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Top 10 Indian business news of the week [1st-7th Oct 2012]

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

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Reforms continue: Cabinet approves 49% FDI in Insurance, 26% in Pension

The cabinet approved 49% FDI in Insurance and 25% in the Pension sector on Thursday. "The benefit of this amendment will go to the private sector insurance companies which require huge amount of capital and that capital will be facilitated with increase in FDI to 49 per cent" said P Chidambaram.

The move has strengthened India’s stance and has received praise and commendation from analysts, experts, authorities and media worldwide. The Washington Post said that the reforms have led to the ‘biggest opening of the economy to global investors since 2004′.

Kingfisher Airlines declares lockout, extends it to 12 October

Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) began the week on a low note as it declared a partial lockout on Monday. "A section of employees of Kingfisher Airlines has not been reporting for work over the last fortnight and over the past two days, they have been threatening and even manhandling the other employees who are reporting for work" said Prakash Mirpuri, KFA.

The partial lockout was set to last until Thursday however the company extended it to 12 October on Thursday, reported TOI. Negotiations with striking employees and pilots do not seem to have yielded results.

Sensex crosses the psychological 19,000 barrier after 15 months

On Thursday, Sensex closed at 19,058.15. It went past the psychological 19,000 barrier for the first time in 15 months. The gains were attributed by commentators to inflows from Foreign Institutional Investors (FII). The index later closed the week almost 120 points lower at 18,938.46 on Friday.

An erroneous transaction worth Rs. 650 crore eroded 900 points off the Nifty. Markets recovered after the glitch and ended lower at the back of profit booking.

Murugappa Group launches health and wellness brand Parry’s Wellness

Parry Nutraceuticals, a division of Chennai based Murugappa Group, has launched Parry’s Wellness, a health and wellness brand. The company will bring to the market a range of nutritional supplements and aims to make it a Rs. 100 crore business within the next 2-3 years.

Maruti Suzuki increases prices across all its models

Maruti Suzuki announced a price hike of up to Rs. 5,250 across its models. Foreign exchange fluctuation, rising costs and shrinking margins were attributed as the reasons behind the increase in prices.

"The average hike in the price across models is around 1 per cent and the range will be between Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,250" said a company spokesperson, reported ET. The country’s largest car maker also said that the production at its Manesar plant will resume full production in this month.

Rupee hits 5 month high, breaches 52 against USD

On Thursday the Rupee hit a five and a half month high against the American dollar as it breached 52 to the USD. Commentators believe that the rupee will ‘remain firm’ against the dollar at the back of increased foreign inflows, economic reforms and favorable economic data.

Tata Motors launches Indica eV2

Tata Motors launched a new version of India eV2 with cosmetic and utility based enhancements to the looks and performance of one of its iconic models. The latest model has newly designed headlights, front grill, auto drive assist, clutch-to-start, new alloys, fog lamps and rear spoiler.

The car will be powered by its fuel efficient 1.4 litre CR4 Common Rail Diesel engine and is priced in the range of Rs. 4.01 lakh to 4.87 lakh ex-showroom.

Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation acquires British Gas’ stake in Gujarat Gas Company for Rs. 2,464 crore

Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) acquired British Gas’ (BG) 65.12 per cent controlling stake in Gujarat Gas Company Ltd (GGCL). The Rs. 2,464 crore deal makes GSPC India’s largest city gas distributor by customer base, reported Business Standard.

"The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, involves the sale of BG Asia Pacific Holdings Pte Limited’s 65.12% controlling interest in GGCL, India’s largest private sector natural gas distribution company. The transaction is scheduled to complete during the first half of 2013." said a company statement.

Akai India launches Smart Box for Rs. 6,590, targets Rs. 250 crore revenue

Akai India has launched Smart Box, a device that will allow users to access internet on their TVs. Smart Box is an Android based device powered by a 1.2 GHz processor and will access the internet via LAN, Wi-Fi or a 3G/2G dongle. The company is targeting revenue levels of Rs. 250 crore in FY 12-13 out of which 50 crore is expected to be driven from sales of Smart Box.

Yamaha starts scooter assembly line in UP, run by women only

"This is the first time in Yamaha’s history, not only in India but worldwide, that the company has started an assembly line which is run exclusively by women. Being the pioneers in this movement, Yamaha certainly hopes to see this initiative being replicated across the industry." said Roy Kurian, Business Head, India Yamaha Motors Pvt Ltd.

The auto manufacturer has hired more than 200 women who will undergo an apprenticeship programme for three years. The women will receive on-the-job training and will also appear for an exam held by the Industrial Training Institute every year. The new recruits will run the scooter assembly line at the company’s plant in Surajpur, UP, reported HT.

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