Saturday, September 8, 2007

Weekly update + quiz {PS: post answers in the comment box with your names }

Economy and policy


1. Bajaj Auto refuses to budge on Akurdi

Refusing to buckle under political pressure, Pune-based two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto is steadfast in itsdecision to close down Akurdi plant.

2. Sugar mills for ethanol in diesel

The issue of allowing the private sector to participate in nuclear power generation independently of the government has been put on the backburner with the Centre withdrawing a minor amendment to the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, from the Cabinet at the last moment.


Marketing


1. Brands Kenz and Marc Jacobs will soon hit the shelves. Louis Vuitton Mo√ęt Hennessy (LVMH), a luxury goods giant, is expected to roll out half a dozen luxury brands in India to keep up with an increasing demand from elite consumers in the country.


Banking and Finance


1. Five PEs line up for 15% in LIC credit card arm
Global private equity investors Blackstone, JC Flower and Fortress of the US, Temasek of Singapore and 3i of the UK are in talks with the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) for buying a combined 15 per cent stake in the life insurer’s proposed credit card venture with US-based GE Money.


2. IBA bats for intermediate holding firms

Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has decided to back ICICI Bank and State Bank of India’s (SBI) proposals to float an intermediate holding company for owning their insurance and asset management businesses, as an interim arrangement.



3. LIC jv with GE

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), the country's largest financial services firm, has finalised GE Money India, a subsidiary of the US-based financial services to electronics conglomerate, , as one of the partners in its proposed credit card venture.



4. Securitised issues touch $5.5 billion

International rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, said that contrary to the slowdown seen in 2006, securitisation issuances in the Indian market rose 90 per cent to $5.5 billion between January and June 2007 from $2.9 billion over the same period a year earlier.
In the first half of 2007, number of deals were 75 per cent of the total deals done on 2006.


Companies

1. Tata BlueScope Steel to invest Rs 880 crore in Jamshedpur Tata BlueScope Steel, a joint venture between Tata Steel and Australia-based BlueScope Steel, will invest Rs 880 crore in setting up a metal coating facility in Jamshedpur.

2. ESSAR- 38 rs floor price for delisting
The Ruias-promoted Essar group today said it plans to delist Essar Steel from the bourses and fixed a floor price of Rs 38 apiece for buying the stake from public shareholders

3. Ranbaxy to hive off R&D

Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s largest drug maker by sales, may soon hive off its research and development activity into a separate company and raise resources by selling some equity in the new entity. This strategy is being increasingly favoured by Indian pharmaceutical companies as a tool not only to raise resources but also to reduce risk, much of which stalks the high-reward area of research and development.



This week's quiz

Mixed BAG

1. Which book was originally entitled “Four Years of Struggle against Lies, Stupidity, and Cowardice

2. Whats an Ipad?

3.
In Vista, if Windows Mail is to replace Outlook Express, what is going to replace NetMeeting?

4. Bob Young and Marc Ewing are considered the founders of... ?

5. Which is the longest running mascot in indian ad industry ?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Week 3: 1st September

Economy

1. The GDP growth for the 1st quarter of this fiscal stands at 9.3%. Agriculture grew by 3.8%, manufacturing by 11.9% and construction by 10.7%.


2. Inflation stands at 3.94%

Marketing

1. Tata group to embark on a mega brand building exercise across US, UK and Singapore.


2. ITC to increase its rural market penetration from the current levels of 6450 kiosks to 20000 kiosks by the year 2012.


3. CavinKare has launched peanut candy bars and expanded its presence in the foods segment. This market is very large and estimated at around 150 crores in the TN region.


M & A

1. Holcim to increase stake in Gujarat Ambuja from 32.3% to 56.2%. It has agreed to purchase 3.9% stake from the promoters and the remaining 20% from the open market.



2. Riding on the infrastructure boom in India the PE (private equity) players are now targeting the cement industry.



3. SBI has decided to merge State Bank of Saurashtra, a wholly owned associate bank, with itself. (In terms of networth State Bank of Saurashtra is the smallest among the associate banks)


IT

1. IBM opened a new global delivery center in Chennai. This is its 6th center in India. IBM India headcount now stands at 53000.


2. Leading IT services companies in India are now using higher utilization rates as a tool to counter the exchange rate risks. This is one measure that the companies can take to react to a stronger rupee

Trivia

1. Which is the only Indian pharma company to be listed in the NYSE?

2. What is common between ACC, Goodlass Nerolac, Merind and Lakme

(PLEASE POST YOUR ANSWERS AS COMM)ENTS AND WITH YOUR NAMES PLEASE)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Week 2 : 25th August

GK (Questions on The word RED)
  1. Is the American Red Cross part of the US government? -NO It works independently of the government, but works closely with government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during times of major crises.
  2. In what country did the popular Red Rose Tea originate? -CANADA Red Rose Tea was born in 1899 in New Brunswick, Canada. A popular commercial used to say, 'Red Rose Tea...only available in Canada...Pity.' Now it is sold universally.
  3. Who is the author of Little Red riding Hood? -Little Red Riding Hood was written by French author, Charles Perrault in the 17th century.
  4. The red panda lives in the bamboo forests of which mountain range? Its range extends through Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Burma and western China.
  5. Statistically, red is the favourite colour of which group of people? -Children


Current Affairs

  1. Dr. Anna Pou, accused of murdering nine patients in a New Orleans hospital wracked by Katrina, is let free.
  2. Exit: Karl Rove: Bush’s most trusted strategist :The political strategist not only managed elections, he had his fingers in nearly every major policy decision made by this administration during the past six and a half years.
  3. Sanjay Dutt gets Interim relief : Granted Bail ;Salman heads for jail
  4. Soren acquitted : The Delhi High Court acquitted former Union minister Shibu Soren in the case relating to the murder of his personal secretary Shashinath Jha. Soren, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief, was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet last year following his conviction in the case by a Delhi court.
  5. Quattrochi : Wanted in the Bofors scandal, Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi left Buenos Aires after India reportedly withdrew its appeal against an Argentine court’s rejection of its extradition petition. Earlier, India had appealed in the Argentine supreme court against the decision of a court in Iguazu, Argentina,which had rejected the application filed by the CBI to extradite Quattrocchi.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Edition 1: 17th august 2007

GK (Business)

1. This company was called Lutsuko and later changed its name to something that literally means 'to lose money'. Which one?

Sony, it's name was a tongue twister to many and had to be ultimately changed.

2. Which car in Spanish means 'Charming'?

Matiz

3. This organisation has 1356 members and has the ad-line "the world put stock on us". Which organisation?

NYSE

4. Of whom did Shahrukh Khan once say that 'our figures are similar'?

Cindy Crawford (both are brand ambassadors for Omega)

5. Who designs jewellery for the company called Artex?

Priyanka, her hubby Robert Vadhera runs the costume jewellery export firm Artex.



Current Affairs


1. New Iraq alliance formed to back shaky government
Scotsman


Iraqi Kurdish and Shi'ite leaders formed an alliance on Thursday to support Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government, but failed to bring in Sunni leaders who are crucial to national reconciliation. Maliki is facing a political crisis after the main Sunni Arab bloc, the Accordance Front, pulled its six ministers out of his Shi'ite-led national unity government saying he had ignored their demands.

2. IOC seeks shipping alliances

lagship refiner-marketer IndianOil Corporation is revamping its shipping architecture as part of its strategy to increase security of oil movement, freight optimisation, control over supply chain and reduce outgo on ocean freight which makes up the single-largest cost element after crude.

3. Kevin Rudd to 'tear up' nuke deal if elected to power

Australia's opposition leader Kevin Rudd today said he would "tear up" any nuclear deal with India if he is elected to power this year. Australia and India have agreed to negotiate a uranium trade pact to fuel burgeoning Indian power demand, Prime Minister John Howard announced yesterday in a major shift in his Government's policy on global nuclear proliferation. But Rudd said Australians were deeply concerned about India's use of uranium and the possibility of an escalating arms race on the Indian subcontinent

4. Powerful earthquake strikes eastern Indonesia

A powerful undersea earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on 17th august 2007, the country's geophysics agency said. No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage. The temblor had a preliminary magnitude of 6.2 and hit 230 kilometers (145 miles) southeast of Ambon, the capital of Maluku province, said Suhardjono, an official at the Meteorological and Geophysics Agency, who goes by only one name.

5. THE CD IS 25 TODAY: 17TH Aug

An engineering marvel at the time, today they are instantly recognisable as Compact Discs, a product that turns 25 years old on Friday — and whose future in an age of iPods and MP3 players is increasingly in doubt. Those first CDs contained Strauss’ Alpine Symphony and would sound equally sharp if played today, says Holland’s Royal Philips Electronics, which jointly developed the CD with Sony of Japan. The proposed semiconductor chips needed for CD players were to be the most advanced ever used in a consumer product. And the lasers were still on the drawing board when the companies teamed up in 1979.