Britain's Vodafone Group and Idea Cellular agreed on Monday to merge their Indian operations to create the country's biggest telecoms business. The merger attempts to contest a brutal price war sparked by new rival, Mukesh Ambani's Jio. "The combined company would become the leading communications provider in India with almost 400 million customers, 35 percent customer market share and 41 percent revenue market share," said the firms in a joint statement. The joint venture will have a combined enterprise value of $23.2 billion. Here is your 10-point cheat-sheet to this big story:
Infosys chairman R Seshasayee, in the line of fire after the IT giant's founders alleged lapses in corporate governance, today defended the company's decisions including a pay rise for Chief Executive Vishal Sikka and the appointment of independent directors. "This institution is built on very strong governance values...financial controls put in place in Infosys is gold standard," said Mr Seshasayee, at a press conference, also attended by Mr Sikka and other members of the Infosys board. Earlier today, former chairman NR Narayana Murthy said the company's board must address concerns raised by him and the others. "No, I have not withdrawn my concern. They have to be addressed properly by the board and full transparency should be displayed and people responsible for it should become accountable," Mr Murthy told NDTV. Media reports had quoted Mr Murthy as saying that he does not want to escalate a confrontation with the board.
Infosys co-founder and former chairman NR Narayana Murthy today said the company's board must address concerns raised by him about alleged lapses in corporate governance. "No, I have not withdrawn my concern. They have to be addressed properly by the Board and full transparency should be displayed and people responsible for it should become accountable," Mr Murthy told NDTV. Media reports had earlier today quoted Mr Murthy as saying that he does not want to escalate a confrontation with the board. Mr Murthy and other co-founders have flagged worries over issues like a hike in CEO Vishal Sikka's compensation and big severance pay given to former executives.
Infosys, India's second biggest software services exporter, has firmly backed its Chief Executive, Vishal Sikka, downplaying an alleged rift between the firm's board and its founders, who include NR Narayana Murthy and refuting allegations of governance lapses. Mr Sikka has the complete confidence of the board, it said, amid questions over his raise. Infosys founders along with their family members owned 12.75 per cent of the company as of end-December, according to stock exchange data, and law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is now mediating between them and the board.
IT major Infosys has denied governance lapses alleged by three founders, including NR Narayana Murthy, but former Infosys chief finance officer V Balakrishnan has said that chairman R Seshasayee must resign. "Communication between important shareholders and the board has broken down. The chairman should step down; have an interim chairman, the board should be reconstituted and all concerns should be addressed," Mr Balakrishnan told NDTV. The controversy is built around a hike in pay for the company's CEO Vishal Sikka's and a severance package given to two former top executives. Mr Seshasayee has backed Mr Sikka, saying the company is "fully aligned" with his "strategic direction."
The Union Budget 2017 proposes tax cuts for salaried employees and small and medium enterprises, while focusing on reducing farmers' distress through agricultural reforms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described it as a Budget for the FUTURE - farmers, underprivileged, transparency, urban rejuvenation, rural development, enterprise.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley began his Budget speech today with a strong defence of the notes ban, promising that its impact on the economy would not spill over to the next year. He then presented a plan to cushion sections that have been worst hit by demonetisation, pledging to spend more on the rural poor, doubling income of farmers and cutting income tax for individuals who earn between 2.5 to 5 lakh and corporate tax for small companies. He did not however pack the budget with election freebies as was expected three days before polling in two states. Markets were 500 points up after the speech, relieved, analysts said, that it held no shocks for industry. Prime Minister Narendra Modi described it as a Budget for the FUTURE - farmers, underprivileged, transparency, urban rejuvenation, rural development, enterprise.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will decide whether the Union Budget will be presented today, after a member of the house E Ahamed died last night. Sources, however say, the budget will be presented as scheduled, according to news agency ANI. Parliament is usually adjourned for a day after a sitting member dies. A decision is expected after 10 am. But the government, sources said, would like to go ahead with the Budget today and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley left home on schedule and is now meeting the President. The government is also talking to the opposition, whose leaders have suggested that the Budget should be put off for a day.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is all geared up to present the Union Budget 2017-18 today, breaking the decade-old practice of presenting it on the last working day of February. This Budget comes less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bold and risky gamble to outlaw high-value old currency notes. The Economic Survey for 2016-17, tabled in Parliament by Mr Jaitley on Tuesday, pegged India's economic growth at 6.5 per cent for the current fiscal year, down from 7.6 per cent recorded in the last financial year, but added that growth is expected to rebound in the range of 6.75-7.5 per cent in 2017-18.
India's economy is expected to grow by between 6.75 and 7.5 percent in the coming fiscal year, roughly in line with this year's expected 7.1 percent, says the Economic Survey, a report card prepared by the government before Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presents the Union Budget tomorrow. The survey said the economy should steady after the hit from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision in November last year to scrap 500 and 1000 rupees in a strike against black or undeclared money. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had earlier downgraded its growth projection for India in this fiscal year from 7.6 per cent to 6.6 per cent.
In August 2016, Parliament passed the GST Constitutional Bill, which paved the way for a uniform indirect tax regime in the country. The new law, which seeks to give unprecedented powers to the Centre in collecting indirect taxes in the country, is expected to increase the government revenue by improving the compliance rate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening inaugurated an international exchange in Gujarat that he said will work 22 hours every day "starting when Japan's markets open and ending when US markets close." It aims to win market share from financial hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong by investing in technology and offering a response time of four microseconds, said Bombay Stock Exchange CEO Ashishkumar Chauhan, describing it as "one of the fastest, if not the fastest, exchanges in the world".
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated India International Exchange in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) City, near Gandhinagar, Gujarat. India International Exchange, located in a 16-storey tower, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of top domestic bourse BSE, Asia's oldest exchange. The exchange is located in International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) zone of GIFT City.
The government on Friday predicted robust economic growth in the fiscal year that ends in March, but without fully accounting for the disruption caused by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to abolish high-value old currency bills. Gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to achieve annual growth of 7.1 per cent in the current year, slower than a provisional figure of 7.6 per cent for 2015/16.
Indian economy is likely to grow at 7.1 per cent this fiscal (2016-17), according to advanced GDP estimates released by the Central Statistics Office today. But the estimate is based on data mostly available till October, said Chief Statistician TCA Anant, which means the impact from demonetisation is yet to be factored in.
The Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday advised banks to supply at least 40 per cent of new currency notes in rural areas to overcome the impact of demonetisation. The circular by the central bank has been issued after reports of rural areas in the country facing cash shortage post-demonetistion. The government had on November 9, 2016 demonetised 86 per cent of the currency, leading to a cash crunch. Even as the four government-owned mints are working in three shifts to print new notes, there is a substantial shortage of new currency notes in the country, especially in rural areas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take stock of the economy with experts at NITI Aayog today against the backdrop of currency crunch after demonetisation.
In the latest development in the Tata-Mistry row, shareholders of Tata Chemicals on Friday voted in favour of removal of industrialist Nusli Wadia from the company's board. In another development, Ratan Tata, the patriarch of Tata group, has spoken out on the Mistry feud while Mr Wadia has filed a criminal defamation suit against Tata Sons and other board members, including interim chairman Mr Tata.
Indian stock markets on Thursday extended their losses to the seventh day - the longest losing streak in 21 months - as worries about the impact of demonetisation continue to weigh on market sentiment.
Shareholders of Tata Consultancy Services or TCS have voted to remove Cyrus Mistry as director at an extraordinary general meeting or EGM. 93.11 per cent of shareholders voted for his ouster. At TCS, in which the group's holding company Tata Sons has 73.76 per cent stake, that result was expected. But five more listed Tata companies will vote on the resolution to remove Mr Mistry from their boards in EGMs over the next two weeks. Tata Sons does not hold a majority in any of these and will rely on other shareholders to oust Mr Mistry. TCS accounts for about 40 per cent of the Tata group's profits and 70 per cent of its Market cap.