SAFAR unveiled at Chandni Chowk

SAFAR unveiled at Chandni Chowk
Minister for Science and Technology, Harsh Vardhan has unveiled the 1st of a kind Air Quality and Weather Forecast System, SAFAR at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. The system will measure regular air quality parameters such as PM2.5 & PM10, levels of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide & benzene. The station will provide online information about ultrafine particles PM1 & mercury.

PhonePe acquires Zopper Retail

PhonePe acquires Zopper Retail
PhonePe has acquired Zopper Retail as part of its strategy to aggressively ramp up its offline business. Zopper Retail is a hyper-local Point of Sale (PoS) platform for small and medium businesses. PhonePe is a Fin-Tech company that provides online payment system based on Unified Payments Interface. Flipkart is the parent company of PhonePe.

Manufacturers print buy back price on bottles

Manufacturers print buy back price on bottles
In a bid to comply with new regulations, leading beverage makers such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Bisleri have begun printing a buyback value on all their PET bottles sold in Maharashtra. Consumers will be able to return the plastic bottles after consumption and will be paid back according to the value printed on the bottles. Most beverage makers have settled on Rs 15 per kg for the bottles.

NASA launches online toolkit

NASA launches online toolkit
NASA has launched an online toolkit to make it easier for users to find, analyse and utilise the most relevant satellite data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts. The “Remote Sensing Toolkit” provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input. The toolkit is designed to help users search for data as well as code to build new tools.

BoB inks pacts with ten companies

BoB inks pacts with ten companies
Bank of Baroda signed agreements with 10 companies promote micro and small business entrepreneurs. These companies are from e-commerce, logistics, service providers and traditional small business which contribute 31% to GDP and 45% of exports and employ over 100 million. These MoUs with will help enhance the bank’s footprint in the MSME eco-system.

Amazon hits $900 billion valuation

Amazon hits $900 billion valuation’s stock market value reached $900 billion for the first time in its 20 year history. It has now become only the second company after Apple to achieve this milestone. The Current market cap of stands at $902 billion as of 18th July 2018. Apple is currently the world’s most valuable company with a market cap of $935 billion.

10th edition of Delhi Dialogue in New Delhi

10th edition of Delhi Dialogue in New Delhi
The 10th edition of the Delhi Dialogue begins in New Delhi. The theme of the event is ‘Strengthening India-ASEAN Maritime Co-operation’. Political leadership, officials, diplomats, business leaders, think-tanks and academicians from India and the ASEAN Member States participated in Event. Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a group of 10 nations with General Secretary Lim Jock Hoi.

EU, Japan sign worlds biggest free trade deal

EU, Japan sign worlds biggest free trade deal
The European Union and Japan signed a huge free trade deal that cuts or eliminates tariffs on nearly all goods. The agreement covers 600 million people and almost a third of the global economy. It will remove tariffs on European exports such as cheese and wine. Japanese automakers and electronics firms will face fewer barriers in the European Union.

Malhotra to head Investment Banking of HSBC

15 : The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC) has appointed Amitabh Malhotra as the Head of Investment Banking for HSBC India. Amitabh will lead the Investment Banking and Equity Capital Markets business. Prior to HSBC, Amitabh worked at Rothschild India, where he was the co-head and managing director of the Global Investment Bank, based in Mumbai.

AP tops ease of doing business ranking

Andhra Pradesh has topped the ease of doing annual business ranking of states and Union Territories by the World Bank and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion. Telangana and Haryana are at the second and third positions respectively. DIPP in collaboration with World Bank conducts an annual reform exercise for all States/UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP).

HDFC Group’s market cap crosses ? 10 trillion

Market capitalisation of Deepak Parekh-led financial services conglomerate – HDFC Group has crossed the ?10 trillion mark. HDFC group is the 2nd Indian business house after the Tata group to achieve this feat. The group has 4 listed companies – Housing Finance Development Corp, HDFC Bank, HDFC Standard Life & Gruh Finance. HDFC Bank is India’s 3rd most valued firm in terms of market cap.

Cryptocurrency transactions to be ceased

No transactions in cryptocurrencies will be made by the commercial banks from 6th July onwards as per the RBI directive. RBI had already barred all its regulated entities in order to curb money laundering and other financial irregularities and protect consumers. All the regulated entities have been given 3 months to exit their relationship with businesses and individuals.

YES Bank to launch Mutual Fund Business

Private lender YES Bank announced that it has received final regulatory approval from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to start mutual fund business. This approval is subsequent to the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval. YES Asset Management (India), a wholly owned subsidiary of YES Bank, will launch fund offerings across the spectrum in both debt and equity markets.

The committee on NPAs submits its report

The Sunil Mehta committee formed to tackle Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) & creating credit capacity submitted its report. The Sunil Mehta panel presented project ‘Sashakt’ and has recommended a five-pronged strategy. The plan will result in creating additional jobs by reviving businesses and will bring in credible long term external capital to limit the burden on the domestic banking sector.

Tata Steel approves JV with Thyssenkrupp

The board of Tata Steel has approved the terms to create a 50:50 joint venture of Tata Steel’s European steel businesses and Thyssenkrupp AG. The JV would create it second-largest steelmaker after steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal’s ArcelorMittal in Europe. The company plans to produce 35,000 million tonnes steel used in transformers for power sector against the current capacity of 10,000 mt.

Economic sanctions on Russia

European Union leaders have agreed at a summit in Brussels to extend economic sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine for a further six months. The sanctions target whole sectors of the Russian economy including its oil businesses. The EU first imposed the sanctions on Russia in July 2014 after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014 was shot down over Ukraine.

PSB’s account for 85% of bank fraud cases

Public Sector Banks accounted for a staggering 85% of nearly 6,500 fraud cases, amounting to more than Rs 30,000 Cr. Top 10 banking frauds in 2018 alone lead to a financial loss of ` 10,000 Cr. Banks had reported nearly 5,000 frauds amounting to ` 20,000 Cr in the fiscal year 2017. The PSB’s have a disproportionate share of over 85%, exceeding their business share of about 65% to 75%.

ICICI Bank Names Sandeep Bakhshi As COO

The ICICI Bank board has appointed ICICI Prudential Life Insurance CEO Sandeep Bakhshi as whole-time director and chief operating officer (COO). It is a new top position at India’s second largest private bank, to steer all its businesses. Chanda Kochhar, ICICI Bank’s managing director and CEO will remain on leave until a committee investigating allegations of impropriety completes its work.

GST funds to be split b/w centre-state

Centre and the ‘concerned state’ will equally share the amount deposited by erring businesses in the consumer welfare fund. These funds are deposited in the national anti-profiteering authority set up as part of the GST anti-profiteering rules to penalise erring businesses. In case the customer is not identifiable, the money has to be deposited in the consumer welfare fund.

New Telecom Policy by July

Communications minister Manoj Sinha has announced that new telecom policy is likely to be in place by July 2018. The government on May 1 had released the draft National Telecom Policy 2018 aiming to attract investment of $100 billion (roughly Rs. 6.7 lakh crores) in the Digital Communications sector. Govt. also aims to reform the licencing and regulatory regime to promote ease of business.

All CSCs to be Business Correspondents

Minister for Electronics & IT and Law Justice, Shri Ravi Shankar launched major services in a conference organized by CSC SPV. Through Wi-Fi facility, people in 5,000 villages can now enjoy Internet connectivity. Wi-Fi Choupal aims to connect 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats in the country. MoU between CSC and IRCTC was signed and CSR Support by IndusInd Bank is also agreed.

Consortium to help women entrepreneurs

The UN India Business Forum and the Women Entrepreneurial Platform of NITI Aayog formed a consortium to reduce gender disparities in start-up investments. It will provide mentorship and networking opportunities and accelerating financial and market linkages for women entrepreneurs. The consortium aims to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship by creating an enabling ecosystem for investments.

India, Singapore announce 14 agreements

India and Singapore announced 14 business-to-business and business-to-government agreements. The agreements include on supporting India’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem and promoting Indian innovation abroad, to set up Indian institutes of skills on waste water management and recycling. It also included the promotion of ‘Make-in-India’ in Singapore and ASEAN.

EPFO cuts administrative charges to 0.5%

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s trustees had decided to cut the administrative charges to 0.50% from 0.65% of total wage paid by employers in its meeting this year. EPFO decided to cut the administrative charges in view of its expanding business and high recovery of such fees. According to EPFO estimates, the employers would save in total around ?900 crore annually after this move.

Bank credit grows 12.64%, deposits at 7.61%

According to an RBI data, Banks’ credit grew by 12.64% year-on-year to ?85,51,099 crore in the fortnight ended May 11, 2018. Banks’ deposits grew by 7.61% to ?1,13,92,165 crore in the fortnight ended May 11, 2018, compared with ?1,05,86,083 crore in the fortnight ended May 12, 2017. Bank credit is the aggregate amount of credit available to a person or business from a banking institution.

100% business ownership to foreign investors

22 : United Arab Emirates Cabinet has approved a plan to allow foreign investors to own 100% of UAE-based businesses by end of 2018. At present, foreigners generally cannot own more than 49 percent of any UAE firm unless it is incorporated in a special “free zone”. The decision is part of a wider change to the system that would grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and specialists.

Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency got award

Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency (TNeGA) has received an award for promoting ease of doing business. TNeGA developed an investor facilitation portal that provides single window clearance to industrial proposals in the state. The award was given in recognition of simplification of procedure and ease with which clearances from various authorities can be procured by a business.

Aadhaar, PAN mandatory for broker license

The revenue department has made Aadhaar and PAN mandatory for persons seeking a customs broker license. Customs broker is a person licensed to act as an agent on behalf of importer/exporter for a transaction of business relating to entry or departure of conveyances or goods at any customs station. The license is issued by the Directorate General of Performance Management.

Swraj Paul wins lifetime achievement award

NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul has received a lifetime achievement award for his contributions towards promoting brand India in UK. The founder of Caparo Group of industries, Paul was recognised at a UK & Asia Business Awards ceremony, organised by World Consulting & Research Corporation. He has also served as the deputy speaker of the Lords & was appointed to the Privy Council in 2009.

Ambika Sharma to head USIBC India office

The US-India Business Council (USIBC), a premier business advocacy organisation, named Ambika Sharma as its India head. Ms. Sharma was Director General for International at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Formed in 1975, USIBC is the premier business advocacy organization, comprised of top-tier US and Indian companies advancing US-India commercial ties.

Walmart to buy control of Flipkart

Walmart had agreed to pay $16 billion for about 77% stake in Flipkart. It will be the biggest ever acquisition in India by a foreign firm surpassing the about $13 billion Vodafone spent in 2007 for buying Hutchison’s Indian business. The Walmart entered India in a joint venture with the Bharti Group in 2007 & started cash-and-carry stores named ‘BestPrice Modern Wholesale’ in 2009.

India slips to 6th spot in biz optimism index

As per Grant Thornton’s quarterly global business survey, India slipped to the 6th position globally in the business optimism index for the first quarter of 2018. While the business optimism is at an “all-time high” globally, business sentiment in India has been the weakest since 2014. The top five nations on the index are Austria, Finland, Indonesia, Netherlands and the US.

MSEs biz sentiment improves

Business sentiment among Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) improved in the January-March, according to the CriSidEx index. The index developed by Crisil and SIDBI is based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters-5 manufacturing and 3 services. It measures MSEs business sentiment on a scale of 0 to 200. CriSidEx is India’s first sentiment index for MSEs which was launched in February.

Committee to review conduct of business in RS

The Chairman of Rajya Sabha – Venkaiah Naidu has constituted a 2-member committee to review rules of procedure & conduct of business in the House. The committee will be headed by former Secretary General of the Rajya Sabha, Dr V. K. Agnihotri. The formation of this committee comes with an aim to improve the day-to-day functioning of the two houses of the Parliament.

NPS subscribers allowed to withdraw fund

Pension fund regulator PFRDA has said National Pension System (NPS) subscribers will now have the option to partially withdraw funds. Funds can be used for setting up new business or pursuing higher education. NPS and Atal Pension Yojana, both regulated by the PFRDA, currently have a cumulative subscriber base of over 2.13 crore with total asset under management of over Rs 2.38 lakh crore.

CBIC to handle applications for Inland Depots

Applications for setting up of Inland Container Depots, Container Freight Stations, and Air Freight Stations will now be handled by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. The move will promote ease of doing business at trade front. Earlier, the commerce ministry used to handle these applications. The development would help India improve its ranking in trading across borders.

ICICI Bank launched digital form

ICICI Bank has introduced a ‘digital form’ which will help open current accounts in a few hours in comparison to an industry average of a few days.Bank officials would now be able to capture information about customer & business digitally & verify KYC documents in real-time. Digital forms are expected to help bank secure more clients & help increase bank’s market share.

Standard Chartered ties up with Zoho

Standard Chartered Bank has announced an alliance with Zoho to offer solutions to enhance corporate banking experience. Bank’s business account holders can now pay their suppliers & automate reconciliation right from Zoho Books. The collaboration with Zoho offers clients a revolutionary experience, enabling them to interact seamlessly, resulting in simpler reconciliation & faster payments.

RBI imposed restrictions on City Co-operative

RBI has placed restrictions on business activities of City Co-operative Bank till such time as its financial position improves.Customers of the bank will not be allowed to withdraw more than Rs 1000 of the total balance held in their accounts. Bank will have to take prior approval from RBI before it can disburse loan, make any investment, borrow funds or accept new deposit.

Digital platform for MSME exporters launched

Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu launched FIEO GlobalLinker- A digital platform for MSME exporters to digitise their businesses & join a global community of growing businesses.It will help in expanding India’s multi-focused export strategy & also aid in connecting art & artisans to market. FIEO GlobalLinker is setup with a view to make business growth of SMEs simpler, profitable & enjoyable.

SIDBI Ties Up with CSC to Promote MSEs in 115 Districts

Small Industries and Development Bank of India (SIDBI) announced a plan to promote micro-enterprises in 115 aspirational districts across the country. It has tied up with Common Service Centre (CSC). The ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’ program, which was launched by the prime minister in January 2018, aims to bring about socio-developmental changes in these backward districts which have been chosen from all states of the country. Chairman of SIDBI- Mohammed Mustafa, Founded- 2 April 1990, Headquarter- Lucknow. CSCs are one of the crucial enablers of the Digital India program that are the access points for delivery of various e-governance and business services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country.

Goa govt to launch app-based taxi service

The Goa government has decided to launch its own app-based taxi service to some key tourist destinations in the coastal state.The state-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) invited the taxi operators to register with the new mobile application-based transport service.Currently, the tourist taxi operators run their businesses individually in Goa.

Mudra Yojana completes 3 years

PM expressed delight over the completion of three years of Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY). The scheme was introduced to cater to entrepreneurs who are either in their early stage or require lesser funds in order to get their business running. The PMMY was launched on April 8, 2015 with an aim to provide loans upto Rs 10 lakh to non-corporate, non-farm small or micro enterprises.

Chhattisgarh awarded ‘State of the Year’

Chhattisgarh bagged the ‘State of the Year’ Award under the ‘business leader” category as part of the India Business Leadership for the increase in business and services activities.Union Information Technology and Electronics Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad gave the award at India Business Leader Awards.Chhattisgarh has been ranked 4th in World Bank’s list of ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

LTCG tax & other taxes to begin from April 1

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 come into effect from April 1. The 2018-19 Budget had reintroduced 10% tax on long-term capital gains. Tax proposals like the reduced corporate tax of 25% on businesses on turnover of up to Rs. 250 crore will come into effect.

Joginder Sanger won Business Personality award

Joginder Sanger, a leading NRI entrepreneur has won the =Business Personality of the year 2018‘ award in the UK. He awarded for showing a high level of commitment and enthusiasm in leading his business to success. Sanger is the chairman of Mastcraft Group and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Sanger had played a key role in raising funds for rebuilding the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan‘s building in the UK.

Edelweiss calls off deal to acquire Religare

Edelweiss Group has dropped the plan to acquire of Religare Enterprises‘ securities. The move was shelved because of the seller‘s inability to get requisite clearances within the required timeline. Edelweiss had earlier announced its plan to buy Religare‘s securities business, which includes securities and commodities broking, and depository participant services.

Kollam to bring all food biz under FSSA

Kollam will become the first district in India to bring all food business operators under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA). Bakeries, auditoriums, hospitals, schools, charity organizations, public distribution chains, hostels have been included. Factories operating in the cashew sector and ice plants in the fishing sector have been put through the licencse process.

Iraq becomes India’s top oil supplier

Iraq has overtaken Saudi Arabia by a wide margin to become India‘s top crude oil supplier. Iran was India‘s second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11 but western sanctions relegated it to the 7th spot in the subsequent years. Venezuela is India‘s fourth largest supplier with 15.5 MT during April-January, followed by Nigeria with 14.9 MT

PNB appoints Pradhan as Chief Risk Officer

Hit by nearly ` 12,700 cr fraud, PNB appointed its general manager A K Pradhan as the Group Chief Risk Officer. PNB said that the amount of fraud in he Nirav Modi case can go up to ` 12,700 cr as against the earlier estimate of 11,400 cr. On February 14, PNB had detected the fraud wherein billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi & associates allegedly cheated the bank by acquiring fraudulent LoUs.

Modi to address India-Korea Business Summit

PM Modi addressed the 2nd India-Korea Business Summit in New Delhi.The summit aims to create framework for an open & action-oriented dialogue b/w top business leaders & govt officials from India & Korea. This year, the theme of the summit is “India-Korea: Scaling up the Special Strategic Relationship through Trade & Investments”. India and Korea are the 3rd & 4th largest economies in Asia.

Institutes to improve ease of doing business

Commerce & industry ministry has appointed 4 institutes to interact with stakeholders and suggest measures to push India’s ranking in ease of doing business index.NICMAR, IIFT, ICSI and ICAI are the four institutes that have been roped in for the exercise. As per the latest World bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, India’s position improved by 30 places to 100th.

State Bank of India set for UK restructuring

SBI is set for a major restructuring of its business in UK from April.SBI’s UK operations will transform into a subsidiary named State Bank of India UK Limited from April 1. It means that all retail branches of SBI in UK will fall under a new UK-incorporated banking entity instead of their previous status as overseas branches of the Indian entity. SBI operates 7 branches in London.

Mahindra arm, Viking Air ally for UDAN plan

Aerospace Private Limited has signed a MoU with Canada’s Viking Air Ltd. to form a strategic alliance to take advantage of India’s growing regional air connectivity opportunities.Under the MoU, both would support each other’s non-competing aircraft business to boost market expansion. In India, this portfolio can address the much-needed requirements of regional connectivity scheme, UDAN.

‘Largest-ever’ sanctions against North Korea

The US announced the largest-ever sanctions on North Korea as claimed by President Donald Trump. The sanctions will target more than 50 vessels, shipping companies, and trade businesses assisting North Korea in evading sanctions. The US has been imposing sanctions to put pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programme.

Govt gives nod to Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill

Cabinet has given its nod to introduce Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill in the parliament.Bill aims to amend Sec 85 (b) of the Chit Funds Act, 1982 to remove ceiling of Rs 100. It also aims at hiking ceiling of foreman’s commission from a max of 5% to 7%. Chit business will be required to use the word Fraternity Fund to signify its nature as well as to differentiate its working from Prize Chits

Saudi Arabia allows women to start business

Women in Saudi Arabia can now open their own businesses without the consent of a husband or male relative.Women can now practice all their commercial transactions in Ministry of Commerce & Investment without a guardian or a notary. This approach will open the door to women in Saudi to highlight their talents & ideas & translate them into a realistic business with a worthy financial return.

Paytm appoints Pallavi Shroff as board member

Paytm has appointed Pallavi Shroff, managing partner of Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas law firm to its board of directors.Her appointment will drive the growth of financial services business such as lending, insurance & wealth management. She joins as an independent director & is the 7th appointee to Paytm’s board. Shroff is presently on the board of firms like Maruti Suzuki & Apollo Tyres.

Amazon enters food retail venture

Amazon has rolled out its own food retailing business in India called Amazon Retail with a pilot in Pune.With this Amazon becomes the 1st foreign e-commerce firm to stock & sell food items directly to consumers. Amazon had last year secured govt’s permission to invest $500mn in a wholly-owned venture to retail locally produced & packaged food products through offline & online channels.

‘Startup of the Year’ 2017

Milkbasket, India’s first and largest micro-delivery platform has been recognised as ‘Startup of the Year’ 2017 at the 7th Small Business Awards.Milkbasket delivers milk, bread, eggs, butter, juices and other daily need items every morning. The startup of the year award is dedicated to young SMEs, aged 7 years or less, with great potential to become big in local/international markets.

HomeShop18, Shop CJ Network merge businesses

E-commerce company Homeshop18 and home shopping network Shop CJ Network have combined their businesses.This combination makes HomeShop18 the largest TV home-shopping network in India. The resultant benefits of scale shall better the growth prospects for the combined entity, allowing it to improve its standing in the TV home-shopping landscape.

PBNS shortlists Siddharth for top edit job

A high-level committee has identified Siddharth Zarabi for Head of TV News in DD News and Abhijit Majumder for the position of Chief Editor, Prasar Bharati News Service (PBNS). Zarabi with 20 years of work experience is currently Executive Editor of Business TV India while Majumder is Managing Editor of Mail Today newspaper. The Prasar Bharati board is slated to meet February 15.

Rakesh Singh to be the private banking head

HDFC Bank has announced the appointment of Rakesh Singh as the private banking head.He will continue to head the bank’s investment banking, capital markets and financial institutions businesses. Private banking is wealth management service of the bank catering to High Net Worth & Ultra-HNW individuals, families who aim to successfully manage and grow their wealth.

Forbes Releases Cryptocurrency Rich List

Business magazine Forbes has released its first-ever Crypto Rich List, comprising 20 wealthiest people in the cryptocurrency space.The list was topped by Ripple Co-founder Chris Larsen, who is estimated to have a crypto net worth of $7.5-8 billion.He is followed by Ethereum Co-founder Joseph Lubin ($1-5 billion) & Founder of cryptocurrency exchange Binance Changpeng Zhao ($1.1-2 billion).

Axis Bank Launches 4th “Evolve”

Private sector Axis Bank launched the fourth edition of ‘Evolve’ in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu.It is an annual multi-city knowledge series for Bank’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) customers.The current edition of ‘evolve’ is titled as “Transform your Family Business into your dream company”.This edition will span across 30 cities.

Ingvar Kamprad died

Ingvar Kamprad, the Founder of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, died at the age of 91 at his home. Kamprad was the world’s eighth-richest person with a net worth of $58.7 billion. He had founded Ikea at the age of 17, building it into the world’s largest furniture retailer.

Business leaders to attend Assam summit

Business leaders like Ratan Tata, Dilip Sanghvi will be part of over 4,800 delegates from across the world in 1st ever global investors summit in Assam.Advantage Assam will be the largest ever investment promotion & facilitation initiative by the state govt. It will showcase opportunities offered by the state in terms of export-oriented manufacturing & services to ASEAN & other countries.

Saudi prince Alwaleed released

The Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been released after nearly three months in detention as a part of an anti-corruption sweep.Prince Al-Waleed was the most high-profile detainee among 350 suspects rounded up since November 4th, including business tycoons and ministers. The Prince, whose net worth has been estimated by Forbes magazine at 17 billion US dollars.

Prodigee Finance granted NBFC-ND license

Prodigee Finance received their NBFC license from RBI, making it possible for the firm to provide SME loans as part of their services.Enterslice is a legal technology company that specialises in helping entrepreneurs in starting successful businesses. The goal at Prodigee is to provide SMEs loans that they likely otherwise would not have had available.

World Eco. Forum Meeting concludes – 2

Mr Modi outlined climate change, terrorism and protectionism as three global threats.He also met his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau. The Prime Minister also held a meeting with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and discussed steps to deepen the bilateral relationship. At the end, Mr Modi interacted with top global CEOs at the International Business Council event.

Manwani appointed chairman of ISB board

Harish Manwani, non-executive chairman of HUL, has been appointed as the chairman of executive board of Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.Manwani will take over from Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej group, starting April this year. Manwani has been on the board of ISB since April 2006.IBS is a premier management institution in India having campuses in Hyderabad & Mohali.

WhatsApp Unveils Business App

Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp has rolled out a feature that connects small businesses with customers.Currently, only Android users can access the feature and they can avail of it through the latest update of the app. The new feature will be available first in Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, UK and the US before being launched globally in the coming weeks.

TCS bags over $690 million deal

India’s largest IT services firm TCS has signed an over GBP 500 million deal with M&G Prudential, the UK and European savings and investments business of Prudential plc.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 over 10 years.

Sebi approves Vijay Kumar’s appointment

SEBI has approved the appointment of Vijay Kumar as the MD and CEO of NCDEX.Kumar, a former chief business officer at NCDEX, is likely to assume the office next week. He is an agro-industry veteran, having worked for Cargill and National Bulk Handling Corporation. The exchange’s selection committee had picked his name for the MD and CEO’s post from a list of 11 candidates.

West Bengal tops DIPP’s BRAP 2017

West Bengal currently tops the list of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion’s Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) 2017. It is followed by Gujarat. The rankings are based on implementation only and scores of feedback evaluation have not been considered. BRAP 2017 also includes two new sectors — healthcare and hospitality.

WB To recalculate EODB rankings

World Bank has announced that it will recalculate the national rankings of business competitiveness going back to at least four years.The announcement was after a complaint by Chile, the ranking of which has come down from 34th in 2014 to 57th in 2017. The last major changes in the methodology and parameter of the EODB rankings were done under the watch of Romer’s predecessor Kaushik Basu.

Salman appointed as ambassador of Emami

Emami Group said it has roped in Bollywood star Salman Khan as the brand ambassador for its edible oil business, which is a part of Emami Agrotech Ltd.Emami brands are endorsed by celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor and Sania Mirza, among others.Emami Group’s Director is Manish Goenka.

Offshore Business From ‘GIFT’ to start

IRDAI has issued regulations for insurance firms to carry out offshore business from Gujarat-based ‘GIFT’.By this, for the first time in the country, foreign insurers are permitted to open IFSC Insurance Office at GIFT. GIFT is being developed as a global financial and IT Services hub, a first of its kind in India, designed to be at or above par with globally benchmarked financial centres.

‘World Economic League Table’ Report

Indian economy will surpass Britain and France in 2018 and will thus become the 5th largest economy.This is as per 2018 World Economic League Table released by Centre for Economics and Business Research.USA economy will be able to retain its No. 1 position for a year longer than what was anticipated in the last report.In 2032, China is likely to overtake the US as world’s No. 1 economy.

Asia–Pacific: Trading & Thriving Report

Business leaders in India remained largely positive, but their level of optimism has dropped to its lowest level in four years.According to the latest Grant Thornton’s report, Asia–Pacific business optimism has hit a 2 year high, largely driven by improvements from its two biggest economies, China and Japan.The report was titled as ‘Asia–Pacific: Trading and Thriving’.

Quikr acquires HDFC’s Units

HDFC has sold its realty brokerage business HDFC Realty and its digital real estate business HDFC Developers to Quikr. The all-stock deal will see HDFC pick up around 3.5% stake in Quikr for the two businesses, which have collectively been valued at about Rs 357 crore. Aditya Puri is the CEO of HDFC, which is headquartered in Mumbai.

UK Tops Forbes’ List of Best Countries

The United Kingdom has topped Forbes’ rankings of best countries in the world for business in 2018.The list ranks 153 countries on 15 factors including property rights, innovation, taxes and red tape.The UK is followed by New Zealand and the Netherlands, while India was ranked 62nd on the list. The UK’s $2.6 trillion economy is the fifth largest in the world.

Skill Ministry, Maruti Suzuki sign pact

The skill development ministry and Maruti Suzuki signed an agreement to impart training to youth and enhance their employment potential.Maruti Suzuki will ensure that not less than 80 percent of trainees are placed with Maruti Suzuki or its business partners. Maruti Suzuki in consultation with DGT will develop specific training modules as per the need of the automobile industry.

Ola acquires foodpanda India

Germany’s Delivery Hero sold its foodpanda India business to Ola in return for shares in the Indian ride-hailing firm.Under the agreement, Ola will also commit to investing $200 million in foodpanda India. The partnership with Ola will allow Delivery Hero to further consolidate markets where it strategically makes sense to collaborate with leading local players.

Paytm QR announces direct payment

Paytm has announced that its QR now allows offline merchants to accept unlimited payments directly into their bank accounts at 0 charge.Now the Paytm merchant partners can accept payments through multiple payment instruments including UPI & cards.Paytm QR has eliminated the need for additional spends on POS machines for merchants & it has been supporting them in their day-to-day business

Walt Disney buys Murdoch’s Fox for $52bn

Walt Disney has agreed to buy the bulk of 21st Century Fox’s business for $52.4bn.Purchase extends Disney’s global reach, adding media company Star India & Fox’s interests in Sky plc & Tata Sky to its portfolio.Disney will get majority control of video streaming service Hulu, which is partially owned by Comcast & Time Warner.Fox will form a news-focused company with its remaining assets.

Swiggy acqui-hires 48East

Food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy announced that it has acqui-hired Bengaluru-based gourmet Asian food start-up 48East.48East offers a new menu every week, operates 5 kitchens, processes 9,000 orders a month and serves over a dozen areas in Bengaluru.Founders of 48East, Joseph Cherian & Nabhojit Ghosh, will join Swiggy’s New Supply business line.

IDBI Bank to sell 30% stake in NEGIL

The board of directors of IDBI Bank has approved the sale of 1,20,00,000 equity shares ofNSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd (NEGIL) constituting 30% stake held by the bank. It is part of an exercise that is being carried out to exit from non-core business.Last month, IDBI Bank’s board also approved sale of 1.5% stake in National Stock Exchange.

India ranks 100 in global prosperity

India has upgraded its ranks in ‘The Legatum Prosperity Index 2017′ by ranking 100th on the index, up from 104th last year.According to the report, India’s performance over the past year has improved the most on economic quality, business environment & governance.Norway heads the ranking, followed by New Zealand.Asia-Pacific region registered the greatest improvement in the business environment.

IndusInd to set up impact financing unit

IndusInd Bank is preparing to open a new vertical to focus on so-called impact financing.Impact financing business will lend to social enterprises working in sectors such as healthcare, education & affordable housing.IndusInd sees a big opportunity in impact financing as it feels it is an underserved area, as most institutions are unable to underwrite such loans due to high risk perception

Ola appoints Viraj Chouhan as its CCO

Ola has announced appointment of Viraj Chouhan as its chief communications officer(CCO).As CCO, Chouhan would be reporting to co-founder and CEO, Bhavish Aggarwal.Chouhan brings over 20 years of experience across global brands like MTS, Coca-Cola and Bharti Airtel.

Deepak Parekh as first Intl Ambassador

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has named Indian businessman, Deepak Parekh, as International Ambassador who will be tasked with championing UK capital across the globe.Parekh is the chairman of HDFC Ltd and also sits on the boards of a number of companies across diverse sectors.Parekh is also a member of the City of Londons Advisory Council for India which guides City’s engagement with India.

Swiggy appoints Vishal Bhatia as CEO

Online food delivery start-up Swiggy has appointed Vishal Bhatia as the chief executive officer for its new supply business.The New Supply business line will be focused on Swiggy’s strategy of giving consumers a greater assortment by addressing existing supply gaps in the marketplace,Bhatia comes with 19 years of experience in consumer goods firms like PepsiCo & Britannia.

RBI to rationalise MDR

RBI has decided to rationalise charges on debit card transactions based on the category of merchants with a view to giving “further fillip” to digital payments.It is aimed at the twin objectives of increased usage of debit cards and ensuring sustainability of the business for the entities involved.MDR is the rate charged to a merchant by a bank for providing debit and credit card services.

Program for women entrepreneurs

U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) announced a collaborative initiative titled “Women for Women Innovators, Social Leaders & Entrepreneurs ”. This announcement was made during USIBC’s road to Global Entrepreneurship Summit event, “Creating the Foundations of Innovation” in Hyderabad. It will offer leadership, mentoring, and development opportunities for women entrepreneurs and innovators.

DBS Bank lowers India’s FY18 GDP growth

Singapore’s DBS Bank has lowered India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast for current fiscal (FY 2017-18) to 6.6 percent from the previous 6.8 percent. Growth forecast has been lowered as DBS Bank believes that Indian businesses are still adjusting to the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. For FY 2018-19, DBS expects Indian economy to grow at 7.2 percent.

JM Financial to get home finance arm

JM Financial has received a certificate of registration from the National Housing Bank for carrying out housing finance activities through its subsidiary JM Financial Home Loans. Currently, services offered by JM Financial include investment banking, broking etc. It already has two non-banking arms, one of which is focused on real estate lending and the other is into credit business.

Highest number of women entrepreneurs

25 : As per a report by ‘Sheatwork’, a knowledge hub for women entrepreneurs, among all Indian States, Tamil Nadu has the highest number of women entrepreneurs followed by Kerala & West Bengal. Nearly 80% of women entrepreneurs in India are self-financing their businesses. Maximum number of women entrepreneurs have set up their businesses in education sector.

Facebook aims to train 5 lakh Indians

Facebook expects to train about 5 lakh people in India on digital skills by 2020 and has unveiled two programmes designed for individuals and start-ups. The 2 programmes – Facebook Digital Training & Facebook Startup Training Hubs are being rolled out in India before any other country. It will help people learn digital skills as well as enable entrepreneurs & SMB in digitising their business

India’s first mega CEZ in Maharashtra

Central Government has given approval for setting up India’s first mega coastal economic zone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra. CEZ is an economic region comprising several districts that are well connected to the ports in the region and have a strong industrial infrastructure. These zones have business-friendly environment that offers enhanced ease of doing business,