Top 10 Indian business news of the week

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

Top Business News

Diesel price increased by Rs. 5 per litre and subsidized cooking gas cylinders capped at 6 per year

The UPA led government increased the price of diesel by Rs. 5 per litre and capped subsidized cooking gas cylinders at 6 per year.

The decision, set to heavily impact the monthly budget of the middle class, was greeted with protests all over the country. Opposition leaders, UPA allies, union leaders and various associations protested and demanded a rollback of the unprecedented record increase in the price of diesel.

Times Internet Limited (TIL) launches premium video service BoxTV.com

TIL announced the launch of its premium video service BoxTV.com. The website will be a vast content bank featuring Bollywood, Hollywood and other regional videos which users will be able to stream and watch for a monthly membership fee of Rs. 199. Audiences in US and UK will be charged a monthly membership fee of $4.99 and £4.99 respectively.

Initially the service is open by invitation only and users will be required to request an invite via www.boxtv.com.

VI John partners with Mahou-San Miguel to enter liquor industry in India

Indian FMCG brand VI John has partnered with Spanish brewers Mahou-San Miguel to enter the Indian liquor industry. The partnership will see the launch of two new domestic beer brands which will primarily be aimed at North India. "We see immense opportunity in Indian market and we have a long term commitment to the market here," said Alberto Rodriguez, MD, Mahou San Miguel, reported TOI.

Government clears 49% FDI in civil aviation and 51% FDI in multi-brand retail

The government has finally given clearance to FDI in retail and civil aviation allowing foreign players to pick up 51% stake in multi-brand retail and 49% stake in domestic airlines. The move will help ailing domestic carriers including Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) and will also allow foreign companies like Walmart to take part in front-end multi-brand retail joint ventures with domestic partners.

New York Times labeled these moves as the ‘biggest economic reforms in two decades’. "Kingfisher will now be able to re-engage with prospective Airline investors in a more meaningful manner and move towards re-capitalization and ramp up of operations" said Dr. Vijay Mallya, Founder, KFA.

Sensex registers highest single day gain in 2012: Rises 2.46% by 443 points to 18,464

Sensex closed the week on a high as it gained 443 points, registering its highest daily gain in the year. The index moved 2.46% higher to close at 18,464, a new 14 month high.

The government’s decision to hike diesel prices to ease liquidity and hopes of reforms overshadowed higher inflation figures reported during the week. Friday added almost Rs. 1 lakh crore to investor wealth and inched BSE’s market capitalization upwards to Rs. 63.6 lakh crore, reported India Today.

Hero Motors finally drops Honda

Hero MotoCorp announced this week that it will be dropping Honda’s badge from all its models by the end of September 2012.

After splitting from Honda and unveiling its new identity last year, Hero MotoCorp has been dropping the Honda badge from its products. CD Dawn and CD Deluxe were the only models left to be rebranded. "The acceptance of our new identity and the market response that we have received on our three new Hero branded models–Impulse, Maestro and Ignitor–make us confident to go ahead. Our entire range of products would have moved to the Hero brand within this month" said Anil Dua, Sr. VP, Hero MotoCorp, reported NDTV Profit.

BHEL announces plans to recruit over 5,000 employees in the next 5 years

Earlier during the week, state owned engineering and manufacturing company BHEL announced its plans to add more than 5,000 employees to its nearly 50,000 head count.

The new recruits will range from management executives to plant engineers. The announcement was made by R Krishnan, Director HR, BHEL, who also mentioned that actual numbers could vary as per ‘prevailing business ambience’ in the country, reported ET.

Vodafone, Idea and Bharti Airtel mobile subscribers fall first time in 10 years

Over 2 crore subscribers were lost from the Indian mobile user base in July 2012.

While more than 99% of the drop was a result of RComm deactivating inactive numbers, it is believed that Vodafone, Idea and Airtel witnessed a drop in subscriber base for the first time in a decade. Reports indicate that Vodafone lost around 10 lakh users while Idea and Bharti Airtel lost in the vicinity of 2 crore users each.

Sistema JSFC to acquire Aircel Communications for Rs. 16-17,000 crore

TOI has reported that Russian conglomerate Sistema JSFC is set to buy Chennai headquartered Aircel Communications for $3 billion amounting to Rs. 16-17,000 crore.

The deal will reportedly be made with Malaysia based Maxis Communications, Aircel’s parent company. Sistema JSFC is headquartered in Moscow and has business operations in IT & Telecom, Banking, Insurance, Retail, Oil and Media among other sectors.

Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) bags orders worth Rs. 1,534 crore

Mumbai based construction giant Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) announced that it had bagged two orders worth Rs. 1,534 crore. One of the orders was the construction of a 10.2 km railway tunnel in Jammu & Kashmir. When completed, it will be the second largest tunnel in India. HCC has also built India’s largest tunnel, the Pir Panjal Tunnel in J&K, reported FirstPost.

The second order involves expansion of a section of NH-8 between Surat and Vadodara in Gujarat.

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