The week in review for 11 December 2009

The week in review for 11 December 2009

There was a new twist in the Satyam fraud case on Monday. The CBI accused PriceWaterhouse auditors of intentionally failing to apply appropriate audit standards to Satyam. It claims this allowed Satyam’s founder B. Ramalinga Raju and others to carry out their accounting fraud.

On Tuesday, Volkswagen announced it would acquire a 20% stake in Suzuki Motor in a deal that could be a game changer for India’s car market. While Volkswagen’s Indian subsidiary is relatively new, Maruti Suzuki accounts for half the auto sales in India and fifth of Suziki’s global sales. And analysts say the deal could also push Maruti to switch to Volkswagen’s diesel engine technology from its current supplier Fiat.

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In another major deal this week, Japanese company Panasonic has bought a 50.2% stake in Sanyo Electric for $4.6 billion. Sanyo Electric is the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries and a major manufacturer of solar cells.

A division of Reliance Industries has received global safety and quality certifications for about 20 photovoltaic modules. Testing and certification help confirm the reliability of Reliance’s product and enables it to access funds.

Suzlon Energy says it has received an order for 15 wind turbines from a state-run company. The 15 turbines will be installed near Jaisalmer for Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Limited.

Cutting emissions could be harder than expected for India. A yet to be released report from the World Bank analyses three scenarios of fuel use in India between 2002 and 2032. It concludes that unless the carbon-neutral technologies required for reducing emissions intensity are cheap, the overall costs will be huge. Earlier, India announced it would strive to reduce its emissions intensity by 20-25% by 2020.

Royal Bank of Scotland, or RBS, has finally found a buyer for some of its businesses in India, China and Malaysia. HSBC will now acquire RBS’s retail and small and medium enterprises in all three countries. The two firms have approached the RBI for approval of the deal in India.

The Department of Telecommunications has lowered its revenue expectations for the fiscal year. The move has been sparked by the continuing tariff war between telecom firms. Another reason for the lower expectations is the ban on phones without IMEI numbers. India’s telecom firms pay the government a percentage of their adjusted gross revenues as part of their license and spectrum fees.

India’s job market could be looking up. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2010 is out. And it indicates India has an adjusted net employment outlook of 39% for the period from January to March. This is the highest figure for India in five quarters. The Manpower survey concludes Indian companies are the most optimistic out of the companies in 35 countries that were surveyed. The results also confirm anecdotal evidence that Indian IT companies are preparing to hire in the coming months.

The food price index rose 19.05% in the week ending the 28 November, the highest it has risen in 11 years.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said India needs to increase public spending on agriculture. He said investment in irrigation and technology was crucial for increasing food output.

Scientists from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research announced that they had, for the first time, decoded the entire DNA sequence of a person. India is now the sixth country in the world to be able to map a human’s genetic code by using local expertise.