Mumbai: The winter session of parliament finally took off alleviating concerns of policy paralysis. On Thursday, the cabinet allowed foreign multi-brand retailers to own upto 51% in Indian companies via joint ventures and 100% in single brand retail. Retail stocks were already buzzing in anticipation of the reforms in the segment. The cabinet also cleared the draft Company’s Bill, replacing the 55-year old piece of legislation that will help increase the accountability of firms.
US markets were shut on account of the Thanksgiving holiday, but European shares tumbled after the French appeal to increase the firepower of the European Central Bank to bail out debt ridden nations was rejected by Germany, reports The Telegraph. It was another roller coaster day for the markets after Portugese debt was downgraded to junk status and Italian bond yields also remained near peak.
Asian markets continued to slide on Friday as debt concerns from Europe weighed in, reports Marketwatch. Energy and banking shares were leading the losses. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was down 0.2%, China’s Shanghai Composite was slightly lower and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dipped 1%.
Back in India, there is a new development in the ongoing legal battle between Bayer Healthcare AG and Natco Pharma. The Delhi high court withdrew the German company’s writ petition against the Hyderabad-based cancer drug maker’s compulsory licensing of the medicine.
Air India may find some relief from soaring fuel prices and high debt. On Thursday evening, the Reserve Bank of India approved Air India’s financial restructuring plan and asked the State Bank of India to help the beleaguered airline. The central bank has written to SBI and other lenders to hold a meeting on Monday and come up with a restructuring blueprint. Air India has a short-term debt of Rs. 27,000 crore and has also borrowed Rs. 42,000 crore to buy an aircraft
Other stocks that would be in focus are ICICI Bank and State Bank of India as they have decided to abolish penalty on pre-payment charges of home loans, reports Business Standard. The banks were charging pre-payment penalties between 2-4% on housing loans with floating interest rates for loans taken before May.
Coal India will be on the radar as it may revive its proposal for tapping coal from its own mines in Jharkhand reports Business Line. Earlier, the coal mining company was forced to put the proposal on the backburner due to the differences between the Union Ministries of Coal and, Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Lastly, Reebook is moving over to affordable shoes and is finally launching the $1 shoe reports the Wall Street Journal. International labels are trying to Indianize their products so that people from India can afford them.