Newsletter: 13th-19th November, 2016

INDIAN ECONOMY

Demonetisation: Analysts warn of speed bumps before GDP growth rebound 

The scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which comprised about 86% of all cash in circulation, will put a dent in India’s growth. Some analysts pegged the setback at a few tenths of a percentage point, others slashed estimates by half.

NASSCOM cuts IT services sector growth forecast for FY17

Revenue from the sector is likely to grow 8 to 10 percent in constant currency terms in the fiscal year ending March 2017, lower than an earlier forecast of 10 to 12 percent, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) said.

Wholesale prices cool in October 

WPI inflation in October was 3.39% compared with 3.57% in September. October WPI food articles inflation was 4.34% against 5.75% in September.

Overall inflation eases in Oct but rate cut unlikely

India’s headline inflation rate based on the Consumer Price Index (combined) eased to 14-month low of 4.2% in October compared with 4.39% in September and 5% a year ago, according to official data released.

Iran overtakes Saudi to becomes India’s top crude oil supplier 

For the first time, ever, Iran has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become India’s top crude oil supplier. Iran, which was India’s second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11, sold 759,700 barrels of oil per day to India in October, 56 per cent more than a year ago.

India to use indelible ink to ensure people change cash only once

Indian banks will use indelible ink to ensure that people only change old notes for new ones once under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheme to fight “black money”, resorting to a tactic used to prevent multiple voting in election.

BUSINESS

Air India posts Rs 246 crore operating loss in April-June quarter

Air India, which turned operationally profitable last fiscal, reported an operational loss of Rs 246.14 crore in the three months ended June 2016.

Tata Global Beverages replaces Cyrus Mistry as Chairman, appoints Harish Bhat 

Tata Global Beverages sacked Cyrus Mistry as chairman of the company but the decision was immediately denounced by the embattled former chairman of Tata Sons as illegal.

HDFC Life-Max Life merger hits regulatory block 

Max Life Insurance’s merger with HDFC Life has hit a regulatory roadblock with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) expressing reservations over the merger of a financial services firm with an insurance firm.

Future Consumer to enter JV with UK wholesaler Booker Group

India’s largest retailer Future Group is partnering British wholesaler Booker Group to open cash and carry stores and directly compete with Walmart and Metro in the country

Apollo Tyres in race to acquire Kumho Tire in a $900 million deal 

Apollo TyresBSE 1.75 % is competing with Chinese rivals Shandong Linglong Tyre and ChinaChem to acquire South Korea’s No. 2 tyre maker Kumho Tire in a deal pegged at $900 million. If successful, the deal will create a tyre maker that ranks among the top seven with a strong presence in the US and Europe.

Paytm bags NHAI deal for automatic toll collection 

Paytm will operate toll booths that will enable vehicles to zip through toll plazas as their toll charges will be deducted from their digital wallets. Apart from the NHAI contracts, the Noida-based technology firm is also in talks with the Railways for digitising payments mechanisms.

Paper Boat to foray into traditional Indian snacks 

Hector Beverages-promoted Paper Boat wants to replicate its ethnic beverages in the fast-growing packaged foods business and will place packaged Indian ethnic snack foods on shop shelves starting next month. Hector Beverages co-founder Neeraj Kakkar confirmed the same.

Vodafone takes $5 billion charge against new price war in India

Mobile telecom group Vodafone reported a first-half net loss of 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) after writing down the value of its Indian business by the same amount due to the start of a price war sparked by the powerful new rival, Reliance Jio.

Snapchat files for one of the biggest tech IPOs in years

Snapchat has filed for an initial public offering, sources said, and could go public as soon as March and be valued at $20 billion to $25 billion, making it the largest IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd went public two years ago valued at $170.9 billion.

Facebook’s WhatsApp adds secure video calling amid privacy concerns

WhatsApp, added fully encrypted video calling to its messaging app, a move that comes as privacy advocates worry about the potential for stepped-up government surveillance under a Trump administration.

Tata Motors quarterly profit falls short of estimates

Tata Motors Ltd posted a quarterly net profit but missed estimates due to higher realised hedging losses and a one-time provision at its British luxury unit Jaguar Land Rover. Consolidated net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 was 8.48 billion rupees ($125.1 million).

Volkswagen to cut 30,000 jobs

Volkswagen and its labor unions agreed to cut 30,000 jobs at the core VW brand in exchange for a commitment to avoid forced redundancies in Germany until 2025, acompromise which leaves the carmaker’s profitability still lagging riva

 

WORLD

JP Morgan Chase in $264 million US settlement over China bribes 

Banking giant JP Morgan Chase has agreed to pay more than USD 264 million to resolve allegations it bribed officials in China by giving prized jobs and internships to friends and relatives, officials announced.

Greek economy grows for first time in two years 

The Greek economy posted quarterly growth for the first time since 2014 in the three months to September, figures showed.  Greece’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.5 per cent from the previous quarter, and by 1.5 per cent from the third quarter of 2015.

Trump picks conservative loyalists for top security, law enforcement jobs

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump picked U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general, whose tough and sometimes inflammatory statements on immigration have reflected his own. Retired Army Lieutenant General Mike Flynn, who has championed Trump’s aggressive approach to terrorism, was chosen as his national security adviser. Representative Mike Pompeo, a vocal critic of the Obama administration’s security policy, was named as director of Central Intelligence Agency.

WHO declares end of Zika emergency but says virus remains a threat

The World Health Organization declared that Zika no longer constitutes an international emergency, but it stressed a need for a long-term effort to address the virus, which has been linked to birth defects and neurological complications.

Yellen says Fed could raise interest rates ‘relatively soon’

The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president has done nothing to change the Federal Reserve’s plans for a rate increase “relatively soon,” Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in Congressional testimony that included a pledge to serve out her term.

Leonard Cohen, music’s poetic visionary, died in his sleep after fall

Songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen, music’s man of letters whose songs fused religious imagery with themes of redemption, died in his sleep after a fall in his Los Angeles home in the middle of the night on Nov. 7. He was 82.

“Utter devastation” after major quake, aftershocks hit New Zealand

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake pummelled central New Zealand early on 14th November, killing at least two people, damaging roads and buildings and setting off hundreds of strong aftershocks.

Five decades and 200 films later, Jackie Chan ‘finally’ wins Oscar

At the annual Governors Awards, the Chinese actor and martial arts star, Jackie Chan finally received his little gold statuette, an honorary Oscar for his decades of work in film.

Prosecutors to question South Korean president over political scandal

South Korean prosecutors will question President Park Geun-hye over a political corruption scandal engulfing her presidency, an official said on Sunday, the first time a sitting president will be questioned by prosecutors over a criminal case.

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