1.TESLA:–Tesla Inc is “still working through a lot of challenges with the government” in India, its billionaire chief executive Elon Musk said on Twitter on Thursday, responding to a question on when it would launch its electric cars in the country.
Tesla had plans to begin selling imported cars in India last year and has been lobbying the government to slash import taxes on electric vehicles (EVs) before it enters the market. In October, it took its demands to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office.
Musk didn’t identify the “challenges” being worked on in his Twitter post.
The Indian market for premium EVs is still in its infancy and charging infrastructure is scarce. Just 5,000 of the 2.4 million cars sold in India last year were electric, of which a handful were luxury models.
India levies an import duty of as high as 100% on imported cars, including EVs, which Musk has previously said are among the highest in the world. Analysts have said that at these rates Tesla cars would become too costly for many buyers, crimping sales.
Tesla’s demands for tax cuts – first reported by Reuters in July – have prompted objections from several local players, who say such a move would deter investment in domestic manufacturing.
2.ASTRA ZENECA: -AstraZeneca said on Wednesday the U.S. government has agreed to purchase an additional 500,000 doses of its antibody cocktail, Evusheld, used to prevent COVID-19.
The company said the delivery of the doses was expected in the first quarter of 2022 and more details about the deal would be announced in the coming weeks.
The additional doses will add to previous purchase of 700,000 doses of the antibody therapy, which in December showed it retained neutralising activity against the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant in a lab study.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month authorized Evusheld to prevent COVID-19 infections in individuals with weak immune systems or a history of severe side effects from coronavirus vaccines.
It is the only antibody therapy authorised in the United States to prevent COVID-19 symptoms before virus exposure, the company said.
3.INFOSYS :-Infosys raised its revenue forecast and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) predicted robust demand on Wednesday as the Indian IT giants said they expect tech spending to continue, particularly for digital services such as the cloud.
Often seen as a bellwether for India’s more than $190 billion software services industry, Infosys said large deal wins worth $2.53 billion in the three months to the end of December had boosted its confidence.
Mumbai-based TCS and Bengaluru-headquartered Infosys came to prominence by giving Western clients low-cost solutions to problems such as the Y2K bug and have become global giants in international business as outsourcing grew.
“We had a strong set of large deals and the pricing environment remains stable … the amount clients want to spend on technology is going up,” Chief Executive Salil Parekh told a virtual news briefing.
India’s software services sector has won more business during the COVID-19 pandemic as companies globally look to boost their digital presence and demand IT services ranging from cloud-computing, digital payment infrastructure to cybersecurity.
Infosys, India’s No.2 IT company, reported a near 12% rise in its consolidated net profit to 58.09 billion rupees ($786 million) in the third quarter, beating analysts’ average estimate of 57.05 billion rupees, according to Refinitiv Eikon.
Announcing its earnings for the December quarter, the larger TCS said its consolidated net profit rose 12.3% to 97.69 billion rupees, slightly below an average analyst forecast of 98.44 billion rupees, Refinitiv data showed.
“It’s a very broad-based growth that we are experiencing and very broad-based demand environment and we are participating strongly across the full spectrum of demand,” TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan told reporters. “That gives us quite a lot of confidence in terms of outlook for the future…”
4.CITI GROUP: -The Mexican government on Wednesday signaled it would be alert to possible antitrust implications of Citigroup’s sale of its consumer banking operations in Mexico, and said it expected plenty of bidders to emerge for the assets.
In a statement, the finance ministry said the departure from Mexico of the country’s no. 3 consumer bank “raises delicate matters for the finance and regulatory authorities, which will receive rigorous and strict attention from the finance ministry, including a fundamental issue regarding concentration.”
Finance Minister Rogelio Ramirez de la O said the government had “no bias” about who could acquire the Citibanamex assets and that domestic and foreign bidders were welcome to compete.
“In due course, as the process matures, the Mexican government will be observing and looking at the different offers,” Ramirez told Reuters in an interview.
His ministry said Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser came personally to Mexico “to explain the decision, and stressed the bank will maintain its wholesale corporate banking activities in our country, which will involve new investments.”
5.META:-The White House said on Wednesday it was encouraged by a U.S. judge’s decision not to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Facebook .
“Certainly we are encouraged by the district court’s decision”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. “We’ve been clear and he (President Joe Biden) has been clear we need more competition in the tech industry.”
Facebook, now Meta Platforms, had asked Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., federal court to dismiss the lawsuit in which the government asked the court to demand that Facebook sell Instagram and WhatsApp.
The judge said the FTC had a plausible case that should be allowed to proceed. It represents one of the biggest challenges the government has brought against Big Tech in decades.
Meta said that it was confident the company would prevail in court, adding that the judge’s decision on Tuesday narrowed “the scope of the FTC’s case”.
The judge said the FTC could not press allegations that Facebook refused to allow interoperability permissions with competing apps as a way to maintain its dominance, saying those policies had been abandoned in 2018 and Facebook’s most recent enforcement of the policy was even older