The sight of a construction crane looming on the horizon has become ubiquitous in most large cities across India – and may become even more so in the near future.
The introduction of large foreign retailers like Wal-Mart into the country is eagerly awaited by many industrialists, particularly in the real estate sector, where builders and developers hope to benefit from an increased demand for retail spaces.
Commercial real estate prices in India have already risen sharply in big cities in recent years, and there is a dearth of quality retail spaces available for rent, so analysts expect a boom in construction if foreign multibrand retailers enter the market.
That looks likely: On Wednesday, India’s Lok Sabha, or lower house of Parliament, voted against a measure forbidding foreign multibrand retailers from entering India. The upper house of Parliament also voted against the measure on Friday, cementing support for new retailers. State governments have the option to ban big foreign retailers from their state, and their entry into the country comes with several conditions, but builders are already getting excited.
Read more: The New York Times
US sees India as rising economic powerhouse by 2030
US intelligence has predicted that in 2030, India could be the rising economic powerhouse of the world as China is seen today and that it will continue to consolidate its power advantage over Pakistan.
“In 2030 India could be the rising economic powerhouse that China is seen to be today. China’s current economic growth rate — 8 to 10 per cent — will probably be a distant memory by 2030,” said the fifth installment of the ‘Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds’, of National Intelligence Council (NIC), released today.
As the world’s largest economic power, China is expected to remain ahead of India, but the gap could begin to close by 2030.
“India’s rate of economic growth is likely to rise while China’s slows,” said the report which is aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future.
Read more: The Economic Times
India’s breakout likely to continue in 2013: Shankar Sharma, First Global
India’s breakout is likely to continue in 2013 as well, feels Shankar Sharma of First Global. “India’s performance is best among BRIC nations,” he told ET Now. Sharma expressed confidence in the consumption theme and said that it remains intact despite policy paralysis.
While global equities may see a tough time in 2013, India will outperform, Sharma opined.
With the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy review due next week, Sharma said that Subbarao has indicated that he is willing to change his anti-inflationary stance. Sharma feels that inflation is a structural problem in India and despite best efforts by the RBI; it is unlikely to come down a lot. The government may also find it equally hard to bring down inflation, he acknowledged.
Read more: The Economic Times
India-US discuss visa fee, investments in renewable energy
Domestic issues like increase in visa fee and recent Indian regulations in solar technology policies were raised by India and the US respectively during the high level official meeting today.
Commerce Secretary S R Rao and Assistant US trade representative Demetrios Marantis discussed issues that were of interest to both the sides today.
“Americans would raise issues like domestic content in some sectors in India. India would raise issues such as visa fee. So we raise our respective issues and tried to see that we conveyed a better understanding of our perspective on either side. And we hope we were successful in doing so,” said Rajeev Kher, additional secretary, Ministry of Commerce.
Read more: Business Standard
Job market for MBAs to look up in 2013: Survey
According to a survey of 201 global employers, the job market for management graduates may be looking up in 2013.
The survey was conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT exam for graduate management programmes worldwide. The polled employers included 45 Fortune 500 companies.
“The 2012 Year-End Poll of Employers” found out that 76 per cent of employers expected to hire new MBA graduates in 2013. Just 69 per cent of them hired class of 2012 graduates, according to GMAC.
Of the employers planning to hire MBAs in 2013, 56 per cent plan to offer starting base salaries that keep pace with inflation or exceed it.
Read more: The Hindu Business Line
Overseas investors bring in $525m in November
It’s not just foreign institutional investors (FIIs) who are pouring money into Indian markets. Overseas funds have made net investments of $1 billion (higher purchase than sales) in the past three months with inflows through listed funds topping $525 million in November alone.
The total estimated net allocations for India have gone up by over 18% in the past three months. The assets managed by overseas exchange traded funds (ETFs) investing in the country are estimated to be around $16.5 billion. India-dedicated funds have cumulative net assets of about $24 billion.
Incidentally, only India and China saw an increase in allocations among BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) nations from funds. In all, three funds saw net inflows in excess of $40 million in four weeks with Aberdeen’s India Equity Fund topping the list with inflows of $45 million.
Read more: The Times of India
Vodafone launches newspaper service in Delhi-NCR
Vodafone India today launched ‘My News’ service for its Delhi-NCR customers which will allow them to read daily newspapers on their handsets.
The value added service will be available at Rs 5 per day or a weekly subscription of Rs 35 for pre-paid and post-paid customers, the company said in a statement.
The users will receive the service as an MMS which they can save and access at any point of time. The subscribers can also store all the MMSs and can access at any point of time without additional data charges.
The users will be charged 10 paise per 10 kb as usage charges on 2G network, it added. The customers will have the option to choose one newspaper from a choice of 30 regional or national newspapers
See article: Financial Express
Parliament approves changes in Sarfaesi Act
In a move expected to empower debt recovery by lenders, Parliament on Monday approved the Bill to amend the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (Sarfaesi Act).
The Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, amends two Acts — Sarfaesi Act 2002, and Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 1993 (DRT Act).
According to the amendments proposed, banks and asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) will be allowed to convert any part of the debt of the defaulting company into equity. Such a conversion would imply that lenders or ARCs would tend to become an equity holder rather than being a creditor of the company.
“Bankers may not be too keen on converting their debt into equity, since the share prices of such defaulting companies fall drastically, resulting into losses for the bank,” said a senior official of a public sector bank, requesting anonymity.
Moreover, the amendments also allows banks to bid for any immovable property they have put out for auction themselves, if they do not receive any bids during the auction. In such a scenario, banks will be able to adjust the debt with the amount paid for this property. This enables the bank to secure the asset in part fulfillment of the defaulted loan.
Read more: Financial Express
Government likely to cut ADF at Delhi airport
This New Year, the government is likely to give flyers from the Delhi airport a welcome surprise by reducing the airport development fees (ADF) substantially. From January 1, the ADF the international passengers pay is likely to see a 54 per cent drop — from Rs 1,300 to Rs 600 per passenger per flight — while the Rs 200 every domestic passenger pays would be halved.
The civil aviation ministry is said to have agreed to the suggestion of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority ( Aera) that the three-year ADF-recovery period of Delhi International Airport Ltd ( DIAL) be extended by two years.
A ministry source confirmed this, saying: “With GMR and GVK (majority stakeholders in consortia running the Delhi and Mumbai airports, respectively) refusing to infuse equity, Aera had given its view that ADF be reduced by around 50 per cent and the recovery period be extended by two years. The ministry has examined the matter and concurred with the view. Mumbai’s tariff revision is still under consideration.”
Read more: Business Standard
City roads to get a makeover
Commuters in Delhi will soon get freedom from bumpy rides as the city government has launched a mega rebuilding of roads, covering more than 800 km.
According to the project, a whooping of Rs 2,000 crore will be spent wherein all major roads in the national Capital, covering a total of 802 km of stretch, will be rebuilt by the Public Works Department (PWD) in a span of two years.
The project will also ensure beautification of roads, plantation on the central verge, installation of modern streetlights and building of footpaths along with laying of new roads.
The 802 km of roads are more than 60 feet and were being handled by the erstwhile Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) before they were overtaken by the PWD in June keeping in view the improper maintenance of these roads.
Read more: Tribune India
Haryana mulls Faridabad-Gurgaon mono rail
The Haryana Government is considering to introduce Mono-rail between Faridabad and Gurgaon, which will further accelerate the pace of development in the area, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said today.
The modalities of the project would be worked out, Hooda said addressing a rally here.
On the occasion, Hooda also announced a bonanza of incentives for the people of Faridabad, which included construction of a road from Bata Chowk to B K Civil Hospital costing Rs 12 crore and rehabilitation of people living in slum areas after carrying out survey in February 2013.
Read more: The Hindu Business Line