Author Archive: Brian Sanchez

CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 1-SAP names acting executive team, law firm for South Africa probe

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s SAP named a new executive team in South Africa on Friday, two days after the software giant put four senior managers on leave, pending its investigations into allegations that it was involved in a government bribery scheme.

SAP said 25-year company veteran Claas Kuehnemann will step into the role of acting managing director for Africa, in charge of the company’s business in 51 countries, and that Peter David, its finance chief for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will become acting chief financial officer, SAP Africa.

Europe’s largest software company also said it had hired Chicago-based international law firm Baker McKenzie to conduct an external investigation. SAP said on Wednesday it would run its own, internal probe using its own compliance organization.

Baker McKenzie will work with various experts, including forensic firm FTI Consulting, the company said.

“My interim role is to support our employees, customers and partners across all our business sectors while the due diligence process is conducted,” Kuehnemann said in a statement. Twenty-five years ago, he started his first job with SAP in South Africa.

South African media reported on Tuesday that SAP paid alleged kickbacks in the form of sales commissions to a firm linked to the politically connected Gupta family, who are known to be close friends of President Jacob Zuma. (reut.rs/2tnArLY)

AmaBhungane, an investigative reporting group, together with the Daily Maverick’s Scorpio investigative team, reported that the alleged kickbacks were to clinch a deal with rail and logistics company Transnet and other state-owned firms worth 1 billion rand ($76.7 million).

The AmaPhungane report was based on leaked emails and documents that they say show how the powerful Gupta family unduly influenced the awarding of government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

SAP has not named the four senior executives it put on administrative leave while investigating the company’s actions.

Reuters has not been able to independently verify the allegations.

The Guptas, Indian-born South Africans, and Zuma have denied wrongdoing. A Gupta family spokesman and Zuma’s spokesman did not respond to calls and emails for comment on the SAP story.

Transnet said in a statement that it has been an SAP customer since 2000 but that it was unaware of the parties reportedly involved in SAP sales to the company. It referred queries to SAP and its sales partners.

Baker McKenzie advises a wide range of African companies, multinationals and financial institutions and employs 60 attorneys from its offices in Johannesburg.

(Company spokesman corrects statement to say Kuehnemann joined unit 25 years ago, rather than set it up in paragraph 5)

Reporting By Eric Auchard; Editing by Victoria Bryan/Susan Thomas/David Evans

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(OFFICIAL)-UPDATE 1-SAP names acting executive team, law firm for South Africa probe

Reuters

By Eric Auchard

FRANKFURT, July 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s SAP named a new executive team in South Africa on Friday, two days after the software giant put four senior managers on leave, pending its investigations into allegations that it was involved in a government bribery scheme.

SAP said 25-year company veteran Claas Kuehnemann will step into the role of acting managing director for Africa, in charge of the company’s business in 51 countries, and that Peter David, its finance chief for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will become acting chief financial officer, SAP Africa.

Europe’s largest software company also said it had hired Chicago-based international law firm Baker McKenzie to conduct an external investigation. SAP said on Wednesday it would run its own, internal probe using its own compliance organisation.

Baker McKenzie will work with various experts, including forensic firm FTI Consulting, the company said.

“My interim role is to support our employees, customers and partners across all our business sectors while the due diligence process is conducted,” Kuehnemann said in a statement. Twenty-five years ago, he started his first job with SAP in South Africa.

South African media reported on Tuesday that SAP paid alleged kickbacks in the form of sales commissions to a firm linked to the politically connected Gupta family, who are known to be close friends of President Jacob Zuma. (http://reut.rs/2tnArLY)

AmaBhungane, an investigative reporting group, together with the Daily Maverick’s Scorpio investigative team, reported that the alleged kickbacks were to clinch a deal with rail and logistics company Transnet and other state-owned firms worth 1 billion rand ($76.7 million).

The AmaPhungane report was based on leaked emails and documents that they say show how the powerful Gupta family unduly influenced the awarding of government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

SAP has not named the four senior executives it put on administrative leave while investigating the company’s actions.

Reuters has not been able to independently verify the allegations.

The Guptas, Indian-born South Africans, and Zuma have denied wrongdoing. A Gupta family spokesman and Zuma’s spokesman did not respond to calls and emails for comment on the SAP story.

Transnet said in a statement that it has been an SAP customer since 2000 but that it was unaware of the parties reportedly involved in SAP sales to the company. It referred queries to SAP and its sales partners.

Baker McKenzie advises a wide range of African companies, multinationals and financial institutions and employs 60 attorneys from its offices in Johannesburg. ($1 = 13.0395 rand) (Reporting By Eric Auchard; Editing by Victoria Bryan/Susan Thomas/David Evans)

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SAP names acting executive team, law firm for South Africa probe

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s SAP named a new executive team in South Africa on Friday, two days after the software giant put four senior managers on leave, pending its investigations into allegations that it was involved in a government bribery scheme.

SAP said 25-year company veteran Claas Kuehnemann will step into the role of acting managing director for Africa, in charge of the company’s business in 51 countries, and that Peter David, its finance chief for Europe, Middle East and Africa, will become acting chief financial officer, SAP Africa.

Europe’s largest software company also said it had hired Chicago-based international law firm Baker McKenzie to conduct an external investigation. SAP said on Wednesday it would run its own, internal probe using its own compliance organization.

Baker McKenzie will work with various experts, including forensic firm FTI Consulting, the company said.

“My interim role is to support our employees, customers and partners across all our business sectors while the due diligence process is conducted,” Kuehnemann said in a statement. Twenty-five years ago, he started his first job with SAP in South Africa.

South African media reported on Tuesday that SAP paid alleged kickbacks in the form of sales commissions to a firm linked to the politically connected Gupta family, who are known to be close friends of President Jacob Zuma. (reut.rs/2tnArLY)

AmaBhungane, an investigative reporting group, together with the Daily Maverick’s Scorpio investigative team, reported that the alleged kickbacks were to clinch a deal with rail and logistics company Transnet and other state-owned firms worth 1 billion rand ($76.7 million).

The AmaPhungane report was based on leaked emails and documents that they say show how the powerful Gupta family unduly influenced the awarding of government contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

SAP has not named the four senior executives it put on administrative leave while investigating the company’s actions.

Reuters has not been able to independently verify the allegations.

The Guptas, Indian-born South Africans, and Zuma have denied wrongdoing. A Gupta family spokesman and Zuma’s spokesman did not respond to calls and emails for comment on the SAP story.

Transnet said in a statement that it has been an SAP customer since 2000 but that it was unaware of the parties reportedly involved in SAP sales to the company. It referred queries to SAP and its sales partners.

Baker McKenzie advises a wide range of African companies, multinationals and financial institutions and employs 60 attorneys from its offices in Johannesburg.

(Company spokesman corrects statement to say Kuehnemann joined unit 25 years ago, rather than set it up in paragraph 5)

Reporting By Eric Auchard; Editing by Victoria Bryan/Susan Thomas/David Evans

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Microsoft, Google back strong net neutrality on broadband firms

(c) 2017, Bloomberg.

Microsoft Corp. and Google pleaded with U.S. regulators on Monday to preserve strong net neutrality rules, while AT&T and Verizon Communications backed weakened oversight and said Congress should settle the issue that’s burned for more than a decade.

The tech pillars and the broadband providers are trying to sway the Federal Communications Commission, which is moving toward gutting rules against interfering with web traffic. Monday was a deadline for comments on the FCC proposal advanced by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom,” which already has attracted more than 8 million comments.

The rules passed by an Obama-era, Democratic-led FCC bar broadband providers from blocking or slowing data — to hinder rivals, for instance, or to favor affiliated services — and from setting up “fast lanes” that would cost more. Under Pai’s proposal announced in April, the FCC would end its claim to strong legal authority to enforce the rules, and the chairman asked whether the FCC should retain the ban on paid fast lanes.

For broadband providers, the change would remove a threat of intrusive rate regulation as FCC authority is cut back. If Congress passed a law that would insulate net neutrality rules from changing as partisan control of the FCC switches following elections.

Web-based companies see peril in relaxing rules that they say protect consumers’ ability “to enjoy the unfettered ability to access the lawful content of their choice,” the Internet Association, a Washington-based trade group with members including Microsoft, Alphabet Inc.‘s Google, Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. said in a filing Monday. Undoing the rules “would introduce significant uncertainty and would threaten the virtuous circle of innovation” that’s seen broadband services boom.

Internet service providers see the issue differently, and argue that the embattled rules have deterred broadband investment.

Rules should return to the lighter-touch framework that existed before the current rules were set in 2015 “in order for the U.S. to retain its leading role in shaping and benefiting from the internet,” USTelecom, a trade group with members including AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc., said in a summary of its comments Monday to the FCC. “A lasting congressional solution is needed, but, in the interim, the commission must undo the harm.”

The current FCC rules include “the framework for price regulation – a toxic approach if the goal is to encourage investment,” Verizon said in its filing. Reverting to a “longstanding, light-touch” approach “will not leave consumers unprotected.”

At top cable provider Comcast Corp., “we support permanent, strong, legally enforceable net neutrality rules,” David Cohen, senior executive vice president, said in a blog post July 12. “You can have strong and enforceable open internet protections without relying on rigid, innovation-killing utility regulation.”

Cohen called for Congress to act.

Prospects appear “dim” for a solution from Congress, Matthew Schettenhelm, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said in a July 13 note. Republicans likely will seek limits on FCC power, which Democrats will resist in order to preserve the agency’s flexibility to address future problems, Schettenhelm said.

Shields is based in Washington.

fcc

Keywords: NET-NEUTRALITY-FIGHT

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Insolvency proceedings against 10 firms address a fifth of IOB’s bad loans, says MD

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has initiated insolvency proceedings against 10 large corporate borrowers, bringing a fifth of its gross bad loans under the resolution process, managing director and chief executive officer R. Subramaniakumar said.

These 10 accounts are among 12 large defaulters named by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 13 June for immediate commencement of insolvency proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The accounts make up more than 21% of IOB’s over Rs35,000-crore gross non-performing assets (NPAs), Subramaniakumar said in an interview to Mint.

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Most of these accounts have adequate provision coverage of 38-40% and, hence, are not expected to impact bank’s balance sheet substantially, he said. “As per RBI guidelines, I have to provide 50% in three quarters. I will have to provide 10% incrementally, which otherwise could have come due to ageing of these accounts,” he said. “(The additional provision is) taken into the consideration in the (bank’s) turnaround strategy,” he added.

For cases referred to NCLT, RBI has directed 50% provisioning against secured exposures and 100% against unsecured exposures. Banks can spread them over three quarters starting July-September quarter.

These 10 accounts also contribute to nearly half of its corporate NPA book, he said. Nearly all of IOB’s exposure to these 10 accounts is fund-based, he added.

RBI placed the Chennai-based lender under its prompt corrective action (PCA) programme on 5 October 2015 because of a rise in bad loans. PCA entails banks to step up recoveries of bad loans, reduce risky loans, strengthen capital base and restrict branch expansion, among other measures in order to improve the health of the balance sheet.

As part of its plan to improve asset quality, for large accounts other than the 10 cases, IOB has evaluated each case for a possible resolution using RBI’s various restructuring schemes, Subramaniakumar said. IOB has also started outreach programmes to resolve bad loans from its retail, agriculture and small and medium enterprise portfolios.

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Recovery is top priority for the bank, he said. It has set a target of increasing recoveries by at least 25% in the current fiscal. In fiscal 2017, IOB recovered over Rs8,700 crore from bad loan accounts.

With 22.39% gross NPA at end of March 2017, IOB tops the list of 21 public sector banks in terms of gross NPAs. However, Subramaniakumar said this has to be seen from the context of slowing credit growth because the number is a part of the loan book. The bank is focusing more on non-corporate loans now.

First Published: Tue, Jul 18 2017. 12 17 AM IST

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SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of Repros Therapeutics, Inc. – RPRX

NEW YORK, July 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Pomerantz LLP is investigating claims on behalf of investors of Repros Therapeutics, Inc. (“Repros” or the “Company”)

RPRX, -33.49%

   Such investors are advised to contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888-476-6529, ext. 9980.

The investigation concerns whether Repros and certain of its officers and/or directors have engaged in securities fraud or other unlawful business practices. 

[Click here to join a class action]

On July 17, 2017, Repros announced receipt of preliminary feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) on the Company’s clinical development program for Proellex, its oral delivery mechanism for telapristone acetate.  Repros advised investors that “[t]he Proellex program will remain on partial clinical hold, and based upon the FDA’s review of all the existing liver function safety data, the FDA has indicated that the Company will be required to compile a large pre-approval safety data base to support future development.”  Repros stated that “a much larger clinical trial, with associated time and cost requirements, would be necessary.” 

On this news, Repros’s share price has fallen more than 30% during intraday trading on July 17, 2017.

The Pomerantz Firm, with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, is acknowledged as one of the premier firms in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of class members. See www.pomerantzlaw.com

CONTACT:Robert S. Willoughby
Pomerantz LLP
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com

View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/shareholder-alert-pomerantz-law-firm-investigates-claims-on-behalf-of-investors-of-repros-therapeutics-inc–rprx-300489102.html

SOURCE Pomerantz LLP

Copyright (C) 2017 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

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Dr. Kane Road: Scholar, lawyer who helped shape modern Hindu Law

Written by Vibhav Mariwala | Mumbai |
Published:July 17, 2017 1:37 am


Dr. Kane Road Mumbai, Scholar lawyer who helped shape modern Hindu Law, Bharat Ratna Dr. Kane, Bombay High Court, Streets of Mumbai, Mumbai News, Indian Express News The 250-metre Dr Kane Road is sandwiched between Mahatma Gandhi Road and the Bombay High Court, and merges into the Mumbai University Road. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The thousands of individuals who flock to the Bombay High Court daily use Dr Kane Road to enter it. However, not many know about Dr Pandurang Vaman Kane, or his contribution to the modern Hindu Law.

Born in 1880, Dr Kane was a Sanskrit scholar, lawyer, Parliamentarian and Indologist. He is best known for his work History of the Dharmasastra, one of the most comprehensive books on Hindu Law, spanning nearly 6,500 pages. For his work, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, and Mahamahopadhayaya, an honour given to Sanskrit scholars.

Rajan Jayakar, city historian and solicitor, notes, “P V Kane was a pioneer in interpreting and collating different perspectives of Hindu Law and his book is one of the greatest contributions made to this field.”

The 250-metre street named after him is sandwiched between Mahatma Gandhi Road and the Bombay High Court, and merges into the Mumbai University Road. The court’s two major entrances are located on the road, which is flanked by different law firms and is home to HSBC Bank’s India headquarters and the Standard Chartered Bank.

Dr Kane was a practising lawyer at the Bombay High Court from 1911, but also took pro-bono cases from districts like Pune and Satara. After working as a lawyer for less than six years, Dr Kane was appointed Professor of Law at the Government Law College, Bombay. Kane was also a member of the managing committee of the Bombay Asiatic Society and Vice-chancellor of Bombay University.

According to Uma Narayan, Deputy Registrar of the Bombay High Court Library Museum and Legal Research, “He was a great man and must be remembered for his work.” Some of Dr Kane’s pro-bono cases were especially important in changing the socio-political ethos of the country.

They included fighting for the rights of Mahars to securing the rights of widows in Hindu temples and preventing the closure of the Deccan college, recounts Jayakar. He passed away in 1972.

Dr Kane Road merges onto the University Road to come exactly opposite Mumbai university, a perfect way to commemorate his legacy of scholarly research, litigation and teaching.

Jayakar says, “The road behind the high court is appropriately named because it connects two institutions that Dr Kane was an integral part of and extensively contributed to,” Jayakar says.

Have a comment or suggestion for Streetwise? Write to mumbai.newsline @expressindia.com with subject line: Streetwise

For all the latest Cities News, download Indian Express App

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180-day moratorium: 3 of 4 firms seek extension, one goes for liquidation

4 of the cases were UB Engineering, Innoventive Industries, Nicco Corporation, Synergies Dooray


Veena Mani  | 
New Delhi 


Insolvency process has gathered momentum in the country with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) taking a call on whether to extend the 180-day moratorium for restructuring companies or liquidating their stocks. 

Four of the earliest cases were UB Engineering, Innoventive Industries, Nicco Corporation and Synergies Dooray. While the first three of these companies have sought an extension, the last one to go for liquidation.

Vijay Mallya-led UB Engineering’s case was admitted on January 19. Its 180-day moratorium will end on July 18. The company has been …

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Family conned firms out of more than £327,000

A Teesside family defrauded multiple businesses of more than £327,000 in a fake invoicing scam.

Jason Huggett, 42, created invoices in favour of his family’s firms for non-existent work during his role as a facilities manager for Surrey firm, Belron International.

Now he, along with five other members of his family have been sentenced after they were convicted of fraud following a trial.

Guildford Crown Court had been told how part of Huggett’s job involved negotiating contracts and arranging for work to be carried out for the company and authorising payments.

The court was told how an internal audit at the Egham firm found discrepancies with many of the contracts he had awarded.

Between 2011 and 2013 Jason Huggett settled invoices for non-existent work to companies owned by his wife and mother, paid over the odds for fencing work by his brother-in-law’s ceiling company, and falsified expense claims, equipment sales and receipts.

He also manipulated a legitimate business relationship to obtain personal vehicles from a supplier. In total the court found he was responsible for fraud worth £262,719.

Surrey Police picture of Adam Huggett, 39, of Bakers View, Corfe Mullen, Dorset, jailed for two years for fraud
Surrey Police picture of Adam Huggett, 39, of Bakers View, Corfe Mullen, Dorset, jailed for two years for fraud

During the investigation it emerged that his brother, Adam Huggett, 39, from Corfe Mullen in Dorset, who worked as a senior project manager for the Metropolitan Police, was committing fraud against his employer.

He has been splitting larger contracts to bring them below the threshold that he was able to award and had also authorised salary payments to a “temp” worker who was employed outside of the agreed system. His fraud was valued at £126,621, much of which was paid into accounts controlled by family members.

Simone Huggett, Jason’s wife, Heather Huggett, Jason’s mother, and Darren and Justine Parker, Jason’s sister and brother in law were all also convicted of fraud.

At a sentencing hearing Jason Huggett, of Park Crescent, Midhurst, was jailed for four years and three months after being found guilty of six counts of fraud relating to his employment by Belron and two counts of fraud relating to the Metropolitan Police Service.

Adam Huggett, of Baker’s View, was found guilty of one count of fraud relating to Belron, and three counts of fraud relating to his employment by the Metropolitan Police Service. He received a sentence of two years imprisonment.

Heather Huggett, 62, of Southfield Road, Norton was found guilty of one count of fraud relating to Belron, and one count of fraud relating to the Metropolitan Police Service. She was sentenced to two years imprisonment suspended for two years.

Darren Parker, Jason’s brother-in-law, 46, of Thorntree Avenue, Thorntree, Middlesbrough, was found guilty of one count of fraud relating to Belron. He was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment suspended for two years.

Justine Parker, Jason’s sister, 36, of Deighton Road, Easterside, Middlesbrough , was found guilty of one count of fraud relating to Belron. She was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

Simone Huggett, Jason’s wife, 42, of Park Crescent, Midhurst, was found guilty of one count of fraud relating to Belron, and one count of fraud relating to the Metropolitan Police Service. She was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months.

Following the sentencing last month Surrey Police has said it will now pursue Huggett and his family for the money that they fraudulently obtained through the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Detective Inspector Matt Durkin, head of the financial investigation unit at Surrey Police, said: “This was a very complex case, which took a substantial amount of time and effort to unravel.

“I am pleased that the judge praised the high quality of the investigating officers we have at Surrey Police.”

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Australia wants tech firms to decrypt messages

A new law has been announced in Australia which, if passed, will allow the state to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google, to help police decrypt users’ messages which they believe were sent by extremists and criminals. Experts have warned that the weakened encryption could lead to hackers gaining access to messages too.

The new law was announced on Friday and is based on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act 2016, dubbed the Snooper’s Charter. The new law, which will give the courts the ability to order tech companies to decrypt communications quickly, will be introduced in the Australian Parliament by November.

Speaking to the media, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, said:

“We’ve got a real problem in that the law enforcement agencies are increasingly unable to find out what terrorists and drug traffickers and paedophile rings are up to because of the very high levels of encryption…Where we can compel it, we will, but we will need the cooperation from the tech companies.”

Turnbull said that the tech companies have a “very libertarian culture” but know “morally” that they should agree to government demands to decrypt users’ content. The Attorney-General, George Brandis, said that the growth of encrypted communication applications such as Signal and iMessage were “potentially the greatest degradation of intelligence and law enforcement capability that we have seen in our lifetime.”

The Australian Federal Police has said that encrypted traffic has increased from three to 55 percent in the last few years and that 65 percent of organised crime investigations including terrorism and paedophile rings involved encryption.

Source: CGTN | Image via Shutterstock

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