Top 10 Indian business news of the week [18-23rd Feb 2013]


Here’s a look at this week’s top 10 Indian business news.

Top 10 Business news of the Week

India Inc corporates eligible to apply for banking licenses in India

RBI issued guidelines for licensing of new banks which outlined that private or public sector, banking or non-banking financial companies will be eligible to apply for banking licensing in India. RBI’s announcement outlines eligibility requirements that include a new bank having to open at least 25% of its branches in unbanked rural centres.

Commentators expect L&T Finance, Mahindra Financial Services, Reliance Capital and Aditya Birla Financial Services to be among the leading corporate houses to apply for licenses.

Reliance Industries and British Petroleum JV to invest $5 billion in KG Basin

Reliance Industries and British Petroleum announced plans to invest over $5 billion in the KG D6 block enhancement plan. RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani and BP Group CEO Bob Dudley met Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dr. Veerappa Moily in Delhi to update him of their joint future plans.

“Gas from these projects will deliver energy to millions of Indians and would significantly help India in reducing import dependence. My ministry is committed to provide necessary support to promote such investment in the domestic Oil & Gas sector” said Dr. Veerappa Moily.

Mercedes-Benz launches premium G-Class SUV at Rs. 1.46 crore

Mercedes-Benz India launched G 63 AMG, its premium SUV for an ex-showroom price of Rs. 1.46 crore. The G-Class SUV has a 5.5 litre supercharged AMG powerhouse and accelerates from 0 to 100 kmph in 5.4 seconds.

“The G-Class retains its shape, rugged design and the same mission to cope with extreme conditions. It’s not surprising therefore that the G-Class is called upon to serve in extreme terrains; its cult status makes it the vehicle of choice of world leaders and celebrities alike” said Eberhard Kern, MD & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India.

Air Asia to form JV with Tata Sons for new Indian airline

Air Asia and Tata Sons will reportedly tie-up to start a new airline in India. The low-budget Malaysian airline will hold 49% in the JV, 30% will be held by Tata Sons and the rest 21% by Amit Bhatia, son-in-law of Lakshmi Mittal.

“We have carefully evaluated developments in India over the last few years and strongly believe that the current environment is perfect to introduce AirAsia’s low fares” said Tony Fernandes, Founder, Air Asia.

Infosys begins trading on NYSE Euronext London, Paris Markets

Infosys reportedly became the first Indian company to trade on NYSE Euronext London and Paris stock markets. “Infosys is a great example of Indian investment in the UK and I’m delighted that they will be the first Indian company to be admitted to trade on NYSE Euronext London this week” said David Cameron, PM, UK.

Sensex drops 317 points to 2013’s lows

Sensex plunged by 317.39 points on Thursday to close at 19,325.36, 2013’s lowest level. The biggest single day drop since May 2012 is said to have been triggered by weak global trends and concerns that the US Federal Reserve may consider policy tightening moves. The BSE index further dropped marginally by 8.35 points to close the week at 19,317.01 on Friday.

Jet Airways announces 20 lakh seats for Rs. 2,250-3,800

Jet Airways announced a nationwide travel bonanza by offering 20 lakh seats on over 450 flights across 57 destinations priced between Rs. 2,250 and Rs. 3,800. These special one-way fares will be made available for 6 days ending 24 February 2013.

“This Nationwide low fare sales offer is a goodwill gesture to our loyal guests who will now be able to plan and schedule their travel much in advance, especially during the holiday seasons, while benefitting from these special fares” said Sudheer Raghavan, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways.

The move came after SpiceJet reportedly announced special fares for 10 lakh seats in January.

Tata Steel to set up GBP 22 million manufacturing facility in UK

Tata Steel, in a JV, will reportedly be setting up a GBP 22 million manufacturing facility in Rotherham, UK. The project is aimed at developing green technologies to empower cars of the future and has been undertaken by Tata Steel, Productiv, MIRA and High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

“This initiative will bring together some of the most remarkable future automotive technologies, taking them from workbench prototypes to viable components and bridging the gap between great innovation and great commercial products” said Henrik Adam, Chief Commercial Officer, Tata Steel.

Kingfisher staff paid one month’s salary

Cash strapped Kingfisher Airlines reportedly began paying its employees by giving staff one month’s salary. “Some of us have received salary dues. Those in the lowest package as well as some engineers and pilots have also a month’s salary dues” said a source.

Daimler AG establishes new R&D centre in Whitefield, Bangalore

German multinational Daimler AG announced establishing a new R&D centre in Whitefield, Bangalore. The new Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI) facility is spread over a 20,000 square metres and will house 1,800 personnel.

“We started in 1996 with only 10 employees; we have grown with a CAGR of 34% and today have a 1200 strong employee base. We are looking forward to a period of robust growth in India and as such, Indian talent pool will continue to play an even more dominant role in the months and years ahead” said Dr. Jens Cattarius, Managing Director and CEO of MBRD.

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