World
H-1B visas: Nasscom says no impact as Assocham asserts lay-offs ahead
Even as Indian IT industry's representative body Nasscom on Wednesday said there will be no impact of the changed norms for H-1B visas under President Donald Trumps ‘Buy American, Hire American campaign, industries' lobby Assocham says IT companies are headed for disruption.
 
"Nothing is being proposed that would impact or change the FY 2018 H-1B lottery (system) that is underway. No new changes are being implemented immediately," said the apex National Association of Software Services and Companies (Nasscom) in a statement here.
 
In contrast, Assocahm said that "nearly 86 per cent of the H-1B visas issued for workers in the computer space go to Indians and this figure is now sure to be scaled down to about 60 per cent or even less."
 
Asserting that the proposed changes were forward-looking and non-specific, Nasscom said the campaign to discredit the IT sector was driven by persistent myths that H-1B visa holders were "cheap labour" and "displace American workers", which was not accurate.
 
"The President's Tuesday order directs the federal bureaucracy to enforce visa law vigorously and study new ways to reform and restrict the H-1B system," reiterated Nasscom.
 
After signing the order, Trump asked his Secretary of State, Attorney General, Labor Secretary and Homeland Secretary to propose new rules and issue new guidance to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance to protect the interests of the US workers.
 
President Trump also asked his top officials to suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas were awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid beneficiaries.
 
Because of the changes, remittances from the US are expected to decline, hurting the balance of payments, Assocham paper said.
 
World bank data showed the US was the second largest source of remittance for India in 2015, behind Saudi Arabia, with about $10.96 billion -- nearly 16 percent of the total -- being sent to India. Assocham expects the inflow to decline by 8-10 per cent. 
 
"Indian firms support efforts to root out any abuse occurring in the H-1B system, as our IT industry is one of the most regulated sectors in the economy, and companies abide by applicable laws and regulations," claimed Nasscom.
 
Asserting that the H-1B visa system was meant to meet the acute shortage of highly-skilled domestic talent in the US, it said additional curbs on the H-1B or L-1 visas would hurt thousands of US businesses and their efforts to be competitive by hindering access to needed talent.
 
"We have no problem with measures to protect American workers, but they should be made applicable to all firms applying for short-term skilled visas, including H-1B," it reiterated.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nifty, Sensex may rally - Wednesday closing report
We have mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex may rally. The major indices of the Indian stock markets the day on a rather positive note, after a continuous red streak of four days. The trends of the major indices in the course of Wednesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Key benchmark indices settled almost unchanged amid mixed trend on the bourses after a listless and rangebound session. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex closed with small gains while the Nifty settled with tiny losses. The Sensex rose 17.47 points or 0.06% to settle at 29,336.57. The BSE market breadth was positive today – 1563 advances, 1278 declines and 166 unchanged. On NSE, there were 941 advances, 730 declines and 84 unchanged. The Nifty 50 index declined 1.65 points or 0.02% to settle at 9,103.50. The Sensex snapped four-day losing streak today, 19 April 2017 while Nifty fell for the fifth straight day. Nifty hit lowest closing level in more than three weeks.
 
IndusInd Bank shed 0.63% after announcing Q4 results. The bank's net profit rose 21.16% to Rs 751.61 crore on 22.36% increase in total income to Rs 5041.31 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The net profit rose 25.43% to Rs 2867.89 crore on 22.47% increase in total income to Rs 18577.16 crore in the year ended March 2017 over the year ended March 2016.
 
Technology stocks were under pressure after the US President Donald Trump signed an executive order for a review of the H-1B visa programme, saying they should never be used to replace American workers. Muted earnings by TCS also dented sentiment. TCS and Infosys declined over 0.3% each while Wipro gained 0.8%. Coal India gained more than a percent as Motilal Oswal has upgraded the stock to buy with increased target price at Rs 335 (implying 20% upside), citing strong earnings growth and attractive dividend yield.
 
TCS was down 0.3% after consolidated net profit fell 2.5% to Rs 6608 crore on 0.3% decline in revenue to Rs 29642 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q3 December 2016. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 18 April 2017. Commenting on the company's performance in FY 2017, Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO and MD, TCS, said, FY17 was a year of broad-based growth amidst economic and political turbulence in the company's key markets. The company has added $1.4 billion dollars in constant currency revenues during the year and increased its digital revenues sharply as it helped its customers leverage the digital economy, he said. Gopinathan added that on the back of digital adoption, Agile, Automation and Cloud are the themes that the company is going to market to drive efficiencies and predictable outcomes across its clients infrastructure, applications and business operations.
 
Meanwhile, India is pegged to be the fastest growing economy in the world in 2017-18 and will be a key driver for global growth, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday, 18 April 2017. Retaining its growth forecast of 7.2% for India for the fiscal year 2018, the IMF, in its World Economic Outlook, also estimated that India would grow at 7.7% in 2018-19 and said that 8% growth in the medium-term is within reach. It pegged India's growth rate at 6.8% in FY 2017.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
Overseas, European shares were trading higher as a rebound in basic resources stocks and some positive first-quarter results outweighed weakness in oil and gas stocks. Asian stocks edged lower after British Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise decision to hold early elections. May called for an early general election in June, reversing her earlier stance, in hopes of securing a stronger parliamentary mandate for Britain's formal exit from the European Union. Meanwhile, Theresa May will today, 19 April 2017 ask the House of Commons to support her call for a June general election. The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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Nomura to set up $92 mn fund to assist start-ups
Mumbai, Investment bank Nomura has decided to set up a $92 million fund to assist start-ups, a senior official said.
 
In a statement issued here on Wednesday the firm also said that it has commenced the 'Voyager - Nomura FinTech Partnership' in India aimed at harnessing emerging technologies to help transform its businesses and services.
 
"We also plan to create a new 10 billion yen ($92 million/Rs 6 billion)) fund to provide financial support to start-ups. The Voyager initiative in India is a further sign of our commitment to engage with start-ups and encourage financial innovation," Yo Akatsuka, Senior Managing Director, Innovations, Nomura Holdings, Inc was quoted as saying in the statement.
 
Nomura is inviting entrepreneurs to participate in the programme to build innovative solutions for capital markets and investment banking that can be deployed across the firm and financial industry, the statement said.
 
A Nomura Innovation Centre (NICe) has been set up at Powai here to provide a platform to start-ups that will be selected for the Voyager programme, the statement said.
 
"New technology, supported by an innovation-driven ecosystem, has resulted in an environment of increasing collaboration between new and traditional market players," R.K. Rangan, President & CEO, Nomura Services India was quoted as saying in the statement. 
 
"Building on this momentum, Voyager is a programme for start-ups to engage with Nomura to drive innovation through its global network." 
 
According to Nomura, entrepreneurs working at NICe will get access to the company's resources and test their concepts and solutions, leveraging the firm's people, process and technology.
 
The partnership could lead to start-ups potentially gaining Nomura as a client and/or an investor, the statement said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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