Amid fanfare, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone of Andhra Pradesh’s new capital Amaravati at Uddandarayunipalem village in Guntur district.
Union Ministers M Venkaiah Naidu, Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Nirmala Sitaraman, AP and Telangana Governor E S L Narasimhan and Chief Ministers of AP and Telangana N Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrasekhar Rao, respectively, were among those present on the occasion of ‘shila nyas’ in the village, about 40 kms from Vijayawada, the commercial hub of the state.
Modi went around ‘Amaravati Pavilion’, a walk through showcasing evolution of Amaravati, a place of immense historical, mythological and cultural significance, its present and future.
Amaravati was once the seat of power of Satavahana rulers.
As per a call given by Chandrababu Naidu, soil and water from 16,000 villages in the state and prominent pilgrim centres in the country have been brought to the capital region to be used in the construction of the capital city. (22/10/2015)
Ratan Tata, American Express to invest in digital currency start up Abra
US-based startup Abra today said Tata Group Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata and credit card player American Express have made an undisclosed investment in the firm — their first such venture involving digital currency.
Besides, the firm also announced entry into the online, digital cash-based merchant payments. Abra’s app will be available to all registered users in the US and Philippines in the coming weeks, with more countries to follow soon, it said in a statement.
“Tata and American Express have made strategic investments in Abra as part of recently announced Series A round. These are the first investments in the crypto currency world for both American Express and Ratan Tata,” Abra added.
Crypto currency is a digital or virtual currency, which uses cryptography for security. It is also difficult to counterfeit. One of the first cryptocurrency to hog global attention was Bitcoin, which was launched in 2009. (22/10/2015)
FDI spurt aimed at consumption story, not Make in India: Study
India remains far behind China in terms of ‘gross FDI inflows’ despite a recent spurt and funds are largely coming into the consumption space such as e-commerce and not in manufacturing, says a new study.
Stating that the recent surge in FDI inflows may not give any boost to the government’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ campaign, the latest research report of leading brokerage firm Emkay Global said it is the ‘net FDI’ that has come down in case of China due to higher investments abroad.
“The recent media hype over India surpassing China and US in FDI inflows, is supposedly considered an affirmation of the success of ‘Make in India’.
“However, disaggregated data suggests that FDI flows have centred on exploiting domestic consumption, (and) rather than stimulating domestic manufacturing it is likely to have catalysed imports,” it said. (22/10/2015)
MEA places order for 55 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans
Luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz today said India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has placed an order to lease 55 top of the range E 250 CDI luxury sedans.
The high-end sedans will be used by the visiting foreign dignitaries of ministries including the head of states, presidents, prime ministers and top diplomats, it said in a statement.
Mercedes has so far sold over 30,000 units of the E-Class in India and is the first luxury car to be produced in India since 1995. It also remains, by far, the largest selling luxury car model in the country today, the firm added. (22/10/2015)
India remains less exposed to external risks: Moody’s
Forecasting that India will clock the highest growth rate of 7-7.5 per cent among G20 economies in 2015 and 2016, Moody’s Investors Service today said the country is less exposed to external shocks, and the positive rating outlook reflects resilient growth and reforms momentum.
“India is less exposed to global risks because of its more resilient economic growth and the impact of positive policy reforms momentum,” the rating agency said.
Emerging market sovereigns have diverging shock-absorption capabilities to withstand the risks that will continue to impact global credit quality in 2015-16, says Moody’s in a report published today.
The report focuses on five Baa-rated sovereigns – Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, India and Indonesia. (22/10/2015)
Heritage experts say no to illumination of Taj Mahal
Calling Taj Mahal as “not a monument to experiment with”, top heritage experts have raised objections to the illumination of the famed Mughal-era mausoleum, saying the step jeopardizes its marble surface due to defecation on it by insects attracted by the lighting.
According to senior officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), few low-level security lighting posts were installed a few months ago at the 17th century World Heritage Site, with a twin purpose of illuminating the Taj and wooing tourists at night.
“However, the direct illumination of the marble monument has brought with it, a big problem – insects. And, these are grass-sapping insects which sit on the floors and walls of the illuminated part and discharge their excreta on the surface, leaving a colored pigment on it, thus spoiling the flawless beauty of the architectural icon,” Superintending Archaeologist (Science Branch) M K Bhatnagar said. (22/10/2015)
Bajaj gears up to roll out 4 new bikes, eyes bigger mkt share
Bajaj Auto is set to launch four new motorcycles in the market soon as part of its plans to capture over 22 per cent share by the end of this fiscal.
The company will be expanding its Avenger range of cruiser bikes through introduction of three new models this month.
“Besides, in the fourth quarter of this fiscal, we will launch a completely new model that will be in the mid-segment of the motorcycle market,” Bajaj Auto President (Business Development & Assurance) S Ravikumar said.
With these four new products, he said: “In the short term, we are looking at increasing our market share in the domestic motorcycle segment to over 22 per cent from the current 19 per cent.” (22/10/2015)
Coffee Day nets Rs 1,150 cr from IPO, price fixed at Rs 328
Set to debut in stock market, leading coffee chain operator Coffee Day Enterprises has fixed its public offer price at Rs 328 per share, taking the total proceeds to Rs 1,150 crore from its over-subscribed IPO.
The IPO closed on October 16 after three days of bidding in a price band of Rs 316-328 a piece for the shares on offer. The IPO got over-subscribed 1.81-times with demand worth Rs 2,000 crore.
Although the portion reserved for retail investors could not be fully subscribed with 90 per cent bids, the company has now fixed the final offer price at the upper end of the price band.
The shares reserved for qualified institutional buyers (QIBs) was subscribed nearly 4.4 times. The most tepid response was in non-institutional investors category, which saw only 53 per cent subscription.
In its final prospectus ahead of the listing, the company has now said the public issue of 3.5 crore shares has been made at a price of Rs 328 per equity share, aggregating Rs 1,150 crore. (22/10/2015)
Over 75% real estate projects non-starters: Assocham
Over 75 per cent of 3,540 live real estate projects with outstanding investments of more than Rs 14 lakh crore remained non-starters as of 2014-15, an Assocham study said.
“Over 75 per cent of total 3,540 live projects with total outstanding investments worth over Rs 14 lakh crore attracted by the real estate sector across India remained non-starters as of financial year 2014-15,” said an Assocham study.
As per the study, while over 2,300 projects in the realty sector remained non-starters, over 1,000 on-going projects have registered significant delays in completion.
With 964 projects, domestic private sector accounted for 95 per cent share in projects facing delays, followed by public sector (49 projects) and foreign private companies (six projects), it said.
“On an average, real estate projects in India are facing a delay of 33 months in completion,” Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said while releasing the report. (22/10/2015)
Banks free to fix interest rates on gold deposit scheme: RBI
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today issued guidelines for the Gold Monetisation Scheme that allow banks to fix their own interest rates on gold deposits.
The RBI notification in this regard comes ahead of the formal launch of the scheme by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Novermber 5.
The gold deposit scheme is aimed at mobilising a part of an estimated 20,000 tonnes of idle precious metal with households and institutions.
As per the guidelines, banks will be free to set interest rate on such deposit, and principal and interest of the deposit will be denominated in gold. (22/10/2015)