Nestle India’s first quarterly loss (April-June 2015) in more than 15 years. In the same period a year ago, the Swiss food maker had posted a profit of ₹ 287.9 crore. Last month, India’s food regulator banned the company’s popular 2-minute Maggi noodles for containing excessive amounts of lead. This led to a one-time loss of over ₹ 450 crore for Nestle India. The company had filed a petition before the Bombay high court challenging the ban, and on Wednesday, Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration argued in court that if the company was confident about the quality of Maggi, it should have asked for re-tests of its samples or offered other samples for testing.
The number of people estimated to have been sentenced to death in 2014 across the world, according to a report by Amnesty International. This was a 28% increase over the figure for 2013. These figures do not include the number of people executed or sentenced to death in China as it is a “state secret". In India, 1,303 capital punishment verdicts were given between 2004 and 2013, but only three executions took place. The Supreme Court twice rejected petitions, including an overnight plea, to stay the execution of Yakub Memon, who was convicted for his involvement in the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai. He was hanged to death at around 7am on Thursday.
The number of times the initial share sale of Syngene International, a contract research firm, was subscribed when the issue closed on Wednesday. The retail portion was subscribed 4.78 times, while demand from non-institutional investors like corporates and non-retail investors was 90.24 times. The success of Syngene, especially in terms of retail interest, will boost the prospects of other businesses that are looking to go public, including Cafe Coffee Day, Indigo Airlines and Matrix Cellular. Syngene will raise around ₹ 550 crore by selling 16 million shares between ₹ 240 and ₹ 250 per share.
General Motors Co. (GM) will shut down its Gujarat plant and expand capacity at its other manufacturing facility in Maharashtra, a move that is expected to result in job losses for 1,100 workers. The US-based company, which is the world’s third-largest automaker by sales, entered India in 1994, but has struggled in a market that has so far been dominated by Maruti Suzuki, the Indian unit of Suzuki Motor Corp. GM currently has less than 2% market share and wants to double it by 2020 with an additional investment of $1 billion. The move to shift the factory from Gujarat is a counter-trend, where companies like Maruti, Tata Motors, Ford and Honda are setting up manufacturing facilities in the western state.
India’s Kalyani Group has tied up with Rafael Advanced Systems of Israel to make Spike missiles in India. State-run Bharat Dynamics will be the third partner. The deal, worth 3,200 crore, will supply 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles to the Indian army. Ties between India and Israel have strengthened in recent years, with the Indian president likely to visit the Jewish state, making it the first visit by a top Indian statesperson. The Indian government is looking at defence projects to boost its Make in India programme by encouraging private companies to produce locally. So far, nearly all defence production made locally are from state-run units.
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