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QBiz: India To Become World’s Engine of Growth, Says Modi; & more

1. India Set To Become Engine Of World's Growth, Says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said India has emerged as the best destination for investment in the world.

At the inauguration of the ‘Uttarakhand Investors Summit’, the prime minister said more than 10,000 measures had been taken by the Centre and the state governments to make the environment conducive for investments.

Skirting the issue of the falling rupee, Modi said India is all set to become the main engine of the world’s growth. “Fiscal deficit has come down. Inflation is under control. The middle class in India is rising,” he said.

India has climbed 42 points in the ease of doing business rankings, he said, adding the infrastructure in the country is also strengthening.

(Source: Business Standard)

2. Fuel Price Rise Again In Delhi And Mumbai

The prices of petrol and diesel have been hiked for another day on Sunday, 7 October. The petrol price has been hiked by 14 paise and diesel by 29 paise in the national capital, as reported by the news agency ANI. After revision, the price of petrol has been hiked to Rs 81.82 per litre while diesel is being sold at Rs 73.53 a litre in New Delhi.

This upward trend in fuel prices has affected the people in Mumbai the most. In the business capital, the petrol retailing is at Rs. 87.29 per litre and diesel at 77.06 per litre, after a 14 paise and 31 paise hike, respectively.

The continued rise in fuel prices has triggered people’s demand for the intervention of central government on the matter.

(Source: The Financial Express)

3. Reliance Hikes Petrochemical Prices To Offset Rising Oil

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) raised prices of at least seven key petrochemicals in the last quarter to offset higher crude oil prices and counter the effect of a weakening rupee.

Bulk chemicals traders, suppliers for RIL’s petrochemical products and analysts tracking the company said it raised prices by 10-21percent in the second quarter of this fiscal while year-on-year increase is 17-61percent.

These products include purified terephthalic acid (PTA), monoethylene glycol (MEG), polyester staple fibre (PSF), partially oriented yarn (POY), polypropylene or high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear alkyl benzene (LAB).

“Its more about the rupee decline and crude price which have increased petrochemicals prices in Asia. There is not much change in terms of demand-supply,” an analyst tracking RIL said on condition of anonymity.

Crude prices, which have been on the rise, are expected to touch $100 per barrel in a few months. The rupee, on the other hand, weakened further and settled at 73.76 against the dollar on 5 October.

(Source: Livemint)

4. Growth In India Firming Up, Projected To Accelerate Further: World Bank

Prompted by the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and recapitalisation of banks following demonetisation, the Indian economy is growing at a firm rate and will see further acceleration, World Bank’s latest report on South Asia has revealed.

The report projects the growth to accelerate to 7.3 percent in the 2018-19 fiscal year and 7.5 percent in the next two years, with stronger private spending and export growth as the key drivers.

Growth reached 6.7 percent in fiscal year 2017/18, with a significant acceleration in recent months, it said.

The report credited a robust growth in the second half for the turnaround, which was led by manufacturing sector (that grew at 8.8 percent versus 2.7 percent in the first half) and domestic consumption, which grew at 7 percent. Agriculture growth also improved, and services growth held steady at 7.7 percent, the report said.

(Source: The Indian Express)

5. FreshMenu in Talks to Raise $75 Million

FreshMenu, the online food ordering platform, is in early discussions with private equity funds to raise as much as $75 million for expansion plans. TPG, General Atlantic, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings and domestic PE fund Kedaara Capital are among those in negotiations to acquire a 25-30 percent stake, according to two people aware of the development.

Kotak Mahindra Capital has been running the process.

FreshMenu, which counts Lightspeed Ventures and Zodius Capital as investors, is looking for a valuation of $250 million in the Series C round against a $50 million valuation in the Series B round in 2016, said one of the persons cited above.

The money will be used to set up more kitchens in markets such as Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Gurugram and Mumbai besides entering new markets such as Pune and Hyderabad.

(Source: The Economic Times)

6. Govt Panel Set To Probe E-commerce Firms’ Big Discounts

A review of the competition law that has just started is set to find out if the steep discounts offered by online retailers promotes competition or stifles it as alleged by their old school rivals.

A 10-member panel set up by the corporate affairs ministry last week will examine the trends in digital economy, including steep discounts in online retailing, and whether the e-tailers are subject to any restrictions in their access to dealerships from manufacturers.

Conventional retailers who compete with e-tailers are strongly opposed to discounts offered by online sellers arguing that it is aimed at displacing brick-and-mortar dealers and will eventually affect consumer interest.

“Practices in the digital economy, backlog of competition cases to be resolved and the fee structure followed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) will be reviewed by the panel,” sources said. The panel will also comb through central and state government policies that do not foster principles of competition in letter and spirit.

(Source: Livemint)

7. Qualcomm Plans To Set Up Campus In Hyderabad, Its Largest Outside US

Tech major Qualcomm on 6 October announced plans to set up its largest campus outside the US in Hyderabad.

The company’s officials met Minister for IT in the Caretaker government K T Rama Rao to discuss their growth plans in the city. “Qualcomm will be investing USD 400 million (Rs 3,000 crore) to set up their campus in Hyderabad, Telangana,” it said in a release.

Phase-1 of the project would include a built up space of 1.7 million square feet, housing about 10,000 employees, it said.

The release quoted Qualcomm officials as saying that the company was playing a key role in driving the wireless revolution by making mobile communications more accessible and affordable.

The proposed facility would be its largest campus globally after its San Diego headquarters and the USD 400 million investment by Qualcomm in Hyderabad would be its largest globally, the release said.

(Source: PTI)

8. IKEA Expects India E-sales To Beat Other Countries

IKEA expects the percentage of online sales in India to be significantly more than anywhere else in the world. The Swedish home-furnishing giant opened its maiden store in Hyderabad in August and plans to open its second store in Mumbai next summer.

IKEA did not say what percentage of its total sales in India would be online as the service would only start next year in Hyderabad and Mumbai. Globally, it is 10 percent of annual sales, or about $3.8 billion.

“To put things in perspective, Mumbai has a population of about 22 million and will have a single store as of now, whereas Sweden, with a population of 10 million, has 16 stores. We expect a lot of ecommerce orders in Mumbai,” Patrik Antoni, deputy country manager, IKEA India, said.

(Source: The Times of India)

9. Flipkart Forays Into Insurance Segment, Teams Up With Bajaj Allianz

E-commerce major Flipkart on Sunday, 7 October, said it is foraying into the insurance segment after securing a corporate agent license.

To begin with, Flipkart has partnered Bajaj Allianz General Insurance to offer customised insurance solutions to power its mobile phone protection programme for all leading mobile phone brands that are sold on its platform, Flipkart said in a statement.

It added that under the programme, it will offer both cash payout option or free pick up, service and drop convenience to customers.

Tapan Singhel, MD and CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co, said the two companies are starting with the complete mobile protection plan (CMP), adding value for millions of customers. Customers will be able to purchase the insurance-powered CMP plan at the same time as they buy the mobile phone for Rs 99 onwards. Once the customer shares the required details at checkout, the policy will be activated from the day of delivery.

(Source: PTI)

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