Top News This Week

No respite for Greece: Euro Crisis

Greek Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, will be visiting Berlin on Friday for leniency in the bailout terms. Economists and analysts have warned the possibility of market turmoil and frustration for those who hope for a quick solution to the euro zone debt crisis.

Mr. Samaras, leading a fragile coalition, is in great political pressure to provide relief from the austerity that has made life tough for many Greeks.

Greece has been faced with continuous political turmoil and depression like economic conditions. Neither has the country been able to keep a check on government spending nor has it been able to bring about positive changes to improve tax collection and create a better business climate.

Mr. Samaras is expected to request for a period of two years as extension period to give Greece sufficient time to meet its commitments of economic reform and budgeting. With this in mind, he is scheduled to meet with both – Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and François Hollande, the president of France in the days to come.

The prime minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, will also meet Mr. Samaras in Athens coming Wednesday.
Greece could face opposition in its bid for concessions. To add to their ordeal, Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, has expressed reluctance to grant more aid to Greece.

Top six companies add Rs 17,658 crore in market capitalisation; RIL biggest gain

The combined market capitalisation (m-cap) of six of the top Sensex companies rose by Rs 17,658 crore last week. Reliance Industries was seen as the biggest gainer with Rs 10,696 crore.

The list of gainers include: RIL, ONGC, CIL, Infosys, SBI and ICICI Bank.

TCS, ITC, HDFC Bank and NTPC saw corrosion in their market cap, in an overall bullish stock market, where the Sensex gained 0.75 per cent.

RIL’s m-cap saw an astonishing leap of Rs 10,696 crore to Rs 2,63,794 crore and shares of the company gained 4.22 per cent during the week.

ONGC’s market value jumped a good Rs 2,225 crore to reach Rs 2,41,179 crore. Infosys added Rs 2,196 crore to Rs 1,35,024 crore.

Similarly, Coal India Ltd saw its m-cap rise by Rs 1,168 crore to a total of Rs 2,21,356 crore, while ICICI Bank added Rs 812 crore to its m-cap at Rs 1,10,879 crore.

The value of SBI jumped by Rs 561 crore to Rs 1,27,250 crore during last week.

RIL topped the market valuation chart, followed by TCS, ONGC, CIL, ITC, HDFC Bank, NTPC, Infosys, SBI and ICICI Bank.

3 CAG reports in Parliament today, Government set to face fire

The Comptroller and Auditor General reports on the privatization of three units namely: the Delhi airport, the ultra-mega power projects and the coal block allocations were unfolded in the Parliament.

The CAG report on coal block allocations which amounts to a loss to the exchequer at Rs 1.86 lakh crore, makes it even bigger than the 2G scam loss.

The CAG report on power accuses the government of favoring some companies over others. The government was found benefiting companies like Tata and Reliance Power.

The Prime Minister, who allegedly allotted 44 billion tonnes of coal at an ‘as good as free’ price was also mentioned which raised questions of his stint as a Coal Minister.

The CAG report on privatization of Delhi airport questions the role of Praful Patel, the then Civil Aviation minister, for favoring GMR infrastructure enterprises that received “benefits” worth Rs 3,400 crore.

Many analysts, economists and journalists have responded to the report saying that it is time for the Indian private sector to be active in the quest for national progress and help rid ourselves of the political squabbles.

India to launch Mars orbiter in 2013

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced that India has set its sight on the Red Planet – Mars.

In India’s Independence Day speech, at the Red Fort, Singh said his government has given the nod for plans to put an “unmanned probe in orbit around Mars”. The mission “will be a huge step for us in the area of science and technology,” he said.

If all goes as planned, there will be a launch in November 2013 for a 10-month flight, said Kiran Karnik, a former official with the Indian Space Research Organization, today.

“By the time the mission gets there, Mars will be comparatively the closest,” Karnik told CNN’s sister network CNN-IBN. “So there’s a small window in which we need to make a launch and that’s the reason the mission has to go up next year.”

The mission aims to find clues to the age old questions concerning “geology, origin, evolution and sustainability of life” on Mars, according to an ISRO report published earlier this year.

India’s space program has come a long way from launching its first Earth satellite in 1975 and putting an unmanned probe into orbit around the moon in 2008 to aiming for the Red Planet.

Infotech Enterprises eyes control of JV with Pratt & Whitney

The rupee softened by six paise to rest at 55.34 against the US dollar, in volatile trade. This occurred due to an increasing demand for the US currency from oil importers.

The rupee reached a high of 55.25 a dollar at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) market. This was a small increase compared to Friday’s close of 55.28.

On 13th the rupee reached its all day high of 55.19 “on dollar selling by exporters amid sustained capital inflows into the stock market” quoted the Financial Express.

“The weak dollar overseas also boosted the rupee sentiment in early trade”, said Forex traders.

The rupee had touched a low of 55.47 a dollar in the late morning session on dollar demand from importers amid hesitancy in local shares. However, with shares recovering in the latter part of the day and the US dollar losing its momentum in the international market, the rupee settled at 55.34.

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