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The Domain Rush

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There is a lot in a name, whatever Shakespeare may have said. Look at the rush for grabbing new, generic Internet domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), the non-profit supervisor of such names, has received as many as 1,930 proposals from companies across the globe. The domain suffixes in demand include .app, .blog and .web, and it seems the monopoly of .com will end soon. Half the applications came from North America, with giants such as Amazon and Google applying for .cloud, .buy, .book and more. Google has reportedly spent $18.7 million on nearly 100 domain names. The domains will go live early next year, and Icann is likely to earn $350 million. Indian biggies are on the hunt too. Reliance Industries wants .indians, .reliance and .ril; Tata Sons needs .tata and Bharti Airtel has eyes on .bharti and .airtel.

Oil's Not Well
In 2011-12, India's oil import spend shot up 40 per cent to a record $140 billion, courtesy high oil prices, said oil minister S Jaipal Reddy. It was estimated that a sustained $10 increase in oil prices led to a 1.5 per cent reduction in the GDP of developing countries, Reddy told the 5th Opec International Seminar in Vienna. 

REJIG: Nokia to cut 10,000 jobs globally to revive business

Tough Call
Finnish cellphone maker Nokia has announced new plans to rejig its ailing handset business. It will cut 10,000 jobs, close a few factories and research facilities and replace the long-standing heads of cellphones and sales. There is more bad news. Nokia says its second quarter loss will be higher than it previously forecast. This is for the second time this year that Nokia has slashed its earnings forecast. That said, Nokia India says the cuts will not hit its operations significantly. It has 11,000 employees in the country.

Eye On All
The government is planning to bring all sectors of the economy under the watch of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The corporate affairs ministry has prepared a note in this regard and sent it to a group of ministers. But not many are happy with the move. The Department of Financial Services and the Department of Telecommunications feel their respective sectors — banking and telecom — should not be part of it. To allay conflict between the CCI and sector regulators, the ministry wants certain amendments to the Competition Act. 

Debt's The Way
Indian companies raised a whopping Rs 2.54 lakh crore through private placement of debt securities or bonds in 2011-12. This is an increase of 31 per cent in the total size of such funds from 2010-11. And that's the highest level in nine years, notes a report by Prime Database. The amount was mobilised by a total of 164 institutions and corporates.

Damage Control
After blowing about $2 billion on a bet that few understood, it's now time for JP Morgan Chase to get into damage-control mode. Appearing before US lawmakers, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said the mishap occured due to poorly conceived strategies of senior executives who failed to keep him informed. That said, he maintained that he was still critical of how the US government tried to curb Wall Street. 

BIG SUCCESS: Felda's big IPO

Going Public 

Initial public offerings (IPO) are hogging headlines for the right and wrong reasons. After Facebook, which unleashed the mother of all IPOs that later became a flop show of sorts, it's the turn of Malaysian palm oil producer Felda Global Ventures Holdings. Felda successfully raised $3.1 billion on 14 June in the world's second-largest IPO this year. Now all eyes are on the planned $3 billion offering by Formula One in Singapore. 

Bullish On India
GE India has said it will  invest about Rs 1,100 crore ($200 million) to set up a new manufacturing facility in Pune for developing products for the energy sector.

Going Social
Raymond is impressed with the new media. The world's leading producer of fabrics said its ad spend on social media is likely to grow by 400 per cent. Last fiscal, it spent nearly Rs 35 crore on advertising and marketing, of which Rs 5 crore was on social media.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 25-06-2012)