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  • Indias exports hit 6 month high of 28.86 billion dollar in May

    Indias exports hit 6 month high of 28.86 billion dollar in May. Costlier crude also caused imports to grow 15% in the month, leaving a four month high trade deficit of $14.62 billion, or about Rs 99,975 crore. Major commodity groups of export showing positive growth over the corresponding month of last year included petroleum products (104.47%), organic and inorganic chemicals (34.21%), drugs and pharmaceuticals (25.67%), cotton yarn (24.7%), and engineering goods (14.77%).

    Indian-American Dhivya Suryadevara To Become CFO Of General Motors

    An Indian-American woman, Dhivya Suryadevara named the Chief Finance Officer of the US’ largest automaker, General Motors. Ms. Suryadevara, currently the vice president of corporate finance, will succeed Chuck Stevens, the General Motor’s present CFO, on September 1, 2018. She will report to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Barra, 56, who has been head of the automaker since 2014.

    NTPC Adopts Charminar Under Swachh Iconic Places Project

    NTPC Limited adopted the iconic Charminar in Hyderabad under the Swachh Iconic Places Projects of India. This is part of a special drive under the Centre’s Swachh Bharat Mission. NTPC Ltd and the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have signed a MoU for implementation of development and beautification works under the Charminar Pedestrianization Project in Hyderabad. NTPC, in partnership with the GHMC, will take up development and beautification works at Charminar.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi 3-Nation Visit: Launches International Rupay Card, Bhim App And UPI In Singapore

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three Indian digital payment systems - RuPay, BHIM app and UPI by SBI at the 'Business, Innovation and Community Event' in Singapore. With the launch, India's RuPay digital payments system was linked up with Singapore's 33-year old Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS). The move will enable RuPay users to make payments at all of NETS acceptance points across Singapore. Whereas, holders of Singapore NETS will be able to make an online purchase on any National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) e-commerce merchant website in India, using 2.8 million RuPay point of sale terminals in India.

    Indian Economy Grows 7.7% In 4th Quarter: Central Statistics Data

    The Indian economy grew 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017-18. The GDP had expanded 5.6%, 6.3%, and 7%, in the first three quarters of 2017-18, according to the data released by Central Statistics Office. As per the Data, robust performance in manufacturing, construction and service sectors, as well as good farm output, contributed to the overall growth. The previous high GDP growth of 8.1% was recorded in the first quarter of 2016-17.

    Indian Oil Most Profitable PSU for second Straight Year

    Indian Oil Corporation emerged as India's most profitable state-owned company for the second consecutive year. Indian Oil posted a record profit of Rs21,346 crore in 2017-18, followed by ONGC, whose profit stood at Rs19,945 crore. Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is the most profitable company for the third straight year, posting highest ever profit of Rs36,075 crore.

    Infosys concludes acquisition of US based Wongdoody at $75 million

    Infosys completed the acquisition of WongDoody Holding Company, a US-based digital creative and consumer insights agency, for a total consideration of up to $75 million. Founded in 1993, WongDoody has clients across industries like telecommunications, consumer electronics, healthcare and consumer packaged goods.

    Patanjali Launches New Messaging App 'Kimbho'

    Yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali launched a new swadeshi messaging application called 'Kimbho' to compete with WhatsApp.   Kimbho caters to private and group chats with free phone and video calling. The tagline of Kimbho is "Ab Bharat Bolega". Patanjali has recently tied up with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to enter the telecom sector by launching Swadeshi Samriddhi SIM cards.

    Moody's Slashes India Growth Forecast To 7.3%

    Moody's Investors Service report has cut India's GDP growth forecast to 7.3% in 2018, from the previous forecast of 7.5% due to higher oil prices and tighter financial conditions. It, however, kept growth expectation for 2019 remains unchanged at 7.5%.

    Microsoft is third most Valuable Firm Globally

    Software giant Microsoft surpassed Google’s parent company Alphabet in market capitalization for the first time in three years. Microsoft becomes the third most valuable firm globally after Apple and Amazon. Microsoft had a market cap of $753 billion at the close of trading, almost $14 billion ahead of Alphabet. While Apple leads with a market cap of nearly $924 billion, Amazon is at a distant second, with nearly $783 billion.

    MCX Launches India's 1st Copper Options

    India's Multi Commodity Exchange launched the country's first copper options contracts. Three contracts with a lot size of 1 tonne were launched. The option contract will provide physical market participants an additional instrument to hedge their risk.

    Tata Steel subsidiary acquires 72% stake in Bhushan Steel

    Tata Steel, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Bamnipal Steel Ltd (BNPL), acquired 72.65 percent controlling stake in Bhushan Steel Ltd (BSL) for around Rs 36,400 crore. The announcement was made by Tata Steel in a statement on May 18, 2018. The deal is set to help the banks recover NPAs amounting to over Rs. 36,000 crore in the time to come. Speaking on the development Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said, "Liquidation value of Bhushan Steel was Rs. 14,541 crore but creditors received almost 4 times the amount (Rs. 36,400). This was possible due to the robust and transparent Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code.”

    Tata Steel To Acquire Bhushan Steel Through Its Step-Down Subsidiary Bamnipal Steel

    Tata Steel, whose bid for debt-ridden Bhushan Steel was approved by NCLT, would implement the resolution plan through its step-down subsidiary Bamnipal Steel Ltd. Bamnipal Steel would invest in the debt-ridden company and acquire control on the closing date. As per the terms of approved Resolution Plan, Bamnipal Steel Limited (BNPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, will initially subscribe to 72.65% equity share capital of BSL at face value i.e. at Rs 2 per share, for an aggregate amount of Rs 158.89 crore.

    High-Level Committee Approves Central Assistance Of Rs1,161 Crores To 4 States And A UT

    The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh chaired a meeting of the High Level Committee (HLC) in New Delhi for Central Assistance to the States/ UT of Assam (affected by floods during 2017-18), Himachal Pradesh (affected by floods/ landslides during 2017-18), Sikkim (affected by floods/ landslides during 2017-18), Lakshadweep (affected by cyclone Occhi during 2017) and Rajasthan (affected by Kharif drought during 2017). The HLC approved assistance of Rs 480.87 crore in respect of the state of Assam. The HLC also approved assistance from NDRF amounting to Rs 84.60 crore for the state of Himachal Pradesh, Rs 67.40 crore for the state of Sikkim, Rs 2.16 crore for the UT of Lakshadweep and Rs 526.14 crore for the state of Rajasthan. The total assistance approved was Rs 1,161.17 crores.

    China's Alibaba Buys Pakistan E-Commerce Firm Daraz

    Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba purchased leading Pakistani online retailer 'Daraz', continuing its overseas expansion by gaining a foothold in the growing South Asian consumer market. China is seeking closer economic ties with Asian neighbors including Pakistan through its Belt and Road initiative, a strategy to increase trade links that are led primarily by infrastructure projects. Daraz, founded in 2012, was purchased from Rocket Internet, a Berlin-based incubator of online startups.

    Indian Tea Industry Records Highest Ever Production, Export In FY18

    Indian tea industry recorded the highest ever production as well as exports in FY18. The total tea production was 1325.05 million kgs, an increase of 74.56 million kgs as compared to 2016-17. In percentage terms, the increase is around 6%. Similarly, the total quantity of tea exported during the financial year 2017-18 stood at 256.57 million kgs, while the foreign exchange realized from exports of Indian tea was $ 785.92 million. The number of tea exports increased by 12.71% to 28.94 million kgs during 2017-18. The growth in exports was majorly driven by the following countries: Egypt (increased by 7.49 million kgs), Iran (increased by 6.95 million kgs), Pakistan (increased by 4.96 million kgs), China (increased by 2.91 million kgs) and Russia (increased by 2.89 million kgs).

    TRAI Releases Draft Of Telecom Interconnection Regulations

    Telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a draft to amend interconnect regulations, proposing certain changes in terms and conditions for operators to seek fresh call connect ports from other telcos. The 'draft Telecommunication Interconnection (Amendment) Regulations 2018' proposed that a service provider can ask another operator for additional ports, in case the projected utilization of the capacity is likely to exceed 85% over 60 day period.

    NASA with Uber Team Up To Make Flying Cars A Reality

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed a space act agreement with Uber Technologies to explore concepts and technologies related to Urban Air Mobility (UAM) for future air transportation such as flying cars in populated areas. Under the agreement, Uber will share its plans with NASA for implementing the urban aviation rideshare network.

    Google Names Nitin Bawankule Head Of India Cloud Business

    Google appointed Nitin Bawankule as the country head for its cloud business in India, as the search giant looks at taking a larger share of the booming demand for those services in the country. Bawankule has been with Google for six years and was previously head of sales for its e-commerce, retail and classifieds and education business. Bawankule will report to Rick Harshman, managing director of Asia Pacific for Google Cloud.

    NITI Aayog, Google Sign SoI To Help Grow AI Ecosystem In India

    Aiming to foster growth for India’s nascent Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) ecosystem. NITI Aayog and Google have signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) to work on a range of initiatives to help build the AI ecosystem across the country. The NITI Aayog has been entrusted to set up a national programme to conduct research and development in frontier technologies such as AI. Under the aegis of this program, Google will train and incubate Indian AI startups in an accelerator program. These startups will be mentored and coached by Google and its affiliates.

    India's 7% Projected Growth Rate For The Current Fiscal: ADB

    Asian Development Bank Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada stated India's projected GDP growth of over 7 percent for the current fiscal (2018-19) is amazingly fast and if this momentum is maintained the size of the economy can double within a decade.  According to ADB, India should not worry about not achieving 8 percent growth but focus on increasing domestic demand by reducing the income inequality. 

    Cognizant Acquires Belgium-Based Hedera Consulting

    IT firm Cognizant acquired privately-held Belgium based Hedera Consulting, a move that will strengthen the former’s consulting and digital transformation capabilities for clients in Belgium and the Netherlands. The size of the deal was however not disclosed. Founded in 2009, Hedera specializes in business advisory and data analytics services across sectors, helping clients in areas like growth strategy, innovation, marketing, sales and customer service.

    SEBI Tightens KYC Norms For FPIs

    Stepping up its crackdown on money laundering and round-tripping, SEBI recently came out with a detailed framework for risk-based Know Your Client (KYC) documentation of foreign portfolio investors (FPIs). Among other things, the market regulator made it clear that non-resident Indians (NRIs), overseas citizens of India (OCI) and resident Indians cannot be beneficial owners of FPIs. NRIs and OCIs can only obtain an FPI license on condition that they limit their roles to investment advisors and do not invest their money. Sebi further sought a comprehensive list of beneficial owners from the existing FPIs within six months.

    Paytm Introduces 'Tap Card' Offline Payments Solution

    One97 Communications Limited, the owner of digital payment major, Paytm, announced the launch of its offline payments solution - the Paytm Tap Card, in line with the company's vision to provide seamless payments solutions for non-internet customers. This card uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to enable safe and convenient digital payments, completely offline at Paytm-issued, NFC PoS terminals, in under a second. To make payments, users can add money from their Paytm account by scanning the QR code on the Tap Card and by authenticating it at any of the add value machines (AVM).

    Google Ranked As Most Trusted Internet Brand In India: Report

    Online search engine Google is the most trusted Internet brand in India, followed by Facebook, as per the TRA Brand Trust Report 2018. With 1.2 trillion searches per year, Google has become the first port of call for all things on the Internet. Google was followed by Facebook, Amazon and eBay. The biggest falls in trust were seen by Snapdeal, who fell by 142 ranks over last year. The top trust gainers this year were Netflix (up 506 ranks over last year). TRA’s Brand Trust Report 2018 report covers 2488 consumer-influencers across 16 cities in India and generated 5 million data points.

    NSE Launches E-Gsec Platform For Bringing Retail Participation In Government Securities

    National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) announced the launch of its "e - Gsec" platform for facilitating the non-competitive bidding in Government of India Dated Securities (G-Sec) and Treasury Bills (T-Bills). This will allow retail investors to invest in Government Securities and hold them in existing demand accounts. The non-competitive bidding facility was introduced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to encourage retail participation in the primary market for Government Securities.

    Finance Minister and CBGs From G20 Agree For Economic Growth By Promoting Trade

    Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from G20, the Group of 20 economies have agreed to aim for economic growth by promoting trade. In their two day meeting at Washington, the financial leaders agreed to work together to promote trade and global economic growth. Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne chaired the meeting.

    Union Government Raises NABARD's Authorised Capital To Rs 300 Billion

    As part of the drive to double the income of farmers by 2022, the government has raised the authorized capital of NABARD by six times from 50 billion to Rs 300 billion to help it increase its lending to the rural economy. A bill in this regard was approved by Parliament earlier this year. The increase in authorized capital will enable Nabard to respond to commitments it has undertaken particularly in respect of the Long Term Irrigation Fund and on-lending to cooperative banks.

    Rishad Premji appointed as Nasscom Chairman

    Rishad Premji, Board member of Wipro Limited appointed as the Chairman of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) for 2018-19. Premji has been a member of NASSCOM’s Executive Council and was the Vice Chairman for 2017. He succeeds Raman Roy, Chairman and Managing Director, who served as Chairman of NASSCOM for the year 2017-18. NASSCOM also appointed Keshav Murugesh as the Vice Chairman for 2018-19.

    Reserve Bank of India asks payment operators to store all data within India

    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked all payment system operators in India to store data within the country by the next 6 months. The Apex bank noted that in order to have unfettered access to all payment data for supervisory purposes, payment system operators have been asked to ensure that data related to payment systems are stored only inside the country. The bank Ensuring the safety and security of payment systems data by adoption of the best global standards and their continuous monitoring and surveillance is essential to reduce the risks from data breaches while maintaining a healthy pace of growth in digital payments.” According to the central bank, currently, only a certain percentage of payment system operators and their outsourcing partners store the user data within the country, either partially or completely.

    Turkey Hosts Critical Summit On Syria War With Russia And Iran

    The presidents of Iran, Turkey, and Russia met for their second tripartite summit in under six months, aiming to speed the peace process for Syria and bolster their influence in the country. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted his Russian and Iranian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani in Ankara for a meeting that could have a critical bearing on developments in Syria. The meeting will be the second such tripartite summit after the first was hosted by Putin in November in the Black Sea city of Sochi.

    FIEO and PayPal signed MoU

    Digital payments company PayPal and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) signed an agreement for the promotion of outbound shipments among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) leveraging the partners' expertise and technology products. As part of the agreement, PayPal will work with FIEO to educate SMEs on how to leverage global opportunities help them receive money in a safe and timely manner with PayPal products. FIEO contributes to more than 70% of India's exports.

    Flipkart Partners With MakeMyTrip To Offer Travel Services

    Homegrown e-commerce giant Flipkart forged a strategic partnership with online travel company MakeMyTrip to offer travel services on its platform. Additionally, the services of MakeMyTrip's other brands, Goibibo and redBus, will be available to Flipkart consumers as part of the deal.

    Jio Payments Bank Limited Commences Operations

    Jio Payments Bank Limited commenced operations as a payments bank. The Reserve Bank has issued a license to the bank under Section 22 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to carry on the business of payments bank in India. Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai was one of the 11 applicants which were issued an in-principle approval for setting up a payments bank.

    E-Way Bill For Inter-State Movement Of Goods Comes Into Force

    With the beginning of the financial year 2018-19, the e-way Bill System for Inter-State movement of goods comes into force. Under this system businesses and transporters have to produce before a GST inspector e-way bill for moving goods worth over Rs 50,000 from one state to another.

    Ola Acquires Ticketing App Firm Ridlr

    Ride-hailer Ola acquired Mumbai-based Rider, an end-to-end public transport ticketing, and commuting app. The acquisition will complement Ola’s efforts to integrate its mobile platform with public transportation infrastructure. Founded in 2012, Rider enables users to search and book public transport options on their mobile phones.

    Debjani Ghosh appointed as New President Of Nasscom

    Debjani Ghosh, former managing director of Intel South Asia, is the new president of Nasscom. She has replaced R.Chandrashekhar upon completion of his term. A big propagator of gender diversity and equal representation in corporate India, Ms Ghosh was the first woman to lead Intel India and MAIT (Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology).

    Bloomberg Billionaires Top 100 Index Released

    Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani have been ranked 19th on Bloomberg Billionaires Top 100 Index as he becomes the third richest Asian on the list. With a net worth of approximately $38.3 billion, Ambani’s wealth is pegged at about over 1.5 percent of India’s GDP. While Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has added $21.8 billion to his fortunes this year and takes the top spot, Microsoft founder Bill Gates was ranked 2nd. From Asia, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma (ranked 13th) is the richest with a net worth of $47.2 billion and is followed by Tencent co-founder and CEO Pony Ma (17) with a $41.1 billion net worth.

    Long Term Capital Gains Tax To Come Into Effect From 01st April

    Several Budget proposals, including the reintroduction of the tax on long-term capital gains (LTCG) exceeding Rs 1 lakh from the sale of shares, will kick in from 01st April 2018, the beginning of the 2018-19 financial year. Besides, other tax proposals like the reduced corporate tax of 25 percent on businesses on a turnover of up to Rs 250 crore and a standard deduction of Rs 40,000 in lieu of transport allowance and medical reimbursement, will come into effect from 01st April 2018.

    India nods to export all edible oils in bulk

    Soon export of all varieties of edible oils except mustard oil is possible except mustard oil as it will continue to be exported only in consumer packs up to 5 Kgs and with a minimum export price of US $ 900 per tonne. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Ministry of Commerce & Industry for removal of the prohibition on this export The CCEA also approved empowering the Committee, chaired by Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution and comprising Secretaries of Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Department of Revenue, Department of Consumer Affairs and DGFT, to review the export/import policy on all varieties of edible oils and consider measures such as quantitative restrictions, prior registration, imposition of Minimum Export Price (MEP) and changes in import duties depending on domestic production and demand, domestic and international prices and international trade volumes.

    India Becomes Fourth Largest Auto Market In The World

    India overtaken Germany to become the fourth largest automobile market in the world, According to the latest global data. Automobile sales, including passenger and commercial vehicles, in Asia’s third-largest economy, grew 9.5%. It is the fastest among major global markets, last year to more than 4 million units, outpacing Germany’s 3.8-million vehicle sales, which rose by a modest 2.8% in the same period. The top 5 countries on the list are- 1. China 2. USA 3. Japan 4. India 5. Germany.

    Balesh Sharma Named CEO Of Vodafone-Idea India Merged Entity

    Vodafone Group Plc’s Indian unit and Idea Cellular, which are in the process of merging their operations to create the country’s biggest telecoms carrier, named Vodafone veteran Balesh Sharma as the new chief executive for the combined venture. Sharma is currently the chief operating officer at Vodafone India. Akshaya Moondra, the current chief financial officer at Idea, will become the finance chief at the combined firm. Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Idea’s parent Aditya Birla conglomerate, will be the non-executive chairman of the merged telecoms company.

    GIC Re To Operate From Lloyds In London

    General Insurance Corporation is going to start operations at the Lloyd’s London office in April  2018 thereby increasing its share of international business. This will also facilitate Indian becoming a regional reinsurance center. This will help GIC Re increase its share of international reinsurance business. The company had received approval to set up a syndicate at Lloyd’s of London in December 2017. GIC Syndicate 1947 will be the first Lloyd’s syndicate to be backed solely by capital from an Indian reinsurance group.

    USA Bans Use Of Venezuelan Cryptocurrency- Petro

    The Donald Trump administration banned all use by Americans of Venezuelan cryptocurrency (Petro) that its introduction is intended to skirt U.S. sanctions. The prohibition applies to all people and companies subject to U.S. jurisdiction. In February 2018, cash-strapped Venezuela became the first country to launch its own version of bitcoin, the petrol.

    Third Edition Of National Conclave On Mines And Minerals

    The Ministry of Mines organized the 3rd National Conclave on Mines & Minerals in New Delhi. The event was inaugurated by the Minister of Mines, Narendra Singh Tomar. Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has agreed to partner in the event. A portal on Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna (PMKKKY) scheme was also launched on the occasion.

    BHEL Commissions 1st Unit Of Kishanganga Hydro Project In Jammu & Kashmir

    State-run power equipment maker BHEL commissioned 1st unit of 110 MW of the Kishanganga hydroelectric project (HEP) of NHPC in Jammu and Kashmir. It is Located on the river Kishanganga, a tributary of the Jhelum in Bandipora district, all the three units of the 340 MW project will generate 1,350 million units (MU) of clean electricity annually. The other two units are also in advanced stages of commissioning. In J&K, Bhel has so far commissioned 31 Hydro sets with a cumulative capacity of 1,257 MW.

    IRCTC Ties Up With Ola

    With an aim to providing first-and-last-mile connectivity, railway PSU IRCTC announced a partnership with cab aggregator Ola, giving commuters an option book taxi on its app. The tie-up, a six-month pilot project, will give customers access to Ola booking services when they visit the IRCTC Rail Connect App and on its website. The Ola cab facility will provide all the services offered.

    Telangana and Kay Ventures Tie Up For Apparel Hub

    The Telangana government is setting up an Rs. 100-crore Apparel Super Hub in Sircilla. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Kay Ventures to roll out the project. To be set up on 20 acres, the hub will be completed in three phases. The first phase will be taken up with an investment of Rs. 30 crores in a year. While the State government will infuse 90 percent of the phase-1 funds, Kay Ventures and its associates will take care of the balance amount.

    Saudi Arabia Cabinet Approves Nuclear Power Program National Policy

    Saudi Arabia's Cabinet approved the national policy of its atomic energy programme, as the kingdom prepares to award contracts for its first nuclear power plants. The policy insists on limiting nuclear activities to peaceful purposes and calls for enhanced safety measures as well as the use of best practices for radioactive waste management. Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, is seeking nuclear power to diversify its energy supply mix in order to free up oil to boost exports.

    Paytm Money Receives Sebi Nod As Registered Investment Adviser

    Financial services platform Paytm announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Paytm Money received approval of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to become a registered investment advisor. The nod from Sebi will allow the company to roll out investment and wealth management products to consumers across the country.

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