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Fri, 24th March 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “De facto” Tag

Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong

Special prosecutors in Seoul on Monday requested an arrest warrant for the de facto head of Samsung, the country’s largest company, as a corruption scandal that toppled president Park Geun-hye ensnared another powerful South Korean figure.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and heir to the company, is wanted on charges of bribery, according to prosecutors who grilled the country’s top executive during a marathon 22-hour interrogation late last week.

Samsung were unable to comment immediately. However, the development will likely be a stunning blow to the company as its attempts to solidify the succession of Mr Lee as chief and to reform its corporate governance structure.

Toyota-Suzuki alliance may help both ride out changes

An alliance between Toyota Motor and Suzuki Motor could be a boon to both sides, helping the former gain ground in emerging markets such as India and giving the latter the engineering needed to compete in an increasingly high-tech industry.

Can’t go it alone

 The two automakers said Wednesday they were discussing collaboration on environmental, safety and information technology. 

Although Toyota President Akio Toyoda told a new conference that the idea of an alliance came together in just two business days after Suzuki Chairman Osamu Suzuki got the ball rolling, there is more to the story. Suzuki’s next partner had been the subject of speculation since August 2015, when the Japanese maker of economy cars ended a capital and business relationship with Germany’s Volkswagen over management conflicts.

Though Chairman Suzuki had said publicly that his company would look to remain independent going forward, another senior executive had acknowledged that collaboration was “necessary” in some fields. Even in India, a successful market for Suzuki, environmental regulations are growing tougher, making investment in technology like hybrid drive systems essential. Rising incomes have also stoked demand for higher-end vehicles in such countries.

Finding a big automaker ally was seen as essential for Suzuki to ensure a presence in self-driving cars. While a Toyota or a Volkswagen has the financial strength to counter the challenge posed by Google and other tech giants in this field — Toyota’s annual research and development budget comes to around 1 trillion yen ($9.59 billion) — Suzuki, which spent just 130 billion yen on R&D in the year ended March 31, hardly stands a chance alone.

Making connections

India – Army foils infiltration bid, kills 10 terrorists in Uri sector

Image result for uri attackThe Army on Tuesday killed 10 of the 15 terrorists trying to cross over to the Indian side from Pakistan at Lachipura area of Uri sector in Jammu-Kashmir. The encounter comes just days after four terrorists attacked an Army camp in Uri sector and killed 18 jawans.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the terrorists attack at Uri will not go unpunished. He chaired a high-level meeting on Monday to discuss the next course of action. The meeting, attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, heard from National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Army chief General Dalbir Singh on possible long-term options to retaliate against jihadist logistics and the Pakistani military infrastructure. The Prime Minister briefed President Pranab Mukherjee on the discussions late Monday.

Sources said that the government is mulling options on how to tackle Pakistan. The plan to mount a concerted global effort to isolate the neighbouring country is believed to one of the options. Top Army commanders have cautioned the government against rash military action as the Pakistani Army have reportedly fortified their defences, and an attack from the Indian side of the border has been termed risky.

In a diplomatic move to corner Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swarajis likely to raise the issue at the United Nation General Assembly in her speech on September 26.

Abe remark rekindles debate over BOJ buying of foreign bonds

Speculation that the Bank of Japan may start purchasing foreign bonds to counter the strong yen has resurfaced following a comment by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Monday evening.

Foreign bond purchases “are not permitted under the Bank of Japan Act if their objective is foreign exchange intervention,” Abe said. This has spurred speculation that the central bank is considering this option as a means of monetary policy.

 Abe’s remark is backed by Koichi Hamada, professor emeritus of economics at Yale University and an adviser to the prime minister. “BOJ buying of foreign bonds is an option,” Hamada told reporters, suggesting that such a move may serve as a tool in fighting the robust yen.

If the BOJ were to buy foreign bonds, it would purchase them from financial institutions either in yen or dollars, procuring the necessary greenbacks in the currency market. In either case, the central bank would sell the Japanese currency and buy dollars.

The idea of foreign bond purchases drew heated debate among BOJ policymakers when former policy board member Nobuyuki Nakahara proposed it back in November 2001. Nakahara argued that steady and sustained purchases would be different from an intervention aimed at specific exchange rates. The proposal was voted down in an 8-1 vote.