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By: | Published: October 15, 2017 7:42 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his "commitment" to Bihar's development, as the two leaders shared the stage for the first time after the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his “commitment” to Bihar’s development, as the two leaders shared the stage for the first time after the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold.

Nitish Kumar committed to development of Bihar: PM Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today praised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for his “commitment” to Bihar’s development, as the two leaders shared the stage for the first time after the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold.  Modi, who attended the centenary celebrations of the Patna University (PU) here along with Kumar, said the Centre and the state government led by Kumar will work together with a pledge to bring Bihar on par with the other prosperous states by 2022.  “Nitishji is committed to development of Bihar… and the central government has pledged to develop the country. Together the two will work together to ensure that Bihar is counted among the prosperous states by 2022 when the country celebrates 75 years of independence,” the prime minister said.

To persuade family, use Doklam-like diplomacy, Sushma Swaraj tells women who want to work

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has a diplomatic piece of advice for women needing to convince their families to take up jobs: use persuasion, just like India did with China in the Dokalam stand-off.  Speaking at a ‘Mahila Town Hall’, an interaction programme organised by the ruling BJP in the poll-bound Gujarat, Swaraj was asked what should a woman do if the family did not allow her to work.
She said one should explain the benefits a working woman brings for the family.  “If they (family members) are still not convinced, then persuade them the way India persuaded China on Dokalam issue,” the Union minister said in a lighter vein, referring to the prolonged stand-off with China which was eventually resolved amicably.

Gauri Lankesh’s killing: SIT releases sketches of two suspects

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the killing of Gauri Lankesh today released the sketches of two suspects, along with the footage obtained from CCTV cameras installed near the slain journalist’s house.  Lankesh was gunned down by unidentified assailants in front of her residence here on September 5.  The 21-member SIT released the sketches, prepared on the basis of information collected from witnesses, and the CCTV footage more than five weeks after she was killed.

Largest MFI deal: IndusInd Bank to buy Bharat Financial Inclusion

Almost a month after entering into an exclusivity agreement, IndusInd Bank and the country’s second-largest microfinance player, Bharat Financial Inclusion (BFIL), on Saturday announced their merger, which will be effected through an all-stock transaction. The deal—which would mark the largest merger and acquisition in the microfinance space—is expected to be completed in the next nine to 10 months. IndusInd Bank’s managing director Romesh Sobti said BFIL’s shareholders will receive 639 shares of IndusInd for every 1,000 shares of the microfinance major, implying a premium of 12.6% to BFIL over two-week volume weighted price.

Avenue Supermarts net up 65.2% to Rs 191 crore

Avenue Supermarts, which operates retail chain Dmart, on Saturday reported a 65.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in net profit to Rs 191 in Q2FY18. The growth was driven by higher other incomes and lower finance costs. Total revenue was up 26.3% y-o-y to Rs 3,508 crore. The company’s interest expenses declined 65.6% y-o-y to Rs 10.93 crore, while other income increased to Rs 21.2 crore in the quarter compared to Rs 8.04 crore in the year-ago period, the company said. The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was up 36.5% y-o-y to Rs 318 crore. The operating margin improved to 9.1% in Q2FY18 compared to 8.4% in Q2FY17.

After liquor ban bomb, Diwali spirit missing for alcohol makers

The Supreme Court might have softened its stance on the countrywide ban on all liquor shops on national and state highways, exempting municipal areas, but this has clearly not helped liquor majors much, who are still struggling with low volumes. Diageo, the world’s largest alcoholic beverages company, has even cited low first-half sales growth owing to the liquor ban in India. Sales have also slumped in the ongoing festival season, and analysts anticipate the muted offtake to continue through Diwali. Since the SC ban came into effect on April 1, the first quarter bore the brunt with a 7% decline in volumes (liquor companies don’t disclose monthly volumes) over the same period a year ago, claims Abneesh Roy of Edelweiss Securities. Almost 35% of the vends fall on highways. As the ban came into force, Anand Kripalu, CEO of Diageo India, which controls 40% of the IMFL market, said, “I expect the highway ban will continue to impact our performance for the next few quarters and also that the GST (goods and services tax) implementation is likely to create operational disruption at a macro level in the marketplace, which could also could impact our FY2018 shorter-term performance.”

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