Pranab seeks net 568.5 bn extra spending in 2011-12

New Delhi: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday sought parliamentary approval to spend a net additional 568.5 billion ($11 billion), on top of the budget target of around $244 billion, in the current fiscal year to end-March 2012.

Union finance minister PranabMukherjee . Photo: PTI

The request for more spending comes after several policymakers have said the government may well overshoot its fiscal deficit target of 4.6 percent for this fiscal year. (Reuters)


India not requested by IMF to help with euro crisis-min

New Delhi: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not requested India to provide funds to help combat the debt crisis in Europe, the country’s junior finance minister told parliament on Friday.

“No such request has been received from IMF to help in saving Europe from a fresh debt crisis," Namo Narain Meena said in response to a question in parliament.

IMF on Tuesday beefed up its lending instruments and launched a six-month liquidity line, throwing help to countries with solid policies that may be at risk from the euro zone debt crisis. (Reuters)


DLF to invest up to 3,000 cr to build new malls in 5 years

New Delhi: The country’s largest realty player, DLF Ltd will invest up to 3,000 crore over the next five years to develop shopping malls across India as it looks to cash in on opportunities following the further opening up of FDI in retail sector.

The company will develop 3.5 million square feet to 4 million square feet of retail space as it expects heightened activity with the government yesterday approving 51% foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail and 100% in single brand.

“I welcome the opening of the retail sector. In the next three to five years, the sector will grow and consumers will benefit. The supply chain issue will also be addressed by the industry adequately. From our side we will invest 2,000 crore to 3,000 crore in the next five years," DLF vice chairman Rajiv Singh told the news agency on the sidelines of CDREAI summit here.

He said most of the new retail malls will come up in cities, including the Capital, NCR, Jalandhar, Lucknow, Kolkatta, Chennai, Kochi and Indore.

Asked about the funding of the investments, he said it would be through internal accruals. (PTI)


Govt hopeful of getting Cos Bill passed in Winter Session

New Delhi: Corporate affairs minister Veerappa Moily Friday expressed hope that the new Companies Bill, which seeks to update business laws in the country, will be passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

“Our Companies Bill was very old and needed reform. We hope to get it (new Bill) passed during the Winter Session," Moily told reporters on the sidelines of a CII event here.

Cabinet on Thursday approved the Companies Bill, 2011, which aims to introduce modern concepts like mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR), class action suits and a fixed term for independent directors, among other things. (PTI)


Poor German auction spells tough times for euro

London: Weak demand at a German debt auction suggests investors are starting to shun even the euro zone’s strongest economy, which could trigger more losses in the shared currency as many shift from euro-denominated assets to safe havens outside the region.

As Italian, Spanish and even French yield spreads have blown out to record levels in recent weeks, the trend has been for portfolio flows to switch into German Bunds, resulting in no foreign exchange outflows from the euro zone.

Those flows, combined with talk of repatriation of capital by euro zone banks desperate to shore up their balance sheets as money markets seize up, have been cited as reasons behind the euro’s recent resilience around $1.34.

But that appears to be changing and on Thursday the euro slid to a 7-week low at $1.3316. (Reuters)


Japan deflation persists; Europe dims outlook

Tokyo: Japan’s core consumer prices fell for the first time in four months in the year to October after a cigarette tax hike a year ago dropped out from calculations revealing persistent deflation caused by chronically weak domestic demand.

In fact, November data for the Tokyo area showed deeper declines that exceeded analysts’ forecasts and backed the view that the Bank of Japan will maintain ultra-easy monetary policy for the foreseeable future.

A narrower measure of prices that excludes both food and energy fell from a year ago in a sign that the world’s third-largest economy continued to struggle with lacklustre job market, weak consumer demand and excess capacity.

Core consumer prices fell 0.1% as forecast in a sign of weak aggregate demand as a strong yen and spillover from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis dampen export demand.

Bank of Japan governor Masaaki Shirakawa on Friday expressed the central bank’s growing alarm that the euro zone crisis may bring more pain for the Japanese economy.

“Europe’s sovereign problems have affected Japan through the yen’s strength and stock price falls. As emerging economies that have close trading relations with Europe slow down, Japan’s exports to those economies may decline," Shirakawa said. (Reuters)


Britain’s FTSE hits worst losing streak in 9 yrs

London: Britain’s blue-chip ended lower for the ninth consecutive session on Thursday, marking its worst run since January 2003, after Germany reiterated its opposition to the use of euro bonds or monetary tools to help solve the euro zone’s debt crisis.

Following a meeting with the leaders of France and Italy, German chancellor, Angela Merkel, quashed market hopes that Europe’s paymaster would open the door to the launch of joint euro zone bonds or a quantitative easing programme by the European Central Bank.

“It was a completely wrong signal; anyone that was in for the short term closed their position," Lee Curtis, a trader at City Index, said.

With Wall Street shut for Thanksgiving, trading volumes on the FTSE 100 were light at 88% of their 90-day average, encouraging intra-day profit taking and causing sharp moves on the index, traders said.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.24% lower at 5,127.57 points, having risen to a day high of 5,184 in morning trade, boosted by better-than-expected macro data from Germany, before falling to a trough of 5,098 in the afternoon, when Merkel made her comments. (Reuters)


China says will continue to develop atomic power

Beijing: China, which has halted a host of new nuclear power projects to conduct a safety review in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, has said it will keep on developing atomic power which has become a key part of efforts to address its energy problems.

“No matter what circumstances, it is inevitable to include nuclear power as a significant component of China’s effort to resolve energy problems," Zhang Guobao, advisory board chairman of China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) was quoted by the state-run ‘China Daily’ as telling the International Capital Conference in Paris.

Zhang’s remarks came against the backdrop of China’s decision to suspend approval for new plants and announcement about a sweeping review of nuclear safety and atomic energy laws and regulations after Japan’s Fukushima atomic disaster following a massive earthquake and tsunami there in March. (PTI)