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Sells 85% of units in Project Forest Edge on day of launch


Board approves buyback of upto Rs 166 Cr At Rs 1,100/Sh


Gets environment approval for pesticide plant in Gujarat


Taj Mansingh Bidding may be delayed by a month

Business Standard Reports


Defers Rs 3,000 Cr QIP as Govt Infuses Rs 2,257 Cr

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News In Brief


    US dollar declines against rupee

    Mumbai: The US dollar declined against the rupee at Rs 63.88/89 per dollar but the pound sterling finished higher at Rs 88.15/17 per pound at the close of the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here today.

    Following are the Interbank forex and RBI rates: (In Rs per unit) Unit Interbank  RBI Reference US Dollar 63.88/89  US Dollar  Rs 63.9797 Pound Sterling 88.15/17  Euro  Rs 78.3495 Euro   78.02/04 Japanese Yen (100) 57.69/71


    Merkel in Paris on Friday to discuss Europe's future with Macron: Elysse

    Paris: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Paris on Friday for a working meeting with President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the future of Europe, the French leader’s office said.

    France wants to inject new momentum into the two countries’ European Union reform efforts, which have been stalled by Merkel’s taxing coalition government talks at home. Their meeting will take place a day after Germany’s acting Finance Minister Peter Altmaier, one of Merkel’s closest allies, meets his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire for talks in Paris.


    Niger Delta Avengers say they will attack Nigeria's oil sector within days

    Yenagoa, Nigeria: Nigerian militant group Niger Delta Avengers said on Wednesday it planned to launch attacks on the country’s oil sector in the next few days. 

    The group claimed responsibility for most attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta in 2016, which cut Nigeria’s crude production from a peak of 2.2 million barrels per day to near 1 million barrels per day. That was the lowest level seen in Africa’s top oil producer in at least 30 years.


    India suffer 135-run defeat in second Test, lose series

    Centurion: India went down by 135 runs in the second Test against South Africa to lose the three-match series 0-2 here today.

    Chasing 287, India were bundled out for 151 in 50.2 overs. Resuming the day at 35 for three, India failed to recover in their second innings and surrendered to a potent South Africa pace attack. Lungi Ngidi was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa, picking up a six-wicket haul in the innings and a match haul of seven on debut. India had lost the first Test by 72 runs at Cape Town. The third and final Test will be played in Johannesburg from January 24. Brief scores: South Africa 1st innings: 335 India 1st innings: 307 South Africa 2nd innings: 258 India 2nd innings: 151 in 50.2 overs (Sharma 47; Ngidi 6/39).


    UK energy price cap laws should be passed by summer: Minister

    London: Britain hopes to pass laws to allow the capping of the most common form of gas and electricity tariffs for millions of households by the summer, a junior minister in the business department told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. 

    “The intention would be to introduce the bill shortly, with the intention of getting royal assent before the summer recess,” said Claire Perry, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Parliament usually begins its summer recess in mid to late July.


    ArcelorMittal-Votorantim tie-up will require more asset sales - report

    Sao Paulo: Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade will press steelmakers ArcelorMittal SA and Votorantim Siderurgia SA for more asset sales before approving their merger, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.

    The newspaper did not specify which assets Cade is targeting nor which the companies have proposed to sell. Cade, Votorantim and Arcelor did not respond to requests for immediate comment. In September, a body of Cade recommended rejecting ArcelorMittal’s proposed acquisition of Votorantim Siderurgia, saying a tie-up between two of Brazil’s top-three long steelmakers would hurt competition.


    ECB's Nowotny says strengthening euro "not helpful"

    Vienna: The euro’s recent strength against the U.S. dollar is ‘not helpful’, European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said on Wednesday when asked about the currency’s recent gains. Nowotny added that the ECB had no exchange rate target so it would monitor the developments.

    The euro has gained 4 percent against the dollar in the past three months and now trades 4.5 percent above the level used in the ECB’s December macroeconomic projections.


    RBI sets rupee reference rate at 63.9797 against US dollar

    Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 63.9797 against the US dollar and 78.3495 for the euro. The corresponding rates were 63.7602 and 78.2019, yesterday.

    According to an RBI statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 88.1256 and 57.74 per 100 yens, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon. The SDR-rupee figure will be based on this rate, the statement added.


    Saudi Arabia says depositing $2 billion in Yemen central bank to back currency

    Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered a deposit of $2 billion (£1.4 billion) into Yemen’s central bank on Wednesday to shore up the weak Yemeni currency, the Saudi government’s media office said. 

    The move comes a day after the Yemeni prime minister issued a public plea for funds to prop up the rial and help stave off hunger in the war-torn country.


    South African commission says pursing criminal complaints against SAP, KPMG, McKinsey

    Johannesburg: South Africa’s companies registry office said on Wednesday it is pursuing criminal complaints against SAP, KPMG and McKinsey on suspicion that business they conducted with friends of President Jacob Zuma contravened the companies act. 

    The complaints were submitted to South African police in November and December last year and the matter is ongoing, the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) said in emailed response to questions.


    After FT's Interserve report, Britain says none of its suppliers are comparable to Carillion

    London: Britain said that it does not believe any of its suppliers are in a comparable position to failed outsourcer Carillion after the Financial Times reported that the government was monitoring peer Interserve due to concern over its finances. 

    “We monitor the financial health of all of our strategic suppliers, including Interserve. We are in regular discussions with all these companies regarding their financial position,” a spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office said. “We do not believe that any of our strategic suppliers are in a comparable position to Carillion.”


    Saudi government announces tender to build 60 schools, ease burden on state

    Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s education ministry announced on Wednesday a tender for private companies to build 60 schools, part of economic reforms designed to ease pressure on state finances. 

    Tatweer Buildings Co, a government-owned corporation which manages projects, said the winning bidder would be awarded a concession to design, build and maintain 60 schools in Jeddah and Mecca, ranging from kindergartens to secondary schools.


    South Africa prosecutors to serve McKinsey with court order on Wednesday

    Johannesburg: South African prosecutors will serve a court order on Wednesday to consultancy McKinsey and a local firm controlled by friends of President Jacob Zuma regarding a contract with state utility Eskom, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said. 

    Luvuyo Mfaku also said the NPA would meet lawyers from the two companies on Thursday. Officials are investigating whether McKinsey knowingly let funds from the utility be diverted to Trillian as a way of securing the deal to advise Eskom in 2016.


    Kapil Mishra marshalled out of Delhi Assembly

    New Delhi: Rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra was marshalled out of the Delhi Assembly here on Wednesday. 

    Mishra was forced out after he walked to near the Speaker with a poster in his hand and a cloth tied around his mouth, stating that the Aam Aadmi Party had "sold" the Rajya Sabha seats in the national capital.


    Melrose offers to buy UK's GKN for $10.2 billion'

    Turnaround specialists Melrose (MRON.L) on Wednesday made a firm offer to buy GKN (GKN.L) for 430.1 pence per share or 7.4 billion pounds ($10.18 billion) after meeting its shareholders, adding pressure on the British engineering company to accept the deal.

    GKN was under pressure from U.S. activist investor Elliott Advisors to open talks with Melrose having rebuffed a 405 pence per share cash-and-stock offer this month.


    Sensex hits 35,000 mark for first time

    New Delhi: Sensex tops 35,000 level for the first time, Nifty as well at a new high of 10,760.70 in late afternoon trade. 


    Interserve shares fall 14% after FT reports that UK is monitoring firm

    London: Shares in British construction and services firm Interserve dropped 14 percent after the Financial Times reported that ministers are “very worried” and have set up a team of officials to monitor the company.

    The FT report came after the collapse of competitor Carillion earlier this week highlighted concerns over the outsourcing sector in Britain. The Financial Times said that civil servants had monitored the contractor since a profit warning in September due to concerns over its financial health, citing government advisers and officials.



    Czech govt approves resignation after losing confidence vote

    Prague: The Czech government led by Prime Minister Andrej Babis approved its resignation on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said, a compulsory move after the minority cabinet lost a confidence vote on Tuesday.

    The government will remain in office pending negotiations on forming an alternative administration that could take weeks or months. Milos Zeman, who as president appoints prime ministers, has said he will give Babis another go at forming a government.


    China says Canada meeting on North Korea showed 'Cold War' mentality

    Beijing: China said on Wednesday a just concluded meeting in Canada about North Korea showed a Cold War mentality and would only undermine a settlement of the North Korea issue. 

    Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the comment at a daily news briefing.  China did not attend the meeting in Vancouver, saying it would not help with efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issu


    Syrian Kurdish PYD urges action against Turkish bombing of Afrin: statement

    Beirut: The main Syrian Kurdish political party called on world powers to stop Turkey’s bombardment of the Afrin region in northern Syria. 

    “Afrin will not be alone,” the PYD said in a statement on Wednesday, vowing that all northern and eastern Syria would stand with it.Ankara has warned of an imminent military operation in Afrin, one of three autonomous cantons that Kurdish forces and their allies have set up since the start of Syria’s conflict in 2011.


    Russia calls for talks between Afghan government and the Taliban

    Moscow: Russia called on Wednesday for urgent talks between the government in Afghanistan and the Taliban, its Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding Russia could host such talks. 

    “We strongly recommend that negotiations start as soon as possible... to put an end to the civil war,” the ministry said.


    British government monitoring Interserve after Carillion collapse - FT

    London: British ministers are “very worried” about contractor Interserve (IRV.L) and have set up a team of officials to monitor the company, following the collapse of competitor Carillion, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

    The Financial Times said that civil servants had monitored Interserve since a profit warning in September due to concerns over its financial health, citing government advisers and officials Interserve declined to comment on the report.


    Quake rattles Taipei but no reports of damage

    Taipei: A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan’s capital Taipei on Wednesday with several witnesses reporting a slight rocking of buildings in the city’s business district.

    The quake struck about 19 km (11.81 miles) east of Taipei at a depth of 140 km (87 miles), according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre.There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Taiwan’s tech giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, said it did not suffer any damages, according to a spokesperson.


    Informa offers to buy events organiser UBM

    Britain’s Informa (INF.L) on Wednesday offered to buy events organiser UBM (UBM.L) for cash and stock. 

    UBM shareholders would receive 1.083 Informa shares for each UBM share and 163 pence in cash, the companies said. 



    Hyundai Motor Group to invest $21.6 bn over five years: FinMin

    Seoul: Hyundai Motor Group plans to invest about 23 trillion won ($21.56 billion) over the next five years in areas such as electric cars, self-driving automobiles and artificial intelligence, South Korea’s finance ministry said on Wednesday.

    Hyundai Motor Group will also target hiring about 45,000 people for the next five years, the ministry said in a statement after Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon’s visit to Hyundai Motor earlier on Wednesday.


    Volkswagen 2017 sales up 4.3% at 10.7 mn vehicles

    Frankfurt: Germany’s Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), vying for the top spot among the world’s largest carmakers, reported a gain in 2017 sales of 4.3 percent to 10.7 million vehicles.

    Rivals Toyota (7203.T) and Renault-Nissan (RENA.PA) are expected to announce full-year unit sales at the end of January and February, respectively. VW group’s gains in December, up 8.5 percent from a year earlier to 1.0 million vehicles, were driven by growth in China and Germany.


    North Korea to send 230-strong cheering squad to Olympics in South, says Seoul

    Seoul: North Korea will send around 230 people as a single cheering squad to the Winter Olympics in the South next month, South Korea’s unification ministry said in a statement after officials from the two Koreas held talks on Wednesday.

    North and South Korea have been talking since last week regarding Pyongyang’s participation in the Olympics. The ministry said the two sides exchanged opinions on several issues, including the size of the North Korean athletics team, joint cultural events and use of the Masikryong ski report in North Korea.


    Mamata remembers former CM Jyoti Basu on his death anniversary

    New Delhi: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee today remembered former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu on his seventh death anniversary. Basu, the longest serving chief minister of West Bengal, had passed away on January 17, 2010.

    The communist leader had served as the chief minister from 1997 to 2000. "Solemnly remembering former Chief Minister Jyoti Basu on his death anniversary," Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle this morning. Basu, who was born on July 8, 1914, had led the Marxists to power for five consecutive times in West Bengal.


    Scandal-hit KPMG South Africa appoints new chairman

    Johannesburg: The South African arm of global audit firm KPMG [KPMG.UL] said on Wednesday it had appointed veteran public servant and former chairman of the Development Bank of Southern Africa Wiseman Nkuhlu as its chairman.

    KPMG sacked its South African leadership in September after it found work done for companies owned by the Gupta family, accused by a public watchdog of improperly influencing government contracts, “fell considerably short” of its standards.The Guptas, who are close to President Jacob Zuma, have consistently denied wrong-doing.



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