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Dhanteras 2019: Should you buy sovereign gold bond instead of physical gold?

The government on Monday launched the sixth tranche of Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) for 2019-20 in order to cash in on the festive mood when most people prefer to buy gold considering it the auspicious time of the year. Launched at Rs 3,835 per gram, the series VI of the SGB will remain open for subscription until Friday (October 25), which also happens to be Dhanteras. People who apply for the bond will be issued the same on October 30. Investing in Sovereign Gold Bond may be a good option for those planning to make a purchase on Dhanteras and don’t want to keep physical gold at home.

Benefits of buying SGB

Gold has seen a significant rally (around 21 per cent) so far this year. As per India Bullion and Jewellers Association, gold with 999 purity that was priced at Rs 31,660 per 10 gram on January 1 this year, is now trading at Rs 38,177 per 10 gram.

To make the SGB attractive among individual investors, the government gives additional benefits. Over and above the value of the gold, the SGB pays you an additional interest of 2.5 per cent on the nominal value of the gold. This interest is paid to subscribers after every six months.

If you apply for the bond online and make payment through a digital medium, you get an additional discount of Rs 50 per gram, that is, Rs 3785 per gram for the ongoing SGB.

Buying physical gold is inadvisable because you have to pay a GST of 3 per cent and an annual locker fee to banks if you keep it there for safety purpose. However, no such costs are involved in SGB.

Also Read: Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme open for subscription: All you need to know

Tax advantage of SGB

There is no TDS deduction on the interest you earn on SGB at the interval of 6 months. However, interest earnings are included in your income for the concerned financial year and you have to pay income tax as per the applicable income tax slab. The capital gains that an individual makes at the time of redemption after holding the bond for eight years will be exempted from the tax. But, if you transfer the bond midway, the capital gains tax will be applicable after indexation.

Pre-mature redemption

SGB is issued for eight years, but pre-mature redemption of the bond is permitted after five years since the issuance of the bond. The redemption price is fixed in the Indian currency (rupee) and the redemption price is based on simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity of the previous three working days, published by the India Bullion and Jewelers Association Limited.

How to apply for SGB?

You can apply for this bond directly or through agents at scheduled commercial banks (excluding regional rural banks, small finance banks and payment banks), designated post offices, stock holding corporation of India (SHCIL) and recognised stock exchanges. National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange are authorised to receive applications for the bonds. Many of these institutions are accepting both online and offline applications.

Also Read: Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme opens: All you need to know

Should you go for the bond?

Gold has traditionally been considered a hedge against economic uncertainties and a preferred asset class to diversify investments. However, most experts believe the allocation in the yellow metal should not be more than 10 per cent. So, if your portfolio mix has some scope for adding gold within the given limit, you may go ahead with the purchase.

Besides, if you have plans to buy physical gold in future for children’s wedding or other gift purposes, you should subscribe to SGB now, the value of which will grow with the rate of the gold and you will also get additional interest benefit. After redemption, you can very well purchase the desired physical gold.

On top of it, with SGB, you save on the safekeeping and storage cost that you will otherwise incur on the physical gold.

Future issuance of SGB

The government will issue SGB four times before the end of the financial year in March 2020. The subscription window generally remains open for five working days. The seventh tranche of the SGB will open on December 2.

Also Read:Sovereign Gold Bonds 2019-20 Series III: Issue price fixed at Rs 3,499 per gramme; subscription opens on August 5

Source: Business Today| MONEY
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Air taxi startup Lilium expands production as prototype exceeds 100 km/h

Berlin, Reuters – A prototype flying taxi has achieved speeds in excess of 100 km/h (62 mph), its German developer Lilium said on Tuesday, giving it confidence to expand production capacity ahead of a planned commercial launch in 2025.

Munich-based Lilium is one of a clutch of startups working on battery-powered aircraft that can take off vertically, potentially sparing future travellers the hassle of an airport check-in or delays due to road traffic.

Powered by 36 electric motors, the Lilium sports a fixed-wing design that its makers say will give it an efficiency and range advantage over more drone-like competitors, such as German rival Volocopter and Britain’s Vertical Aerospace.

“We are taking tangible and concrete steps towards making our vision of regional air mobility a reality, and we are doing it on time,” said CEO Daniel Wiegand, who founded Lilium in 2015 with three friends from the Technical University of Munich.

The test flights come six months after the five-seater Lilium first staged a test “hover” at a Munich airfield. For now, Lilium is testing its air taxi by remote control, but it will bring in on-board pilots later to be certified airworthy.

Ultimately, its creators say, the Lilium will be able to complete a 300 km inter-city “hop” in an hour, offering an affordable and emissions-free alternative to travelling by commercial airline, road or rail.

The company has completed a first manufacturing facility in Munich, with a second under construction that will enable it to make hundreds of craft a year by the middle of the next decade.


Lilium is meanwhile working with European flight safety regulators to get the aircraft certified – a prerequisite for commercial operation. Tests so far have included engine and flap failures, and fuse-blow tests, both in flight and on the ground.

“What we’re seeing is how well the aircraft can cope with such a failure mode, which ultimately is the critical bit for certification,” chief commercial officer Remo Gerber told Reuters. “The whole system needs to be able to react smoothly if something goes wrong.”

Lilium, which has so far raised $100 million in backing from investors led by Atomico, Tencent, LGT and Obvious Ventures, plans to run Lilium as an airline together with local operator-partners.

The cost of making the aircraft will work out at less than a tenth of the annual cost of running it, Gerber said, adding Lilium was in talks on launching in one or more markets.

That puts it a step behind Volocopter, which said recently it would form a partnership with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to bring its air taxis to China.

Volocopter, backed by carmaker Daimler, also sees Singapore as a hub for its electric helicopters, this week showcasing a prototype “vertiport” in the island state. It says air taxi operations are two to five years away.

($1 = 0.8966 euros)

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by David Holmes

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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Facebook announces new steps to clamp down on misinformation ahead of 2020 election

FILE PHOTO: A 3-D printed Facebook logo is seen in front of displayed binary code in this illustration picture, June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

(Reuters) – Facebook announced new steps to combat misinformation and voter suppression on Monday ahead of the November 2020 U.S. presidential election, on the same day it disclosed the removal of a network of Russian accounts targeting U.S. voters on Instagram.

Facebook said it would increase transparency through measures such as showing more information about the confirmed owner of a Facebook page so users can better understand who is behind a page’s content.

The company said it would start labelling state-controlled media on its page and in the site’s ad library. Facebook, Twitter (TWTR.N) and YouTube, the video-streaming service of Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Google all recently came under scrutiny after showing ads from Chinese state-controlled media that criticized Hong Kong protesters.

Facebook also said it would start more prominently labelling content that independent fact-checkers have marked as false on the platform and on its photo-sharing site Instagram.

The social media giant has come under fire in recent weeks over its policy of exempting ads run by politicians from fact-checking, drawing ire from Democratic presidential candidates Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

Facebook said would be putting into effect its planned ban on paid ads that tell people in the United States not to vote. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters on a call on Monday that the ban on voter misinformation would also apply to ads run by politicians.

Zuckerberg told reporters that Facebook would introduce a new U.S. presidential candidate spend tracker on political advertising as part of its efforts to make its ad library easier to use.

The company said it would be stepping up its protection of the Facebook and Instagram accounts of candidates, elected officials and their teams through a program called Facebook Protect. Participants in the program will be required to turn on two-factor authentication and their accounts will be monitored for signs of hacking.

Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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Exclusive: Huawei in early talks with U.S. firms to licence 5G platform – Huawei executive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Blacklisted Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei is in early-stage talks with some U.S. telecoms companies about licensing its 5G network technology to them, a Huawei executive told Reuters on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: The Huawei logo is pictured at the IFA consumer tech fair in Berlin, Germany, September 5, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

Vincent Pang, senior vice president and board director at the company said some firms had expressed interest in both a long-term deal or a one-off transfer, declining to name or quantify the companies.

“There are some companies talking to us, but it would take a long journey to really finalise everything,” Pang explained on a visit to Washington this week. “They have shown interest,” he added, saying conversations are only a couple of weeks old and not at a detailed level yet.

The U.S. government, fearing Huawei equipment could be used to spy on customers, has led a campaign to convince allies to bar it from their 5G networks. Huawei has repeatedly denied the claim.

Currently there are no U.S. 5G providers and European rivals Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and Nokia (NOKIA.HE) are generally more expensive.

In May, Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment provider, was placed on a U.S. blacklist over national security concerns, banning it from buying American-made parts without a special license.

Washington also has brought criminal charges against the company, alleging bank fraud, violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran, and theft of trade secrets, which Huawei denies.

Rules that were due out from the Commerce Department earlier this month are expected to effectively ban the company from the U.S. telecoms supply chain.

The idea of a one-off fee in exchange for access to Huawei’s 5G patents, licenses, code and know-how was first floated by CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei in interviews with the New York Times and the Economist last month. But it was not previously clear whether there was any interest from U.S. companies.

In an interview with Reuters last month, a State Department official expressed scepticism of Ren’s offer.

“It’s just not realistic that carriers would take on this equipment and then manage all of the software and hardware themselves,” the person said. “If there are software bugs that are built in to the initial software, there would be no way to necessarily tell that those are there and they could be activated at any point, even if the software code is turned over to the mobile operators,” the official added.

For his part, Pang declined to predict whether any deal might be signed. However, he warned that the research and development investment required by continuously improving the platform after a single-transfer from Huawei would be very costly for the companies.

Huawei has spent billions to develop its 5G technology since 2009.

Additional reporting by Ken Li and Karen Friefeld; Editing by Chris Sanders and Sandra Maler

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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BOJ Kuroda: No talk at G20 of central banks issuing digital currencies

FILE PHOTO – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda takes questions from reporters at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, U.S., October 18, 2019. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Friday there was no talk among Group of 20 finance leaders on the possibility of central banks issuing digital currencies, as part of efforts to enhance cross-border settlement services.

“There’s a need to make cross-border payments and settlement more efficient. But for now, it’s only about how to make private-sector settlement more efficient,” Kuroda told a news conference after attending the G20 finance leaders’ meeting.

“There weren’t discussions about central banks issuing digital currencies,” he said, adding the BOJ, too, had no immediate plans to consider issuing digital currencies.

Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Sandra Maler

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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Exclusive: Electric Hummer could be part of GM’s move into EV trucks, SUVs – sources

WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) – General Motors Co (GM.N) plans to build a new family of premium electric pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant beginning in late 2021, possibly reviving the imposing Hummer brand on some of them, several people familiar with the plans said.

The GM logo is seen at the General Motors plant in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Roosevelt Cassio

The so-called BT1 electric truck/SUV program is the centerpiece of a planned $3 billion (2.3 billion pounds) investment in the Detroit-Hamtramck plant to make electric trucks and vans, and part of a broader $7.7 billion investment in GM’s U.S. plants over the next four years, according to a proposed labor deal between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union.

The investments were made public by the UAW on Friday but no details were provided.

The investment would move the automaker into a part of the EV market that is largely untested and where GM has a higher likelihood of turning a profit, analysts said.

“It makes perfect sense to hit the high end of the market in order to generate some revenue that might actually turn a profit,” Auto Forecast Solutions vice president of global vehicle forecasting Sam Fiorani said.

GM is mirroring the approach electric carmaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) took by starting in the high end and then moving down the price ladder, he said.

That is important for a company who previously tried to sell the plug-in electric hybrid Chevrolet Volt and all-electric Bolt cars at lower prices and higher volumes, but failed to sell enough to make those efforts profitable, Fiorani said.

The UAW’s 48,000 GM hourly workers are scheduled to vote next week on the proposed contract that would end a month-long strike that analysts say has cost the No. 1 U.S. automaker about $2 billion.

GM’s BT1 program includes an electric pickup for the GMC brand and an electric SUV for Cadillac, both due in 2023, the sources said.

Before then, GM plans to begin low-volume production in late 2021 of the first BT1 model, a pickup, under a different brand, the source said. A performance variant of the pickup will be added to that brand in 2022, followed by an electric SUV in 2023.

One of the sources said the Hummer name is “under consideration” but a decision has not been finalized. The pickup is codenamed “Project O.”

Bringing back the Hummer name would take advantage of a still strongly recognized brand name, Fiorani said. Hummers were rugged civilian utility vehicles with low gas mileage that were inspired by military vehicles and were popular with such celebrities as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former basketball star Dennis Rodman.

“Putting a Hummer badge on anything is a great idea for General Motors because half the marketing is already paid for,” he said. “Making it environmentally friendly is just icing on the cake.”

The pickups and SUVs in the BT1 family will use a new dedicated electric vehicle architecture, including a “skateboard” chassis that bundles electric motor and batteries, the sources said. Fiorani expects the GM electric truck to sell at around $90,000 or more, while the other vehicles will easily top $100,000.

GM President Mark Reuss said in June at a UBS conference that the new EV architecture will be highly flexible, enabling the Detroit automaker to build a variety of body types in different sizes, with the capability of providing front-, rear- or all-wheel drive models.

When the plant reaches full production in 2024, it is expected to build about 80,000 electric vehicles a year, the sources said. Fiorani called that figure realistic.

As part of its plans around EVs, GM plans to open a battery plant near its closed Lordstown, Ohio, factory that sources have said would be a joint venture and is part of plans to invest another $1.3 billion in non-GM plants in the United States over the next four years.

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in April the automaker would make an electric full-size pickup, but provided no further details. The company has said it plans to invest $8 billion to develop electric and self-driving vehicles, launching 20 new EVs globally by 2023.

Asked about the details provided to Reuters, GM spokeswoman Jordana Strosberg said GM doesn’t comment on speculation. But she added the company is committed to an electric future.

“GM believes in an all-electric future and we are making great progress in that area,” she said. “We have announced that a pickup truck will be part of our future portfolio, but have no additional information to provide.”

GM is aiming to be one of the first in what is soon to be a crowded market for electric trucks and SUVs.

Well-funded Michigan startup Rivian has announced plans to build an electric pickup – a premium version of which will top $90,000 – followed by an electric SUV, beginning in fall 2020. It also has a contract with investor Inc (AMZN.O) to build up to 100,000 electric delivery vans for the e-commerce giant.

GM previously held discussions about investing in Rivian and using its electric vehicle platform, but sped up its internal EV program when the startup turned to rival Ford Motor Co (F.N).

Ford invested $500 million in Rivian in April and said it planned to use Rivian’s skateboard to build a new Ford-branded electric vehicle.

Ford plans to unveil an electric version of its own F-series pickup in early to mid 2022, sources previously told Reuters. It also will begin selling a Mustang-inspired electric SUV next year as part of its plan to invest $11.5 billion electrifying its vehicles by 2022, including adding 16 fully electric models.

FILE PHOTO: Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, attends the annual Allen and Co. Sun Valley media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, U.S., July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid –

Electric pickups and SUVs – the heart of the U.S. market – could help Ford and GM generate the significant sales of EVs they will need to meet tougher emission standards and electric vehicle mandates in California and other states. The Trump administration is moving to roll back those standards – and eliminate extra credits that automakers receive from EV sales -but the electric trucks are a hedge if California prevails.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the company wants to add a pickup to its growing family of premium electric vehicles, but has not provided a specific timetable. Tesla is expected to unveil a prototype this year, with analysts predicting a 2022 debut.

(The story adds dropped letter “s” in headline.)

Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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Spain closes Catalan protest group website and probes riots

MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) – A Spanish judge ordered the closure of a secretive Catalan protest group’s website on Friday as authorities scrambled to find who is behind street demonstrations that have turned unusually violent.

Catalan demonstrators carry an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) and a Spanish flag with a yellow pro-independent ribbon during Catalonia’s general strike, in Barcelona, Spain, October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The sentencing on Monday of Catalan separatist leaders to lengthy jail terms set off the worst street violence Spain has seen in decades, with protesters burning cars and throwing petrol bombs at police in the Catalan capital Barcelona.

Attention has focussed on Democratic Tsunami, a new group that emerged last month and quickly gained a huge social media following. Its main action was a massive protest at Barcelona airport on Monday, which caused dozens of flight cancellations.

“The Judicial Authority has told operators to stop serving the domains in which the #Tsunamidemocratic Platform is based … since they could favour the commission of crimes,” police said on Twitter.

The group immediately moved its homepage to a new address. It was not clear if the court would try to close that too.

Democratic Tsunami says it is non-violent and accused authorities of censorship in a post on Telegram in which it confirmed its original website was blocked and recommended followers visit another site.

The group has not said who runs it, prompting an investigation by Spanish authorities.


The group officially emerged on Sept. 2 on Twitter and was quickly endorsed by separatist politicians, including former Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont, who lives in self-imposed exile in Belgium.

Democratic Tsunami told Reuters it is a “horizontal and adaptable network” of people living in several countries, without a leadership. It said it had held on-and-off contact with secessionist parties and groups to inform them of its intentions.

Its answers to questions were provided by email before the judge’s order to close its website.

The group’s main goal is to get Spain to negotiate on the right to Catalan self-determination and to achieve freedom for jailed Catalan separatists and those living in self-imposed exile, it said. Its protests would continue as long as needed, it added.

A government source said authorities were investigating whether Puigdemont could be behind Democratic Tsunami.

The group declined to comment on this, while Puigdemont denied it. “I absolutely don’t know who the organisers are,” he told reporters on Friday in Brussels, when asked if he had links with the group.

Democratic Tsunami’s call on Monday to “stop the activity of Barcelona’s airport,” on the day after the jail sentences were announced, represented a shift in the separatist movement’s tactics away from peaceful marches.

The airport protest also showed a highly sophisticated organisation and technological capacity that resembled the preparation of a banned Catalan independence referendum in 2017, said Enric Lujan, political sciences professor at the University of Barcelona.

Democratic Tsunami said it will announce its next actions through an app that can only be downloaded on its website and shared through a QR code. The goal is to try to avoid a shutdown by authorities or infiltration by police, said Lujan, who had tested it.

Separatist leaders have condemned the violence and stressed the movement’s peaceful approach.

The protests that led to serious clashes between protesters and police this week were not called by Democratic Tsunami but by other secessionist groups.

The street riots could be linked to anarchist groups, a Spanish police and a government source told Reuters. They communicate through private channels on social media and likely have connections outside Spain, the police source said.

Reporting by Emma Pinedo, Joan Faus and Belen Carreno; Writing by Ingrid Melander and Joan Faus; Editing by Giles Elgood

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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JPMorgan’s Dimon says Facebook’s Libra currency ‘will never happen’

FILE PHOTO: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is pictured at the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) 2019 legislative conference in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Facebook’s Libra digital currency project is “a neat idea that will never happen,” JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon said on Friday, adding to scepticism of the project which has been criticized by policymakers and some regulators.

Speaking at an Institute of International Finance event in Washington DC, Dimon also disputed the perception that big U.S. banks have benefited from a material loosening of regulations under the administration of Donald Trump saying there have been only tiny “adjustments at the margins” that have made “virtually no difference.”

Reporting by Michelle Price, Editing by Franklin Paul

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd dies at 62

(Reuters) – Oracle Corp co-Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd has died, the business software maker said on Friday, an unexpected development that raises pressure on co-CEO Safra Catz to lead the company’s ongoing transition to cloud computing.

Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle Corporation, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S. October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Hurd, 62, went on medical leave last month, with Catz and founder Larry Ellison taking over his responsibilities during his absence. The company did not provide any further details at the time.

Hurd and Catz were named co-CEOs in 2014, after Ellison decided to step aside to focus on his role as chief technology officer.

Under their tenure, Oracle has been aggressively pushing into cloud computing to make up for a late entry into the fast-growing business.

Last month, the company missed revenue estimates, indicating it was struggling to make inroads into the highly competitive cloud market dominated by Microsoft Corp and Inc.

“Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague,” Ellison wrote in an email to Oracle employees.

“Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”

Hurd joined Oracle as co-president in September 2010, a month after he was ousted in a controversial fashion from Hewlett-Packard Co, where he had been chief executive since 2005. (

When Hurd and Catz were named co-CEOs in 2014, analysts were skeptical about the dual CEO structure. However, cloud software giants like Inc have followed suit with a similar structure.

Wedbush Securities Steve Koenig, said he does not see any changes in how the company will be run.

“Safra and Larry have been long-time collaborators and partners in leading Oracle, and the company has a deep bench of sales talent.”

Reporting by Neha Malara and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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Oracle co-CEO Mark Hurd passes away

Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle Corporation, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S. October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) – Oracle Corp co-Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd passed away on Friday, the business software maker said.

The company announced last month that Hurd was going on medical leave, without providing any details.

Hurd, 62, was one of Oracle’s two CEOs, the other being Safra Catz. Under their tenure, the company has tried to rapidly transition to cloud computing software.

Catz along with founder and Chief Technology Officer Larry Ellison took over Hurd’s responsibilities during his absence.

“Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague,” Ellison wrote in an email to Oracle employees.

“Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”

Hurd was named Oracle’s co-president in September 2010, a month after he was ousted in a controversial fashion from Hewlett-Packard Co, where he had been chief executive since 2005. (

When Hurd and Catz were named co-CEOs in 2014, analysts were skeptical about the move. However, cloud software giants like Inc have since also had a co-CEO structure in place.

Reporting by Neha Malara and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Source: Reuters: Technology News
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