Employees accuse Infosys CEO, CFO of accounting irregularities. Wipro may promote 5000 employees to check attrition. Air India disinvestment sale may take place next month. Buyer to take "Maharaja" mascot. Facebook says, open to currency-pegged stablecoins. China beats US to become largest unicorn hub. Johnson to push for vote on his Brexit deal, yet again.
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Spilling the Beans: A few anonymous employees of Indian software giant Infosys have accused its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Salil Parekh and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Nilanjan Roy of unethical practices.
As per a letter to the Whistleblower Protection Programme, the employees alleged that in the last quarter, they were asked not to fully recognise costs like visa costs to improve profits. The employees also alleged that in the quarter under review, the management put immense pressure on them to not recognise reversals of $50mn of upfront payment in FDR contract, as it will slash profits for the quarter and negatively affect the company's stock price.
The company, in response said the whistleblower complaint had been placed before the audit committee as per the company's practices. Livemint
You’ve Been Promoted: Information technology (IT) services major Wipro is planning to promote around 5,000 employees in the coming quarters in a bid to check attrition and make the firm ready for future demand.
The move comes on the back of increasing number of junior staff leaving previously.
Wipro had previously in In the Q1 FY20 paid a retention bonus of INR1L to freshers hired via campus placement and completed one year. Those who had an experience of up to three years in the firm, since the time of their campus placements, were also given bonuses. BS
Up For Grabs: The government is reportedly planning to invite preliminary bids for 100% stake sale in Air India next month. As per sources, some entities have already expressed interest in the national carrier. Firstpost
Buy One Get One Free: Interestingly, the buyer will get the master brand and logos associated with the state-owned airliner, including the iconic Maharaja mascot.
Subsidiaries including Air India Express, Alliance Air and Air India Singapore Terminal Services will be excluded from the main Air India deal. These, along with Air India Air Transport Services and Air India Engineering Services will be divested separately. Moreover, once the Air India sale has been finalised, the sub-brands wont be allowed to use the master brand and logos. ET Aviation
FYI: The national carrier sits on a debt pile of c. INR58,000cr, besides huge accumulated losses running into thousands of crores.
Big Reversal: In a major walk-back, Facebook has said its Libra cryptocurrency project could be based on national currencies, thereby being a stablecoin. Libra’s previous incarnation was quite different. It was supposed to be backed by a reserve of real assets to be held by a “geographically distributed network of custodians”. Moneycontrol
The willingness to be based on currencies like the Dollar could be a way to deflect criticism and assure corporate backers of the project’s viability. Earlier this month several members of the Libra Association including Mastercard, Visa and PayPal jumped ship, citing their own reasons.
Meanwhile, regulatory grumblings over Libra have escalated, with politicians from many countries across ideological lines joining hands to call for Libra to be scrutinised or outright banned. (More details about Libra here.)
Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis recently wrote this columnarguing that the IMF should take over Libra. Saying the unravelling of the Libra Association was a good thing, Varoufakis added that “we should not throw the technological baby out with the monopolistic bathwater”.
In a Beijing Minute: Despite relentless trade and political tensions, both the US and China have been consistent in wealth creation in the past twelve months, a study by Credit Suisse has found. The two countries contributed $3.8tr and $1.9tr to global wealth growth respectively. Significantly, 100mn Chinese now ranked in the global 10%, versus 99mn in the US – meaning wealthy Chinese outnumber their American counterparts for the first time.
Globally, the number of the world’s millionaires has risen by 1.1mn to 46.8mn overall. They collectively own $158.3tr in net assets, which is 44% of the global total. Meanwhile, global inequality tentatively decreased. In 2000, the bottom 90% accounted for 11% of global wealth. Today that number is 18%. Reuters
Where the Unicorns Live: The Hurun Global Unicorn List 2019 has an interesting discovery. There are 494 unicorn companies around the world and the leading nation is China with 206, not the US, which is marginally behind with 203. India is a distant third with 21 unicorns followed by the UK with 13. These four countries make up 90% of the world’s unicorn population. Financial Express
Recap Central: It’s been a chaotic few days for the UK. On Thursday, against all expectations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a deal with the European Union. His coalition partners and the opposition Labour Party quickly decried the deal and urged their members to defeat it in Parliament. Soon, MPs assembled for a rare Saturday sitting where Johnson appealed to them that his deal was the best way out for Britain and that they should vote in favour of it.
But before such a vote could be held, MPs pre-empted the government by passing a motion that required Johnson to ask the EU for a three-month extension of the Brexit deadline. They want all necessary legislation required for the implementation of an exit deal to be deliberated upon and passed before a vote of a deal can be held. WSJ
To Top it All: Finally, today, Number 10 announced that it would try again to put Johnson’s deal to vote. Saying "We cannot allow Parliament's letter to lead to Parliament's delay," Johnson said MPs need to give a clear “yes or no” to his deal. The vote, which analysts say could be painfully close, needs the Speaker’s approval to be held. BBC
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