Morning briefing: Forex reserves near record level at $353.069 billion

GN Bureau | October 17, 2015


#Forex reserves   #Kailash Satyarthi   #Harvard Humanitarian   #beef   #Haryana chief minister   #Manohar Lal Khattar   #NSG   #Apple   #Indian Oil   #online shopping  

Country's foreign exchange reserves rose to $353.069 billion at the end of October 9, close to its all time high of $355.459 billion seen on June 26. According to reserve bank of India the forex reserves rose due to overseas portfolio investors driving dollar inflows into Indian debt and equity markets. Forex reserves provides a buffer and smooth out normal import and debt servicing requirements over the year. India's reserves now covers nine months of imports bill.

Satyarthi gets 'Harvard Humanitarian of the Year Award'
Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has been conferred with Harvard University's prestigious humanitarian award for this year, in recognition of his continuing contribution to the cause of child rights. The annual award by the prestigious university is given to an individual whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of lives and have inspired us to greater heights. Satyarthi is the first Indian to have been given this award. The university said the 'Harvard Humanitarian of the Year' has been awarded to Satyarthi for his contributions in the field of child rights and abolition of child slavery. Satyarthi recently succeeded in getting child protection and welfare-related clauses included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, which aim to end slavery, trafficking, forced labour and violence.

Haryana CM 'regrets' beef remark as Opposition demands his resignation
Finding himself cornered over his controversial statement on consumption of beef, especially by Muslims, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has offered his "regrets". Meanwhile, the opposition has demanded his sacking.

The controversy erupted after Khattar was quoted by an English daily on Friday as saying that "Muslims can continue to live in this country, but they will have to give up eating beef as the cow is an article of faith here".

Khattar completes one year in office as chief minister on October 26. He told the media: "However, even if you believe that if any of the words were spoken by me, there was no intention (of hurting anyone's sentiments). If anyone's sentiments are hurt by my statements, I am ready to offer my regrets for this."

NSG to hold joint exercise with US commandos in November
The National Security Guard (NSG) would soon conduct joint anti-terrorism exercise with the US commandos at its Manesar base camp in Haryana's Gurgaon to further hone their skills, NSG Director General RC Tayal said on Friday. Addressing the media on the occasion of NSG's 31st Raising Day celebrations at Manesar, Tayal said the NSG commandos, popularly known as 'Black Cats', would hold the exercise with US counterparts in November. The duration of the anti-terror practise has been decided and the exercise would be carried out on the ground, under water and in the air, he added.

Apple will have to pay $234 million to university for infringing patent
A US jury on Friday ordered Apple Inc to pay the University of Wisconsin-Madison's patent licensing arm more than $234 million in damages for incorporating its microchip technology into some of the company's iPhones and iPads without permission. The amount was less than the $400 million the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation ( WARF) was claiming in damages after the jury on Tuesday said Apple infringed on its patent for improving the performance of computer processors.

Indian Oil increases spot purchase of crude
Indian Oil Corporation, the nation's largest refiner and fuel retailer, now purchases 30% of its crude requirements in the spot market, compared to 20% last year, helping it lower procurement cost and gain flexibility in responding to the consumer demand. IOC's move is part of the larger shift among refiners towards the spot market as longterm price contracts put them at a disadvantage in a sharply falling crude oil environment.

Exemption for govt in Indian Overseas Bank open offer
Capital markets regulator Sebi today exempted government from making open offer to pick up an additional stake in Indian Overseas Bank through preferential allotments.The central government, which is the promoter of the bank, has proposed to acquire more than 48.56 crore shares of Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) following a proposed preferential allotment by the lender. Under Sebi norms, generally entities holding 25 per cent or more shares in a listed company need to make an open offer if they acquire additional five per cent stake or more in that company.

Delhi tops festive online shopping, e-tailers face shortage of delivery boys
Delhi has recorded an 88.5 per cent rise in online shopping during this festive season. Mumbai came in second (80.5 per cent), Ahemdabad (78 per cent) at third, Bangalore (75 per cent) ranks fourth and Hyderabad fifth at 72.5 per cent.

Industry lobby Assocham, which conducted a survey in key cities like Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata, noted that about 82 per cent of Delhiites prefer shopping online.

Meanwhile, the mega sales push by leading e-tailers has propelled the demand for delivery boys or bikers to an all-time high. Salaries and incentives for high performers have already shot up more than 50% to about Rs 25,000 a month as staffing firms are grappling with a severe shortage of bikers. And this could be just for starters, for the busiest phase of the festive season for retailers has just set in. The demand has accelerated to about 100,000 bikers, according to staffing firms which are facing a massive shortage of up to 70%.

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