Opening Bell 22 December | And we all go up

Opening Bell 22 December | And we all go up

Mumbai: The US indices headed into the last day of trading before Christmas in good cheer, clocking a third straight day of gains following better-than-expected economic data, reports the Wall Street Journal. Initial jobless claims decreased to 364,000 for the week ended December 17, the lowest since April 2009. Consumer confidence also rose. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose 0.8%, to 1254, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5%

Back in India, Warren Tea promoters have reach an accord on ownership after the Ruias and Goenkas agreed to split the firm’s 14 tea estates located in upper Assam among themselves. Warren Tea reported 213 crore in revenue and registered a net profit of 20 crore for FY11. The two families have a 42% stake in the company and the rest is held by 12,000 shareholders, who will receive shares of the new company after the split.

The telecommunications department has decided that agreements signed between two telecom operators for offering 3G (third-generation) mobile-roaming services are illegal, reports the Wall Street Journal. This was after Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone Group in July signed agreements among themselves to provide 3G roaming services in areas where they don’t have bandwidth in order to boost revenue by offering higher paying services to the customers.

To help the cash-strapped aviation sector, the government may allow airlines to import their fuel directly and save at least 2,500 crore annually, reports the Business Standard. This proposal from the Secretaries’ panel will need a Cabinet nod. Jet fuel cost constitutes 50% of the total operating cost and is taxed at 24% in India, the second highest rate in the world

Yes Bank has raised interest rates on its savings bank deposits to 7% for customers having a balance above 1 lakh, making it the highest rate on savings deposit, reports the Economic Times. The move is aimed to attract more customers and expand the deposit base. Many medium sized banks such as Kotak Mahindra Bank have increased rates, but HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank have refrained from doing so because they have a huge share of low-cost deposits.

US-based Oracle has posted dismal results raising concerns for IT companies. However, MphasiS expects sales this finacial year to grow in high single digits, faster than the 1.5% it posted last year, led by clients other than Hewlett-Packard, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Lastly, when the cheapest tablet Akash was introduced in October, it was seen as the aspirational Indian’s gadget, but prominent Indian private schools are opting for Apple’s iPad2, said a Wall Street Journal report. Mumbai’s Poddar International School requested students of classes’ 6 to 12 to purchase iPads before the next academic session because of Apple’s superior quality.