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Business Current Events Archive


Prices for Petrol and Diesel to be Changed Daily from 1 May

As per reports, keeping with the international rates, the prices for petrol and diesel are going to change on daily basis from 1 May. The pilot project is going to be launched by the major oil companies such as Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) in five cities. The five cities include Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Udaipur in Rajasthan, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and Chandigarh.

SoftBank Pushes for a Merger Between Flipkart and Snapdeal

As per reports, Japanese giant SoftBank has called for a merger between Flipkart and Snapdeal. SoftBank is likely to acquire around 15% shares in the merged entity of Snapdeal and Flipkart. SoftBank currently owns 30% shares in Snapdeal being the largest investor. Flipkart which is based out of Bangalore is estimated to be valued at $10-11 billion.

Flipkart would be getting a strong anchor investor in form of SoftBank’s arrival giving it the required footing to battle Amazon.

Kumar Mangalam Birla to Handle Vodafone-Idea Merged Entity as its Chairman

As per reports, Kumar Mangalam Birla is going to be the chairman of Vodafone-Idea merged entity. Over a period of time, both the companies will have equal stakes, said sources.

As both the companies are strong brands, Vodafone and Idea will be operating separately.

GSM Association Report Says India will be the Leader in Smartphone Adoption

GSM Association has conducted a global survey across 56 countries on mobile usage trend. In the GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2016, the Association has categorically mentioned that in terms of smartphone adoption, India will lead the race with the net addition of 350 million connections during the period 2016-2020. The report also says that the smartphone adoption rate will be highest in countries such as India, China, and Indonesia. 

Uber India President Amit Jain Clears Air on Drivers' Earnings

Uber India President Amit Jain, in a blog post, has said that 80 per cent of their drivers throughout India earn anything from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,500 (after paying service fee) by working for 6 hours a day. He also said that Uber is providing communication support (through video messages, texts, phone, and in-person support at their greenlight centres) for resolving their concerns. At a time when some drivers are accusing Uber regarding their earnings and incentives, Jain pointed out that only a “small number of individuals” are preventing majority drivers wanting to work for Uber.

Few Banks to Charge More after Four Free Cash Transactions

A few banks like HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank are charging at least Rs150 per transaction for withdrawals as well as cash deposit after exceeding four free transactions in a month. The charges are applicable for both savings and salary accounts and is effective from 2 March 2017.

Forex Reserve falls to US$362,729 Million

As per Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Weekly Statistical Supplement, total Foreign Exchange Reserve of India has decreased to US$362,729.0 million (as on 17 February 2017) from US$362,785.8 million (as on 10 February 2017), a fall of $56.8 million. Major reason of this fall is the drop in Foreign Currency Assets (FCAs) by $59.1 million during the same period (from $339,778.9 to $339,719.8). Besides US Dollar, FCAs include major non-US securities, bonds, and global currencies. Reports say, one of the reasons behind falling of reserve’s value is individual movement of these major global currencies again US$. Gold reserve of India remained stagnant at $19,248.4 million. However, India’s reserve position in the IMF increased from $2,315.9 million to $2,317.3 million, an increase of $1.4 million.

Norway's Telenor to Sell its India Telecom Business to Bharti Airtel

Norway's Telenor group is going to exit the telecom market in India and sell its venture to Bharti Airtel.

The customer base of Telenor is 44 million and operates in circles like Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh East and West, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

According to Airtel, it has already put its step forward for a "definitive agreement" in order to acquire the Norwegian company's operations and the regulatory approvals are awaited for a final go-ahead.

Forever 21 scales up India operations, debuts in Tamil Nadu

Scaling up its IndiaIndia operation, American fast fashion retailer Forever 21, managed by Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd, has launched its first store in Chennai. This launch marks brand’s foray in Tamil Nadu, thus strengthening its foothold in the Southern market.

After establishing a strong affinity with fashion conscious Indians in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad, the brand is looking forward address the fashion needs of Chennai with its trendy, runway fashion.

The store spread over 10,000 sq ft of retail space, is located at the Express Avenue Mall. The store will also feature the retailer's other brands, including 21MEN, Love & Beauty cosmetics line and Forever 21's lingerie and shoe line. With this new store, the brand has increased its store count to 14.

 

Apple to make iPhones in Bengaluru

Reports say that Apple is going to set up a factory in Bengaluru where it will manufacture iPhones.

On Thursday, Karnataka Government issued a release to welcome Apple's proposal to start the initial manufacturing operations in the state.

The state IT minister Priyank Kharge signed the release and said manufacturing iPhones in Bengaluru will help the country to compete globally.

The production is expected to start in June.

New Delhi: RBI Governor says Rs 9.2 Lakh Crore in New Currency Introduced

As per reports, Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel spoke to the Standing Committee on Finance panel members in New Delhi about new currency that have been introduced. He said that around 9.2 lakh crore in new currency have been released. He also spoke about the demonetisation issue and the impact it left on the economy, and even the steps that have been taken by the central bank in regard to deal with the cash crunch.

Reports say that he mentioned to the panel that discussion about demonetisation started between the banks and the government last year.

The RBI Governor will be appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on 20 January.

ATM Withdrawal Limit Increased, Reports from Delhi

Reports from Delhi say that the RBI has increased the withdrawal limit of the daily transaction in ATM to 10,000 from 4,500 on Monday. However, the weekly withdrawal limit will remain the same, 24,000.

The limit on withdrawal from the current accounts has been increased to 1,00,000 from 50,000 per week.

TCS Veteran to take Charge as Executive Chairman in Mumbai

Tata Consultancy Services veteran, Natarajan Chandrasekaran is going to take charge as Executive Chief on 21 February in Mumbai. The 53-year-old Managing Director and CEO of the group’s software unit has been chosen for the position by the Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group on Thursday.

Reports say that he was selected on the basis of three decades he spent with the Tatas and proved his potential with the growth of TCS.

The other candidates for the position were UK industrialist George Buckley, Unilever Chief Operating Officer Harish Manwani and Trent Chairman Noel Tata.

Rupee Strengthens by 17 Paise against Dollar

According to reports, in early trade, rupee has gained 17 paise to 68.04 against the dollar at Interbank Foreign Exchange. As per the forex dealers, rupee received support because of the weakness in the dollar against some currencies of other countries.

SilkAir Offers Special New Year Airfares

According to reports, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, SilkAir has announced special fares for destinations like Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Japan, and Laos.

To travel before 30 June, the all-inclusive airfare of Rs 19,499 has to be booked by the end of January.

The airline operates flights to eight Indian cities.

RBI governor to be questioned on cash crunch

Inquiring the government's decision of scrapping bank notes of higher denomination, Parliamentary committee has sent a list of questions to RBI governor on the demonetisation process.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has solicited the governor of the Reserve Bank of India - Urjit Patel, to explain the process of the decision for demonetisation and has asked for details on its impact on the country's economy. The committee has also asked Patel to appear before it on January 20.

Patel has been under ire from some politicians over paucity of replacement currency and restrictions on depositing old notes that have resulted in long queues at banks and ATMs. Patel is already set to testify before another parliamentary committee.

Last month, the RBI unexpectedly kept its key policy rate unchanged at 6.25 percent, despite calls for action in the face of an intense cash shortage that threatens to slam the brakes on the world's fastest-growing large economy. The bank was widely expected to cut the rate by at least 25 bps. 

Karnataka: Petrol pumps to say no to cards from Monday; protest bank's transaction fee

Marking a protest to bank’s transition fee, the petrol pumps in Karnataka have decided to not accept debit and credit cards from Monday onward.

The move by banks to charge 1 percent transaction fee on every payment accepted by card, has been called as "irrational and sudden" by the petroleum dealers.

The president of Akhila Karnataka Federation of Petroleum Traders and Bangalore Petroleum Dealers Association, B R Ravindranath has asked for a public apology from banks.

In words of Ravindranath, the profit of all petroleum dealers are decided by the oil marketing companies (OMCs), which have fixed the net profit at 0.3 percent to 0.5 percent. And if the banks will levy a transaction fee of 1 percent, it will become difficult for us to survive in such circumstances, shared Ravindranath.

Though, this move by banks will not affect the consumers directly, cash-only operations at petrol pumps will certainly cause inconvenience to vehicle owners given the scarcity of cash in the system. This move comes at a time when the Centre is pushing for cash-less transactions.

Government chooses Inflation Hawk Urjit Patel as RBI Governor to Continue Rajan's Legacy

RBI's incumbent Deputy Governor, 52 year old Urjit Patel, has been chosen by Modi government as the new RBI governor. Patel will assume office on September 4, after the incumbent RBI governor Raghuram Rajan steps down. Urjit Patel, who is known as the “inflation warrior” of Rajan, has promised to give his best shot “to live up to the expectation of people”. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley congratulated Patel and wished him success. Reports say, it was under Patel-led committee’s recommendation that the inflation target range for India has been set between 2 to 6 per cent.

SEBI Chairman admits complex Challenges in Commodity market regulation

UK Sinha, Chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in the “chairman’s statement” of 2015-16’s annual report of SEBI said that the security watchdog confronts “many complex challenges” in commodity market regulation. SEBI is currently trying to bring the derivatives market of the commodities at par in all respects with that of the securities market. Sinha said in the statement that the organisation is “endeavouring towards reshaping and refining” market regulations of commodities derivatives to strengthen the risk management framework and boost exchanges’ surveillance mechanisms.

FM Jaitley calls for Municipal Level Reforms for Ease of Doing Business

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while addressing an audience at a seminar (on the topic “State economic reforms: The way ahead”) in Bhilai said that all round effort on part of the central and state government has started to ease doing business in India. However, he stressed upon the need of percolating down the efforts to civil bodies (municipal and panchayat levels). Jaitley said that passage of GST bill in the parliament is a major step towards taxation reforms, which will help Indian economy to become more competitive in the global market.