Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Nov 30 2009, 05:54am hrs

* Economy

The government has embarked on a major overhaul of its foreign investment policy matrix to remove inconsistencies that lead to regulatory arbitrage. The Prime Ministers Office has directed the finance ministry, RBI and markets regulator Sebi to iron out their differences to integrate the legal and regulatory regimes for foreign capital inflows. All legal, regulatory and taxation regimes with respect to foreign investments are under review. One objective of the exercise is to disallow foreign investors from evading rules by pitting one regulator against one another.

* Politics

Making no reference to the indictment of top BJP and Sangh leaders in the Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition, the government, in its ATR which was tabled on Nov 24 in Parliament along with the inquiry report following the din over its publication in The Indian Express, said steps will be taken to expedite hearing of demolition-related cases.

* Markets

The US has beaten Singapore to become the single-largest investor in the Indian equities market, with a net investment of Rs 21,345 crore as on November 10, as per data presented in the Lok Sabha by the finance ministry. This is a significant shift in the equity investment pattern, as the US was not even among the top 10 investors in the Indian stock market in the previous two years.

* International

Loans to households and companies in Europe posted their second straight annual decline in October as the economic slump curtailed demand for credit and made banks more reluctant to lend. Loans to the private sector fell 0.8% from a year earlier after a drop of 0.3% in September, the European Central Bank said.