Pranab expects inflation to moderate

New Delhi: India’s inflation is expected to moderate if the current easing trend in weekly food and fuel prices continues, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday after the latest weekly inflation figures showed food inflation at a nine-week low.

A file photo of finance minister Pranab Mukherjee

“If this trend continues for the next two weeks for the month of November, I hope there will be a moderation in inflation," Mukherjee said.

India’s headline inflation in October hovered above 9% for the 11th month, in further evidence of the central bank’s inability to achieve a breakthrough in its fight against price rises. (Reuters)


India says UNSC no longer reflective of contemporary reality

United Nations: Arguing that the UN Security Council is no longer reflective of contemporary reality, India has said this poses the “most important challenge" to global peace and security as well as conflict prevention.

The essential function of the Council is to address matters of imminent threats to international peace and security, India’s Ambassador to the world body Hardeep Singh Puri said, addressing a UNSC briefing on ‘new challenges to international peace and security´.

“In our view, the most important challenge to international peace and security and conflict prevention is that our platform for global governance in this area, namely the Security Council, is no longer reflective of contemporary reality," he said.

“A composition rooted in 1945 detracts from its abilities to fully harness the capabilities of UN Member-States as of today," Puri said, adding that instead of the continuation of applying methods of coercion from an era gone by, newer approaches involving collaborative action are required.(PTI)


Economic policies should complement competition law: Moily

New Delhi: Corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily on Thrusday said policies relating to foreign investment, international trade and intellectual property rights should complement the competition policy as these sectors are prone to natural monopolies.

At a conference of CUTS International, Moily identified infrastructure, FDI and international trade, intellectual property rights and financial markets as sectors which may affect competition in the domestic market.

“Competition law and policy need to be supported and made compatible with other complementary pro-development policies that can have a bearing on economic development," Moily said.

The Ministry is working on the National Competition Policy and has held consultations with various stakeholders as well as state governments.(PTI)


ICICI Bank eyes Indian loans at European banks: CEO

Mumbai: India’s biggest private lender ICICI Bank is open to buying loan portfolios of European banks, its chief executive said, as banks in the region look to deleverage and offload loans to shore up capital base.

“The opportunity to pick up some good assets at good pricing clearly exists. So, that’s what we are looking at all the time and exercising it whenever we see the right opportunity," Chanda Kochhar told the Reuters India Investment Summit on Wednesday.

“We have picked up some which are India-related assets, but I would say not very large number, because given the fact that on the other hand the ability to raise funds currently has also become more expensive," she said. (Reuters)


China sees factory growth slowing in 2012

Beijing: China’s factory growth in 2012 is likely to fall by 1-2 percentage points from this year due to weakening global demand, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Thursday.

Industrial output in the world’s second-largest economy is cooling as tight domestic monetary conditions and ailing US and European demand drag on exports and factory orders.

Growth in factory output hit its weakest pace in a year in October even though expansion in the first 10 months of 2011 averaged a decent 14.1%.

The ministry had predicted earlier this year that industrial production would grow 11% this year and next. (Reuters)


China to start yuan trade vs Aussie, Canadian dollar

Shanghai: China’s domestic foreign exchange market announced on Thursday that it would launch trading of the yuan against the Australian dollar and Canadian dollar next Monday.

The yuan is currently traded onshore against the dollar , euro, sterling, yen , Hong Kong dollar, Malaysian ringgit and Russian rouble.

China has been gradually expanding the currencies against which the yuan is traded, as it continues to take steps to internationalise its currency.(Reuters)


OECD chief says European recession can be avoided

Milan: An economic recession can be avoided in Europe but resources are needed to calm financial markets, the chief economist of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was quoted as saying in a newspaper report on Thursday.

In an interview to Italy’s La Stampa daily, Pier Carlo Padoan said next Monday’s OECD forecasts will present lower and very weak growth projectons based on a negative scenario, reflecting the serious financial crisis in the euro zone.

“No, (a recession) can still be avoided. But at the European level there is a need for sufficient resources to calm markets and governments have to go forward with austerity measures," Padoan said in the interview.

“If this happens, we can not only exit the crisis but start again on a more sustainable and stable growth path," he said.(Reuters)


Japan lower house passes reconstruction funding bills

Tokyo : Japan’s powerful lower house of parliament on Thursday passed a set of bills for tax hikes and other steps to help pay for rebuilding from the devastating March earthquake, paving the way for their enactment by the end of this month.

Policymakers hope the financing bills that also call for sales of the government’s shareholdings will help limit strains on the country’s already tattered public finances.

The bills lay the foundation for implementing the ¥12.1 trillion ($157 billion) supplementary budget for reconstruction and stipulate terms for repaying ¥11.55 trillion worth of new bonds to finance the bulk of rebuilding.

But Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has backed away from his initial plan to complete the repayment of reconstruction bonds in a decade and has extended the period to 25 years to pacify often hostile opposition parties.(Reuters)


“Disastrous" bond sale shakes confidence in Germany

Berlin: A “disastrous" German bond sale on Wednesday sparked fears that Europe’s debt crisis was starting to threaten even Berlin, with the leaders of the euro zone’s two biggest economies still at odds over a longer-term structural solution.

With contagion spreading, a majority of 20 prominent economists polled by Reuters predicted that the euro zone was unlikely to survive the crisis in its current form, with some envisaging a “core" group that would exclude Greece.

Investors were also unnerved by reports that Belgium is leaning on France to pay more into emergency support for failed lender Dexia under a €90 billion ($120-billion) rescue deal that had appeared done and dusted.

A special report by Fitch Ratings suggested France had limited room left to absorb shocks to its finances, such as a new downturn in growth or support for banks, without endangering its triple-A credit status.

“The debt crisis is burrowing ever deeper, like a worm, and is now reaching Germany," one of the more eurosceptic backbenchers in Angela Merkel’s centre-right government, Frank Schaeffler of the junior coalition partner Free Democrats (FDP), told Reuters. (Reuters)