Business & Economy Current Affairs 2018 - Current Affairs Today

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  • TCS bags over $690 million deal from M&G Prudential

    India’s largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) signed an over GBP 500 million (USD 690 million) deal with M&G Prudential, the UK and European savings and investments business of Prudential plc.  Under the contract, TCS will digitally transform M&G Prudential’s business and deliver enhanced service for its UK savings and retirement customers. “The value of this agreement exceeds GBP 500 million (USD 690 million) over 10 years and covers the support of over 4 million customer policies.

    BSE's India International Exchange Lists IRFC's First Green Bond

    The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)'s India International Exchange listed the first bond on its Global Securities Market.  The bonds issued by Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC) are one of the highest credit rated bonds issued by an Indian corporate and has been IRFC's first foray into the Green Bond market. 

    As per the National survey, Bihar is the poorest state in India, Delhi richest

    Fourth round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) on around 6 lakh households in 2015-16 has revealed that Bihar is India's poorest state, while Delhi is the richest. The survey classifies all households into five wealth quintiles, according to which Bihar has more than half of its households in the bottom quintile, while Delhi has over 60% households in the top quintile.

    Facebook co founder Zuckerberg loses 4th richest persons spot to Zara Founder

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has lost his place as the world's fourth-richest person to Zara Founder Amancio Ortega. Zuckerberg's fortune fell by $3.3 billion after he revealed plans to shift users' News Feed towards content from family and friends, instead of content from publishers and businesses. Facebook shares tumbled nearly 4.5%, reducing Zuckerberg's fortune to $74 billion.

    Telecom regulator TRAI cuts ISD incoming call termination rate to 30 paise

    Telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) reduced international incoming call termination rate ie., ITC - international termination charge to 30 paise, from 53 paise, to curb the "grey route". The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said the new rule "shall come into force from the 1st February, 2018".

    China became second internet service provider for Nepal, breaking Indias monopoly in Nepal

    The Hong Kong and Beijing based China Telecom Global (CTG) - a company formed in 2012 - has teamed up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternate cyber-connectivity to Nepal. So far, Nepal had been linked to the global internet network through Indian telecom operators, using optical fiber connections in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, among others. But a new terrestrial fiber cable launched in 2016 by CTG will now connect Nepal and China through the Jilong (Rasuwagadhi) border gateway.

    Reliance Jio planning to launch its own cryptocurrency

    Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is planning to create its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin. The Jio coin project is being led by Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash AmReliance Jio Infocomm Ltd is planning to create its own cryptocurrency, JioCoin. The Jio coin project is being led by Mukesh Ambani’s elder son Akash Ambani. The blockchain is decentralized incorruptible digital ledger for storing data across a peer-to-peer network.

    Pankaj Jain assumes Charge as IIFCL Managing Director

    Pankaj Jain, Joint Secretary in the Department of Financial Services (DFS) assumed charge as the Managing Director of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL). He will be holding additional charge of IIFCL along with his present position as Joint Secretary at DFS. IIFCL is a state-owned company focused on infrastructure financing and development.

    Saudi Arabia and UAE Introduce VAT for First Time

    Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) introduced value-added tax (VAT). These are the first two countries in the Gulf which have introduced the VAT system. The 5% levy is being applied to the majority of goods and services. The UAE estimates that in the first year, VAT income will be around 12 billion dirhams. Petrol and diesel, food, clothes, utility bills and hotel rooms all now have VAT applied. But some outgoings have been made exempt from the tax, or given a zero-tax rating, including medical treatment, financial services and public transport.

    India to overtake UK, France to become 5th-largest economy in 2018

    India to become the world's fifth-largest economy in dollar terms by Next year. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) consultancy’s 2018 World Economic League Table painted an upbeat view of the global economy, boosted by cheap energy and technology prices.  Deputy Chairman of Cebr, Douglas McWilliams said, despite temporary setbacks, India's economy has still caught up with that of France and the UK and next year, will overtake both of them. 

    Amazon Acquires Connected Security Camera Maker 'Blink'

    Amazon bought an Andover, Massachusetts-based company 'Blink' that makes Internet-connected doorbells and security cameras. The move could help Amazon compete in the fast-growing home security camera market and against similar devices made by Nest, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet.

    With an aim to move only electric vehicles by 2030, Honda to set up electric car battery plant in India

    In a great move, Honda Motor is planning to set up a lithium-ion battery manufacturing unit in India with the main aim to move only potential electric vehicles on roads by 2030. Under the global agreement on climate change, the company is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As per reports, it is involved in building up of electric vehicle strategy for the Indian market.  According to an announcement made by Honda, by 2030, electric cars will comprise 65% of the company’s overall sales. Of that, 15% will be pure electric while the rest will be hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell-powered vehicles.

    Bharti Airtel to buy Millicoms Operations in Rwanda

    Bharti Airtel Limited entered into a definitive agreement with Millicom International Cellular S.A. under which Airtel Rwanda Ltd will acquire 100% equity in Tigo Rwanda Ltd. This comes after Airtel’s announcement to merge with Millicom, which operates the brand Tigo, in another African nation Ghana.

    Ola Acquires FoodPanda India Business, to Further Invest $200 million

    Business Affairs : Ola, operated by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd has acquired food delivery start-up Foodpanda India Pvt. Ltd from its German parent Delivery Hero AG in an all-stock deal that will see the ride-hailing major infuse $200 million in Foodpanda’s India operations. Under the deal, Foodpanda’s India business will be transferred to Ola in exchange for the latter’s stock. The share-swap arrangement and details of the transaction are still not disclosed.

    OBOPAY Gets Pre-Paid Instrument Licence from Reserve Bank of India

    OBOPAY announced that the company has secured a licence for Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate a semi-closed loop wallet in the country. The company would also be using the licence to increase business in its B2B (business-to-business) operations by co-branding the prepaid instrument with a partner brand.

    UN Women and Facebook Inaugurates 'We The Women' Event in Mumbai

    UN Women in collaboration with Facebook inaugurated a two-day event in Mumbai titled 'We The Women' to empower and recognise the magnificent contribution of women in our society. The event witnessed speakers from different walks of life including Textile and I&B Minister, Smriti Irani, Sakshi Malik, Mithali Raj, Ekta Kapoor, Karan Johar and others.

    Google on United States best workplaces list for 10 consecutive years

    Technology giant Google has ranked 5th on the list of '100 best companies to work for in the US in 2018', marking its 10th consecutive appearance on the annual list. Apple and management consulting firm Bain & Company also featured on the list for the 10th consecutive year.  

    Maruti Suzuki replaces SBI as 6th most valuable Indian firm

    India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki became India's sixth most valued firm, crossing India's largest lender SBI. Maruti Suzuki's market capitalisation stood at ₹2.74 trillion, marginally ahead of SBI's market value of ₹2.71 trillion. Reliance Industries is the country's most valued company with a market value of ₹5.8 trillion, followed by TCS, HDFC Bank, ITC and Hindustan Unilever.

    Facebook Co founder Saverin becomes richest man in Singapore

    Facebook Co-founder Eduardo Saverin has become Singapore's richest person with a net worth of $10.4 billion. Saverin became a Singapore resident after giving up his US citizenship in 2012.

    Union Government Unveils Mid-Term Review of Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20

    Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu let out more incentives while unveiling the mid-term review of the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 with a view to boosting exports. The Union minister stated that the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) incentive rate will be raised by 2 percent across the board for labour-intensive/MSME sectors. The focus of the FTP will be on exploring new markets and products as well as increasing India's share in traditional markets and products.

    Paytm Payments Bank Unveils Paytm FASTag Across India

    Paytm Payments Bank rolled out Paytm FASTag to enable electronic toll fee collection on highways across the country, in line with the government's move to make FASTag mandatory on every new vehicle sold from December 1. The Paytm FASTag - which is a simple and reusable tag based on radio-frequency identification technology (RFID) that can be placed on a vehicle's windscreen - will allow commuters to pass through 380 toll plazas across India covering 55,000 km without having to stop.

    Infosys Appoints Salil S Parekh as MD & CEO

    Infosys announced the appointment of Salil S. Parekh as its new CEO and Managing Director. Salil was in Capgemini earlier. The Bengaluru-headquartered company was searching for a new CEO after former CEO Vishal Sikka resigned in August 2017. Cofounder Nandan Nilekani returned to the company as non-executive chairman to steady operations.

    Amazon India organises startup challenge Startup C-Cube

    Amazon India in collaboration with hardware accelerator HAX and crowd-funding community Kickstarter, has announced a startup challenge 'Startup C-Cube'. The winners of the contest will have an opportunity to engage with Boeing on future partnerships. The multi-level challenge to be held in Bengaluru on December 5 gives entrepreneurs a chance to turn their ideas into 'real business opportunities'. The challenge will mark the first anniversary of Amazon India's startup initiative 'Launchpad'.

    BillDesk launches cryptocurrency exchange Coinome in India

    Indian online payments firm BillDesk-owned Horatio Innovations launched cryptocurrency exchange ‘Coinome’ in India offering to trade of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The Coin one allows users to register via an instant e-KYC process by using Aadhaar number. Unlike many other cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinome is an open order book cryptocurrency exchange which enables direct deals between buyers and sellers just like conventional stocks and commodities exchanges.

    Paytm Payments Bank raises to 122 crore

    Paytm Payments Bank raised 122 crores from Paytm's parent company One97 Communications and its Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. It is also the first bank to offer cash back on deposits, such as cash back of Rs 250 on depositing Rs 25,000 into the bank account. These are India Post Payments Bank, Airtel Payments Bank, Fino Payments Bank and Paytm Payments Bank. The surprising aspect related to the functioning of these payments bank as revealed through an RTI report from RBI is that none of these banks have really been able to attract deposits from the public in all these months.

    Union Government Notifies Minimum Export Price of Onion at $850 per Tonne

    The  Union Government notified Minimum Export Price of onion at 850 dollars per tonne to ensure its availability in the domestic market.  The Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan stated this will discourage cheap export from the country and augment its domestic availability. The Ministry had authorized National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and Small Farmers Agribusiness Consortium (SFAC) to procure 12 thousand tonnes onion.

    Paytm Acquires Stake in online Loans Firm CreditMate

    Paytm has bought an undisclosed stake in Urja Money Private Limited which evaluates the creditworthiness of people seeking loans to buy two-wheelers. Paytm will use Urja’s proprietary CreditMate technology to create a loan management system in collaboration with lending partners. Mumbai-based Urja, incorporated in July 2016, has partnerships with banks and non-banking entities on the supply side and auto-dealers on the demand side. The company raised $500,000 from India Quotient last November.

    Toyota and Suzuki partners together to bring electric vehicles to India by 2020

    India’s leading car companies Toyota and Suzuki have joined their hands to make an electric car for our country. Both the companies have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see both companies working together for introducing electric vehicles (EVs) in the Indian market by around 2020. Suzuki is to produce Electronic Vehicle (EVs) for the Indian market and will supply some to Toyota, while Toyota is to provide technical support. Additionally, Toyota and Suzuki intend to conduct a comprehensive study of activities for the widespread acceptance and popular use of EVs in India. The companies will also undertake a comprehensive study of activities for widespread acceptance and use of electric vehicles in India. These activities will include setting up of charging infrastructure, training of personnel for after-sales service and systems for appropriate treatment of end-of-life batteries.

    India earns Rs. 14,354 crore by foreign tourist arrivals in October 2017

    Tourism sector of India continues to flourish immensely. Notably, Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the month of October 2017 was Rs.14,354 crore as compared to Rs.12,100 crore in October 2016 and Rs.10,549 crore in October 2015. The Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTA) have registered whopping growth of 18.1% in October 2017 in the country. The FEEs during the month of October 2017 were Rs.14,354 crore as compared to Rs.12,100 crore in October 2016 and Rs.10,549 crore in October 2015.

    Bill Gates lauds India for becoming a Leader in Digital Financial Inclusion

    Andhra Agtech Summit was underway when the Microsoft Corporation Co-Founder Bill Gates praised Andhra Pradesh for using technology to help farmers. Better seeds, improved livestock breeds, access to markets and tech-based Agri services could hold the key for improving a lot of smallholder farmers and dairy farmers. Around More than half of India’s population engaged in agriculture, and three-fourths of rural women are engaged in agriculture. Apart from gender equality, research has shown that having more women also increases production by 20 to 30%, The Government had received 259 innovative ideas during the three-day Agtech summit in Visakhapatnam. India faces challenges of population, malnutrition and climate change. In AP, you have a great believer (Naidu) in smart technology. It is a pivotal moment for the state, and agricultural transformation here can be a model for India.

    Indias First Mega Coastal Economic Zone to Come up in Maharashtra

    The Union Government has given the go-ahead for setting up India’s first mega coastal economic zone (CEZ) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra as part of a plan to develop 14 such industrial clusters to spur manufacturing and generate jobs. About 45 companies across telecom, auto and IT sectors will soon bid for 200 hectares of land to set up manufacturing units in the zone. The plan envisages a total investment of Rs 15,000 crore in the first phase and creation of more than 1.5 lakh jobs.

    Telangana and Patanjali Group join hands together to establish Food Park

    Telangana government inked an MoU with the Patanjali group with an aim to set up ‘Food Park’. The Patanjali Group will set up a large food park in Telangana with units for processing edible oil, fruit pulp and spices. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the Telangana government. Patanjali Group also expressed interest in developing indigenous seed varieties and animal feed value chain in the state. The MoU between the Group and Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (TSIIC) was signed at Haridwar in the presence of Baba Ramdev and Telangana Rashtra Samithi Member of Parliament K Kavitha.

    Chakravarthi appointed as ambassador of World Packaging Organisation (WPO)

    Chakravarthi AVPS, Managing Director, Ecobliss India appointed as global ambassador of the World Packaging Organisation (WPO). He is the first Asian to be appointed as ambassador of World Packaging Organisation (WPO). The honorary appointment was made in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the 99th board meeting of WPO. He has won Worldstar award for packaging excellence for five consecutive years. Before establishing Ecobliss India, he has worked with companies like International paper, Ballarpur Industries, Akerlaund Rausing, Huhtamaki, and Pragati.

    Union Government to introduce BS-VI grade auto fuels in National capital Territory in 2018 instead of 2020

    The Petroleum Ministry in consultation with Public Oil Marketing Companies has decided for preponement of BS-VI grade auto fuels in National Capital Territory of Delhi from 1st April next year instead of 1st April 2020.  This is part of government's concerted efforts to reduce vehicular emissions and improve fuel efficiency with an aim to reduce the carbon footprints and keep a healthy environment. India has followed the regulatory pathway for fuel quality and vehicle emissions standards termed as Bharat Stage or BS.

    Mukesh Ambani Topped Forbes List of Asia's Richest Families

    India’s Ambani family topped the Forbes list of Asia’s Richest Families for the first time with a net worth of $44.8 billion, up $19 billion from the previous year. The collective wealth of Asia’s 50 richest families on the list is a record $699 billion, according to the Forbes. The Top 3 Families in Asia- 1. India's Ambani Family- $44.8 billion 2. Korea’s Lee family- $40.8 billion 3. Hong Kong’s Kwok family-  The Top 3 Families in India- 1. India's Ambani Family- (Rank 1; $44.8 billion 2. Premji family (Rank 11; $19.2 billion net worth) 3. Mittal family (Rank 14; $17.2 billion).

    Thirty Seventh India International Trade Fair Begins in New Delhi

    The  37th India International Trade Fair (IITF) has begun at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi. The 14-day annual event has been organized by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO). It was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind. This year the theme of the fair is “Startup India Standup India”. Vietnam is the Partner Country, while Kyrgyzstan is the Focus Country. Jharkhand is participating as a Partner State in the event.

    GST rate on 178 items which are used daily, reduced from 28 percent tax to 18 percent or less

    At the 23rd GST council meeting in Guwahati, the GST Council decided to drop 178 items used by common man and middle class from the highest tax slab of 28% to 18% or less. Detergents, chocolates, beauty products, marble, flooring, toiletries have been moved from 28% to 18%. Armoured fighting vehicles along with one more item have been shifted from 28% to 12%. Thirteen items have been moved from 18% to 12%. Six items have been shifted from 18% to 5%. Eight items from 12% to 8% and 6 items 5% to nil. The new rates will be applicable from November 15, 2017.

    GST on AC, non AC restaurants reduced to 5 percent

    The GST Council had previously pegged GST rates for air-conditioned eateries and those with liquor licences at 18%, and non-air-conditioned restaurants at 12%. During 23rd GST Council meeting held on November 10, 2017 at Guwahati, Assam, the GST Council slashed rates for both air conditioned and non-air-conditioned restaurants to 5% without input tax credit (ITC). Background Fact:- Federation of Hotels & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI) - President- Garish Oberoi requested the GST council members to either bring down the GST rate on restaurants to 12% with input credit or 5% without input credit.

    Uber joins forces with NASA to develop flying taxis

    Uber unveiled a partnership with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys. The first demonstration flights are expected in 2020 and will move into commercial operations by 2023, with plenty of time for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. An Uber Air journey would take three times less time than the same journey by car.

    US President Donald Trump to address key Apec summit in Vietnam

    US President Donald Trump and other world leaders are to address the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) summit in Vietnam, with trade and growth high on the agenda. He vowed to correct a huge trade imbalance with China and Japan. The Apec Summit brings together 21 economies - the equivalent of about 60% of the world's GDP. 

    ICEX completes first diamond futures contract of Rs 173.32 crore

    Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) successfully completed first-ever diamond futures contracts settlement with the total traded quantity in November expiry for 5,382.08 carats valued at Rs 173.32 crores. The total traded quantity in November expiry since the launch of the contracts is 5,382.08 carats, valuing at Rs 173.32 crore. Percentage of delivery of the total traded quantity is 0.53 %.

    Tata Steel sets up countrys largest coke dry quenching facility in Odisha plant

    Tata Steel set up India’s largest Coke Dry Quenching (CDQ) facility at its steel plant located in Kalinganagar, Odisha. Project for setting up CDQ facility at Tata Steel’s Kalinganagar plant has been executed by Essar Projects whereas Nippon Steel and Sumkin Engineering (NSENGI) of Japan were the supplier and technology partner.

    Ola inks partnership with Microsoft for enhanced passenger experience

    The transportation network company Ola announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft company and thereby choosing the Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider. Ola Play customers will be able to use productivity tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft Cognitive Services and bot framework, in-car during their rides. It helps transform the car into a high-performing, intelligent vehicle, capable of assessing fuel efficiency, engine performance, and driver performance.

    Guinea Becomes New Member Of International Solar Alliance

    External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with Guinea’s Foreign Minister, Mamady Toure, during the course of which the latter handed over his country’s instrument accession to the India-initiated International Solar Alliance (ISA). According to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry, Sushma Swaraj and Toure exchanged views on a broad range of subjects covering bilateral friendship and cooperation.

    Paytm introduces BHIM UPI for seamless money transfer

    Paytm introduced payments using BHIM UPI through which users can create their own Paytm BHIM UPI ID on the app, using which customers can transfer money. Using BHIM UPI users can create their own Paytm BHIM UPI ID on the app, which will be issued by Paytm Payments Bank. As per the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) guidelines, users can send up to Rs. 1 lakh a day using BHIM UPI and there is no receiving limit.

    Three-day mega food fair attracts investment worth 19 billion dollars

    Investment of around 19 billion dollars was committed during the three-day mega food event- World Food India. The event achieved a resounding success and saw participation from 60 countries and over 50 global CEOs.  It was the first time that India hosted such an event for the food processing sector to strengthen its position as a global food factory.

    India’s Largest CDQ Facility at Tata Steel Kalinganagar

    Tata Steel established India’s largest Coke Dry Quenching (CDQ) facility, capable of handling 200 metric tonnes per hour, at its state-of-the-art steel plant at Kalinganagar Industrial Complex in Jajpur district of Odisha. CDQ is a heat recovery system to cool hot coke from coke ovens. It is one of the best energy-efficient and environment-friendly facility in steel production where hot coke removed from coke ovens at a temperature of around 1,000 degree Celsius is cooled and kept dry with the inert gas.

    Ferrari may quit Formula 1 from 2020

    Ferrari team would consider quitting Formula 1 from 2020 if changes proposed by new owners Liberty Media were implemented. Ferrari is the only team to have participated in all F1 world championships. Ferrari president - Sergio Marchionne.

    Swedens IKEA Group buys 10 acres of Gurgaon land for Rs.842 crore

    The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), in its single largest property e-auction, sold 9.82 acres of commercial land in Sector 47 of Gurgaon for a whopping Rs 842 crore to Swedish furniture maker IKEA. HUDA earned around ₹1,260 crore this fiscal through e-auctions.  

    ONGC gets government nod for acquiring HPCL

    ONGC has received the Information Memorandum from the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management for acquiring majority stake in fellow public sector undertaking HPCL. ONGC’s acquisition of 51.11 per cent stake in HPCL is in line with the government’s plan to create an integrated energy major with businesses spread across the hydrocarbon value chain. The government has set the deadline to complete the ONGC-HPCL deal in the current financial year.

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