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Rupee falls on report of ministry’s call for weaker currency; finance ministry denies

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  • Indian rupee fell below 67 to the dollar on Thursday.
  • Commerce ministry will propose a devaluation in the unit to the government to promote dwindling exports.
  • Finance ministry denied that the government was discussing a possible devaluation of the rupee, whose floating exchange rate is managed by the Reserve Bank of India.
  • Rupee fell to 67.0750 from 66.83  and then recovered to 66.9300 that there was no decision to propose for a weaker unit.
  • Indian rupee had closed at 66.8875/8975 to the dollar on Wednesday.

Salary growth at 0.2%, GDP gain of 63.8% since 2008

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  • India has seen a salary growth of just 0.2 percent since the great recession eight years back, while Chinarecorded the largest real salary growth of 10.6 percent during the period under review.
  • India’s salary growth stood at 0.2 percent in real terms, with a GDP gain of 63.8 per cent over the same period.
  • China, Indonesia and Mexico had the largest real salary growth at 10.6 percent, 9.3 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.
  • Some other emerging markets including Turkey, Argentina, Russia and Brazil had the worst realsalary growth at (-) 34.4 percent, (-) 18.6 percent, (-) 17.1 percent and (-) 15.3 percent, respectively.
  • Most emerging G20 markets stood at either one end of the scale or the other either amongst the highest for wage growth, or amongst the lowest. However, India stood right in the middle, with all the mature markets.
  • Indian wage growth is the most unequal. people at the bottom are 30 percent worse off in real terms since the start of the recession; whilst people at the top are 30 percent better off,” Benjamin Frost, Korn Ferry Hay Group Global Product Manager.

Live: Sensex, Nifty trade flat; Ashok Leyland, Bajaj Auto shares fall

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  • The benchmark Sensex and Nifty indices were trading flat as investors remained cautious ahead of the policy meetings of the Bank of Japan and US Federal Reserve.
  • Bank of Japan and the Fed policy review will be held on 20-21 September.
  • The US Treasury yield curve hit its steepest in more than two months on Wednesday, while world stock markets edged lower as investors fretted about future US interest rate hikes – 8.45 a.m.
  • Reliance Communications Ltd rises 2.1% toRs.52.10. Reliance Communications Ltd (R-Com) has signed an agreement to merge its wireless business with smaller rival Aircel Ltd. The new entity will combine R-Com’s wireless business and Aircel’s operations in India – 9.30 a.m.
  • RattenIndia Power Ltd rises 7% toRs.9.95 after the company posted a net profit of Rs.4.97 crore against net loss of Rs.244.33 crore a year ago. Total income rose 180% toRs.68.10 crore – 10 .a.m.
  • BSE Sensex falls 11 points, or 0.04%, to 28,361.06, while the Nifty is down 4 points, or 0.06%, to 8,721.65 – 11.30.a.m.
  • Banking stocks are trading lower. Axis Bank falls 2.5%, Bank of India 2.4%, Yes Bank 2.4%, Oriental Bank of Commerce 2.2%, Punjab National Bank 2.1%, Federal Bank 2.1%, Canara Bank 2%, Bank of Baroda 1.8%, IDBI Bank 1.7%, ICICI Bank 1%, State Bank of India 0.8% – 12.15.p.m.
  • Auto stocks are trading lower. Ashok Leyland falls 4%, Hero MotoCorp 2.1%, Eicher Motors Ltd 1.1%, Bajaj Auto 1%, TVS Motor Co. Ltd 1.2%, Tata Motors Ltd 0.8% – 1.30.p.m.
  • SE Sensex falls 13 points, or 0.05%, to 28,385.78, while the Nifty is up 4 points, or 0.05%, to 8,730.90. – 2.30.p.m.

UberSHAAN initiative aims to skill 1 million by 2018

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  • Uber has announced its new initiative that aims at creating opportunities as micro-entrepreneurs in India by 2018 dubbed UberSHAAN.
  • This initiative is looking to train the unskilled and eventually provide economic opportunities across the spectrum.
  • Aimed at creating one million livelihood opportunities as micro-entrepreneurs in India by 2018.
  • Uber wants to help trained drivers receive commercial licenses and support the entrepreneurial ambitions of licensed drivers through vehicle financing and leasing solutions.
  • Initiative was launched at the ninth Global Skills Summit at FICCI, and Uber has announced partnerships with Maruti Suzuki and National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) in support of this vision.
  • Uber has signed an MoU with Maruti, and the two will conduct a four month pilot in Delhi/NCR, Hyderabad and Chennai and organise driver training and on-boarding programmes that is needed to join the Uber platform.

AirAsia India achieves gross profit breakeven in April

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  • AirAsia India, the joint venture low-cost carrier of Tata Sons and Air Asia, has achieved gross profit breakeven in April while targeting its next milestone of cash flow positive and turn EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) breakeven by 2018-end.
  • Claiming an aggressive plan of acquiring planes and hiring pilots and crew, he said they expect to receive second round of promoters’ funding by month-end to work towards reaching 20-mark in planes fleet before 2018.
  • Funding has been secured. We have been GP (gross profit)-positive since April, the month the new management team came into being.
  • Next port of call is to get to cash-flow positive & next port of call is to get to cash-flow positive.
  • Over the strategic framework of next three years, by 2018-end, we will get to EBITDApositive.
  • low-cost carrier, with the country’s highest load factor of 85%, is currently working on aggressively hiring pilots and cabin crew to train them.
  • Airline is also looking at availability of planes in the open market for lease, apart from analysing the viability of entering certain Indian cities that were already overcrowded by domestic and global airlines.

Current World Bank President Jim Yong Kim only candidate for new term

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  • Current president, Jim Yong Kim, is the only person who has been nominated for the presidency of the 189-nation lending institution – World Bank.
  • nominations have now closed, Kim will be interviewed by the board, with the expectation that a decision will be made before the Washington-based bank’s annual meeting on October 7-9.
  • Obama administration put Kim’s name into nomination last month. He is widely expected to win a new term given the absence of rival candidates.
  • Kim was the president of Dartmouth College when he was first picked for the World Bank job in 2012.
  • creation of the World Bank after World War II, the top job has always gone to an American.
  • International Monetary Fund has always been headed by a European. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, a former French finance minister, was reappointed in February.
  • Kim has won praise for his efforts to use World Bank resources to address the Ebola crisis in Africa and the on-going refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East.
  • criticised for what some current and former employees at the World Bank have viewed as an unnecessarily disruptive overhaul of the bank’s operations.

We are ready to take on the challenge of the GST infrastructure network: Vishal Sikka, Infosys

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  • It is a very important project for the country and it is something that the finance minister and the prime minister are extremely keen on and it is something that we are very proud of and so we are putting, Pravin and I are putting all our best efforts into that.
  • A project that we are all hopeful and we are working towards making something that we can all be proud of.
  • There are lots and lots of moving parts. It is an extremely complex and ambitious exercise.
  • It involves banks. It involves small businesses, big businesses, tax payers, states.
  • Many states are not ready. Many small cities are not ready. So it is going to be a hell of a challenge but we are incredibly excited about it.

FDA norms punch a Rs 5,000 crore hole in Pharma Industry

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  • For Indian pharmaceutical companies, compliance with US Food and Drug Administration norms has emerged as the most critical risk in the past few years.
  • The most dramatic reflection of this is in the way legal and professional costs have surged.
  • For 135 listed pharma companies, this has jumped threefold to Rs 5,071 crore in past five years.
  • India’s biggest drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries accounts for the lion’s share of this for the year to March as the table makes clear.
  • FY16, the top five — Sun PharmaBSE 0.72 %, Dr Reddy’s, LupinBSE 1.02 %, Aurobindo and Cipla — ran up a total bill of Rs 3,497 crore in legal and professional costs.
  • Annual revenue posted by companies such as GSK Pharma (the local unit of the multinational), Ipca Labs and Alembic Pharma. These costs quadrupled for the country’s top five pharma companies last year, with Sun Pharma accounting for half of the total FY16 bill.

Economy round-up: India may post current account surplus; minimum wage bill likely

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  • India is set to post a current account surplus for the first time in nine years, Reuters reported, citing forecasts by investment houses and analysts.
  • Country could have a current account surplus of $4 billion, or 0.8% of gross domestic product, for the April-June quarter. This compares with a $6 billion deficit a year earlier.
  • Yet, this may not be all good news since it means that exports have been sluggish and domestic investment demand has been weak.
  • Aborted equity offering by YES Bank is under the scanner of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • Capital markets regulator is looking into the lender’s notices to the exchanges on the qualified institutional placement (QIP), the surge in the bank’s stock price in the run-up to the issue and the fall in the stock price before the QIP was called off.
  • Government has said was planning to bring a bill on minimum wages in the upcoming winter session of parliament. Once passed into law, this will make guaranteed minimum wages for the entire workforce in the country.

Tata Power Completes Welspun Renewable Energy Acquisition

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  • Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL), an arm of Tata Power, has completed 100 per cent share purchase in Welspun Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd (WREPL) and its subsidiaries.
  • In June this year, Tata Power had announced that TPREL will acquire WREPL through a share purchase agreement (SPA) at an enterprise value of Rs. 9,249 crore subject to closing adjustments.
  • TPREL, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Power, has completed acquisition of 100 per cent shareholding in WREPL and its subsidiaries,” Tata Power said in a press release.
  • WREPL has one of the largest operating solar portfolios in India spread across ten states. It has about 1,141 MW of Renewable Power Projects comprising about 990 MW solar power projects and about 150 MW of wind power projects.
  • Out of 1,141 MW renewable portfolio, over 1,000 MW of capacity is operational and balance capacity is under advanced stages of implementation.
  • Chetan Tolia has been appointed CEO and executive director of WREPL. Tolia was chief human resources officer of Tata Power prior to this appointment.
  • TPREL is seeking to grow its renewable portfolio in India and in select international markets through organic and inorganic opportunities.

Businesses designed to help poor in India attracting overseas investors: Poll

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  • New business in India offering environmentally-friendly rubbish disposal, ScrapApp has boomed in the past year while helping address one of the nation’s major problems – garbage.
  • In India, where recycling rubbish is not part of the formal sector, masked workers from social enterprise ScrapApp sift through mounds of rubbish daily at India’s largest mall, DLF Mall of India, separating recyclable trash from other waste.
  • Mall contract is the jewel in the crown for the year-old start-up, one of a growing number of social enterprises in India which are seeking funds to create businesses with a mission to tackle social problems.
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation poll of nearly 900 experts on the best countries for social entrepreneurs found access to investment was one of the key challenges in the growing sector.
  • India was one of the countries where it was easiest to access investment, coming behind Canada, Singapore, the United States, and Belgium.
  • Growing sources of capital within India, many entrepreneurs say it is easier to scout for funds in countries with better recognition of social entrepreneurship.
  • Investors in countries such as United States, Singapore and in Europe, are hungry to provide finance to development-focused start-ups in India.

Aircel and Reliance Communications are merging business to build a new brand

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  • With India’s telecom space hotting up to competition and just ahead of the largest spectrum auction due from next month, Reliance Communications on Wednesday announced yet another pact to consolidate its wireless operations.
  • Wireless operations of Reliance Communications will be merged with Aircel and the new entity will be renamed, along new re-branding.
  • New company could also be saddled with a debt of Rs 28,000 crore, equally divided between the two groups.
  • But for the promoters of the two groups, the debt will reduce by Rs 20,000 crore or over 40 per cent in the case of Reliance Communications, and Rs 4,000 crore for Maxis upon completion of the transaction, expected in 2017.
  • Board will have equal representation from the two sides, with 50 per cent shareholding each.
  • We expect this combination to create substantial, long-term value for the shareholders of both Reliance Communications and Maxis (holding arm of Aircel), given the benefits of wide-ranging spectrum portfolio and significant revenue and cost synergies.
  • Since acquiring Aircel in 2006, Maxis has invested in excess of Rs 35,000 crore into Aircel, making this one of the largest foreign investments into India, not only in the telecom industry but across all sectors.