Newsletter: 4th – 10th December, 2016

INDIAN ECONOMY

RBI maintains repo rate at 6.25%; cuts FY17 GVA forecast

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday kept the repo rate unchanged at 6.25 per cent in its fifth bimonthly policy review. It cut FY17 GVA estimate to 7.1 per cent from 7.6 per cent earlier, following which the stock market and rupee took a beating.

Income Disclosure Scheme bags Rs 67,382 crore unaccounted money 

After final reconciliation, the revised figure of actual declarations received and taken on record was Rs 67,382 crore which had been made by 71,726 declarants,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement on IDS 2016.

India takes pride of place, crosses $300 billion FDI milestone 

India crossed the $300 billion FDI milestone between April 2000 and September 2016, firmly establishing its credentials as a safe investment destination in the world. Thirty three per cent of the FDI came through the Mauritius route.

Pakistan lifts ban on Indian cotton imports 

Pakistan has lifted an “undeclared” ban on import of ginned cotton from India, days after rejecting a consignment of 10,000 bales of cotton from India citing violation of plant quarantine rules by importers.

Eastern expressway on Delhi border to be first to adopt gantry-based tolling 

The eastern expressway on the Delhi border will be the first highway to have gantry-based tolling, which is expected to replace toll booths by the end of 2017. It is a system under which a fee will be deducted from a motorist’s prepaid account when the vehicle crosses an electronic beam stretching across the road.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa dies, supporters grieve in streets

Former film actress and chief minister of Tamil Nadu, widely known as “Amma”, Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, died on Monday following a massive cardiac arrest, setting off an outpouring of grief among thousands of supporters gathered outside.

Jayalalithaa buried, Panneerselvam named successor to unite AIADMK

State Finance Minister O.P. Panneerselvam was sworn in as the new chief minister an hour after her death was announced. His rise to the top job was aimed at allaying fears of a power struggle in AIADMK, which Jayalalithaa had ruled with an iron hand.

NSE listing on track after resignation of CEO 

National Stock Exchange will pursue plans to raise up to $1 billion via a public listing after Chief Executive Chitra Ramkrishna’s decision to step down last week.

Demonetisation might push inflation to 14-month low in Nov: Reuters poll 

Indian inflation is expected to have cooled to a 14-month low in November after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise removal of high denomination bank notes caused an intense cash shortage and severely hurt consumption, a Reuters poll found.

Industrial production shrinks 1.9% in October 

Industrial production contracted in October, resuming its decline after marginal growth in September, suggesting more pain going ahead as the impact of note withdrawal begins to show up.


BUSINESS

ShopClues plans Nasdaq listing next year, eyes $2 billion in sales 

Marketplace firm ShopClues is looking to garner sales worth around USD 2 billion on its platform in 2017 and plans to file for public share listing at Nasdaq by September next year.

Ibibo to carve out 14% in PayU and 52% in Tek 

India’s largest online travel agency MakeMyTrip will issue shares, worth nearly $960 million for the acquisition of rival portal ibibo Group, according to recent filings made by the Nasdaq-listed firm, on the largest-consolidation deal in the internet market.

Bharti Airtel announces changes in top level leadership, Raghunath Mandava made Africa head 

Bharti Airtel, third-largest phone company in the world by subscriber base, has announced top level leadership changes in its global operations, elevating Raghunath Mandava as its Africa head and moving the unit’s current head Christian Defaria to the Netherlands.

Britain fines Pfizer record $107 mn for huge drug price hike 

Britain’s competition watchdog, Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined Pfizer a record 84.2 million pounds ($107 million) for its role in ramping up the cost of an epilepsy drug by as much as 2,600 percent and Flynn Pharma 5.2 million pounds for overcharging for phenytoin sodium capsules, following a dramatic price hike in 2012.

Samsung prevails over Apple in $399 million patent appeal 

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a $399 million patent infringement penalty imposed on Samsung for copying Apple’s iPhone design, in a case watched for its implications for technology innovation.

Lego replaces long-time CEO with first foreign boss in organisational shake-up 

Danish toymaker Lego is to appoint its first foreign CEO, Briton Bali Padda, currently chief operations officer, and give its family owners a bigger role in developing the Lego brand under an organisational shake-up that will see incumbent Jorgen Vig Knudstorp step down by the end of the year.

Microsoft gains EU approval for $26 billion buy of LinkedIn 

Microsoft won EU antitrust approval on Tuesday for its $26 billion bid for professional social network LinkedIn, its largest ever acquisition, after agreeing to a series of modest concessions.

Amazon introduces first physical grocery store 

Amazon.com Inc’s 1,800-square-foot convenience store, Amazon Go, in Seattle uses sensors to detect what shoppers have picked off the shelf and bills it to their Amazon account if they don’t put it back. Currently available only for its employees, it is expected to be publicly available early next year.

ICICI Bank to raise funds via Japanese bonds, first of its kind 

India’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank is planning to raise Japanese Yen 10 billion by selling a new series of bonds known as Pro-Bonds, first of its kind in India.

Microsoft Accelerator joins hands with Wipro 

Microsoft Accelerator has announced collaboration with Wipro to create go-to-market opportunities for startups under its wing, a development that comes as its ninth cohort is set to graduate. The partnership is part of Microsoft Accelerator’s CoInnovate programme, which it also joined hands with TCS in June.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox to buy all of Europe’s Sky 

Sky said on Friday that Murdoch’s entertainment conglomerate 21st Century Fox has a preliminary deal to buy the rest of it for 10.75 pounds ($13.60) per share. Fox already owns just over 39 percent of Sky. That values the entire broadcaster at 18.5 billion pounds.

Coca-Cola says CEO Muhtar Kent to step down in May 

Coca-Cola Co said Muhtar Kent would step aside as chief executive on May 1 after about nine years at the helm, and be replaced by Chief Operating Officer James Quincey.

Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma raises Rs 325 crore by selling 1% stake 

Digital payments and commerce platform Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has sold 1% of his holding in One97 Communications to raise about Rs 325 crore. This money will be pumped into the group’s proposed payments bank. Sharma has sold the stake to one of the shareholders of One97 Communications, the company that runs Paytm.

Fugitive Indian tycoon Mallya cries foul over Twitter hack

Fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya said on Friday that his Twitter account had been penetrated by a hacking group called Legion, which posted links to what it alleged were details of Mallya’s bank accounts, offshore investments and luxury cars.

Nikkei rises to highest in a year on Wall St strength, weaker yen

Japanese stocks rose to their highest level in a year on Friday morning, supported by Wall Street gains and solid buying of exporters on the back of a weaker yen.

 

WORLD

India, China will help maintain Asia’s growth rate in 2017: Asian Development Bank 

The largest economies of Asia – India and China – will help maintain the growth rate of the region at 5.7 per cent in 2016 and 2017, an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report said.

European Central Bank adds half a trillion euros in stimulus

The European Central Bank is adding half a trillion euros ($579 billion) in stimulus to the eurozone economy as it hopes to support growth as Europe heads into what could be a tumultuous election year.

EU fines HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit Agricole $520 million over market rigging 

The European Commission slapped fines totalling 485 million euros (USD 520 million) on banks HSBC, JP Morgan and Credit Agricole for rigging the Euribor interest rate benchmark used for a wide range of financial instruments and participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives.

World Bank cancels $100 million loan for Pakistan 

The World Bank has cancelled a USD 100 million loan to Pakistan for a natural gas efficiency project due to no progress in achieving the development objectives and a lack of interest on the part of the gas distribution company.

Donald Trump is Time magazine’s Person of the Year 2016 

US President-elect Donald Trump was today named by Time magazine as its Person of the Year 2016 for his stunning upset victory in the presidential election.

Pakistan International Airlines plane with 47 on board crashes

A Pakistan International Airlines plane with 47 people on board has crashed near a hilly area near the garrison town of Abbottabad while it was on its way to the capital, media reports said.

Death toll from Indonesian quake climbs to 97 

A strong undersea earthquake rocked Indonesia’s Aceh province early on Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings.

Bernard Cazeneuve named French PM after Valls quits 

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was appointed as the new prime minister today after Manuel Valls resigned to seek the Socialist nomination in the presidential election, the presidency said.

New Zealand prime minister John Key resigns 

Popular New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his shock resignation Monday, saying he was never a career politician and it was the right time to go after eight years in the job.

Italy’s Renzi quits after crushing referendum defeat 

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his resignation on Monday, hours after learning he had suffered a crushing defeat in a referendum on constitutional reform.

South Korea Park’s presidential powers suspended; PM takes over as acting leader

South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s powers were suspended after parliament voted to impeach her. Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn took over as acting president and told a cabinet meeting he would do his best to ensure stable government continued to function.

Australia economy slams into reverse, hopes to dodge recession

Australia’s economy shrank last quarter as businesses, consumers and government all cut back on spending, a shock result that threatens both the first recession in a quarter of a century and the country’s vaunted triple-A credit rating.

Greek unemployment eases to 23.1 percent in September, eurozone’s highest

Greece’s jobless rate dropped to 23.1 percent in September from a downwardly revised 23.3 percent in the previous month as the economy expanded in the third quarter. The number of officially unemployed reached 1.11 million people.

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