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Tesla to Seek Investor Approval on Second Stock Split at Annual General Meeting: Details

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Tesla will host its annual general meeting on Thursday, with the world’s most valuable automaker’s proposal for a second stock split in as many years set to take center stage for investors gathered in Austin, Texas. Also on the agenda are shareholder proposals for corporate governance-related items, including endorsing the right of employees to form a union and asking the company to report its efforts in preventing racial discrimination and sexual harassment annually.

The meeting comes as Tesla chief Elon Musk and Twitter are slugging it out in a legal battle after the world’s richest person said last month that he was abandoning a $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,48,300 crore) takeover offer for the company.

Musk owns 15.6 percent of Tesla, according to data from Refinitiv, after selling millions of shares over much of the last year.

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Tesla first announced its plan to seek investor approval to increase its number of shares in March, two years after a five-for-one split helped bring down the price of the high-flying stock within the reach of ordinary investors. Tesla is now proposing a three-for-one split.

Tesla shares, which debuted at $17 (roughly Rs. 1,300) apiece in 2010, rose to more than $1,200 (roughly Rs. 95,000) late last year after the 2020 stock split, taking the company’s market capitalization above $1 trillion (roughly Rs. 79,16,233 crore).

While a split does not affect a company’s fundamentals, it could buoy the share price by making it easier for a wider range of investors to own the stock.

Tech heavyweights Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple have also announced stock splits in the recent past.

Tesla shareholders will also vote on the board’s proposals to reduce the term of its directors to two years from three as well as re-elect Ira Ehrenpreis and Kathleen Wilson-Thompson.

Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) last month recommended Tesla investors to vote against the two nominees.

A shareholder proposal, asking the board to enable large and long-term stockholders or groups with at least 3 percent of the company’s shares to put competing director candidates on the company ballot will be put to vote at the meeting.

Tesla in its proxy filing said this may create an opportunity for special interests that seek only short-term returns rather than having the company’s long-term interests in mind.

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In a board proposal, the company asked shareholders to approve removing some supermajority voting requirements, saying that it would give its “stockholders a greater voice”.

Proxy advisory firms Glass Lewis and ISS recommended stockholders to vote for both proposals.

The annual meeting is due to start at 5.30 pm ET (3am IST on Friday).

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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Kerala Savari Online Taxi Service Launched by State Government: All Details

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday launched the LDF government’s own e-taxi service app — named ‘Kerala Savari’ — which is said to be the first such initiative by any state in the country. Vijayan also flagged off, at the app launch event, the auto-rickshaws which would be operating under the new online taxi hiring service that has been rolled out by the state Labour Department. 

Under the new initiative, the state government will link the existing autorickshaw-taxi networks in Kerala with an aim to ensure safe and dispute-free travel for the public at affordable rates prevailing in the state.

It is also envisaged as a helping hand to the autorickshaw-taxi labour sector, which is facing several challenges, the government had said last month when it had announced the launch of the service.

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The government had said it has been learnt that there was a difference of 20-30 percent between the rate received by the motor transport labourers and the rate charged from the passengers in all the existing online cab services.

As people prefer to use online taxi services, many of the conventional taxi stands have disappeared and a large number of motor transport workers have been rendered jobless, the government had said.

The Kerala Motor Transport Workers’ Welfare Fund Board is the implementation agency, which would act with the support of the departments like Legal Metrology, Transport, IT, Police and so on.

Kerala Savari would charge only eight percent service charge in addition to the rate fixed by the government, which was 20 to 30 percent in other online taxis, the government had said.

The amount, collected as service charge, would be utilised for the project implementation and promotional incentives for passengers and drivers, it added.

A police clearance certificate has been made mandatory for drivers joining the scheme and the app also has the feature of a ‘panic button’ which can be used in case there is any accident or another similar danger.

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“It has been decided to implement the scheme across the state. At present, as many as 500 auto-taxi drivers in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation limits are the members of the scheme. Officials of various departments have imparted training to them in various subjects,” the government had said.


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One Killed, Nine Injured as BMW Test Car With Autonomous Steering Veers Into Traffic in Germany

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A BMW test car with autonomous steering capability veered into oncoming traffic in Germany, killing one person and seriously injuring nine others, police said Tuesday. A spokesman for police in the southwestern town of Reutlingen said an electric BMW iX with five people on board, including a young child, swerved out of its lane at a bend in the road, triggering a series of collisions involving four vehicles Monday afternoon.

After brushing an oncoming Citroen, the BMW hit a Mercedes-Benz van head-on, resulting in the death of a 33-year-old passenger in that vehicle.

The 70-year-old driver of the Citroen lost control of her car and crashed into another vehicle with two people on board, pushing it off the road and causing it to burst into flames.

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Reutlingen police spokesperson Michael Schaal said four rescue helicopters and dozens of firefighters responded to the incident and the injured were taken to several hospitals in the region. They included the 43-year-old driver of the BMW, three adults aged 31, 42 and 47, and a 18-month-old child who were all in the test vehicle.

Schaal said police hadn’t yet had an opportunity to interview those involved in the crash.

“The crash vehicle was an autonomous electric test car,” police said in a statement. “Whether it was being steered by the 43-year-old (driver) or not is the subject of investigation.”

BMW confirmed that one of its test vehicles was involved in a collision near Reutlingen, but denied that the vehicle was fully autonomous.

“The vehicle has a level 2 driving assistance system that is already incorporated in production vehicles today and which can support the driver on demand,” the company said. “With level 2 vehicles the driver always retains responsibility.”

BMW added that the vehicle was required to be marked as a test car for data protection purposes, because it was recording footage.

“We are in the process of investigating the exact circumstances (of the crash),” BMW said. “Of course we are in close contact with authorities.”

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Hyderabad International Airport to Roll Out DigiYatra Platform for Paperless Travel From August 18

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Hyderabad International Airport will roll out the DigiYatra platform for three months from August 18 onwards. In line with the Government of India’s signature DigiYatra programme, GMR Hyderabad International Airport (GHIAL) will roll out the digital processing of passengers as a proof of concept through the DigiYatra platform from Thursday for three months. DigiYatra will facilitate paperless travel and avoid multiple identity checks at the airport enabling seamless and hassle-free travel.

With DigiYatra, passengers will be automatically processed based on a facial recognition system at select checkpoints: one at the Departure Domestic Entry Gate 3 and another at the Security Hold Area (SHA) in the passenger terminal building.

DigiYatra Technical Team has developed an exclusive mobile app for enrolment, which must be downloaded to avail of the benefits offered by the DigiYatra programme. The app was launched on August 15 by the Prime Minister of India. The beta version of the DigiYatra app is presently available via the Google Play store. The same app will be available at App Store for iOS users in a few weeks’ time.

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Pradeep Panicker, CEO-GHIAL, said, “The Digiyatra initiative envisages airline travellers, a speedy, hassle-free, digitally unified air travel experience across all stages of the journey. It is a milestone in the history of Indian aviation, and we are proud to be chosen as one of the airports for a proof of concept for Digi Yatra by the Government of India. GHIAL had earlier initiated face recognition trials which received wide acclaim across the airport ecosystem. This technology will enable passengers paperless travel, and they will be able to use a face scan as a boarding pass.”

Since the DigiYatra Biometric Boarding System is integrated with the identity document, passengers will no longer need to show their tickets or boarding passes and their physical Identity cards at the checkpoints of the airport. This will lead to reduced queue waiting times, faster processing times and simpler processes enhancing the passenger experience. DigiYatra also enables the passengers to receive relevant information about various facilities, protocols, airline timings, and queue waiting times at the airport.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport is one of the five airports that has been selected to roll out the DigiYatra programme. DigiYatra team has formed Technical Expert Committee with all the airports and airlines to design the framework. The DigiYatra Mobile App is safe as the Passenger’s biometric details are stored on Passenger’s mobile itself and will not be shared with anyone. This is purely voluntary, and the normal non-biometric process shall continue to function.

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) is a joint venture company promoted by GMR Infra (63 percent) in partnership with the Airports Authority of India (13 percent), the Government of Telangana (13 percent) and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11 percent).


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