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Buzzing News of the Week – World Cup, Octopus, Indians vs Americans, Tax Collections, Brand Satyam & more…

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The last week has been packed with surprising events wherein the laggards have made a sort of amazing comeback – be it Re-rating of the depressed Telecom Sector or even FIFA World Cup Favorites having been shown the door by the minnows (not to mention Octopus-led Germany ouster).

The Octopus mania does not end with Germany’s exit from the World Cup! It has further hinted that Spain will clinch the finals of this World Cup. However, the latest prediction by Paul, the Octopus, that Germany may be on top for the 3rd position, won’t be good enough to soothe the nerves of Germans who are eager to make a delicacy out of this innocent creature in order to take their revenge.

Here are some of the other buzzing news of the week:

Indians more Financially literate than Americans

Yes, that’s an unbiased third party call taken by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago – which indicates that Indians can take prudent financial decisions and avert an economic crisis better than the Americans.

The study further says that 80% of the Indians correctly responded to a financial literacy test, as against 60% appropriate entries registered from their US counterparts.

The report says that most of the Americans do not even understand the simpler math of difference between compound and simple interest, leave aside basic financial concepts and products.

Indirect Tax Collections up 43% in Q1 2010-11

The indirect tax collections have zoomed by 43% from Rs. 39694 crore in the year-ago period to Rs.56930 crore during the first quarter of 2010-11 fiscal. As per the budget estimates, the exchequer aims to mop-up Rs.3.16 lakh crore from the collections routed through the indirect tax model.

Collections from customs were higher by 60% at Rs.28135 crore. Even Excise collections notched a robust growth of 55% at Rs.19536 crore. However, accumulation of indirect tax from the service tax came at a lower Rs.9258 crore, down by 3% during the April to June quarter.

A Come Back of sorts for the Brand Satyam

Coming back a bit to the soccer world cup, Mahindra Satyam seems to have hogged the limelight as being the first Indian company to sign a Rs.90 crore contract with FIFA as a sponsor and official IT provider for the 2010 and 2014 editions of the tournament.

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This FIFA deal, which was signed during 2007 by the tainted former Chairman of Satyam Computers Ramalinga Raju, has come as a blessing in disguise for the IT service provider as the grand event which has a loyal viewership in the US, is a major market for Indian outsourcing companies. The company has also pitched with the ICC for an accreditation for the Cricket World Cup scheduled in 2011.

Government mulling Sugar Price Decontrol

The Union Food and Agriculture Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, has indicated that time is ripe to start groundwork towards decontrolling the country’s sugar industry and thus favoring the market determined policies for this price-sensitive sector.

Mr Pawar further said that the country’s sugar production in the 2010-11 crop season is likely to be sufficient to meet domestic demand of 23 million tones. However, despite the decontrol, right to fix the fair and remunerative price is expected to remain under the government’s purview.

Emerging markets to see 25% rally by year end

For all the stock market enthusiasts, here is pleasant news! According to a Citigroup report, emerging market stocks will rally 20-25% by the end of this year as the world economy avoids a double-dip recession and attractive valuations lure investors.

The report further says that the developing nations will lead to global economic recovery with growth of 6.8% this year and 6% in 2011. It further shrugs off the fears of double-dip recession and banks on emerging market economies to lead the curve.


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