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Showing posts from October, 2013

RICHEST INDIAN MUKESH

Energy tycoon and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is India's richest man with personal assets of USD 18.9 billion, a report says. According to the China-based Hurun India Rich List, Ambani retained the top position for the second year even after a wealth decrease of 2 per cent. Ambani is followed by London-based steel baron L N Mittal with assets of USD 15.9 billion. Mittal's wealth declined 6 per cent from last year. Sun Pharmaceuticals' founder Dilip Shanghvi broke into the top three for the first time with a 66 per cent surge in his wealth. "This rise in stock price was supported by the expected sales of the cancer drug Doxil, following Janssen Pharma Inc's admission of shortage of the drug supply," the report said. Among others in the top 10 are: Wipro's Azim Premji (4th) with assets of USD 12 billion, HCL Technology's Shiv Nadar (5th, USD 8.6 billion), Grasim Industries' Kumar Mangalam Birla (6th, USD 8.4 billion), Godrej Group'…

GOLD GROWS ON TREES

Researchers said today they had found a surprising marker for deep-buried gold, miniscule traces in the leaves of Eucalyptus trees growing over veins of the yellow metal. The unusual finding may prove a boon for prospectors in a time of dwindling gold reserves and skyrocketing prices, with new discoveries down 45 per cent in the past decade, according to a study in the journal Nature Communications. "This link between... vegetation growth and buried gold deposits could prove instrumental in developing new technologies for mineral exploration," said a press summary. Eucalyptus trees can send their roots deep into the ground in search of water in dry areas, even breaking into gold-rich zones where they absorb microscopic metal particles as they drink. A team of scientists from Australia said they have now shown that gold can be absorbed by the roots and travel through the tree, all the way to its leaves, though in negligible concentrations. According to the World Gold Council,…

REALTY EXPERTS IN 15 STATES

The Centre will soon appoint real estate experts and consultants in 15 major states for helping them to prepare affordable housing policy and streamline the rules for approving realty projects, a top government official said today. "We are coming out with a policy where we will be engaging large number of real estate experts and consultants to each individual states and asked them to study various rules and regulations related to building plan approvals," Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Secretary Arun Kumar Misra said while addressing a Assocham conference on the real estate. Misra said the Centre would identify 12-15 major states where these experts would be engaged for simplification on the rules and regulations. Realtors apex body CREDAI have been demanding a single- window clearance for approvals of realty projects, saying that the cost goes up by 40 per cent due to delay in approvals, which generally takes 12-24 months. Speaking on the sidelines, Misra said that t…

ONIONS @ Rs.100/-

Onion prices touched Rs 100 per kg in some major cities as supplies remained tight. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar says that rates will remain high for 2-3 weeks. Refusing to ban onion exports, the Centre asked states to invoke Essential Commodities Act to crackdown on hoarders. It, however, started the process of importing onion -- via co-operative NAFED -- from Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and China to cool down the rates. It also relaxed the conditions for imports to augment domestic supply. According to the data compiled by the Consumer Affairs Ministry, the average price in the major 57 cities stood at Rs 70 per kg with Jammu recording highest at Rs 90 per kg and the Bangalore the cheapest at Rs 32 per kg. However, as per the data available from centres, onion is being sold at Rs 100/kg in Patna and Jammu in retail markets. In the national capital, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Bangalore, retail prices are ruling at Rs 80-90 per kg. Onions are available in the range of Rs 60-80 in Mumbai, B…

SENSEX TOUCH 21000 AFTER 3 YEARS

The BSE benchmark Sensex today crossed the 21,000-mark after nearly three years but frittered away the gains to close 42 points down as cautious investors booked profits ahead of next week's RBI monetary policy meet and monthly expiry of derivative contracts. The bluechip index, which had surged to 21,039.42 at the outset for the first time since November 2010, gave up gains to close down 42.45 points, or 0.20 per cent, at 20,725.43. 19 Sensex stocks declined led by Reliance Industries, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro. Coal India, BHEL, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, Dr Reddy's, Jindal Steel, NTPC and Tata Steel also saw losses. "The Sensex opened on a strong note despite negative global cues. A sharp drop in crude oil prices may have aided market sentiments," said Sanjeev Zarbade, Vice President- Private Client Group Research, Kotak Securities. On similar lines, the 50-scrip National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 14 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 6,164.3…

GOOD BYE TO DUAL CURRENCY IN CUBA

Cuba announced today it was ending an unpopular 19-year-old dual currency system that has contributed to a growing wealth gap between Cubans with access to dollars and those without. The official Communist Party newspaper Granma said the new unified currency would be phased in over time. Under the current system, Cuba exchanges dollars received through tourism, trade and overseas remittances into convertible Cuban pesos at a rate of one for one. But the state pays workers' salaries and charges for services in ordinary pesos, which are worth far less, 24 to one convertible peso. Many basic necessities here are available only in convertible pesos at special state-run stores, a source of tension between Cubans who have access to dollars and the majority who don't. Ending the dual system, which has been in effect since 1994, was a key demand raised at the VI Communist Party Congress in April, 2011. Under President Raul Castro, Cuba has been sl…

DEOSIT FRAUDS TO BE CRUSHED

To safeguard investors from fraudulent money-collection schemes, the government today proposed mandatory insurance cover for public deposits garnered by companies and hefty penalty of up to 18 per cent annual interest for defaulters. The premium of the deposit insurance cover would need to be paid by companies themselves and a penalty at an annualised interest rate of 15 per cent would be slapped on those which do not provide a deposit insurance to their depositors. The proposed measures, which form part of the draft rules for the new Companies Act, also bar the companies from promising huge returns and hefty agent commissions in excess of the prevailing rates prescribed by RBI for such deposits. Releasing the draft rules, the Corporate Affairs Ministry said that action would be initiated against the companies that fail to comply with the new rules, called Regulations for Acceptance of Deposits by Companies.
Besides, any violating company and each of its officers an…

TEACHER STUDENT CONTACT ON FB BANNED

A German state has banned students and teachers from becoming friends on Facebook, citing that it was not possible for them to keep a professional relationship if they could see each others photos and postings. The education ministry in Rhineland-Palatinate, in western Germany, informed its schools about its new rules in a booklet, The Local reported quoting a spokesman. The state's data protection commissioner, Edgar Wagner, said the educational role of schools did not fit with the business model of Facebook -- to collect personal data for commercial reasons. He said that there were plenty of other ways pupils and teachers could get in touch. In other German states also there are strict rules about teacher-pupil contact, the report said. In Baden-Wurttemberg the use of social networks is restricted in schools. Saxony said in the summer that it was also working on similar rules. In Schleswig-Holstein teachers were told to stop using Facebook to plan school trip…

CHITRA ENTERS FORTUNE POWERFUL WOMEN'S LIST

Four Indians led by ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar have made to Fortune magazine's global list of top-50 women business leaders, while PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi has been ranked second in a similar list for the US. Kochhar has been ranked fourth, followed by National Stock Exchange chief Chitra Ramkrishna at 17th, Axis Bank's Shikha Sharma at 32nd and HSBC's Naina Lal Kidwai at 42nd place among the Indians on the international list of most powerful women in business. This list is topped by Brazilian energy giant Petrobras' CEO, Maria Das Gracas Foster, followed by Turkish conglomerate Sabanci Holding's Guler Sabanci at the second and Australian banking giant Westpac's CEO Gail Kelly at the third.
Kochhar, Managing Director and CEO of India's largest private sector bank, has moved up one position from her fifth position on the 2012 list, while NSE's Ramkrishna has made it to the list for the first time.
Shikha Sharma and Naina Lal Kidwa…

DO SENSEX TOUCH 21000 BY DEEWALI?

The BSE benchmark Sensex is likely to hit the much awaited psychological level of 21,000 this Diwali, driven by robust foreign fund inflow, good quarterly earnings from corporates so far and favourable global cues, say analysts. The Sensex touched its one-year high level of 20,932.23 on Friday triggered by global cues as concerns about the US tapering eased and China's economic growth picked up.
The 30-stock index is 323.88 points away from its all- time peak of 21,206.77 hit on January 10, 2008. Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs), the main driver of the Indian stock market, have poured in nearly Rs 7,000 crore (USD 1.12 billion) in the domestic equity market since the beginning of this month.
With this, the total foreign investment in the Indian stock market has reached Rs 80,174 crore (USD 14.77 billion) so far in 2013, as per data available with market regulator Sebi. Marketmen attributed the foreign fund inflows to easing concerns over the…

MFsCAN HOLD GOLD CERTIFICATES IN PHYSICAL FORM

Market watchdog Sebi today allowed Mutual Funds to hold gold certificates issued by banks in the physical forms as well, in addition to the ones in demat form, for investments made in Gold Deposit Schemes. So far, MFs were allowed to hold such gold deposit certificates only in dematerialised or electronic forms.
"Gold certificates issued by banks in respect of investments made by gold ETFs in GDS (Gold Deposit Scheme) can be held by mutual funds in dematerialised or physical form," the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) said in a circular today. Sebi said the circular has been issued "to protect the interests of investors in securities and to promote the development of, and to regulate the securities market".
Earlier this year, the market watchdog had allowed gold ETFs of mutual funds to invest in GDS of banks, as part of its efforts to utilise idle assets of the precious metal for more productive purposes. As per the norms, total investment by gold ETFs…

PESIDENT'S WORDS EYE OPENER FOR CENTRE

BJP recently praised President Pranab Mukherjee for his statement that Pakistan should dismantle terror infrastructure on its soil, saying he has really spoken for the people of the country and the Centre should learn a lesson from him. Apparently hitting out at the government for holding talks at the highest-level despite tensions along the border, senior party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad today said India has failed to learn the lessons "rightly". "Is the government going to take some lessons from 'Rashtrapatiji'(the President) who has really spoken for the people of the country and their feeling that Pakistan must dismantle the infrastructure of terror. "Talk and terrorism cannot go hand in hand. I regret to say that Centre is yet to learn the lesson rightly," Prasad said when reporters asked for his reaction about Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir's remarks that talks should continue irrespective of what was happening at the borde…

FB OPEN FOR TEENAGERS

Facebook has relaxed its privacy rules for teenagers now allowing them to share post publicly amid concerns that teens' digital lives could be used for commercial interests by advertisers among others. In an announcement, the California-based Internet firm called teens "among the savviest people using social media". "Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard," Facebook said in a blog post on Wednesday. With this the social media giant also looks to expand its Internet-based revenue sources through the "tech-savvy" teens as teenagers will now have more visibility in the digital world to share their thoughts and ideas publicly. Previously, teens from age 13-17 using Facebook were only able to share content with friends, friends of friends and custom groups like "family." Now, they can choose to share posts with anyone, just …

BUY WINE & FLY TO FRANCE

The world's most expensive red wine costing USD 195,000 a bottle is up for sale here. Three of the limited edition Chateau Margaux 2009 Balthazars are available for wine connoisseurs and buyers will be flown first-class to France to visit the Chateau Margaux estate, media reports said. Only six Balthazars, which are 12-litre bottles, have been produced, and three have been offered for sale in the Dubai outlet, an Arabia Business report said. The 12-litre bottles were produced by the 400-year-old Chateau Margaux vineyard in the Bordeaux region of France and have gone on display at the Le Clos wine store at the Dubai International Airport. The Chateau Margaux vineyard is renowned as one of the world's greatest vineyards and the 2009 vintage is considered to be one of the best ever produced by the estate. "To mark this fantastic vintage, we are delighted to create a unique opportunity by partnering with Le Clos to offer three Balthazars to the world's most discerning win…

GONE THE DAYS OF 8% GROWTH

The Indian economy has bottomed out and the recovery is on the anvil although the days of 8 per cent growth are "gone", Moody's Analytics said today.
"The economy is nearing the bottom of the current cycle and there is recovery in sight as investment should improve from the fourth quarter, as the government has been actively trying to restart stalled investment projects, both from the public and private sectors," senior economist at Moody's Analytics Glenn Levine said in a note today.
"Yet the recovery will be modest, as weak business sentiment will take time to turn around. We expect fixed investment to grow 3.5 per cent in 2014 after being flat in 2013," he added.
The arm of the global credit ratings agency Moody's also said: "The days of 8 per cent GDP growth are gone. We expect the Indian economy to hit its potential growth rate of 6.5 per cent by the second half of 2015."
India's economy expanded by over 9 per cent in the th…

AT LAST A SIGH OF RELIEF

In an 11th-hour deal, the US Congress passed a bipartisan bill which was quickly signed into law by President Barack Obama today to end a 16-day government shutdown and avert a historic debt default by the world's largest economy that could have global repercussions. Less than four hours before the midnight deadline, both chambers of the US Congress - the Senate and House of Representatives - passed the legislation by 81-18 and 285-144 votes respectively to prevent the catastrophic debt default and increase the current debt ceiling of USD 16.7 trillion. President Obama immediately signed into law the bill, the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014," which provides fiscal year 2014 appropriations for projects and activities of the Federal Government through Wednesday, January 15, 2014. "The effective time for the continuing resolution begins on October 1, 2013," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, adding that the law also extends the nat…

INDIA'S BEST BRANDS

EXECUTIVES IN SEARCH OF NEW ASSIGNMENTS

Seeking better career prospects amid economic slowdown, many senior and middle level executives are actively looking to switch jobs, according to HR experts. Reflecting the rising churn at corporates across sectors, many leading entities, including Infosys, PepsiCo and Jindal Steel and Power, have witnessed exits of high profile executives in recent months. Experts said the increasing tendency of middle and senior level executives to change jobs is mainly driven by desire to seek better paying and brighter career opportunities amid sluggish economic conditions. Increasing pressure to perform is also a contributing factor, they added. "The eagerness to move up the corporate ladder quickly and high compensation levels at senior levels is a major reason for this trend in India," executive search firm MANCER Consulting's CEO Satya D Sinha said. Providing a rough estimate, Sinha said that as much as 80 per cent of middle and senior level executives could be looking for change…

YET...ANOTHER DOWNDRADE

World Bank cuts India's 2013-14 GDP growth projection to 4.7%  Close on the heels of the IMF, the World Bank today slashed India's economic growth forecast for the current financial year to 4.7 per cent from an earlier projection of 6.1 per cent. "The report (India Development Update) expects real GDP to expand by 4.7 per cent (at factor cost) this fiscal year before accelerating to 6.2 per cent in FY2015," said Martin Rama, the World Bank's chief economist for South Asia. In April, the World Bank had projected India's GDP would grow at 6.1 per cent in the current financial year and at 6.7 per cent the following year. Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in its World Economic Outlook, projected an average growth rate of about 3.75 per cent in market prices for India in 2013-14, which is expected to pick up to 5.1 per cent next year. India's GDP growth slowed to 5 per cent in the year ended March from an average of 8 per cent over the past deca…

INIDAN COMPANIES LAG BEHIND INNOVATION

Most companies in India are not engaged in developing "sustainable and inclusive innovations" as they do not identify with sustainable development or green growth, says a study by industry body CII. Indian companies are mainly focused on existing products which leads to complacency and lack of innovation. Moreover, their governance culture, too, does not encourage innovation, leading to the scenario.
"Too much focus on existing products is the key internal barrier to innovation. Besides, senior executives tend to be judgmental and do not encourage new ideas...When companies find their markets threatened by competition they scramble to innovate. The other key barrier to innovation is too much focus on short-term financial performance, the survey said. Sustainable development refers to a mode of human development in which resource use aims to meet human needs while ensuring the sustainability of natural systems and the environment, so that these needs can be met not only …

LOAN TERROR AMONG INDIANS

People in India are increasingly shying away from taking bank loans on account of economic slowdown and scepticism arising out of job uncertainty, a survey by industry body Assocham said. In the wake of slowdown, while industrial growth and services are getting impacted, job uncertainty among the young spenders is working as a big dampener... the survey said. Individual borrowers are adopting an extremely conservative approach when it comes to taking loans from banks against fixed deposits or shares and bonds.
According to the banking data, loans against fixed deposits have declined by 1.6 per cent in the current fiscal as against a growth of 20 per cent between August 2012 and August 2013. Besides, credit card users are also avoiding taking loans as the interest rates charged on outstanding payments are prohibitively high. Those who have already taken loans are now more cautious and resorting to timely payments of their dues to avoid penalties. "There is a feeling that credit ca…

BSE INFRO FOR MF DISTRIBUTORS

Leading stock exchange BSE today allowed MF distributors to use its infrastructure for purchase and redemption of mutual fund units directly from Assets Management Companies (AMCs) on behalf of their clients following a Sebi directive. In a circular, BSE said an entity seeking to register itself as MF Distributor on its mutual fund platform in a move to use the exchange's infrastructure is required to have a networth of at least Rs 1 lakh on the basis of audited balance sheet of latest financial year. For an individual, the exchange has set a minimum tangible assets worth Rs 1 lakh. Also, the exchange would charge a one-time fee of Rs 15,000 for membership. MF distributors would not handle payout and pay in of funds as well as units on behalf of investor. "The pay-in will be directly received by recognised Clearing Corporation and payout will be directly made to investor's account. "In the same manner, units shall be credited and debited directly…

HCL 'ME Champ' TABLET FOR CHILDREN @ Rs 7,999

IT services and products major HCL Infosystems has launched new tablet 'ME Champ', exclusively targeted at kids between 3 to 12 years of age. It is priced at Rs 7,999. ME Champ is exclusively designed tablet that addresses children’s cognitive development needs and empowers parents to supervise tablet use with parental control.
The tablet provides exclusive content that comprises of kids TV, comics, games, knowledge and music. It comes with pre-loaded content for kids, including exercises in art, geography, history, language and mathematics. The device also offers free access to more than 500 Apps under categories – games, books and education, and to all videos under the kids TV segment. The tablet offers 3G connectivity through USB datacard. Based on Android OS 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the device is equipped with a 2-mega pixel back camera and a 0.3-mega pixel front camera which enables video chatting. It comes with a 1 GB RAM memory and 4 GB internal memory, along with a memory card…

3 US ECONOMISTS WON NOBEL IN ECONOMICS

Three American professors won the Nobel prize for economics today for shedding light on how stock, bond and house prices move over time work that's changed how people around the world invest. Two of the winners Eugene Fama, 74, and Lars Peter Hansen, 60 teach at the University of Chicago. The third, Robert Shiller, 67, is a professor at Yale University and is well-known as a creator of the well-known Case-Shiller index of home prices. The three economists were honored for separate research that collectively expanded the understanding of asset prices. Beginning in the 1960s, Fama showed that prices change so quickly and efficiently to reflect new information that investors can't outperform markets in the short term. This was a breakthrough that helped popularize index funds, which invest in broad market categories instead of trying to pick individual winners. Two decades later, Shiller reached a separate conclusion: That over the long run, markets can often be irrational, sub…

REIT'S ALLOWED IN INDIAN REALTY

Reviving a five-year old proposal, Sebi today issued draft norms for listing Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), which will help in channelising more funds into the real estate sector.
REITs, a popular investment vehicle in many parts of the world, is similar to mutual funds except that investments would be on real estate assets that generate rental income. Looking to attract more real estate investors into the capital market, Sebi today proposed listing of REITs saying the evolution of such investment vehicles is "crucial" for the rapidly growing real estate industry. REITs would be allowed to list on stock exchanges through Initial Public Offer (IPO) and can raise funds further through Follow-On Offers, according to the draft norms issued by Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
"REIT shall be set up as a Trust under the provisions of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882," it said while seeking comments from stakeholders by end of this mo…

MAJOR PROJECTS STALLED

Industrial projects worth over Rs 15 lakh crore are stalled for want of various clearances and other issues, according to data compiled by the Prime Minister's Project Monitoring Group (PMG). Of this, power is the most troubled sector where 136 projects worth over Rs 7.14 lakh crore are stalled. This is followed by steel, where 25 projects entailing investments of over Rs 3.36 lakh crore are stuck. The other leading sectors where investments are stuck are oil and gas sector (32 projects entailing Rs 2.08 lakh crore investments), special economic zone (Rs 52,271 crore), Roads (Rs 40,155 crore) and Mines (Rs 37,399 crore). In total, 319 projects worth over Rs 15.19 lakh crore stalled investments, have been identified so far by the Prime Minister's Project Monitoring Group (PMG). The list, however, has been increasing almost on a daily basis. The PMG, since its constitution in June, has so far cleared 78 projects entailing investments of over Rs 2.93 lakh crore,…

RECOVERY NOT SATISFACTORY

The industrial sector is cautious in moving ahead as economic slowdown is not showing any signs of bottoming out, amid a sharp rise in sectors reporting negative growth for the July-September quarter, says a survey by industry body CII and ASCON. "With economic slowdown showing no signs of bottoming out in the near future, industry is cautious in moving ahead. This calls for a concerted effort from policy makers to stay the course on reforms," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said. The survey shows that out of 91 sectors covered, sectors registering 'low' and 'negative' growth for July-September 2013 quarter remain significantly high at 84.61 per cent as against 76.1 per cent for the same period last year. Moreover, the proportion of sectors reporting 'negative' growth has risen drastically to 38.46 per cent in July-September 2013 from 15.5 per cent in the corresponding period last fiscal, the survey said. "The sluggish …

TATA-UKTI DOING BUSINESS IN INDIA PROGRAMME

The Tatas and the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), a British trade and investment body, have launched the first edition of 'Doing Business in India' training and mentoring programme. The programme is brought in by the Tata Group's Pune-based Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC) and the British Council, Mumbai, and seeks to promote joint bilateral trade, especially among the small and medium technology companies from both the nations. The first leg of the programme has been underway in the city from October 1-5 and then it will move to Pune.
The programme will include visits to relevant Tata companies in Mumbai and Pune and interaction with senior Tata officials and CEOs. Tatas are the largest private sector employers in the British manufacturing sector, employing over 50,000 at its Corus and JLR plants. Cost-side details of the programme were not revealed. The programme aims to increase British high technology SMEs' understanding of the business cu…

ADOBE ACCOUNTS COMPROMISED

US-based Adobe Systems, which sells Photoshop and Acrobat software, today said it has faced two attacks from cyber criminals who have stolen credit card data of 2.9 million customers. The California-headquartered firm said its security team discovered sophisticated attacks involving illegal access of customer information and source code of many Adobe products. Its products are used by film and video makers, web and graphic designers, creative professionals, professional publishers, enterprises and individual consumers. The products are widely used on the Internet, including reading and viewing of documents.
Adobe, however, did not reveal the geographies where the accounts have been compromised. It has office locations in about 34 countries across North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America.
When contacted about the number of affected customers in geographies, including India, a Adobe spokesperson told PTI: "We …

DIESEL FUMES BAFFLE BEES

Diesel exhaust fumes alter the flowery smells that guide bees when they forage, potentially sending them off course and putting the food-growing industry at risk, a study said today. Honeybees rely heavily on their sense of smell to locate flowers from which they harvest life-giving nectar -- transferring pollen grains from one bloom to another in the process. The new research shows that diesel exhaust fumes from cars, tractors or power generators can chemically alter the smell of flowers and render them undetectable to bees. This, in turn, threatens the insects' crucial role as a key pollinators of human food crops. "Somewhere in the region of 70 per cent of world crops require pollination services, and... about 35 per cent of our current food production is reliant on pollination," study co-author Tracey Newman of the University of Southampton told a press conference ahead of the report's release in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. Pollinat…

GLOBAL FOOD PRICES DOWN 5th MONTH IN ROW

Global food prices fell for a fifth month running in September, the UN said today, as bumper cereals production is helping rebuild world food stocks. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) food price index -- a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities -- averaged 199.1 points in September. Showing a drop of 2.3 points or 1.0 per cent from August, the composite food price index is down by 5.4 per cent from the beginning of the year. The decline was due to the drop in the cereal price sub-index, which dropped 12.9 points, or by 6 per cent, from August to stand at 197.7 points in September. Cereals prices are down 25 per cent from one year ago. The fall reflects "a generally favourable supply outlook, in particular for maize and rice," said the FAO. The organisation trimmed its world cereal production forecast by 3 million tonnes to 2,489 million tonnes, which is still represents an 8.0-per cent incre…

CHEAPER LOANS FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON

Ahead of the festival season, public sector banks will provide cheaper loans for auto and consumer goods purchases with a view to stimulating demand. Banks would lower lending rates as the government today decided to provide additional funds to the PSU banks to enable them financing of auto and consumer goods purchases. The decision to increase the quantum of capital infusion to the banks was taken at a meeting between Finance Minister P Chidambaram, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan and Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram here. "This amount (Rs 14,000 crore provided for capital infusion in Budget) will be enhanced sufficiently. The additional amount of capital will be provided to banks to enable them to lend to borrowers in selected sector such as two-wheeler, consumer durables, etc at lower rates in order to stimulate demand," a finance ministry statement said. Chidambaram said he would be meeting heads of PSU banks soon to impress upon them on the need to lower interest r…

TBZ NEW GOLD SCHEME

Leading jewellery retailer Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ) has launched a new gold plan for consumers who will see their purchase getting multiplied in terms of grammage or units. If a customer purchases 100 gm of gold (24kt fine/ standard) from TBZ and places the same under their "Gold Plan", he/she will get 105 grams of gold after 12 months, the company said in a release here today. Consumer can place minimum of 10 grams of gold coins and bars and thereafter in multiples of 5 grams up to an overall maximum of 500 grams, it said. "We have unveiled TBZ Gold Plan in line with initiative to launch customer-friendly schemes. Generally people buy gold and keep it in the locker. Over the period, value of gold may appreciate but it does not grow in units or grammage. Through our Gold Plan, people can expect their gold growing in grammage or units," TBZ Group Head (Marketing & Advertising) Kiran Dixit said. This is ideal for those who want to invest in gold now in a …

INDIA TO BE MOST POPULOUS NATION BY 2050

India will overtake China as the world's most populous country by 2050, according to a new French study which predicts the global population to surge to 9.7 billion people by the middle of the century. The report by the French Institute of Demographic Studies (INED), predicts India will take the top spot with a staggering population of 1.6 billion to leave behind current world leader in population, China, at the second place with 1.3 billion people. The overall world population is projected to rise to 9.7 billion in 2050 from the current level of 7.1 billion, the report said. Currently, the world's most populous countries are China with 1.3 billion people; followed by India (1.2 billion); the US (316.2 million); Indonesia (248.5 million) and Brazil (195.5 million). The study backs the population predictions by the UN and the World Bank. In June, a UN study predicted the global population to swell to 9.6 billion in 2050. "The world population has risen seven-fold over the …

DEEWALI BLUES

FESTIVE BUDGETS TO BE DOWN BY 40%

Rising inflation, fewer employment avenues and dwindling earnings seem to have taken a toll on the spending capacity of middle and lower income families in India, with a sizeable among them slashing their festive budget by a staggering 40 per cent this Diwali, says a survey. "Over 72 per cent respondents from middle and lower middle income families would be forced to slash their Diwali expenditure by 40 per cent and on an average spend nearly 25 per cent of their monthly salary on Diwali," according to a survey conducted by industry body Assocham. Revision in interest rates by banks have also sent most Indians' EMIs (equated monthly instalments) soaring, thereby eroding their monetary power, it added. "Even gold, the much sought after item during the festive season, is in the range of Rs 30,000 per 10 gm compared to Rs 22,000 last Diwali," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said. However, the high income group remains unaffec…

ADB LOWER GROWTH PROJECTION TO 4.7%

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has lowered India's growth projection for 2013-14 to 4.7 per cent from 6 per cent earlier saying the recent rupee depreciation and capital outflows could adversely impact the country's economy. "With gross domestic product in the first quarter of (2013-14) expanding at its slowest pace since the global financial crisis, ADB revised down its growth forecast to 4.7 per cent from 6 per cent projected in April," it said in its flagship Asian Development Outlook 2013. The report, presenting a sobering picture of India's outlook said the country's economy has been under pressure with recent depreciation in rupee and capital outflows adding to structural constraints which are weighing heavily on its prospects for returning to a high growth path. In 2014-15 there could be some moderate improvement, with growth estimated at 5.7 per cent, but below the previous forecast of 6.5 per cent, ADB said. "The recent financial market turbulence…

US DECLARES SHUTDOWN

The US government today shutdown for the first time in nearly 18 years due to a deadlock between the Republicans and Democrats over Obamacare, a crisis that has forced 800,000 federal workers off the job and could cost the world's largest economy about USD 1 billion a week. The Republicans and Democrats failed to strike a deal on spending and budget due to differences over 'Obamacare', the signature healthcare programme of President Barack Obama. About 800,000 federal workers in the US were told to stay at home while national parks, museums, government buildings and services shutdown as a result of the deadlock in the Congress. With neither side blinking, despite last minute hectic efforts from both sides, the White House immediately ordered the federal government agencies to begin shutting down, furloughing thousands of workers and curtailing some services for the first time since 1995-96. "Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility. It has faile…

BAN"KING"

The fast pace of growth in the banking sector is proving to be a major draw for young graduates, especially from the engineering background, according to a recent study. A large number of banking career aspirants hold a B.Tech or Degree in an engineering stream, says a BankersChoice online survey by TalentSprint. Science graduates come next, it added. "About 78 per cent of respondents see banking as a dream job, more than half of them are engineers," it said. It further said that 80 per cent of the women respondents think banking is a dream job, compared to 77 per cent men. The survey was conducted online last month involving 1,252 respondents in the age group of between 20-30 years in metro and non-metro cities. More and more young people are now becoming aware of the competition and want to prepare for a career in banking in a formal way, the study said. Nearly three out of four respondents expressed that they need professional training to get a banking job. However, one o…

SBI...AN ORPHAN

State Bank of India (SBI) today said all four managing directors will continue to exercise their respective powers, pending the appointment of a chairman at the country's largest lender. "All managing directors will continue exercising their respective powers as managing director while the financial and administrative powers of the chairman shall be exercised with the approval of the board of directors or management committee of the bank," SBI said in a statement. The arrangement will continue till a chairman is appointed by the government, it said. The post of chairman fell vacant following the retirement of Pratip Chaudhuri yesterday. On September 21, a government-appointed panel interviewed all four SBI managing directors for the post of chairman. It is understood that Arundhati Bhattacharya is the front-runner. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC), headed by the Prime Minister, had recently suggested that all four SBI MDs should be called for the interview…