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Business & Economy

NITI Aayog governing council meeting begins

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The fourth meeting of the NITI Aayog's governing council began here on Sunday to discuss issues including measures taken to double farmers' income and progress of flagship schemes like Ayushman Bharat, National Nutrition Mission and Mission Indradhanush.
 
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All state Chief Ministers except Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal and Odisha's Naveen Patnaik, were present in the meeting. 
 
Kejriwal was absent from the meet as he, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, is camping at Raj Niwas since last week demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike.
 
The governing council of NITI Aayog is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states in shaping the development narrative.
 
The council reviews the work done during the previous year and deliberates upon the future developmental priorities.
 
The council will also discuss measures taken for development of aspirational districts and the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. 
 
IANS
 
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Petrol prices unchanged after 8 paise fall on Friday

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Petrol prices across the four metros were stable on Saturday. In the national capital, the fuel was sold at an unchanged price of Rs 76.35 per litre.
 
In Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai too, prices were stable at Rs 79.02, Rs 84.18 and Rs 79.24 per litre respectively.
 
On Friday, petrol prices fell by eight paise in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai and by nine paise in Chennai.
 
The price of diesel was unchanged for the fourth day in a row. In Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, it was sold at Rs 67.85, Rs 70.40, Rs 72.24 and Rs 71.62 a litre, all unchanged since the last decline in June 12.
 
Fuel price in the country is largely determined by global crude oil prices, which have been on a downslide for nearly a month now. The Brent crude oil is currently priced over $73 per barrel, down from nearly $80 a barrel a month ago.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Prabhu visits US, meets USTR and other officials

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To take forward the robust commercial ties with the United States and to resolve outstanding bilateral trade issues, a delegation led by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu visited the United States from June 10-12 for meetings with his US interlocutors.
 
During the visit, Mr Prabhu held a series of discussions with key officials including US Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
 
The Minister also had a joint meeting with the India Caucus Co-chairs Senator Mark Robert Warner and Senator John Cornyn. 
 
The meetings were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, with an appreciation for each other's points of view, an official press release said.
 
The discussions centred around bilateral trade and commercial relations and focused on finding the way forward to address concerns of both sides so as to result in a win-win situation. Both the sides agreed for high-level official talks at an early date to discuss various issues of interest to both sides and carry forward the discussions in a positive, constructive and result-oriented manner.
 
During the visit, Mr Prabhu also interacted with the business community and addressed industry leaders in meetings organized by US-India Business Council (USIBC) and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
 
The Minister informed the industry leaders about the aggressive economic reforms undertaken by India such as GST, Make-in-India, Startup India and Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS), Digital India programme, e-commerce, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and how they have made the business climate much easier in India.
 
Mr Prabhu noted the encouraging growth in trade volumes through purchases of US-made civilian aircraft by Indian companies and enhanced cooperation in the area of energy, including procurement of petroleum and LNG by India from the US.
 
He also pointed out that India’s rapid economic growth will create significant new market opportunities in these and other areas and added that these purchases have already led to a reduction in the bilateral trade deficit in 2017. Future sales will sustain this trend and create a balanced trade relationship between the two countries, he added.
 
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India's exports rise by 20.18% in May, 2018

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Staying in positive territory for the second consecutive month, India's merchandise exports grew by 20.18 percent to $ 28.86 billion in May, 2018 as compared to $ 24.01 billion in the same month of the previous year.
 
In rupee terms, the experts rose by 25.99% to Rs. 194928.45 crore in May, 2018 as compared to Rs. 154713.69 crore during May, 2017, an official press release said.
 
The release said that the major commodity groups of export which showed growth in May, 2018 over the corresponding month of the previous year were engineering goods (14.77%), petroleum products (104.47%), organic and inorganic chemicals (34.21%), drugs and pharmaceuticals (25.67%) and cotton yarn/fabs./made-ups/handloom products, etc. (24.7%).
 
The cumulative value of exports for the period April-May, 2018-19 was $ 54.77 billion (Rs. 364981.41 crore) as against $ 48.65 billion (Rs. 313627.48 crore) registering a positive growth of 12.58 per cent in dollar terms and 16.37 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
 
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports during May 2018 were valued at $ 19.94 billion as compared to $ 17.51 billion during May, 2017 exhibiting a positive growth of 13.85%. Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports during April-May, 2018-19 were valued at $ 39.74 billion as compared to $ 35.23 billion for the corresponding period in 2017-18, an increase of 12.78%.
 
The release said imports during May, 2018 were valued at $ 43.48 billion (Rs. 293660.48 crore) which was 14.85% higher in dollar terms and 20.41% higher in rupee terms over the level of imports valued at $ 37.86 billion (Rs. 243888.74 crore) in May, 2017.
 
The cumulative value of imports for the period April-May, 2018-19 was $ 83.11 billion (Rs. 553745.15 crore) as against $ 75.74 billion (Rs. 488269.26 crore), registering a growth of 9.72% in dollar terms and 13.41 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
 
Major items of imports which  showed high growth in May, 2018 over the corresponding period of last year were petroleum, crude oil and products (49.46%), electronic goods (19.93%), machinery, electrical & non-electrical (30.86%), coal, coke & briquettes, etc. (17.88%) and organic & inorganic chemicals (28.26%).
 
Oil imports during May, 2018 were valued at $ 11.50 billion(Rs. 77654.11 crore) which was 49.46% higher in dollar terms and 56.69% higher in rupee terms compared to $ 7.69 billion (Rs. 49560.16 crore) in May,  2017. Oil imports during April-May, 2018-19 were valued at $ 21.91 billion (Rs. 145998.35 crore) which was 45.56% higher in dollar terms and 50.46% higher in rupee terms compared to $ 15.05 billion (Rs. 97032.66 crore) in the corresponding period last year.
 
The release mentioned that the global Brent prices ($/bbl) were 50.68% higher in May, 2018 vis-à-vis May, 2017.
 
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Non-oil imports during May, 2018 were estimated at $ 31.98 billion (Rs. 216006.37 crore) which was 6.03% higher in dollar terms and 11.16%  higher in rupee terms compared to $ 30.16 billion (Rs. 194328.58 crore) in May, 2017. Non-oil imports during April-May, 2018-19 were valued at $ 61.19 billion(Rs. 407746.80 crore) which was 0.83% higher in dollar terms and 4.22% higher in rupee terms compared to $ 60.69 billion (Rs. 391236.60 crore in April-May, 2017-18.
 
Non-oil and non-gold imports in May, 2018 were valued at $ 28.50 billion, up 13.09% as compared to May, 2017. Non-oil and non-gold imports in April-May, 2018, valued at $ 55.14 billion, recorded a positive growth of 6.28 % as compared to April-May, 2017.
 
As far as trade in services were concerned, exports during April, 2018 were valued at $ 17.56 billion (Rs. 115277.03 crore), registering a growth of 4.33% in dollar terms as compared to growth of 7.16% during March,  2018.
 
Imports of services during April, 2018 were valued at $ 10.92 billion (Rs. 71642.02 crore), registering a growth of 6.18% in dollar terms as compared to 1.35% during March, 2018.
 
The merchandise trade deficit for May, 2018 was estimated at $ 14.62 billion as against the deficit of $ 13.84 dillion during May, 2017.
 
The trade balance in services for April, 2018 was estimated at $ 6.65 billion.
 
Taking merchandise and services together, the overall trade deficit for April-May, 2018-19 is estimated at $ 21.69 billion as compared to $ 21.41 billion during April-May, 2017-18, the release added.
 
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Global cues, fund outflows depress investors; equity indices end flat

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Broadly negative global cues on trade and monetary policy issues along with the continuous outflow of foreign funds and a weak rupee led the key Indian equity indices to close on a flat-to-positive note on Friday.
 
Even though the day's trade commenced with a "gap-up opening", heavy selling pressure in metal, banking and capital goods stocks depressed the trajectory of both the NSE Nifty50 and the S&P BSE Sensex.
 
However, a last-hour buying spree in IT and healthcare counters aided the indices to pare their losses and close on a flat-to-positive note. 
 
Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,817.70 points, up 9.65 points or 0.09 per cent from the previous close of 10,808.05 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had opened at 35,656.26 points, closed at 35,622.14 points -- higher by 22.32 points or 0.06 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,599.82 points.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,675.20 points and a low of 35,419.68 points during the intra-day trade.
 
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap ended 0.40 per cent lower, while the S&P BSE small cap index fell 0.46 per cent. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,562 declines and 1,083 advances.
 
"After a small range trade in the morning, indices hit fresh intra-day low in afternoon trade as selling pressure intensified. A late recovery resulted in pushing the key equity indices to positive zone," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
 
Jasani added: "Major Asian markets have closed on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100 and DAX traded in the red."
 
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On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 39 paise against the US dollar to 68.02, from its previous close of 67.63 per greenback.
 
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,524.74 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 561.01 crore. 
 
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index gained the most, by 305.77 points, followed by the healthcare index which rose by 263.49 points and the Teck (technology, entertainment and media) index, which ended higher by 128.91 points respectively. 
 
On the other hand, S&P BSE metal index fell by 208.78 points, the banking index was down 193.45 points and the capital goods index ended lower by 191.96 points.
 
The major gainers on the Sensex were Dr Reddy's Labs, up 3.65 per cent at Rs 2,351.10; Infosys, up 3.37 per cent at Rs 1,280.45; Tata Consultancy Services, up 2.75 per cent at Rs 1,841.45; Sun Pharma, up 2.04 per cent at Rs 571.05; and Reliance Industries, up 0.63 per cent at Rs 1,013.85 per share.
 
The top losers were Yes Bank, down 1.91 per cent at Rs 330.55; State Bank of India, down 1.82 per cent at Rs 277.55; ONGC, down 1.81 per cent at Rs 165.45, Coal India, down 1.59 per cent at Rs 279.05; and Tata Motors (DVR), down 1.56 per cent at Rs 180.05 per share. 
 
IANS
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by$ 879.5 million to $ 413.11 billion

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Reversing a seven-week downtrend, India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 879.5 million to $ 413.11 billion during the week ended June 8, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had dipped by $ 593.7 million to $ 412.230 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 875.4 million to $ 388.391 billion during the week.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 21.1897 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) increased by $ 1.8 million to $ 1.4997 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 2.3 million to $ 2.0291 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Diesel prices unchanged for 3rd straight day; petrol down 8 paise

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Diesel prices in the country's four metro cities remained stable for the third straight day on Friday but petrol prices declined around eight paise.
 
In the national capital, diesel was sold at Rs 67.85 per litre on Friday, unchanged since Wednesday, June 13.
 
Similarly, in the other key cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 70.40, Rs 72.24 and Rs 71.62 per litre respectively, all at unchanged levels.
 
This stagnation comes after diesel prices fell by just over Re 1 in the metros during May 30-June 12 period.
 
Petrol prices, however, dropped by around eight paise a litre across the metros on Friday, after remaining unchanged for two days.
 
In Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, the key transportation fuel was sold at Rs 76.35, Rs 79.02 and Rs 84.18 per litre, all prices down eight paise from Thursday's level. In Chennai, price fell by nine paise to Rs 79.24 per litre.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Equity indices trade flat on mixed Asian cues

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The key Indian equity indices traded on a flat to negative note on Friday afternoon tracking mixed cues from the bechmark Asian indices.
 
Asian indices traded mixed after US President Donald Trump approved the plan to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese exports, reviving concerns of a trade war between the US and China.
 
According to market analysts, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in the capital goods, banking and auto stocks.
 
At 12.46 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,803.55 points, down 4.50 points or 0.04 per cent from the previous close of 10,808.05 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had opened at 35,656.26 points, traded at 35,556.77 points (12.46 p.m.) -- down 43.05 points or 0.12 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,599.82 points.
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,675.20 points and a low of 35,522.63 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,338 declines and 1,063 advances so far.
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were Dr Reddy's Lab, Sun Pharma, Reliance Industries, Infosys and Tata Steel whereas NTPC, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Coal India and ONGC were the major losers.
 
On the NSE, Dr Reddy's Lab, Cipla and UPL were the highest gainers while Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil Corp and NTPC lost the most.
 
IANS
 
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Teleperformance to acquire Intelenet from Blackstone for $ 1 billion

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Teleperformance, a leader in outsourced omni-channel customer experience management, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Intelenet, a high-end business services and digital transformation solutions provider, from global alternative asset manager Blackstone.
 
The transaction will be completed for a total consideration (enterprise value) of $1.0 billion, a press release from Teleperformance said.
 
Intelenet is a major global provider of high-end omnichannel customer experience management, back-office, human resources and financial & administration services. 
 
The company has more than 110 blue chip clients worldwide, mostly in the English-speaking market, India and the Middle East.
 
 Intelenet primarily serves the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance sector (BFSI), as well as the travel, transport & accommodation, e-commerce, e-services, and healthcare sectors.
 
"Intelenet helps clients drive revenue growth, optimize operational efficiency, and reduce operational costs, while increasing end-customer satisfaction due to its integrated solutions," the release said.
 
Founded in 2000 and headquartered in Mumbai (India), Intelenet is managed by Bhupender Singh (IIM and IIT graduate), who was recognized as “CEO of the year” in 2018 at the ET Now HR Talent Management and Leadership Awards in India.
 
"Intelenet’s growth momentum is strongly positive. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, the company posted revenue of US$449 million, up + 10% year on year, and EBITDA of US$83 million, representing 18.5% of revenue vs. 17.4% the previous year. For fiscal year 2019, the company forecasts significant additional revenue growth of at least + 10% and increased profitability," the release said.
 
Daniel Julien, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Teleperformance, said: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Bhupender and the Intelenet group to the Teleperformance family. We share the same management values, the same passion for service, and the same strategic vision. Intelenet’s strong integrated solutions and digital optimization capacities will immediately and significantly enhance Teleperformance’s offering. Intelenet’s amazing footprint in India is also an opportunity for Teleperformance to massively strengthen its presence in this key geography going forward. Thanks to the Intelenet acquisition, Teleperformance is poised to move quickly ahead with its 2018-2022 strategic plan. Moreover, upon closing this deal will be immediately accretive for Teleperformance shareholders, as it should have a positive impact of around + 10 % on the Group’s earnings per share in 2018 on a pro forma basis.”
 
Amit Dixit, Senior Managing Director and Head of Private Equity India, Blackstone, said: “We have invested in Intelenet twice. The continued success of the company is a testament to the exceptional quality of the management team, the value delivered to its customers, and the deep engagement with Blackstone. We are excited with the transfer of ownership to an industry leading company, Teleperformance, because it ensures continuity for Intelenet’s management, employees and customers. In addition, it provides a platform to further accelerate growth by combining Intelenet’s intellectual property with Teleperformance’s global customer base. We offer our full support and best wishes for an exciting future.”
 
 "We thank Blackstone for an excellent partnership over the years. Going forward, the management team is excited to lead Intelenet in its next phase of evolution. With the large, global platform of Teleperformance combined with the transformative services capabilities of Intelenet, we will be able to deliver even greater value to the clients of both companies. In addition, the combination will provide greater growth opportunities for our employees”, added Bhupender Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Intelenet.
 
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The deal is expected to have a positive impact of around + 10% on Teleperformance’s earnings per share before amortization of goodwill in 2018 on a pro forma basis. The net debt to EBITDA ratio on a pro forma basis should be below 2.5 at the end of 2018 and is expected to come down quickly. The acquisition will be fully financed through debt provided by BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan and Natixis, which may be replaced in whole or in part by a bond issue, subject to market conditions. Paul Hastings LLP and Linklaters LLP acted as legal advisors to Teleperformance on the acquisition and the financing, respectively, and Sullivan & Cromwell acted as tax advisor. J.P. Morgan acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Intelenet. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Platinum Partners acted as legal advisors and Ernst & Young and KPMG acted as accounting and tax advisors, respectively, to Blackstone and Intelenet.
 
The transaction is expected to close by September 30, 2018, subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, the release said.
 
Intelenet is 55,000 people strong, with over 40 global delivery centers in 8 countries across Americas, Europe, Middle East, India and Philippines. Intelenet serves 110+ clients in over 25 languages.
 
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Key Indian equity indices open flat

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The key Indian equity indices opened on a flat note on Friday.
 
At 9.30 a.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,816.90 points, up 8.85 points or 0.08 per cent from the previous close of 10,808.05 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had opened at 35,656.26 points, traded at 35,604.63 points (9.30 a.m.) -- up 4.81 points or 0.01 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,599.82 points.
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,666.07 and a low of 35,522.63 points.
 
The BSE market breadth was bullish with 890 advances and 517 declines so far.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Global cues, macro-data subdue equity indices

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Disappointing macro-economic inflation data, along with weak global cues pulled the key Indian equity indices in to the red on Thursday.
 
The slide in key indices -- S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 -- snapped their three-day gaining streak after the country's Wholesale Price index-based inflation edged higher and the US Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rates.
 
According to market analysts, heavy outflow of foreign funds during the day also pulled the indices lower.
 
Index-wise, the broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,808.05 points -- down by 48.65 points or 0.45 per cent -- from its previous close of 10,856.70 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which had opened at 35,743.10 points ended in the red. It closed at 35,599.82 points -- lower by 139.34 points or 0.39 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,739.16 points.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,749.88 points and a low of 35,488.55 points during the intra-day trade. 
 
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index was down 0.08 per cent while the S&P BSE small-cap index ended 0.07 per cent higher from its previous close.
 
The BSE market breadth was tilted towards the bears with 1,423 declines against 1,206 advances. On the NSE, too, the market breadth was negative.
 
"The weakness was weighed by negative global cues after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates and struck a hawkish tone in its latest policy statement," Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
 
According to BNP Paribas Mutual Fund's Senior Fund Manager for Equities, Abhijeet Dey, the US Federal Reserve also projected a slightly faster pace of rate increases in the coming months, with two additional hikes expected by the end of this year, compared to one previously. 
 
"Investors took this as a more aggressive stance than previously projected and consequently took to selling equities," he said.
 
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On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated by two paise against the US dollar to 67.63, from its previous close at 67.65 per greenback. 
 
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,372.84 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 576.19 crore. 
 
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index gained the most, by 202.86 points, followed by the consumer discretinary goods and services index and the energy index which rose marginally, by 2.08 points and 1.14 points respectively. 
 
On the other hand, S&P BSE IT index fell by 194.09 points, the consumer durables index was down 185.96 points and the capital goods index ended lower by 151.72 points.
 
The major gainers on the Sensex were Sun Pharma, up 2.57 per cent at Rs 559.65; Yes Bank, up 1.17 per cent at Rs 337; IndusInd Bank, up 1 per cent at Rs 1,966.60; Dr Reddy's Lab, up 0.73 per cent at Rs 2,268.40; and Reliance Industries, up 0.54 per cent at Rs 1,007.50 per share.
 
The top losers were ICICI Bank, down 2.11 per cent at Rs 284.65; Tata Consultancy Services, down 1.75 per cent at Rs 1,792.25; Adani Ports, down 1.75 per cent at Rs 375.45, State Bank of India, down 1.75 per cent at Rs 282.70; and Axis Bank, down 1.52 per cent at Rs 531.55 per share. 
 
IANS
 
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Petrol prices unchanged for 2 days after drop of Rs 2 in 13 days

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After a fall of around Rs 2 per litre in 13 days, petrol prices in the four metros have remained unchanged for the last two days (including Thursday).
 
In Delhi, the petrol price fell by Rs 2 between May 30-June 12 and is currently at Rs 76.43 a litre, data from the Indian Oil Corp's website showed.
 
Similarly, in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, petrol prices during the said period declined by Rs 1.96, Rs 1.98, Rs 2.10 per litre to Rs 79.10, Rs 84.26 and Rs 79.33 a litre respectively. Prices have been at this level since Wednesday.
 
This drop of around Rs 2 a litre in the cost of petrol contrasts the rise of nearly Rs 4 per litre during May 14-29 when the prices of the fuel reached record levels in most of the major cities.
 
Similarly, prices of diesel which dropped by just over Re 1 in the four metro cities of the country during May 30-June 12 were steady on Wednesday and Thursday.
 
In Delhi and Kolkata, the price of the fuel declined by Rs 1.46 during the period to Rs 67.85 and Rs 70.40 per litre. In Mumbai and Chennai, prices were at Rs 72.24 and Rs 71.62 a litre, down Rs 1.55 and Rs 1.56 respectively.
 
The rate of fall in the past two weeks was just half the pace of rise in the previous fortnight. 
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Global cues, profit booking subdue equity indices

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The key Indian equity indices provisionally closed in the red on Thursday as weak global indices and profit booking dented investors sentiments.
 
The slide in key indices -- S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 -- snapped their three-day gaining streak after the US Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rates.
 
According to market observers, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in the IT, consumer durables and capital goods stocks.
 
At 3.30 p.m., the broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) provisionally closed at 10,808.05 points -- down by 48.65 points or 0.45 per cent -- from its previous close of 10,856.70 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which had opened at 35,743.10 points ended in the red. It closed at 35,599.82 points (3.30 p.m.) -- lower by 139.34 points or 0.39 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,739.16 points.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,749.88 points and a low of 35,488.55 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was tilted towards the bears with 1,395 declines against 1,232 advances.
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were Sun Pharma, Yes Bank, IndusInd Bank, Dr Reddy's Lab and Reliance Industries whereas ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Adani Ports, State Bank of India (SBI) and Axis Bank were the major losers.
 
On the NSE, Lupin, Sun Pharma and HCL Technologies were the highest gainers while Tech Mahindra, Adani Ports and TCS lost the most.
 
IANS
 
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Weak global cues pull equity indices lower

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Weak Asian indices and a rate hike by the US Federal Reserve depressed the key Indian equity indices on Thursday afternoon.
 
According to market analysts, investors also booked profits after the indices rose in the previous three trading sessions.
 
Heavy selling presure was witnessed in the IT, oil and gas and banking stocks, they said.
 
At 12.51 p.m., the broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,789.20 points -- down by 67.50 points or 0.62 per cent -- from its previous close of 10,856.70 points.
 
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which had opened at 35,743.10 points, traded at 35,538.95 points (12.53 p.m.) -- lower by 200.21 points or 0.56 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,739.16 points.
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,749.88 points and a low of 35,488.55 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,447 declines against 952 advances so far.
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's Lab, Yes Bank, HDFC Bank and IndusInd Bank whereas State Bank of India (SBI), Adani Ports, Coal India, ONGC and ICICI Bank were the major losers.
 
On the NSE, Sun Pharma, HCL Technologies and Lupin were the highest gainers while Tech Mahindra, Adani Ports and SBI lost the most.
 
IANS
 
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India's wholesale inflation rate rises to 4.43% for May, 2018

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India's headline annual rate of inflation, based on the revised monthly Wholesale Price Index (WPI), with base 2011-12=100, rose sharply to 4.43 percent for May, 2018 as compared to 3.18 percent in the previous month and 2.26 percent in the same month of the previous year, thanks to a spike in food and fuel prices.
 
An official press release, quoting provisional data, said here today that the official WPI for ‘All Commodities’ (Base: 2011-12=100) for May, 2018 rose by 0.9% to 117.9 from 116.8 for the previous month.
 
According to it, the build-up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 1.38% compared to a build-up rate of -0.27% in the corresponding period of the previous year.
 
The statement said the rate of inflation based on WPI Food Index, consisting of ‘Food Articles’ from Primary Articles group and ‘Food Products’ from Manufactured Products group, increased from 0.67% in April, 2018 to 1.12% in May, 2018.
 
It said that the final WPI for March, 2018 stood at 116.3, as compared to 116.0 provisionally reported on April 16. Accordingly, the annual rate of inflation based on the final index stood at 2.74 percent as compared to 2.47% reported on that date, it added.
 
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Cabinet approves monetization of 3.7 acres of land at Delhi's Pragati Maidan

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the monetization of 3.70 acres of land at PragatiMaidan by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) on long-term leasehold basis for 99 years for construction and running of a hotel by a third party, including private sector, through a transparent competitive bidding process.
 
This measure is part of Phase I of the redevelopment project of Pragati Maidan -- Integrated Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC) Project, which  was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in January 2017 at an estimated cost of Rs. 2254 crore.
 
The IECC project envisages construction of a world class state-of-the-art Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre with a seating capacity for 7,000 people, exhibition space of over 1,00,000 sq.mtr. and a basement parking for 4,800 vehicles. 
 
Traffic decongestion measures in and around the Pragati Maidan will also lead to decongestion of the area, the release said.
 
Funds raised through monetization of land will be one of the means of financing the IECC project which is essential for Central Government and State Governments to hold summit-level meetings and exhibitions and events for trade promotion.
 
The work for IECC project as well as the traffic decongestion solutions is in full swing. ITPO has stated that the entire project is expected to be completed by September 2019.
 
"IECC project will benefit Indian trade and industry, and help increase India’s foreign trade," the release added.
 
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Key Indian equity market indices open flat

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The key Indian equity market indices on Thursday opened flat after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates.
 
The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 35,739.16 points on Wednesday, opened higher at 35,743.10 points.
 
Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 35,657.82 points, down by 81.34 points, or 0.23 per cent.
 
At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 50-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 10,856.70 points on Wednesday, was quoting at 10,819.50 points, down by 37.20 points or 0.34 per cent.
 
On the back of healthy industrial production data, the key Indian equity indices on Wednesday traded in the green with boosted investor sentiments and significant buying was witnessed in healthcare, consumer durables and banking stocks.
 
However, weakness in the global markets arrested the gains.
 
The Sensex was up by 46.64 points or 0.13 per cent at the Wednesday's closing. In the day's trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 35,877.41 points and a low of 35,715.96 points. The Nifty, too, was up by 13.85 points or 0.13 per cent.
 
On Thursday, Asian indices were showing a negative trend. Japan's Nikkei 225 was quoting in red, down by 0.52 per cent while Hang Seng was down by 0.58 per cent, South Korea's Kospi was also down by 1.54 per cent. 
 
China's Shanghai Composite index was trading in red, down by 0.27 per cent.
 
Overnight, Nasdaq closed in red, down by 0.11 per cent while FTSE 100 was also down marginally at the closing on Wednesday.
 
IANS
 
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FY18 current account deficit widens as trade deficit rises

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India's current account deficit (CAD) for 2017-18 widened on the back of a higher trade deficit, Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) data showed on Wednesday.
 
According to the RBI data, the CAD for last fiscal widened to 1.9 per cent of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) from 0.6 per cent in 2016-17.
 
The current account deficit is the net difference between inflows and outflows of foreign currencies.
 
Accordingly, the country's trade deficit increased to $160 billion in 2017-18 from $112.4 billion in 2016-17.
 
"Net invisible receipts were higher in 2017-18 mainly due to increase in net services earnings and private transfer receipts," the RBI said in a statement on "Developments in India's Balance of Payments". 
 
In terms of inflows, gross FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) into India increased to $61 billion in 2017-18 from $60.2 billion in 2016-17.
 
However, net FDI inflows in 2017-18 fell to $30.3 billion from $35.6 billion in 2016-17.
 
As per the RBI data, portfolio investment recorded a net inflow of $22.1 billion in 2017-18 as compared with $7.6 billion a year ago.
 
"In 2017-18, there was an accretion of US$ 43.6 billion to the foreign exchange reserves (on a BoP basis)," RBI said.
 
On the quarterly basis, the data showed that the country's CAD rose to $13 billion during the fourth quarter (January-March) of 2017-18 from $2.6 billion in the like quarter of 2016-17.
 
"The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit ($41.6 billion) brought about by a larger increase in merchandise imports relative to exports," the statement said.
 
The Q4 CAD accounted for 1.9 per cent of the GDP as against 0.4 per cent of the GDP in the like quarter of 2016-17.
 
"Net services receipts increased by 8.8 per cent on a y-o-y basis mainly on the back of a rise in net earnings from software services and other business services," the statement said.
 
"Private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas, amounted to $18.1 billion, increasing by 15.1 per cent from their level a year ago."
 
In the financial account, net FDI stood at $6.4 billion in Q4 of 2017-18 higher than $5 billion in Q4 of 2016-17.
 
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The data disclosed that net inflow of portfolio investment was just $2.3 billion as against net inflow of $10.8 billion during Q4 2016-17; on account of moderation in net purchases in both the debt and equity markets.
 
"Net receipts on account of non-resident deposits amounted to US$ 4.6 billion in Q4 of 2017-18 as compared with US$ 2.7 billion a year ago," the statement said.
 
In Q4 of 2016-17, foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis) increased by $13.2 billion as against an accretion of $7.3 billion during the like period of 2016-17.
 
ICRA's Principal Economist Aditi Nayar said: "The deterioration in India's current account deficit to $13.0 billion in Q4 FY2018, is in line with our forecast of around $12-14 billion." 
 
"The size of the current account deficit in Q4 FY2018 nearly rivalled the full year deficit recorded in FY2017, underscoring the impact that rising commodity prices have on the external balances of net importers such as India."
 
Nayar pointed out that despite the contraction in gold imports, the merchandise trade deficit worsened in Q4 FY2018. 
 
"Around half of the magnitude of this deterioration is attributable to the larger oil import bill, following the rise in crude oil prices," Nayar said.
 
IANS
 
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Cabinet okays additional FDI of up to Rs. 24,000 crore in HDFC Bank

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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for grant of permission to private sector lender HDFC Bank to raise additional share capital in the form of foreign direct investment (FDI), up to a maximum of Rs. 24,000 crore, including premium.
 
This will be done in such a manner that the composite foreign shareholding in the bank shall not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal told journalists.
 
Foreign shareholding in HDFC Bank is currently at the level of 72.62 percent, he said.
 
"The decision would ensure that the composite foreign shareholding in the bank inclusive of all types of foreign investments, both direct and indirect, will not exceed 74% of the enhanced paid-up equity share capital of the bank. It will be subject to Foreign Direct Investment Policy conditionalities and other sectoral regulations / guidelines," an official press release said.
 
The proposed investment is expected to strengthen the capital adequacy ratio of the bank, it said.
 
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Global cues, profit taking subdue equity indices to end flat

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Broadly negative global markets ahead of the US Federal Reserve's rate setting meet and profit booking led the key domestic equity indices to close on a flat-to-positive note on Wednesday.
 
According to market analysts, domestic indices rose during the day's trade on the back of higher April industrial production. However, a late hour burst of profit booking eroded most of their gains.
 
Besides, the day's trade saw healthy buying in IT, consumer durables and banking counters, whereas heavy selling prevailed in capital goods, metal and FMCG stocks.
 
The broader Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,856.70 points -- inching-up by 13.85 points or 0.13 per cent -- from its previous close of 10,842.85 points.
 
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), which had opened at 35,835.44 points, closed at 35,739.16 points -- higher by just 46.64 points or 0.13 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,692.52 points.
 
Sensex touched a high of 35,877.41 points and a low of 35,715.96 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was tilted towards the bears with 1,414 declines against 1,272 advances.
 
"Markets ended with marginal gains on Wednesday after a sell-off seen in the last hour of trade wiped out most of the intraday gains," said Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities.
 
The markets had initially rallied in the first half of the trade session on the back of healthy industrial production data for April and positive European cues, he said.
 
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 16 paise against the US dollar to 67.65, from its previous close at 67.49 per greenback. 
 
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Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 70.77 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 486.78 crore.
 
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index gained 176.36 points, the consumer durables index rose by 117.26 points and the banking index ended 81.08 points higher. 
 
On the other hand, S&P BSE capital goods index was fell by 124.19 points, the metal index was down 52.41 points and the FMCG index ended lower by 48.02 points.
 
The major gainers on the Sensex were Dr Reddy's Lab, up 2.82 per cent at Rs 2,252; Tata Consultancy Services, up 2.43 per cent at Rs 1,824.20; State Bank of India, up 1.70 per cent at Rs 287.65; Power Grid, up 1.43 per cent at Rs 198.50; and Infosys, up 1.41 per cent at Rs 1,276.10 per share.
 
The top losers were Tata Steel, down 2.12 per cent at Rs 567.50; Adani Ports, down 1.48 per cent at Rs 382.15; Hindustan Unilever, down 1.31 per cent at Rs 1,619, Bharti Airtel, down 1.30 per cent at Rs 376.10 and ONGC, down 0.79 per cent at Rs 170 per share. 
 
IANS
 
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Finale of first hardware edition of Smart India Hackathon 2018 from June 18-22

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The finale of the first hardware edition of Smart India Hackathon (SIH) 2018 will be held from June 18-22 with the winning team in each theme to get a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.
 
The Hackathon is hosted by the HRD Ministry along with AICTE, Persistent Systems, i4C and IIT Kharagpur.
 
HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a media briefing here on Monday that the Smart India Hackathon 2018 was in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It was proving to be an important vehicle for scouting new ideas and in converting them into products and businesses, he said.
 
SIH2018 – Hardware edition is the first of its kind innovative initiative by the Ministry to provide a national platform to young technical minds of India to showcase their disruptive innovations and creative products which can bring out revolutionary changes in crucial sectors like agriculture, health, clean water, waste management, automotive, smart communication and education.
 
The Hardware edition is the sub-edition of SIH2018. Mr Javadekar said for Hardware Hackathon, 4362 team ideas were received with participation from 50000+ students across 752+ technical institutions.
 
After two internal rounds of evaluation with support from industry experts, 106 teams have been shortlisted to compete under the 10 themes in the SIH2018 Hardware edition Grand Finale.
 
The finale will be a 5-day event that will take place simultaneously at 10 prestigious institutions (Nodal centres) across India - IIT Kanpur (Drones theme), IIT Kharagpur (Agriculture), IIT Guwahati (Rural Technology), CEERI Pilani (Smart Communication), CSIO Chandigarh (Healthcare), IISc Bengaluru (Smart Vehicles), IIT Roorkee (Clean water), NIT Trichy (Waste Management), COEP Pune (Security), and Forge Coimbatore (Import Substitution).
 
Industry experts and angel investors will be the judges. The top 3 winning teams under each theme stand to win cash prizes – Rs 1,00,000 for the Winning team, Rs 75,000 to First Runner-up team and Rs 50,000 to the Second Runner-up team.
 
They may also get support from investors willing to invest in the products to make them market ready. The HRD Ministry was working closely with the Department of Science and Technology to explore the possibility of handholding the winning teams for creating startups with the support from various Technology Business Incubators (TBIs) across India.
 
Attempts were also being made to explore new avenues of additional funding post Grand Finale for some of the most promising innovations.
 
Secretary, Department of Higher Education, R. Subrahmanyam said, “Through the hackathon, we hope to give the technical students from our nation a chance to convert their innovative ideas into products with help of industry mentors, exhibit them to investors and get a chance to be one of the upcoming Startup initiatives.”
 
The Grand Finale for Software edition has already been completed on March 30-31 at 28 nodal centres. The winning teams have started working on further enhancing their projects, an official press release added.
 
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Markets open on a higher note on Wednesday

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a positive note during the morning session of the trade.
 
The Sensex of the BSE, after opening at 35, 835.44 points, touched a high of 35,877.41 points and a low of 35,775.49 points.
 
On Tuesday, the Sensex closed at 35,692.52 points.
 
The Sensex was trading at 35,823.07 points up by 130.55 points or 0.37 per cent in the morning.
 
On the other hand, the broader 51-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,887.50 points after closing at 10,852.85 points.
 
The Nifty was trading at 10,867.35 points in the morning.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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SEBI sets up committee to consider allowing Indian companies to directly list abroad

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has constituted an Expert Committee to consider facilitating companies incorporated in India to directly list their equity share capital abroad and vice-versa.
 
Companies incorporated in India can today list their debt securities on international exchanges (Masala Bonds) but their equity share capital can be listed abroad only through the ADR / GDR route. 
 
Similarly, companies incorporated outside India can access the Indian capital markets only through the IDR route. 
 
"Thus, presently, direct listing of equity share capital of companies incorporated in India is not permitted on foreign exchanges and vice versa. Considering the evolution and internationalization of the Capital Markets, it would be worthwhile to consider facilitating companies incorporated in India to directly list their equity share capital abroad and vice versa. In this regard, it has been decided to constitute an Expert Committee to look into this aspect in detail," a press release from SEBI said.
 
According to the release, the broad Terms of Reference of the Committee would be to: 
 
--Examine in detail the economic case for permitting direct listing of Indian companies overseas and vice versa;
--Examine various legal, operational and regulatory constraints in facilitating companies incorporated in India to directly list their equity share capital abroad and vice versa; and 
--Make recommendations for a suitable framework in which to facilitate such direct listing.
 
The member of the committee are: Ranu Vohra, Co-founder, Managing Director & CEO; Avendus Capital Pvt. Ltd.; Cyril S. Shroff, Managing Partner; Amarchand Mangaldas; Kamal Yadav, Managing Director, Morgan Stanley’s Technology,Media and Telecom Banking; S. Ramesh, Managing Director & CEO, Kotak Investment Banking; Neeraj Bhargava, Senior Managing Director &  CEO, Zodius Capital Advisors; Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip.com; Rajiv Gupta, Partner, Singapore Latham & Watkins LLP; Jamil Khatri, Global Head of Accounting Advisory Services, KPMG, LLP; and Sujit Prasad, Executive Director, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Convener).
 
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Yes Bank's shareholders re-appoint Rana Kapoor as MD and CEO

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Private sector lender Yes Bank on Tuesday said that its shareholders have approved re-appointment of Rana Kapoor as the bank's MD and CEO for a further period of three years, effective from September 1.
 
According to the bank, the general body of its shareholders have approved all 13 resolutions at the 14th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the company held on Tuesday. 
 
The company said that Kapoor's re-appointment is subject to final approval by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
 
"The shareholders have approved through special resolution to raise capital aggregating up to $1 billion by way of issue of shares," the company said in a statement.
 
"The shareholders also approved through special resolution the proposal to borrow/raise funds in Indian/foreign currency by issue of Debt Securities including but not limited to Non-Convertible Debentures, Medium Term Notes and Bonds up to a total amount of Rs 30,000 crore."
 
The company added that its shareholders also approved through special resolutions to raise the total borrowing limit of the bank to Rs 110,000 crore.
 
IANS
 
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Sun Pharma receives EIR for Halol facility

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Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has said that it has received the Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the inspection conducted at its Halol facility in Gujarat during the period February 12-23, 2018.
 
"The agency concluded that the inspection is now closed and the issues contained in the Warning Letter issued in December 2015 have been addressed," a press release from the company said.
  
Dilip Shanghvi, Managing Director, Sun Pharma said, “This is an important development for Sun Pharma. We remain committed to following the highest levels of quality and 24x7 cGMP compliance at all our manufacturing facilities globally.” 
 
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