1. RIL to buy Kemrock Industries’s assets
On Wednesday, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) announced that it would buy the assets of Vadodara-based Kemrock Industries and Exports Ltd. The acquisition will boost RIL’s petrochemicals business portfolio and allow it to enter new manufacturing areas, such as composites and carbon fibre. Composites made from carbon fibre are light in weight and as strong as steel.
2. HDFC joins list of systemically important banks
India’s central bank included HDFC Bank Ltd in its latest updated list of domestic systemically important banks. The list includes banks which have balance sheets greater than 2% of India’s GDP and which are complex enough to not be easily substituted by another banking company. HDFC joins its competitors State Bank of India and ICICI Bank on the list.
3. House prices rise
Data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) shows that house prices in India recorded a strong surge in the first quarter of calendar year 2017, rising 6.6% annually. The rise is likely to be on the back of lower supply as well as a demand for affordable housing. At 9.2%, China recorded the highest rise in house prices.
4. IISc’s ranking deteriorates
Not a single Indian university made it to the top 200 ranking of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2018. The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, was the highest-ranked Indian university, and was placed in the 251-300 groupings of the best universities. This is a deterioration from its previous placement in the 201-250 cohort.
5. World trade volumes rise
Seasonally-adjusted world trade volumes are up, according to new data from the CPB World Trade Monitor. Export volumes rose 5% year-on-year in June. Exports from emerging Asian countries rose 5.6%. The rise is expected to be sustained on the back of improving growth in developed economies, despite the threat of protectionist measures.
6. Commercial vehicle sales up in August
Sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles rose in August after recording sluggish demand for most of the year. While Tata Motors Ltd’s CV sales rose 34.5% year-on-year, Ashok Leyland Ltd’s sales rose 25.1%. Eicher Motors Ltd and Bharat Benz (Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd) also recorded good sales growth.
7. Eicher Motors to make bid for Ducati
Siddhartha Lal-led Eicher Motors, makers of the popular Royal Enfield brand of bikes, is seeking to make a $1.8-billion bid for Italian superbike company Ducati. The sale process has hit some setbacks, with the German trade union of Ducati’s parent, the Volkswagen group, opposing the sale process. If the sale goes through, Eicher will benefit from the prestige and quality of the Ducati brand.
8. PMI data indicates economic slowdown in August
The Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index, which measures private sector activity in manufacturing and services sectors, amounted to 49 in the last month. A reading below 50 indicates contraction. The level of decline eased from that in July, when the index recorded a score of 46. While the services PMI contracted, factory activity expanded, with the manufacturing PMI recording a reading of 51.2 in August.
9. Journalist Gauri Lankesh murdered
Journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh was murdered outside her house in Bangalore on Tuesday by unidentified gunmen. The Karnataka chief minister has formed a special investigation team to probe the murder. The manner of her killing has drawn comparisons to the murder of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi, who was also killed outside his home in the same state.
10. India scores multiple victories against Sri Lanka
Last Sunday, India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets in the fifth and final match of the series in Colombo. India won the series 5-0. Captain Virat Kohli scored his 30th century in One-Day Internationals in the final match. India also beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets on Wednesday in the ongoing T20 series. A 119-run partnership between Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey helped India to beat Sri Lanka’s target of 170/7.
Graphics by Prajakta Patil
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