Business Current Affairs : November 1-7, 2009
BSNL will set up 30,000 broadband kiosks in rural and remote areas in the next two years on a franchisee basis with an aim to extend broadband connectivity to those who have no alternative access to the facility, and to those who have little to spend on such services.
BSNL is the largest broadband Internet service provider in the country with a subscriber base of 3.9 million. BSNL network is divided into four zones (East, North, West, South).
November 3, 2009: India Buys IMF Gold
On September 18, 2009, the IMF’s executive board approved gold sales strictly limited to 403.3 metric tonnes, representing one eighth of its total holdings. India and China were seen as the likely buyers the IMF gold, given the two Asian giants’ economic strength even in the face of the global recession that ravaged most economies.
RBI bought 200 tonnes of gold from the IMF early November for over $6.7 billion after which the global bullion market witnessed a bull run that lifted the yellow metal prices to a whopping $1225 per ounce.
The RBI paid on average about $1,045 per ounce for the gold and the transaction would be paid in hard currency and not in IMF Special Drawing Rights, the IMF’s internal unit of account.
This was a part of an exercise to mop up foreign exchange reserves by the Reserve Bank of India. 200 tonnes of IMF gold that the central bank had bought represented about 6.1% of the country’s total foreign exchange reserves. Foreign-exchange reserves in India have risen $1.38 billion to $286.7 billion in the week ended Nov. 27. India’s total RBI gold holdings have increased to 557.7 metric tonnes after India bought the IMF gold.
The Reserve Bank of India may move forward to accumulating more gold as the yellow metal is expected to shine in the years to come (Click Here to Read About the Largest Gold Reserves of the world)
November 4, 2009: SEBI’s proposed Norms to minimise misuse of powers of attorney
SEBI has proposed a new set of norms that will the minimise misuse of powers of attorney (PoA) that clients execute. Under these norms SEBI wanted to put restrictions on a franchisee or a representative of the broker to use a client’s account. Sebi said the PoA would be executed only in the name of a brokerage and not in favour of a sub-broker or an employee.
Some Proposals worth note:
To ensure that the customer was aware of the terms of the PoA, brokers and depository participants either send the original agreement or a certified copy to the client.
Brokers and depository participants would need to send SMS alerts regarding transactions of shares and transfer of money.
PoA document to also include a clause for settling disputes arising out of the operations of the document.
PoAs should be specific to recover money related to margin or delivery obligations out of trades executed by the client
Such PoAs are called restricted PoAs, (Brokers get their clients to sign general PoAs also called full PoA)
November 4, 2009: New Green Rating System by CII
A similar exercise to Greenpeace ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’, which rates leading manufacturers on their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals, CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) is developing a Green Rating System. For this purpose, CII has forming a high-level group comprising 70-80 industry experts and environment experts. The companies will be “Green Certified” by Central Pollution Control Board and State Pollution Control Board. The companies will also have to secure a minimum of 400 points out of 1,000 to be able to participate in the rating system. All sectors of the economy will be covered like paper, sugar, chemical, cement, metal industry, power plants, automobiles and engineering, textiles, fertilisers and refineries, the services sector and the transportation sector, and rank them on an index comprising five levels and 1,000 points. The index, to be launched by mid-2010.
November 06, 2009 : Latest Deposit rates of SBI
State Bank of India has reduced its Deposit rates on maturities by 25-50 basis points (Effective November9, 2009). The rates now are as folows:
Deposits with a maturity of 181 days to less than one year = 5.25 per cent against 5.75
Deposits for 1 year to less than 2 years = 6.0% against 6.25%
Deposits for 2 year to less than 3 years = 6.5% against 6.75%
Deposits for 2 year to less than 5 years = 6.5 % against 7.00 %
Deposits with a duration of 15-45 day, 46-90 day and 91-180 day will now attract interest rates of 2.5 per cent (2.75 per cent), 3.5 per cent (3.75 per cent) and 4.75 per cent (5 per cent).
November 7, 2009: Generic version of Pfizer’s Lipitor, Developed by Dr. Reddy’s
Lipitor of Pfizer is world’s largest selling drug which has sales of over $10 billion. This is a Cholesterol lowering drug whose patent wil expire in 2010. With this, Dr. Reddy’s is now among a few generic companies hoping to grab a share the market of this drug. Other is Ranbaxy.