May 28 – In a major boost to club football in India, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has chosen India as one of the 11 participants in the revamped 2009 Champions League. The champions of I-League, the professional league in the country, will take part in the Champions League, Indiatimes reported.
Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Indonesia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Iran were the other countries which were recommended by the committee for the 2009 AFC Champions League to be re-launched on completely professional lines. Continue reading
May 27 – India's consumer goods companies are hiking prices across categories as they battle rising costs of commodities such as steel, copper and oil, which are inputs for their products, company officials told Reuters.
Videocon Industries, Mirc Electronics, which owns the Onida brand, Whirlpool of India and Samsung India are among home appliance makers who have either raised prices or plan to do it in coming weeks. Continue reading
May 23 – India and Pakistan agreed to give consular access to each other’s prisoners and increase cross-border bus service in the disputed region of Kashmir during talks between the countries’ foreign ministers. The small concessions were considered a sign of progress between the nuclear powers. Shah Mehmood Qureshi, foreign minister of Pakistan, said talks were “very frank,” while India’s foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, said the two countries “have to cover a long distance.” The governments plan to meet again in July, reported the New York Times.
May 21 – The Asian Development Bank has ranked India 10th among 31 Asia-Pacific countries in providing social security like health care, education and child welfare to its people reported Businessweek.
India ranked above China and Malaysia, but below Uzbekistan, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan, which topped the ADB's Social Protection Index (SPI).
The ADB, in the new Index, has established that providing social protection is not subject to the wealth of a nation. Even poor countries like India can afford to provide social cover in the form of health insurance, labour market, child protection, education among other things, if there is government will.
May 20 – The flow of European cash into Indian firms surged more than fourfold last year, jumping to 10.9 billion euros (US$17.0 billion) last year, up from US$2.5 billion in 2006, Eurostat told AFP. Among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) countries, India emerged as the largest source of foreign direct investment for the European Union in 2007, thanks to high value takeover deals like Tata-Corus.
Meanwhile, the flow of EU foreign direct investment (FDI) into China — excluding Hong Kong — slumped last year to 1.8 billion euros from 6.0 billion euros in 2006 despite intense media interest in the country as an emerging Asian economic power.
May 19 – British banking company HSBC Holdings has expressed interest to buy 73.2 percent of IL&FS Investsmart, an Indian brokerage firm, for 10.03 billion rupees (US$235 million).
HSBC will acquire 43.85% from a Mauritius-based unit of E*Trade Financial Corp and the rest from the Indian brokerage's founder, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services, for Rs 200 a share, HSBC said in a statement e-mailed from Hong Kong. "India presents a huge scope for its large savings to be invested in equities, debt and commodities," said Dipak Acharya, who helps manage the equivalent of $22 million as a fund manager at BOB Asset Management Co in Mumbai, reported the Times of India.
May 16 – The Indian car crazed consumer has never had it so good before. The Indian automobile landscape is sporting the best and the cheapest. And the icing on the cake, is the marriage between technology and price. Automobiles will be powered with the best technology yet sport most consumer-friendly price tags. From a four-wheeler, coming at meagre price of Rs 1 lakh (US$2,350) to the high-speed luxury super bikes that will lighten you purse of Rs 50 lakh (US$120,000). The Indian market is ready to nurture these new age mean machines and get used to the variety in price ranges, reports the Economic Times.
Experts believe that with a wide variety of options, for customers price will become the most important deciding factor and only then can auto makers garner volumes. So the niche bikes are expected to garner annual sales of only 3,000 units annually in India. As far as the Nano story goes, the number of customers opting to drive around in it could be in lakhs. “While the high-priced bikes would satisfy the niche segment, Tata Motors’ product would be commuter-driven.
May 15 – The rupee weakened by about 34 paise at Rs 42.44/46 per US dollar on Wednesday, making it costlier for the travellers and students going abroad, reported the Hindustan Times.
At the same time, the remittances from those working abroad would fetch more money now, than it did a couple of weeks back when the rupee hovered around Rs 40 against the dollar. The rupee weakened against the dollar by 6.52 percent from April 10, 2008 when it closed at Rs 39.84 against a dollar.
On the corporate front, the weakening rupee will help exporters to fetch more bucks for the same unit of exports. No wonder, the market has given a thumps up for the information technology stocks on Wednesday by taking the IT sector index on Bombay Stock Exchange up by 3.8 per cent to 4,256 points. On the contrary, imports will become costlier to the extent of weakness in the domestic currency.