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Adani Ports cargo volume jumps 26% leading to record revenue, EBITDA

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Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), the largest transport utility in India, announced its results for the fourth quarter and year ended March 31.

“FY22 has been a stellar year for APSEZ, with achievement of various milestones for itself and new benchmarks for India’s maritime industry,” said Karan Adani, Chief Executive Officer and Whole Time Director of APSEZ.

The company did a record cargo volume of 312 MMT with Mundra port alone handling 150 MMT, a feat never achieved by any other commercial port in the country.

“The year saw a record number of acquisitions and some large project wins by APSEZ, further reinforced our progress towards the ambition of becoming the largest port globally by 2030,” Adani said.

The developments recorded include purchase of balance 25 per cent stake in KPCL, acquisition of Sarguja Rail Company for its 70 kms railway line asset having an annuity like business model, purchase of 41.9 per cent stake in the Gangavaram port and signing of an agreement with the promoters for acquisition of balance 58.1 per cent stake after the NCLT approval, acquisition of India’s leading third-party marine services provider, Ocean Sparkle Ltd (OSL), LOA from Haldia Port Trust for a 5 MMTPA bulk terminal, highest bidder for the West Bengal government’s greenfield deep-sea port project at Tajpur

The acquisitions in FY22 implied an investment of around Rs 11,400 crore for APSEZ and was successfully managed alongside an organic Capex of around Rs 3,750 crore, while ensuring that the net debt to EBITDA ratio remained unchanged at 3.4x.

“We cruised on our journey of becoming India’s largest transport utility with achievement of various milestones by our logistics business. These include investment in around 100 trains, eight operational MMLPs and total grain silo capacity of around 1.2 MMT, all by FY23. With 5 mn sqft of warehousing capacity under construction/ operation, we are on track to achieve our guided capacity of 60 mn sqft,” Adani said.

During the year, APSEZ concluded two very strategic partnerships ensuring sustainable business growth. The first being a JV with John Keells Holdings & Sri Lanka Port Authority for construction of Colombo West International Terminal-II; and the second is a partnership with Flipkart for the construction of a 5,34,000 sq. ft. fulfilment center in the upcoming logistics hub at Mumbai.

“We are confident of APSEZ’s growth prospects in FY23, given India’s expected GDP growth and boost to India’s Iron and Steel industry from China’s decision to cap its steel production and absence of exports from Russia. APSEZ is fully geared to ride this wave.

“We remain committed to our ambition of making our ports carbon neutral by 2025, and thereafter progress on the net zero journey, for which we will release our plan later this year,” added Karan Adani.

Business

Google Play introduces UPI Autopay payment in India

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Google announced on Tuesday that it is introducing UPI Autopay as a payment option for subscription-based purchases on Google Play in India.

Introduced under UPI 2.0 by NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), UPI Autopay helps customers make recurring payments using any UPI application that supports the feature.

“With the introduction of UPI Autopay on the platform, we aim to extend the convenience of UPI to subscription-based purchases, helping many more people access helpful and delightful services – while enabling local developers to grow their subscription-based businesses on Google Play,” Saurabh Agarwal, Head of Google Play Retail & Payments Activation – India, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand said in a statement.

Moreover, UPI Autopay makes setting up subscriptions easy.

Users need to simply tap on the payment method in the cart, select “Pay with UPI,” and then approve the purchase in their supported UPI app after selecting a subscription plan to purchase.

Google Play helps consumers transact safely and seamlessly in more than 170 markets, according to the report.

Also, the platform supports over 300 local payment methods in over 60 countries, removing complexities associated with finding and integrating local payments.

UPI is one such payment option, introduced on the Play Store in India in 2019.

In India, UPI has transformed the mobile payment framework, and on Google Play as well, many people are enjoying and using apps that take advantage of UPI-based transactions, the statement added.

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Invest Karnataka 2022 paved way for Rs 9.82 lakh cr investment: CM Bommai

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Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai announced at the concluding ceremony of the 3-day Global Investors Meet (GIM) in Bengaluru that “investments totaling about Rs 9.82 lakh have been committed in diverse sectors in the state.” Bommai thanked the participants in the event and investors.

Addressing the gathering, the CM said, “This GIM is different from other such Investor Meets as this has been organised during challenging times and has succeeded in showing us the way forward. What Karnataka thinks today, India thinks tomorrow. We will work with the investors shoulder to shoulder to make all these investments fructify on the ground.”

Thanking all the investors and delegates who participated in the GIM 2022, Karnataka Large and Medium Industries Minister, Murugesh Nirani, said “Invest Karnataka has laid a strong foundation for the development of Karnataka in the next five years. I am happy that we have met the core objective of this GIM, which is to bring in investments in diverse sectors and create jobs, and take industries beyond Bengaluru.”

The valedictory session was also attended by Bhagwanth Khuba, Union Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy, Chemicals & Fertilizers.

Inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually on Wednesday, the event culminated on Friday with the valedictory session in which Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai re-assured investors from all across the world of sustained support by his government.

Among top industrialists, Chairman of Jindal Group, Sajjan Jindal; Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd, Vikram S. Kirloskar; Chairman, Wipro, Rishad Premji; Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, Rajan Bharti Mittal; CEO, Adani Ports and SEZ, Karan Adani and MD, Sterlite Power, Pratik Agarwal shared their experience in Karnataka and expressed continued interest in the state.

The Global Investors Meet witnessed 30+ immersive sessions spread across three days. These sessions were a mix of innovative formats such as panel discussions, fireside chats, and TED-style talks.

In addition to the speaker sessions, a number of networking events, cultural performances, business exhibitions (with 300+ exhibitors), and country sessions ran parallelly across the 3 days. The country sessions were hosted by partner countries — France, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

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Unfortunately, there is no choice: Musk on Twitter layoffs

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Elon Musk on Saturday said that there is no choice other than brutally firing half of Twitter’s workforce as the company is losing over $4 million a day.

After axing nearly 3,800 employees across the globe, including in India, the new Twitter CEO said that he has given three months of severance to everyone who has been asked to go.

“Regarding Twitter’s reduction in force, unfortunately there is no choice when the company is losing over $4M/day,” Musk tweeted.

“Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50 per cent more than legally required,” he added.

Musk has laid off people across the departments at Twitter, eliminating several teams across the globe.

He also said that Twitter has seen a massive drop in revenue as activist groups are putting undue pressure on its advertisers.

“Again, to be crystal clear, Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged. In fact, we have actually seen hateful speech at times this week decline below our prior norms, contrary to what you may read in the press,” he posted.

“Twitter will not censor accurate information about anything,” said Musk.

On charging $8 for the Blue subscription service, he said: “Trash me all day, but it’ll cost $8.”

The company lost $270 million in the April-June period after revenue slipped 1 per cent to $1.18 billion, reflecting advertising industry headwinds.

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