand Prix will launch early January. “Mascots help play a meaningful role in engaging and captivating young audiences and inspiring them to participate in activity. Our mascot will help to support the growth of the Grand Prix amongst youth supporters and spectators at-large,” noted Peter Lloyd, marketing director at Digicel Jamaica. Entries close Friday Entries opened on Monday and close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, December 18. Interested persons may visit the Digicel Jamaica Facebook page for entry forms and more information. For their efforts, the first-place winner will receive $300,000, while the second-and third-place winners will receive $150,000 and $50,000, respectively. “We are calling on all creative minds to invent a character that is imaginary and original. It could be an animal, a person, or object. It should reflect the youth and vibrancy of the Jamaican student-athlete and the Digicel brand. Each design should also include a name for the mascot. We want participants to let their imagination run wild,” Lloyd explained. Submissions for the Digicel Grand Prix Mascot competition must be sent to jamcomsponsorship@digicelgroup.com, attn: ‘Digicel Grand Prix Mascot Competition’. The Digicel Grand Prix Athletic Championship will be hosted for the second time in February 2016. The track-and-field series will include six development meets that will be held over a four-week period. These meets are the Western Championships, Central Championship, Camperdown Classics, Youngster Goldsmith Development Meet, Corporate Area Development Meet and the grand finale, the GC Foster Classics. This year, the company is expected to increase cash prizes, academic scholarships and other incentives.last_img read more

Just How Bad Were the Bad Boys

This Thursday, ESPN1Corporate parent of this website, among others. will air its latest “30 for 30” documentary special, “Bad Boys,” which explores the notorious Pistons era that brought Detroit back-to-back NBA championships 25 years ago. Along with my colleagues at Grantland who are running “Detroit Week,” I’ll be publishing articles relating to the “Bad Boys” narrative and legacy. This is Part 1, in which I’ll examine whether the Bad Boys really earned their nickname.How “bad” were they? That seems like just the kind of thing a data-driven operation might want to quantify. But to figure it out we have to first make sense of what “bad” means in the Bad Boys narrative.Wikipedia lays it out as bare fact that the Pistons’ “physical, defense-oriented style of play” was responsible for the nickname. Sports Illustrated adds a touch of violence, listing “on-court mayhem” as one of the main ingredients. ESPN’s promotional material for its new film makes a telling generalization:For some, the team was heroic — made up of gritty, hard-nosed players who didn’t back down from anyone. And for others, it was exactly that trait — the willingness to do seemingly anything to win — that made them the “Bad Boys,” the team fans loved to hate.There may not be full agreement among sources, but this “willingness to do seemingly anything to win” formulation is key to the qualitative aspect of the Bad Boys narrative. It’s also something we can begin to assess empirically.2We could build an ad-hoc model for “badness” based on perimeter defense, offensive rebounding, fouls, technical fouls, ejections and other things we normally associate with the Pistons of this era. But such models are just numbers-y versions of opinion.When we hear that a player or team is “willing to do anything to win,” it often means they’re willing to practice more than the next guy, spend more time studying film or drawing up plays, or any of the things that we associate with being a good sport. But there’s another connotation: that an athlete or team is willing to do things that others aren’t. They’re willing to transgress the norm of sportsmanship — to be unsportsmanlike in order to gain an advantage.Fortunately, there’s a statistic that captures unsportsmanlike conduct: technical fouls. It’s enshrined right there in Rule 12 of the Official Rules of the NBA:A technical foul shall be assessed for unsportsmanlike tactics such as:(1) Disrespectfully addressing an official(2) Physically contacting an official(3) Overt actions indicating resentment to a call(4) Use of profanity(5) A coach entering onto the court without permission of an official(6) A deliberately-thrown elbow or any attempted physical act with no contact.Though there are some technical fouls not relating to unsportsmanlike behavior, and some behavior that doesn’t ever get penalized, this stat is the closest we have to an official determination of “bad” behavior.But willingness to transgress sportsmanship is meaningless if it doesn’t actually gain you an advantage. If you’re just violating competitive or moral norms for no reason and you’re actually worse off for it, people won’t even respect you enough to hate you for it. So for a team to earn a nickname prominently declaring how “bad” it is, the players should be using their badness to make them better.To see how the Bad Boys Pistons rated in both badness (technical fouls) and goodness (winning), let’s start with a simple scatter plot showing the technical foul rates for all teams since 1982 against their win percentages3Technical fouls aren’t kept in normal box scores at either the team or player level, so the relevant data is hard to find and gets weaker and weaker the further back we go (unfortunately the Bad Boys played in the pre-play-by-play era). However, I’ve compiled all the data on individual player technical fouls from ESPN.com’s player stats database. Though incomplete (many less-well-known players don’t have stats), most of the high-minutes players from back into the early ’80s are covered, so reasonable team estimates are possible. Fortunately, we don’t have to discriminate between a bunch of close cases.:The Pistons between 1986 and 19924There is dispute over what constitutes the “Bad Boys Era.” For example, Wikipedia lists it as 1979-1994. Perhaps that’s true for the broader narrative, but for analytical purposes I’ve chosen to use the seven years when Dennis Rodman, Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer all played together. are the red points. If the first thing you notice is a curiously strong relationship between technical rate and winning (note that every team that had more technicals than the “baddest” Pistons team had a good record), kudos! But we’re going to put that on ice until my next article later this week.So the Pistons look pretty bad, but even their baddest team (1989’s) had only the 15th most technical fouls since 1982. The 1995 Seattle Supersonics (who came within two games of beating the 1995 Chicago Bulls for the NBA title, which is probably more impressive than most championships) were badder and better than both the baddest and the best Pistons squads.But that’s not an entirely fair comparison. The Bad Boys Pistons practically led the revolution in unsportsmanlike play in the NBA, practitioners of the technical foul just as the technical foul became more prevalent.The red part is the “Bad Boys Era,” though the numbers are league-wide.5The league-wide technical foul rate before and during the Bad Boys Era may have been even lower than it appears in the chart. Because of the Pistons’ prominence and success, they are better-represented in the older, less complete data than a normal team would be — meaning they may be skewing the league averages towards themselves. Meanwhile, that 1995 SuperSonics squad came at the all-time peak for technical fouling.To see how these Pistons would have looked to people in their era, here’s the first graph above, but with all the non-Detroit teams after 1988 filtered out.Now that’s more like it. All six of the seasons after 1986 (Dennis Rodman’s rookie year) are badder than every season prior to 1989 in our data set.6Not shown: After the Pistons won their first championship (1988-89 season), you start to see an uptick in aggression in the NBA — though hard to prove, this may be a result of other teams emulating the Pistons’ style. Detroit only finished one season below .500,7In the 1992-93 season, the Pistons actually won 58 percent of their games with Dennis Rodman in the lineup, but went 4-16 without him, leading to their only losing season of the era. More on Rodman’s impact later this week. and won two championships in the other seasons.In addition to the shifting strategic landscape, a variety of otherwise minor rule changes, rule clarifications and scorekeeping instructions in the NBA may affect cross-era comparison (such as breaking out flagrant fouls into their own category, or turning illegal defenses into 3-second violations). But we can compare each team’s performance in a given season to what the rest of the league was doing at the time.8In addition to making rankings like this possible, this turns out to be the best technical-related metric for predicting current and future team success.To do this, I took the technicals per game for every team with 10,000-plus minutes recorded in our data set and divided it by the league average for the season. I then ranked the teams by their “badness” relative to their contemporaries and plotted them in rank order. In all, I plotted every qualifying team from 1982 through last week.9The presence of more teams near the top of the rankings suggests that the league hasn’t just been getting more technical-prone uniformly, but that the increase is being driven by the extremes. Boom! Using badness relative to a team’s era as the measure, the top two baddest teams are the two Bad Boys teams that won championships. For once, a harder look at the data seemingly confirms rather than undermines a popular sports narrative.But there’s something even more fascinating going on here: Technical fouls are bizarrely predictive of success. Individually, they give the other team a free attempt at another point, which should have about the same effect on the game as a turnover; they have no business indicating strength as well as they do. But they do. Not only are better teams more likely to get technicals (and vice versa), but “bad” plays may themselves add value. In other words, the Bad Boys may have been onto something.How and why this effect works turns out to be a fascinating and complex issue, and it will be the subject of the next article in this series, out later this week. read more

North Carolina man non responsive to CPR

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:beach, cpr, death, North Carolina, ocean, Snorkel, vacation, water Former US President Barack Obama Visits Turks and Caicos Bahamas Govt to pay for residents new notable water supply Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppPolice say despite CPR being administered to the 40 year old tourist man yesterday on that lower Bight beach, he died after 4pm; it was pronounced so by the medics at Cheshire Hall Medical Center by minutes to 6pm. The man, reported to Magnetic Media to be from North Carolina, complained of not feeling well to his girlfriend and was brought to shore but lost consciousness. The couple had arrived in Provo on Sunday and was out snorkeling when they abruptly ended their fun. There is no identity released as yet; Police say the man was brought to shore near the Beach House and that autopsy will say for sure how he died. Haitian gov’t official under investigation commits suicidelast_img read more

Newsletter Sales Strategies

first_imgThe biggest problem in selling newsletter ads is the low open rate, which is on average, about 25 percent. For first-time newsletter media buyers, the open rate often comes as a shock. I have seen new customers balk at open rates when they first hear them, saying, “How can I buy advertising in a media where 3/4ths of the audience don’t even open it?” A fair question and one we need to be prepared to respond to.I have seen some media salespeople plead ignorance on open rates, saying their publisher just doesn’t know what the numbers are. This is ridiculous, and every experienced media buyer knows it. E-mail newsletter service companies always tell their clients what their open rates are. A media buyer who hears “no one knows what our open rate is” will and should assume the worst and act accordingly.It is much better to deal with the open rate head on. First consider that because of the CAN-SPAM laws all newsletters must contain an easy “opt out” function. Knowing this, you need to shift the question from “How come only 25 percent of our newsletter readers opened the last newsletter” to “Why don’t the 75 percent who did not open the newsletter simply opt out?”Think about it. These readers did originally opt in, did not open the newsletter’s last issue, but did not opt out either. Why?People stay subscribed, but do not open newsletters, when other things are more important to them at the time the newsletter arrives. There may also be some undercounting because subscribers who read newsletters in the reader pane of Outlook or other newsletter readers but do not overtly open the newsletter, will not be counted as readers.From Unopened to Latent ReadersBut these are smaller arguments. Here is the big one: The “unopen” subscribers may not be engaged in the subject area of your newsletter but will return again. In essence, sell the “unopened newsletter circulation” as being “latent readers” and “latent buyers.” Here is how: First, ask your client about the buying cycle of their products. B-to-b products may be on annual fiscal cycles. Consumer products go through cycles as well. Right after a product is bought the customer who purchased might be out of the market for a period of time. Any advertiser who expects all of their potential buyers to make purchases every week a newsletter goes out is unrealistic.Now ask your client if they would be interested in buying exposure to a mailing list of people who have a proven interest in their product category, are not actively buying at this moment, but could return to buying mode at any moment. This describes the latent readers and buyers who did not open the last issue.To get full credit for the media buy you need to sell the importance of your newsletter including the value of the 75 percent or so of readers who did not open the last issue. Newsletters provide an ongoing way for advertisers to stay in touch, inexpensively, with targeted groups of readers/customers. If you can encourage a long term view of the media buy it can be a tremendously beneficial purchase for your client. Josh Gordon is president of SmarterMediaSales.com, a training and consulting company that helps publishers grow their online business. Gordon also publishes a blog at AdSalesBlog.com. One of the great services traditional print ad salespeople did for the marketing world was to encourage year-long media buys that fostered ongoing communication. There were legendary moments when the best of us refused “one shot” ads while advocating comprehensive ad schedules.Sadly, a lot of the online media we now sell takes more of a “direct response” mentality. Campaigns are created to generate an immediate response, not long-term dialogue. The core benefit of a newsletter ad campaign is to create ongoing communication with a targeted audience.Supporting this, many publishers price newsletter ads more like “annuities” than ad space by charging premium pricing for advertisers who sign up for three months or less while granting big discounts for advertisers who commit to six months or a full year. Like life insurance annuities, an annual newsletter media buy doesn’t have to cost a lot every month, but with a long term commitment, a publisher or insurance company can run a profitable business over time.Overcoming Low Open Rateslast_img read more

Tom Walker On What A Time To Be Alive Music As Therapy

first_imgWe caught up with Walker at our Santa Monica, Calif. headquarters to learn more about his upcoming album, how songwriting helps him work through lives challenges, his favorite venue he’s played at, and more.Your debut album What a Time to be Alive comes out soon, October 19th. How are you feeling about putting that out into the world?I’m happy, it’s cool. I’ve been working on it for ages and ages. It feels like it’s in a really good place. The songs are just really strong and I’ve picked up, I think I’ve picked up of like 120 songs, I picked 11. Its 45 minutes of music. Spent ages getting the track list. I know people listen to a lot of stuff on streaming and don’t listen to albums as much these days, but to me, a proper artist has a proper album. I wanted to make sure the flow and the mix of everything, the continuity, was all one thing and it was fluid and I feel like I’ve gotten there. We’ve been a bit pushed for time because we’ve had 150 gigs this year. If I’ve not been out on the road, I’ve been in the studio and it’s just been back and forth and back and forth, crazy. I’m really excited and I’m really happy, which I didn’t think I’d be, I thought I’d be super nervous, but I feel like I’m ready to put it out into the world and see what everybody thinks.How do you feel working on this album versus your EP that you came out with; how is the creative process different?With this album, I went with three different producers. I worked with Jim Abbiss who I made the Blessings EP with, Steve Mark who I did two of the singles with and Mike Spencer who I’ve done a couple of the singles and some of the album tracks. It’s a really amazing opportunity and quite rare to work with three producers of that caliber, at this stage in your career, when you’ve had one big song out. You know what I mean? It was such a cool experience and all three are really different and really unique in their own ways and brought the best out of me in a few different ways. It was really cool. I love being in studio, I really enjoy it. I’m a bit of a studio guy, if I’m not out on tour, I wanna be in the studio. As soon as I’m in the studio for too long, I wanna be out on tour. It’s been a good balance, doing that for the whole album. It feels good.Speaking of hit single, “Leave a Light On” is very emotionally stirring and has caught the attention of a lot of people worldwide. I read that it was about real people in your life. How has songwriting helped you process things that you’ve gone through in life? Have you gotten feedback from fans that your music has also helped them?I feel like songwriting, for me, is kind of therapy. If I do have issues and I do have troubles, the best way to work it out is to write a song about it. I think you mentally just internalize the problem and somehow, you just get through it a little quicker. That’s for me, that’s probably why I’m a songwriter, you know? It’s not gonna work for everybody. I just find, putting it on paper really helps it. And “Leave A Light On” in particular is about a friend of mine, who kind of had a bit of an addiction problem. I had messages from people all over the world saying they had a brother or a sister or a parent or a friend or anybody who’s gone through a similar thing and this song’s helped them get through something and when I wrote it, I never really expected that. It’s been a really cool side effect of writing the song. Other people have had issues and it’s helped them through it. It’s kind of cool that music does that. I never really thought of that when I wrote it. I didn’t expect the reaction that it got, it’s cool.I’ve had a few people come up to me as well and tell me some pretty tragic, heartbreaking stories. It’s always nice to meet people who’ve had their own experiences with the song and got through something pretty tough. Makes you feel good about what you’re doing. Because I think the music industry can feel a little selfish sometimes, like everything’s about you, but it’s nice to actually be helping some people through some stuff.You mentioned that you’ve been touring a lot. You’re finishing up your tour in the U.S., you’ve played Glastonbury – what’s your favorite show that you’ve played so far?Favorite show? There’s been loads this year. I think Coco in London. I was so nervous cause it was the biggest venue we’d ever played in London and we sold it out super quickly. All of the label and all of my publishers and everybody came down, all my friends who I wrote the songs with and producers that I worked with, everybody was there. It was super nerve-racking, but it was amazing.Glastonbury was special as well because I finished by set, which I could only do acoustically, I couldn’t even get tickets for the band. I basically got offered the slot because I already bought a ticket for the festival. I didn’t have any help with my gear but this little trailer and had my guitar amplifier and my acoustic, I was lugging it through Glastonbury.It took an hour and an half to get it from my car to the stage, and then from the stage back to the car, another hour and an half. So like three hours for the day, just getting there and back. I did the set and it was amazing, the tent was full, which I couldn’t believe because there’s so many amazing artists playing at Glastonbury, I was like, “Well, nobody’s gonna come and fill this tent up”, but they did and it was great. Then as soon as I came out and finished my set, Elbow, which is like one of my favorite bands, were doing a secret set on the stage right there. So, I literally finished, put my gear away, came out, and they started their show and I just sat and watched it. I was like, how cool is this? I just finished my first set at Glastonbury and then I’ve come out and I’ve watched one of my favorite bands play a secret gig. That was pretty special. News Tom Walker On ‘What A Time To Be Alive,’ Music As Therapy & More Facebook The singer/songwriter tells us about his upcoming debut album, how songwriting is a therapeutic process for him, what it was like to play Glastonbury, and moreAna YglesiasGRAMMYs Sep 14, 2018 – 12:24 pm U.K.-based singer/songwriter Tom Walker’s debut full-length album What a Time to Be Alive is coming out on Oct. 19, and he’s pretty thrilled about it. A single he released last year “Leave a Light On,” a touching, emotionally-charged track that he wrote about a friend dealing with a substance problem, has already gained him an international following.It is clear that music has been Walker’s lifeblood since his early days listening to Michael Jackson’s Thriller on this dad’s record player as a kid, and that he is ecstatic to be sharing his passion—his music—with the world. Twitter NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Sep 14, 2018 – 11:46 am Singer/songwriter Tom Walker On Music As Therapy https://twitter.com/IamTomWalker/status/1039872093637079040 Email Tom Walker On Music As Therapy & More tom-walker-what-time-be-alive-music-therapy-more I heard Thriller was one of your favorite albums growing up, and perhaps still is?Yeah, I don’t listen to it as much these days, but it’s the first thing I remember ever hearing on vinyl. My dad had a pretty cool stereo at the time. My sister, unfortunately blew it up at a house party. Thriller was one of the first things I can remember dancing to around the living room, as a kid to and just being really scared, you know all the sounds effects that they put in that song and the speech at the end of it. It was really frightening when you were a kid. I just thought that was really cool.Growing up listening to music, did you know that was what you wanted to be an artist, or how did that change as you grew up and started pursuing music? I thought I wanted to be a guitarist, not an artist. I didn’t start singing and writing songs properly until I was 19. I think I was quite late to the party, in that sense. I’ve since made up for it, but I just loved guitar. I was a massive fan of AC/DC, Foo Fighters, Muse – I went to see all of them live. B.B. King, Chuck Berry, I love Ray Charles, I just like a bit of everything. I always was fascinated by music and when I saw my favorite bands doing a live show or seeing them on TV, I just thought “That looks so much fun.” I kind of wanted to pursue some form of that, I didn’t realize I would end up being an artist and being a songwriter and a singer. It just kind of all fell into place naturally, which was nice. I never really forced or didn’t set out to be like “I wanna be famous,” I just wanted to play music.You studied music in college. Do you think the degree helped prepare you for working in the music industry?I think the degree was really interesting because, in England it’s not free to go to university, but they lend you the money. It’s the best loan you’ll ever get. It’s a bit harder now, but when I was doing it at the time, it was fairly easy to get it. It just gave me three years to really focus on songwriting. The degree was good, but I felt there was bits of it that really weren’t that relevant to the industry. It could’ve been better in that sense. It’s an amazing degree, but actually getting into the industry, there was loads of things that they never told or warned us about, but it gave me the time to really build my craft. The songwriting teachers there were amazing. Really helped me with the songwriting, for sure. Also, I had Logic lessons, which really helped me recording and getting to production and stuff like that. The kind of music business side of it wasn’t really there, but the rest of it was great.Is there kind of like a dream collaboration that you have in the near future or?I’d love to write a song with Paolo Nutini. I’ve loved all of his albums so far and I love his voice. He was born in Scotland, I was also born in Scotland. I’ve always wanted to meet him, but he doesn’t really gig or do many shows. I’ve never actually seen him live and he’s one of my favorite artists. Every time I look online, he’s not doing anything. I feel like I’ve missed out. I should’ve gone when he was gigging, but hopefully he’ll come back with an album in another two years after like five years, whatever its been and it’ll be absolutely banging and he’ll go out and do a tour and I might hopefully see him on the circuit one day.The Shadowboxers On Working With Justin Timberlake, Covers & New MusicRead morelast_img read more

Eminem publisher sues Spotify for copyright violations

first_imgEminem’s music publisher is seeking billions of dollars in a lawsuit against Spotify. Christopher Polk/Getty Images for MTV Eminem’s music publisher is suing Spotify, claiming the streaming service infringed on the copyrights of hundreds of songs. The lawsuit also challenges the constitutionality of a landmark music licensing law.Music publisher Eight Mile Style, in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Tennessee federal court, alleges that Spotify willfully committed an infringement by reproducing Eminem hits like Lose Yourself and “pretending” to have licenses. The complaint also claims Spotify violated the Music Modernization Act, a federal law passed in October that is designed to streamline the process for artists and songwriters compensated for streaming music.Despite not having proper licensing agreements, Spotify has streamed the music publisher’s compositions “billions of times” but “has not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams,” the lawsuit says.Central to the lawsuit is how Spotify allegedly categorized the music. The streaming service labeled Lose Yourself as “copyright control,” a designation for songs whose copyright owner is unknown. Eight Mile Style called Spotify’s assertion that it couldn’t locate the copyright holders of Lose Yourself — an Oscar-winning song from the 2002 hit movie 8 Mile — “absurd.””Spotify has not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams,” the complaint says.The lawsuit seeks statutory damages of $150,000 for each of the 243 compositions Spotify allegedly infringed — an award that could cost the streaming service more than $3 billion. It also seeks to disqualify Spotify from MMA limitation of damages and declare the federal law unconstitutional as it applies to Eight Mile Style’s allegations.This isn’t the first time Spotify has been accused of copyright infringement. In 2018, music publisher Wixen filed a $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit against Spotify, alleging the digital music platform had played music by Wixen artists such as Tom Petty, Neil Young and The Doors, without first obtaining proper licenses or compensating the publisher. That lawsuit was reportedly settled in December for an undisclosed sum. Spotify didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The lawsuit:Eight Mile Style v. Spotify by jonathan_skillings on Scribd Tags Spotify Eminem Share your voice Post a comment Digital Media Music 0last_img read more

Emmanuel Macrons lead in French presidential elections triggers Sensex Nifty rally

first_imgEmmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, celebrates after partial results in the first round of 2017 French presidential election, at the Parc des Expositions hall in Paris, France April 23, 2017.ReutersBenchmark indices BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty ended with gains of about 1 percent on Monday tracking global cues, mainly centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron qualifying for the May 7 run off in the first round of French presidential elections held on Sunday.The Sensex closed 290 points higher at 29,656 while the 50-scrip Nifty ended at 9,218, up 98 points.”France led gains in European equities as investors speculated that pro-growth centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron will win the presidential election after he made it through to the second round,”  brokerage Motilal Oswal Securities said in a note.”Strong global cues and better than expected quarterly results by HDFC Bank, ACC and UltraTech lifted market. Moreover, fall in oil price, hopes of GST implementation and positive domestic cues boosted the market sentiment. Asian markets like Nikkei surged nearly 1 percent and European markets gained between 2-4 percent after French election (results),” the brokerage added. The rally was also supported by upbeat Q4 results by HDFC Bank last week, triggering a spurt in many bank stocks, including state-owned lender Vijaya Bank that hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 76.80 before closing 8.74 percent higher at Rs 75.25.   The US Federal Reserve’s observation on GST’s potential to boost India’s GDP growth by up to 4.2 percent also added to the positive mood on the exchanges.Top Sensex gainers were GAIL, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and Larsen & Toubro.  HDFC Bank shares closed 2.41 percent higher at Rs 1,533 on better business prospects. “With tier 1 capital of 13.3%, strong capacity amid the moderate growth cycle and significant digitization initiatives, the bank is well placed to benefit from the expected pick-up in the economic growth cycle,” Motilal Oswal Securities said in another note.Later in the day, Reliance Industries will be declaring its Q4 results. The stock closed 1.19 percent higher at Rs 1,416. Apart from Vijaya Bank, other stocks that hit a new 52-week high included India Cements, Hathway Cable, Dilip Buildcon, Future Retail, South Indian Bank and Piramal Enterprises.The Indian rupee closed at 64.44 to the US dollar on Monday, a gain of 0.27 percent from the Friday closing of 64.61.Gold prices lost Rs 350 to close at Rs 29,650 per 10 gm while silver ended at Rs 41,700 per kg.Among major companies, Wipro, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, IDFC Bank, LIC Housing Finance and Zensar Technologies will be declaring their Q4 results on Tuesday.last_img read more

PMO asks Finance Minister to reexamine sovereign bond proposal

first_imgFinance Ministry officials had said the government could raise about 10-15 per cent of the proposed Rs 7.1 lakh crore government borrowings this fiscal through sovereign bonds. TwitterThe Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) wants the Finance Ministry to re-look the idea of issuing foreign currency overseas sovereign bonds and critically examine issues raised by former bankers and economists before taking any call on implementing the budget proposal.The PMO has asked the ministry to seek more consultation from stake-holders before proceeding with any plans. Finance Ministry officials had said the government could raise about 10-15 per cent of the proposed Rs 7.1 lakh crore government borrowings this fiscal through sovereign bonds.The chief architect of the proposed bond was the former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and he had a lone supporter in this campaign. Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian had said this is the right opportunity for India to raise funds through overseas sovereign bonds at a much cheaper rate, compared with those in the domestic market.Garg has since been moved to the Power Ministry and the sudden move just after the Budget presentation and its approval by Parliament is being seen by many paying the price for pushing the idea of foreign money into India by a government led by a largely nationalist, right-wing party where the ‘swadeshi’ card evokes sentiments. The former Finance Secretary is being seen as hurting such sentiments, while former RBI Governors and other experts shot down the idea as risky.The opposition to the proposed bond is widespread. The government should not issue foreign sovereign debt without getting into larger public consultations, and the many arguments it has given in favour of issuing such securities do not hold, Rathin Roy, member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, had recently said.He said government should pay attention to what several former Governors of the Reserve Bank of India are saying, the sovereign liabilities are in perpetuity.Roy also dismissed the contention that such bonds are cheaper after the hedging costs are added. Noting there was a reason why the country hadn’t issued overseas debt for 70 years, he had said that Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Greece, and Indonesia had all paid a price for foreign currency sovereign borrowings.”I have grave concerns about this proposal on grounds of economic sovereignty, and about the macroeconomic consequences… the government should instead look at relaxing the rupee bond limits for foreign portfolio investors,” Roy said.Former RBI Governors Raghuram Rajan, C. Rangarajan and Y.V. Redy and former Chief Statistician Pronab Sen had also raised concerns over the Finance Ministry’s proposal.Rajan has said that any plan to issue foreign currency debt has no real benefit and is fraught with risks. A global bond sale won’t reduce the amount of domestic government bonds the local market has to absorb and the country should worry about short-term “faddish investors buying when India is hot, and dumping us when it is not”, he had written in a newspaper column.Rangarajan has said that borrowing in foreign currencies may expose the economy to risks as the rupee’s depreciation or current account deficit cannot be contained in the long run. Former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha has said that even in the face of the 1991 balance of payment crisis, the government did not go for sovereign bonds.The main fear is as they argued it could create long-term economic risks by exposing the government’s liabilities to currency fluctuations.All of these experts had suggested issuing rupee bonds instead of foreign currency bonds.In an interaction with IANS, Ashiwini Mahajan, the co-convenor of the RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), said: “About 95 per cent of the experts are saying the move is risky. The average depreciation in the rupee is 6.23 per cent in the last few years. The overseas rates of interest is 3.25 per cent, so together it makes 9.5 per cent.”In India, the government borrows at 6-7 per cent. So how the foreign currency bonds are cheap? The whole idea of a sovereign bonds is bad idea for any other country, not just for India. Everywhere the sovereign borrowing has led these countries into the debt trap, into the vortex of debt. It is a risk not worth taking. It is a foolish idea.”The benchmark 10-year bond yield rose as much as 11 basis points to 6.55 per cent after the news of a rethink of the proposal, as market participants fear this may boost government borrowing in the domestic market.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her maiden Budget speech on July 5, had announced: “India’s sovereign external debt to GDP is among the lowest globally at less than 5 per cent. The government would start raising a part of its gross borrowing programme in external markets in external currencies. This will also have beneficial impact on demand situation for the government securities in domestic market.”Garg had told Indian business leaders last week that the overseas debt move was part of efforts to bring down real interest rates for Indian firms, and to help the economy grow faster.last_img read more

Couple 4 others held with yaba

first_imgPolice in a drive arrested six people, including a couple, along with 2,100 pieces of yaba tablets from two houses in Bogura on Sunday, reports UNB.The arrestees are Naimul Hasan Shanta, 25, son of Zahedur Rahman, Shanta’s wife Shimu, 23, Laboni, 28, wife of Nahid Alam, Mariam Akter Nipu, 25, wife of Ashadul Kabir, Monika, 20, wife of Rusho, and Lokman Hossain, 45, son of Abul Kashem of Naogaon district.Tipped off, a team of police conducted a drive at four flats in Jaleshwartoli and Sutrapur areas and arrested them along with the yaba tablets around 10:00am, said Sanatan Chakrawarty, additional superintendent of Bogura police.The arrestees have long been involved in drug trading in rented flats in the town, police claimed.last_img

Sri Lanka constitutional crisis escalates as one dead in ministry shooting

first_imgSri Lankan soldier keep watching outside the ceylon petroleum corporation in Colombo on 28 October 2018. Photo: AFPA constitutional crisis gripping Sri Lanka since the president’s shock dismissal of prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe erupted into violence Sunday, with a man shot dead and two others injured in Colombo.Police said bodyguards for a Sri Lankan cabinet minister allied to Wickremesinghe opened fire inside a government ministry as a mob loyal to president Maithripala Sirisena besieged the minister’s office. Three people were injured but a 34-year-old man died shortly after.It was the first fatality since Sirisena sacked Wickremesinghe on Friday and installed a former strongman as prime minister, triggering political chaos in the Indian Ocean nation.Wickremesinghe has refused to vacate the prime minister’s official residence, barricading himself inside as over 1,000 supporters, including chanting Buddhist monks, rallied outside.The 69-year-old says his sacking is illegal, and wants an emergency session of parliament held to prove he still commands a majority.Sirisena shut parliament for nearly three weeks to forestall any challenge to his appointment of Mahinda Rajapakse, a former president accused of wartime abuses.Rajapakse sought blessings at a prominent Buddhist temple Sunday as he jostled to consolidate his claim to the prime ministership.But Wickremesinghe got a boost as Sri Lanka’s parliamentary speaker refused to endorse his sacking.Speaker Karu Jayasuriya backed Wickremesinghe’s request to retain his privileges and security until another candidate could prove a majority in parliament, saying it was “democratic and fair”.He also warned the president that shuttering parliament risked “serious and undesirable consequences for the country”.Opposition leader Rajavarothiam Sampanthan urged Jayasuriya to summon parliament immediately.“I hereby call upon yourself to uphold the rule of law by summoning parliament… to perform its legitimate functions,” said Sampanthan, who represents Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil community.Officials loyal to Rajapakse said police will now seek a court order to evict Wickremesinghe from the residence, threatening to escalate the standoff.Soldiers had been stationed near the residence, although Wickremesinghe’s security and official cars were withdrawn Saturday.Tensions were high across Colombo, with police leave cancelled amid warnings street violence could break out if the president did not immediately summon parliament to end the impasse.“Don’t try to create a civil war in this country,” party legislator Karunarathna Paranawithana told reporters at the prime minister’s residence.Regional neighbours and Western nations have urged all sides to exercise restraint and respect the constitution.ShootingBut violence broke out inside the petroleum ministry as police guarding Minister Arjuna Ranatunga fired on a mob surrounded his office.Witnesses saw Ranatunga, 54, also a former World Cup winning cricket captain, rushed from the scene in a tactical helmet and body armour by police commandos.In his first televised address to the nation since the crisis began, Sirisena said Sunday he sacked Wickremesinghe over personal and political disputes.“Apart from our ideological differences, we also had serious cultural differences,” Sirisena said, referring to Wickremesinghe’s liberal background and his own rural conservative upbringing.He said he had no choice but to appoint Rajapakse, and urged parliament to support him.Loyalists of Rajapakse—whose controversial decade-long rule was marked by grave allegations of rights abuses, the crushing of the Tamil Tiger uprising, and growing authoritarianism—were appointed Sunday to run the country’s two state-run television channels and a newspaper.Plans to appoint some cabinet members had been delayed until Monday, aides said. Rajapakse is yet to make a formal statement since being elevated to the new post.The strongman is seen as being closer to China than Wickremesinghe, who had sought to re-establish stronger ties with traditional ally and regional power India.New Delhi said it was “closely following” events in Colombo.The United States and European Union ambassadors have called on the Sri Lankan rivals to follow the constitution and avoid violence.‘Constitutional coup’Privately-run newspapers on Sunday described Sirisena’s move as a “constitutional coup”.However, Rajapakse loyalist and former foreign minister G. L. Peiris said there was nothing illegal about Wickremesinghe’s dismissal.The falling-out between Wickremesinghe and Sirisena has come to a head since the president this year backed a no-confidence motion against the man he had handpicked to lead the government.The two allied against Rajapakse in the 2015 election, but their relationship steadily soured.Sirisena initially said he would be a one-term president but has since indicated he will seek re-election next year—pitting himself against Wickremesinghe who also has presidential ambitions.This is the second time that a president has ousted Wickremesinghe from office. In 2004, the then head of state sacked him and called snap elections.After winning the premiership in August 2015, Wickremesinghe amended the constitution to remove the president’s power to sack prime ministers to prevent a repeat of his earlier ouster.last_img read more