1)Chakravarthi Rangarajan, noted economist and former RBI Governor, has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Rangarajan, 76, who resigned last week as the Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister will be an independent member.
2)THE Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council(EAC) has projected a growth rate of 7.7% for fiscal 2008-09. While this revised growth rate is slower than both its earlier estimate of 8.5% and the average of 8.9% over the last four years, it would still place India as the second fastest growing major economy in the world. However, prices are expected to rise further before moderating. EAC expects inflation to scale up to 13% before it starts tapering off.
CORPORATE / INDUSTRY
3)Vietnam Steel Corporation, the country’s largest steel company, Vietname Cement Industries Corporation(Vicem) and Tata Steel, the world’s sixth biggest steel-maker, signed a joint venture agreement today for the proposed $5 billion steel project in Vietnam today.
4)COME September and major hotels across cities like New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad will hike tariffs by 10-50%. Thanks to a steady tourist inflow, most hotels have decided to go ahead with a rate revision next month when their financial year begins. According to government estimates, foreign tourist arrivals rose 7.4% in July over last year’s. With domestic tourism also generating good business, industry officials feel that major hotels are trying to cash in on the supply-demand mismatch in the sector.
MONEY & BANKING
5)The rupee depreciated by 27 paise against the greenback on Wednesday due to sustained demand for dollars from corporates. The currency opened weaker at 42.56/58 and fell further to touch an intra-day low 42.77/78. It closed at 42.64/65, against the previous close of 42.37/38.
6)With certificates of deposit (CD) headed to breach the 11- per cent mark on the back of tight liquidity, banks have started waiving penalties for loan prepayments. Prepayment penalties were mostly levied by the domestic private sector and foreign banks.
7)India’s key equity indices ended the day in negative on the back of weak global cues and intense profit-booking. The 30-share Sensex of Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) lost 119.01 points, or 0.78%, and closed at 15,093.12 points. The S&P CNX Nifty of National Stock Exchange(NSE) shed 23.20 points, or 0.51%, before ending at 4,529.05 points. Investors were cautious ahead of a Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) meeting to review the regulatory framework government P-notes. Sebi said after market hours that no decision on P- notes was taken in the meet.
8)Dish TV India today surged 10.26 per cent to close at Rs 39.75 after being included in NSE’s futures and options segment with effect from August 21. NSE announced this yesterday after the market hours. The stock opened 7.07 per cent higher at Rs 38.60 and touched an intraday high of Rs 40.45.
9)Vishal Information Technologies zoomed 19.68 per cent to close at Rs 244.75 today after the firm announced the launch of its print-on- demand publishing vertical in a tie-up with Tutis Digital Publishing. The firm currently sells large print titles through 41 online stores such as Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.
10)Sugar shares, which have risen over 10 per cent in August, will be buoyant in the near term as lower output boosts prices but concerns of government moves to cool the sweetener’s rally could spoil the party, analysts said.
11)Lone Pine Capital and Traxis Partners are among 56 overseas funds that registered to buy shares in India in July, the most in six months, betting on a recovery in stocks. Helios Capital Management and Stonewater Capital also won approvals from the nation’s regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi), nine months after authorities forced hedge funds to register. India’s stock market recovered its $1 trillion(around Rs 42,00,000 crore) in market value last month, helped by the biggest drop in commodity prices in 28 years. The new funds may help reverse record sales of stocks by overseas investors that led to the biggest first-half slump in the Sensex since its 1979 creation.
12)INDIAN corporates looking to raise money will now be able to reach out to their shareholders faster, with capital market regulator Sebi reducing the time line for approving a rights issue from 109 days to 43 days.
13)The National Commodity and Derivative Exchange(NCDEX) will launch futures trading in coal from September. Also, on the anvil is a power exchange that will be launched in collaboration with the National Stock Exchange(NSE) by October 2009.
14)Gold imports may revive, touching 150-200 tonne by Diwali, owing to anticipated traditional buying of gold over the next two months. One of the major reasons for increase in imports relates to the reduction in global gold prices. Gold prices fell to $808 per ounce on Tuesday, down by 21% from the year’s peak-price of $1023.50 recorded on March 17,2008.
15)The pepper futures market on Wednesday moved up on bullish activies. August contract moved up by Rs 78 a quintal to close at Rs 14,000, still Rs 300 below the spot price for MG 1. The increase in other contracts was from Rs 75 to Rs 122 a quintal.
16)Gold and silver bounced back on the bullion market on Wednesday on fresh local buying coupled with recovery in global markets. Standard gold(99.5 purity) recouped by Rs 130 for 10 gm to Rs 11,430 from Rs 11,300 and pure gold(99.9 purity) firmed up by Rs 125 for 10 gm to Rs 11,490 from Rs 11,365. Silver ready(.999 fineness) shot up by Rs 460 per kg to Rs 21,905 from Rs 21,445.
17)The real estate market across the country is not as robust now as it was a couple of years ago. The industry has seen a correction of 15-20 per cent across markets, and it would take over a year for it to recover, said Mr Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director, Tata Housing Developing Company Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd. He added that there would be a further correction of 10 per cent in the coming months. Big developers are holding on, he said, because they might have large developments. The company is not looking at getting listed, but the focus is on expediting existing projects and executing new ones, Mr Banerjee said. “We want to provide a truly differentiated consumer experience,” he added. This year, the company plans to develop about 10 million sq ft of space. Tata Housing announced its second residential project in Bangalore – Aquila Heights, which when completed will be the city’s tallest residential tower, on Wednesday. The tallest of the three towers planned would have 32 storeys and would stand at 105 metres above the ground and each tower would come with a helipad.
18)Joining the likes of DLF and Unitech, Bangalore-based realty developer Puravankara Projects today announced its foray into the affordable housing segment in an effort to beat the property sector slump. Puravankara, which has a land bank of 125 million sq ft, said fully-owned subsidiary Provident Housing and Infrastructure will launch the projects.
BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING
19)ACCENTURE has teamed up with the Indira Gandhi National Open University(IGNOU) to roll out a BPO diploma programme to ready an army of professionals for entry-level jobs in the Industry. India’s BPO industry, which employs 7 lakh people and accounts for $11-billion revenue as on FY08, is projected to absorb 8 million professionals by 2018.
20)A subsidiary of pure play BPO firm Firstsource Solutions has bagged a six-year engagement – which could go up to $30 million with British Telecom Global Services(BTGS). Pipal Research, Firstsource’s US based subsidiary, will provide knowledge process outsourcing services related to business research to BTGS; it would cover market, segment country and customer research, proposition support and other numerical analysis work, according to a company’s statement.
21)TATA Consultancy Services(TCS), Infosys Technologies and Wipro Technologies will emerge as the next generation of IT services mega vendors challenging the incumbent giants IBM Global Services, Accenture and EDS, according to Gartner. TCS, Infosys and Wipro collectively referred as “India-3” by Gartner are increasingly being considered for strategic service deals and will augument, or in some cases, replace today’s acknowledged mega vendors by revenue – IBM Global Services, Accenture and EDS – in this space by 2011.
22)Crude oil futures traded higher as a giant draw on gasoline inventories provided the market a “hiccup” to its month-long slide. Light, sweet crude for September delivery traded $1.80, or 1.6%, higher at $114.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
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