QBiz: IIP Slows Down, IKEA Gets Land, New Culture at Godrej & More

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1. IIP Growth Slows to 2.7% in May - TOI

Industrial output growth slowed in May on the back of sluggish manufacturing sector expansion, triggering demand for a cut in interest rates to support growth.

Data released by the government on Friday showed the index of industrial production (IIP) rose 2.7% in May compared to a downwardly revised 3.4% growth in April and 5.6% expansion in the year-ago period. In April, provisional data had shown the sector had grown 4.1%, fuelling talk of a sharp turnaround.

The manufacturing sector, which accounts for over 75% of the index, grew 2.2% in May compared to an expansion of 5.9% in the year-ago period. Mining and electricity sectors notched up healthy growth.

Read the rest of the Times of India article here.

2. 4th-gen Godrej Ushers in New Culture at G&B - TOI

Navroze Godrej, the son of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing (G&B) chairman Jamshyd Godrej, and who is the only member of the fourth generation of the Godrejs so far to be inducted on the company’s board, is bringing about a culture change at the 118-year-old organization.

A key element of this is a changed hiring policy to look beyond engineers. While a decade back G&B predominantly had engineers working for it, today 30% of its workforce (total strength is 11,500) hails from a non-engineering background.

The changes Navroze, 33, is bringing about come in tandem with a significant board-level change. Phiroze Lam, executive director and president of the company, is retiring after a 40-year long stint with G&B. Lam is known to have mentored the fourth generation of the Godrejs and is a close confidant of the family. Anil Verma, executive director (personnel & administration), will take over as the new president from October 1, 2015.

Read the rest of the Times of India article here.

3. Government Asks Sebi to Tweak Rules on Related Party Transactions to Make it at Par With Companies Act 2013 -ET

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) may find itself on a tricky terrain over the government’s nudge to change rules on related party transactions in corporates.

In a move towards promoting ease of doing business, the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) has asked the regulator to tweak rules to make them at par with those under the Companies Act 2013. This has raised concerns among market participants about a dilution in Sebi’s stand on protection of minority shareholders. Experts and shareholder advisory firms, which believe Sebi should hold its ground on the issue, will soon take up the matter with the regulator.

Read the rest of the Economic Times article here.

4. SEBI Slaps Rs 41.5 crore on Sahara for Verifying 127 Truckloads of Documents - DNA

If the Sahara Group felt that it was having the last laugh by transporting 31,669 cartons of documents, mounting it on 127 trucks, after the Supreme Court asked the market regulator SEBI to verify its claim, it has been proved the other way round.

For, the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has now passed on a bill of Rs 41.5 crore to Sahara, towards the expenses incurred on various counts for scrutinising the voluminous documents pertaining to investors. Sahara chief Subrata Roy, is already languishing in jail, struggling to scrape together Rs 10,000 crore required to be deposited as bail bond and has subsequently got to pay off another 26,000 crore to clear investor liability.

Read the rest of the DNA article here.

5. What Triggered India’s First Stock Market Crash in 1865. - BS

Cowasji Jehanghir Readymoney was unhappy. Bank of Bombay, of which he was director, was increasingly gravitating towards laxity. It wanted to lend against the shares of other banks, a decision he vehemently opposed.

It was 1863. The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 in the Indo-Gangetic plains had been put down brutally. The control of India had passed from the East India Company to the British crown. Parsi and Gujarati brokers had been trading in shares for eight years at different locations in Bombay (the Bombay Stock Exchange would be born 12 years later), and a roaring bull market was underway.

Share prices of companies that didn’t exist till a few years ago were rising astronomically. The Back Bay Reclamation share, with face value of Rs 5,000, traded at Rs 50,000. Bank of Bombay’s Rs 500 share touched Rs 2,850.

Read the rest of the Business Standard article here.

6. IKEA Gets Land in Hyderabad for First India Store - BS

More than two years after the government cleared IKEA’s euro 1.5-billion (Rs 10,500-crore) proposal to set up about 25 stores in India, the Swedish furnishing company on Friday announced the purchase of its first land parcel in the country.

The euro 27-billion chain has bought 13 acres close to the information technology hub in Hyderabad, where its first store is expected to be set up by the end of this year or early the next.

IKEA had tried to enter India several years ago, when foreign investment in single-brand retail was restricted. It pulled out because of lack of clarity on policy.

Read the rest of the Business Standard article here.

7. Why India Needs a New Population Policy - FE

Population stabilisation has gone off everyone’s radar as India basks in the security of having the world’s largest, yet youngest populace. Even so, there are robust reasons to announce a new population policy—because unforeseen changes are taking place. While some of them bring unexpected good news, others could be harbingers of potential disaster.

First, the bad news. The National Population Policy (2000) flagged off by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee has failed to achieve the basic demographic goals set out for 2010. The infant mortality rate (IMR) was to have been reduced to 30 per thousand live births and the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) to less than 100 per 1 lakh live births. Today, in 2015, five years after the goals were to have been realised, India has achieved neither. Were the goals unrealistic? Not so, if one considers how much neighbouring countries have achieved with far fewer resources and minuscule technical strength.

Read the rest of the Financial Express article here.

8. Housing.com Appoints Rishabh Gupta as Interim CEO - FE

Realty portal Housing.com has appointed Rishabh Gupta as interim CEO after it sacked co-founder and ex-CEO Rahul Yadav last week.

Gupta, who is currently Chief Operating Officer (COO) in the SoftBank-backed portal, has been named as interim CEO with immediate effect, sources said. Rishabh Gupta, Haresh Chawla and Abhishek Anand (Chief Technical Officer) will be joining the company’s operating committee, they added.

On July 1, Housing.com’s board had sacked Yadav with immediate effect, saying that his behaviour towards investors and media was not “befitting” of a CEO.

Read the rest of the Financial Express article here.

9. FDI Soars 48% After ‘Make in India’ Campaign - ET

Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India during October 2014-April 2015 period rose by 48 per cent year-on-year after the launch of ‘Make in India’ initiative, a senior government official said.

Since the launch of this initiative, FDI has increased by “47-48 per cent over the previous year. We launched ‘Make in India in September...so that shows that FDI is actually coming in,” Joint Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Atul Chaturvedi, said at a seminar organised by PHDCCI.

According to DIPP, during October 2014 - April 2015 India received $ 19.84 billion FDI, as against $ 13.4 billion in the same period last year.

He also said that FII’s too have invested in huge amount in the country.

Read the rest of the Economic Times article here.

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