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GST Bill likely to be passed this Winter Season, Market Reacts Positively

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said, while meeting press outside PM Modi’s official residence at 7, Race Course Road, that meeting between the Prime Minister and Congress President Sonia Gandhi yesterday evening was optimistic and hopes that the well-awaited Goods and Services Tax bill is likely to be passed during this Winter Session. Reports say that both sides reached consensus on two crucial points and only a few issues are needed to be smoothed out. JDU Chief Sharad Yadav has said that they hope both Congress and BJP come on the same page for passing the GST Bill. It is learnt that more discussions are likely between government and opposition parties on the issue. With positive cues on GST coming from sources, the market ended the lull and bounced back by 170 points and BSE closed at an over three weeks high of 26,128.20.     

Indian equities open higher on Friday's morning trade

A benchmark index for Indian equities, the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), on Friday opened higher and was trading at 25,967.70 points some 19 minutes after the opening bell. The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading higher at 7,891.40 points, with a gain of 7.60 points or 0.10 percent. The 30-share Sensex opened at 25,997.38 points, against the previous day’s close at 25,958.63 points. At 9.34 a.m., it was ruling at 25,967.70 points, with a gain of 9.07 points or 0.03 percent. Source: IANS

E-commerce import to grow 78 percent: Study

With the Indian e-commerce space experiencing "exciting times", the import from other countries is estimated to grow at 78.5 percent during 2015-16, a study said. According to the report on consumer research by PayPal and Ipsos, desktops account for the highest proportion of purchases at 53 percent. However, it said the future belongs to mobile as 41 percent of these purchases in the last one year were made using a smartphone or tablet. Source: IANS

Future of GST Bill still dangles in Uncertainty

After Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reached out to Congress on GST issue, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi has today said that his party strongly believes in tax reform and GST but asked the government to reach out to the opposition parties for an amicable solution. He also urged the government to contemplate on the issue of rate cap. Biju Janata Dal and Janata Dal (United) are also vouching for capping GST rate in addition to doing away with the 1 per cent inter-state CST tax. However, Arun Jaitley has called the Congress’s suggestion of including GST tariff in the constitution as “extremely unfair” and “preposterous”.

Arun Jaitley expresses fears of adverse effect of ISIS's Disruptive activities on World Economy

While addressing at the annual meet of an industry chamber, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that disruptive activities of the dreaded terrorist organization ISIS can adversely affect the world economy. He emphasized upon the point that defending a country will become more important than developing the same in case of increase in ISIS’s disruptive activities and therefore most of the funds will be diverted to security measures rather than in meeting developmental challenges including poverty alleviation. Jaitley went on to say that unlike past decades “volatility and turmoil” have become the new global norm. He warned that ISIS activities can have adverse effect on tourism, trade, and currency.

Vijay Mallya negotiating to settle defunct Kingfisher Airlines Debt

The king of good times, Vijay Mallya has said that he is discussing with the public sector banks for settling dues that he incurred for his now defunct Kingfisher Airlines. However, when inquired about his plans of selling his personal 4 per cent stake in United Spirits for raising money, Mallya dodged the question, at the sidelines of USL’s annual general meeting, by saying that he is currently focusing on settling the matters with banks regarding KA debts. This statement comes for the first time after Mallya was tagged by SBI as “willful defaulter” and ED planning a money laundering investigation against him.

Optiemus, Wistron to invest $200 mn in telecom unit in India

India's Optiemus Infracom is partnering with Taiwan's original design manufacturer Wistron Corporation in investing $200 million in setting up facilities for manufacturing telecom products in India. "Over the next five years, the partners will strategically invest approximately $200 million in best in class infrastructure, technologies and processes, to cater to growing Indian and global demands of telecom products like, smart phones, tablets and smart devices," a joint statement by the two companies said. The joint-venture targets to create over 15,000 employment opportunities in India, over the next five years, it added. Source: IANS

Bupa to invest Rs.191 crore in Max Bupa to increase stake

Health insurance firm Max Bupa said that its stakeholders have agreed to increase the foreign participation limit from 26 percent to 49 percent in the venture. As per the company, Bupa, which is the foreign promoter in the joint venture (JV), will pay around Rs.191 crore to its Indian partner Max India to increase its stake from the current 26 percent to 49 percent. Source: IANS

NumberMall acquires BankSmarts Solutions

NumberMall Private Limited, a payment gateway services platform, announced acquisition of Delhi-based BankSmarts Solutions for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will extend Hyderabad-based NumberMall's analytics capability, customer reach and merchant offers. The development is expected to enable new classes of products and services that meet customer needs in assisted ecommerce, the company said in a statement. Source: IANS

RBI Gov Rajan lends support to make Yuan part of IMF favoured Currencies

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has lent his support in making Yuan, currency of China, one of the favoured currencies of IMF (International Monetary Fund). During an interview with a Hong Kong-based magazine, Rajan has said that China has progressed in both international trade and finance and that’s why Chinese Yuan is a strong contender for being included in the IMF currencies. If IMF includes Yuan in the basket as one of its currencies, it will not only help the currency to get international acceptance but also provide it special drawing rights. While allaying fears that devaluation of Chinese Yuan is similar to currency war, Rajan acknowledged that slow down of Chinese economy has indeed adversely affected Indian economy (for being a commodity importer in aggregate) just as it affected global economy.

Vijay Mallya gets Willful Defaulter tag from SBI, ED to Investigate Money Laundering Charges

Vijay Mallya (the promoter of now defunct Kingfisher Airlines) and United Breweries Holdings have been demarcated by State Bank of India (SBI) as willful defaulters. This development comes after grievance redressal committee rejected arguments put forward by the legal representatives of Vijay Mallya. Enforcement Directorate (ED) is all set to start money laundering investigation against both Kingfisher Airlines and Vijay Mallya. Reports say that ED has asked for the FIR copy of CBI, filed against Mallya and KA, under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. It is alleged that majority of the Rs. 4,000 crore loan received by KA from nationalized banks have been siphoned off to tax havens like Mauritius and Cayman Island.

Markets give away intra-day gains; Sensex closes flat

A late-hour sell-off eroded major portions of the intra-day gains at the Indian equity markets, as a barometer index provisionally closed flat on Friday. The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained as much as 217 points during the intra-day trade, ended flat with a mere 27 points up. Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) gave away its intra-day gains and provisionally closed flat. It ended higher by 8.45 points or 0.11 percent at 7,851.20 points. Source: IANS

Fall in public, private investment major concern: Rajan

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Friday said he was concerned that the fall in public and private investment in India would affect the country's economic growth. "On the growth front, the central concern is with investments. Private investment has fallen back a bit and so has public investment," Rajan said at an event in Hong Kong. Source: IANS

HomeLane hires Google geek

Home furnishings e-tailer hired Google's geek Jayanth Mysore as its chief product officer, the online firm said. "Jayanth who played a key role in developing Google Maps, Google Analytics and Google Checkout during his tenure with the global search engine firm, will be chief product officer for enhancing our consumer experience," the company said in a statement. Source: IANS

Godrej may export Goldilock safes next fiscal

Godrej Security Solutions (GSS) -- part of the $4.1 billion Godrej Group -- said it may start exporting its range of unique, technology driven safes in the next fiscal year to Bhutan, the Gulf countries and Africa. "This fiscal year, our focus in on the domestic market where we expect to sell one lakh units of the newly introduced personal safe - Goldilock. Next fiscal year onwards, we may start exporting these," GSS's associate vice president and head of marketing Mehernosh Pithawalla told media persons. He said the company has already received inquiries from Bhutan while African and Gulf countries are in the radar for exports. Source: IANS

Ola raises $500 million to fund expansion

Leading mobile application-based cab service provider Ola has announced raising $500 million (Rs.3,306 crore) to fund its expansion plans in India, including capacity building. "The fresh investment will be used to fuel supply initiatives, capacity building and newer use cases," the company said in a statement. The sixth (series F) round of funding was led by venture firm Baillie Gifford and other venture firms Falcon Edge, Tiger Global, SoftBank group and DST Global participated. Source: IANS

Tea output falls by 5.42 percent in September; West Bengal hardest hit

Production of tea across India during September fell by 5.42 percent while a fall of 1.29 percent in production was recorded during April-September. Total tea production was pegged at 148.81 million kg (mkg) during September as against 157.33 mkg in the same month in 2014. According to the data from Tea Board of India, West Bengal was the hardest hit, where tea production declined by 13.49 percent at 39.24 mkg. Source: IANS

India making policy for a pie of global IoT business

India is drafting a policy to have five-six percent of the $300-billion global Internet of Things (IoT) business by 2020, a top official said. "A policy framework is in consultation stage for getting a five-six percent share of the global IoT industry, which is estimated to be $300 billion by 2020," department of electronics and IT secretary J.S. Deepak said at a summit. The policy will also enable the sun rise electronics industry to generate $15 billion domestic market over the next five years. Source: IANS

Sundar Raman named sports chief of Reliance Industries

Veteran sports marketing and management professional Sundar Raman is joining Reliance Industries as its chief executive to consolidate and drive the group's initiative in this area. In addition to the existing sports properties of the group and its non-profit foundation, Sundar Raman will be driving newer avenues of growth in this area, as also the integration with the digital services of Jio, a company statement said. "Sundar brings with him a rich and unique experience of over two decades in understanding consumer insights and as a pioneer in the growth of sporting properties in India," the statement added. Source: IANS

China January-October outbound direct investment surges

China made around 589.2 billion yuan (about $95.21 billion) in non-financial investment in overseas markets in the first ten months of 2015, up 16.3 percent year on year, the latest data showed. Outbound direct investment (ODI) in the period covered 5,553 overseas-based companies in 152 countries and regions, Xinhua quoted the ministry of commerce as saying. The country became a net capital exporter for the first time last year, when ODI surpassed foreign direct investment (FDI). ODI grew 14.1 percent in 2014, eclipsing the 1.7-percent growth recorded for FDI. Source: IANS