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    Consumer Good Prices rise in India

    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.

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    EU Investment in India Highest Amongst BRIC Countries

    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.

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    HSBC Buys 73 percent of IL&FS Investsmart

    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.

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    Rupee Weakens to 42.44 per U.S. Dollar

    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.

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    US$90 Billion Industry Corridor on Track

    May 14 – India's US$90 billion industrial corridor is project is going according to schedule despite rising prices of steel and cement Minister of State for Industry Ashwani Kumar told Reuters.

    The project spanning New Delhi and Mumbai is being built with Japanese help on the lines of the Tokyo-Osaka industrial corridor.

    It includes high speed rail freight lines, power plants to supply an additional 4,000 megawatt, three new sea ports and six airports, 12 new industrial clusters, 10 logistic parks and agricultural hubs.

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    India’s Top Mergers and Acquisitions of 2008

    May 9 – India's top mobile operator Bharti Airtel Ltd is in exploratory talks to acquire 51 percent in South Africa's MTN Group at a value of around US$19 billion, creating the world’s sixth-largest mobile company with 130 million subscribers across 21 countries.

    If the deal does go though, it would make it India's biggest foreign deal.

    Reuters reported Tata Steel Ltd. last year engineered India's biggest takeover to date, a US$13 billion purchase of Anglo-Dutch steelmaker Corus Group Plc, which was more than double the size of the next biggest deal, Hindalco Industries purchase of Canada's Novelis.

    Indian firms have announced deals worth $6.8 billion so far in 2008, down 39 percent from the same period last year.

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    India to Test Missile Agni-III Today

    May 7 – India is all set to test its most ambitious missile Agni-III on Wednesday on Wheeler Island off the coast of Orissa in Eastern India.

    The missile has a strike range of 3,500-km, is 16.7-metres tall, with a lift-off weight of 48 tons and a warhead of 1.5 tons.

    The Agni-III launch on Wednesday becomes important since it is the third time that the rail-mobile missile will be tested.

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    Union Cabinet Approves Women’s Reservation Bill

    May 6 – Late last evening, India's Union Cabinet cleared the contentious Women’s Reservation Bill in its original form for introduction in the Rajya Sabha (council for states). The women’s bill seeks to reserve one third seats for women in the Lok Sabha (people's council) and the state assemblies and is one of the last major commitments of the Congress-led UPA’s common minimum program, reported the Hindustan Times. Once introduced, the constitutional amendment bill would be routed to the standing committee to help hammer out a consensus on it.

Showing 8 of 1182 articles