As Team Anna contemplates stepping foot in politics, here’s a look at the top business news for the week.
Jet Airways, Spice Jet and IndiGo to fly on Air India’s foreign routes
In an announcement that private carriers welcomed, the government opened up some of Air India’s foreign routes to private carriers. The national carrier had earlier exercised its right of first refusal when Jet Airways, Spice Jet and IndiGo had applied to fly on overseas routes. However the civil aviation ministry has given approval to the private carriers to fly on some key Gulf and Middle East routes. Jet Airways got approval for 56 new flights every week, Spice Jet for 49 and IndiGo for 63.
Adidas not giving up on Reebok India: To pump in $70 million in a bid to revitalize the brand
Earlier this year, Reebok India reported a few of its senior executives for irregularities and suspected financial fraud of more than Rs. 100 crore. Despite a drop of more than 25% in global sales of Reebok, its parent company Adidas has remained committed to reviving the brand’s once iconic presence in India. Adidas is planning to revitalize Reebok India by investing a further $70 million or approximately Rs. 476 crore.
Maruti Suzuki leads rising car sales for July
July car sales numbers were out this week and it emerged that sales increased moderately as compared to June. Maruti Suzuki topped after a nearly 7% increase in its sales figures as compared to July 2011, with the spike driven by two of its popular models – Dzire and Swift. It will be interesting to see how Maruti copes up with a skewed demand supply ratio, customers shifting loyalties and aftermath of the Manesar episode.
It is official: India lifts ban on investment and FDI from Pakistan
After a lot of speculation and months of back and forth, the government finally lifted the ban on investment from Pakistan. While investment in critical areas like atomic energy, defence and space will not be permitted, the move will open up FDI in other sectors. Pakistani nationals and Pakistani companies will be allowed to invest directly the allowed sectors.
Renault to build an 800cc car to take on the small car segment in India
Earlier this week, ET reported that Renault is building an 800cc car to take on India’s small car segment, sales of which amount to more than 40% of the total car sales in India. It is believed that the prototype has been named ‘A Entry’ and is speculated to give a mileage more than 20 km per litre. It could possibly be priced between Rs. 2 to Rs. 4 lakh.
NDTV takes global ratings agency Nielsen to court in New York
NDTV filed a lawsuit against global ratings agency Nielsen, accusing it of $810 million in fraud and $580 million in negligence. According to a TOI report, NDTV claimed that Nielsen had deliberately published unfavorable data to give rival channels’ ratings a boost. The Indian channel also accused the ratings agency of accepting bribes in return for its malignant and corrupt practices.
RBI leaves rates unchanged but notch down SLR by 1%
The markets waited with bated breath hoping for a rate cut but RBI left rates unchanged as governor Duvvuri Subbarao said "In the current circumstances, lowering policy rates will only aggravate inflationary impulses without necessarily stimulating growth" There was overall disappointment however the RBI reduced the SLR from 24% to 23% giving banks more room to lend.
Mahindra Satyam reports 56% jump in Q1 2012-13 net profits
Mahindra Satyam reported a 56% jump in net profits for Q1 ending 30 June 2012. The company posted a net profit of Rs. 352 crore which was significantly higher than Rs. 256 crore from the same period last year. While Chairman Vineet Nair labelled this as a successful end to Mahindra Satyam’s 3 year ‘transformation journey’, he did not rule out the volatility in global markets. "….Global business realities continue to be unpredictable. However, we are confident of taking forward our momentum" he added.
Unitech intensifies battle with Telenor
Earlier during the week, Uninor announced that it planned to auction off its services before 7 September and Telenor would be among prospective bidders. In response, minority shareholder Unitech Ltd appealed to the Company Law Board to stop the JV from auctioning off its assets and services.
Hindustan Unilever in the news: Launches premium brand TRESemme
On Wednesday, TOI reported that HUL would be soon launching TRESemme in India, a premium brand in hair care products. TRESemme was one of the brands HUL acquired in its portfolio in 2010 and after Brazil, India will be the 2nd market in which HUL will be introducing its products. "Salonisation is a big trend which we seek to tap into with TRESemme" said Srinandan Sundaram, Head – Hair Care, HUL. This was followed by another update in which the ad regulator asked HUL to stop branding Kwality Walls as ice cream because it is not made with milk fat, but with vegetable fat.