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BUSINESS NEWS MAY 1ST, 2016


HALLIBURTON, BAKER HUGHES CALL OFF MERGER

Halliburton and Baker Hughes abandoned their merger Sunday, after the deal once valued at $35 billion failed to gain the blessing of antitrust officials. The chief executives of both energy services firms called the failure to complete the merger “disappointing.”“The challenges in obtaining remaining regulatory approvals and general industry conditions that severely damaged deal economics led to the conclusion that termination is the best course of action,” Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar said in a statement. The planned merger was “an extremely complex, global transaction,” Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead said in his statement. “Ultimately,” he said “a solution could not be found to satisfy the antitrust concerns of regulators, both in the United States and abroad.”

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JAPAN STOCKS SLIDE WITH YEN AT 18-MONTH HIGH

Asian shares fell in early trading on Monday, with Japan's Nikkei plunging after the dollar notched a fresh 18-month low against the yen.MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.3 percent, after Wall Street marked losses after a spate of disappointing earnings.Adding to the subdued sentiment, a survey released on Sunday showed that activity in China's manufacturing sector expanded for the second month in a row in April but only marginally, raising doubts about the sustainability of a recent pick-up in the world's second-largest economy.

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MICROSOFT GETS POSSESSIVE ABOUT CORTANA

Microsoft Corporation seems to dislike browsers taking unfair advantage of its Cortana AI assistant. A new update for Windows 10 will prevent the smart AI from being used by non-Microsoft browsers or search engines to complete user requests in the future. The Cortana search bar was previously allowed to work with all browsers, including third-party ones, to assist users in their queries.Microsoft’s native Edge browser is integrated with Bing search by default. However, extensions on browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox circumvented this feature, and allowed users to utilize Cortana on browsers or search engines of their choice.

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ONLY 1% OF INDIA'S POPULATION PAYS TAXES

Only about one per cent of India’s population pays income tax but the number of effective I-T assessees has risen to ~5.17 crore in 2014-15, from 4.72 crore in 2012-13, according to government data.A total of 2.87 crore individuals filed I-T returns for assessment year 2012-13, but 1.62 crore of them did not pay any tax - leaving the number of taxpayers at just about 1.25 crore.The Centre has made public direct tax data for last 15 years. Data for individuals has been published only for FY13 assessment year, which shows taxes for income in financial year ended March 31, 2012. As many as 5,430 individuals paid income tax of over INR 1 crore. Out of this, the tax range was INR 1-5 crore for more than 5,000 individuals, resulting in a total outgo of INR 8,907 crore.

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#Halliburton #Asian #Nikkei #Microsoft #Cortana #India

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