The week in review

The week in review

A massive fraud at Satyam Computers, one of the country’s top IT companies, shook investor confidence after no less than its promoter and chairman B Ramalinga Raju admitted to a massive fraud of 7,000 crore. It sent shock waves across corporate India. The company is now seriously short of cash and says that it does not know how it would pay future salaries.

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/Content/Videos/2009-01-10/Pg 2/0901_Week in Review_MINT_TV.flv75789916-de6d-11dd-8175-000b5dabf636.flvSatyam has 53,000 employees on its rolls. Many institutional investors like Aberdeen and Swiss Finance Corporation too sold their shares in block and exited. The stock dropped to 18.80 after touching a low of 6.30 on Friday. The Satyam board is meeting on Saturday to announce its third quarter results.

The country was also hit by the impact of a double strike. First it was the truckers who went on strike demanding a cut in diesel prices and a bailout package from the government. Then officers of the public sector oil companies struck work, seeking higher wages and causing a fuel crisis in the country.

The strike continued for three days. But the government said the officers’ demands were unreasonable and told them that they could face legal action under ESMA if they continued the strike. Employees from BPCL, Oil India Ltd, Indian Oil and GAIL had called off their strike unconditionally by late Friday evening.

There was a bit of good news though. Inflation fell for the ninth consecutive week on Friday to a 10-month low of 5.91 per cent for the week ended December 27, from 6.38 per cent in the previous week. That’s sharply lower than the peak of just over 12 percent in August.

The fall was much more than expected and occurred due to a decline in prices of food and manufactured items. A year ago it stood at 3.83 per cent. The previous low was recorded at 5.69 per cent for the week ended February 23, 2008.