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ICICI BANK

I-T department probing acquisition of Chanda Kochhars Mumbai Residence

I-T department looking into acquisition of the residence by Deepak Kochhar

Acquisition of residence said to be linked to firms of Videocon group

Indian Express Reports

BANK OF MAHARASHTRA

3 officials including MD & CEO RP Marathe, ED RK Gupta arrested in Pune

Arrests are in connection to fraudulent loans sanctioned to Kulkarni Developers

Outstanding exposure to DS Kulkarni Developers at Rs 94.52 Cr

IPO UPDATE

RITES IPO subscribed 0.6x on day 1

Fine organic industries IPO subscribed 0.12x on day 1

IDBI BANK

SBI's B Sriram takes additional charge as MD & CEO of IDBI Bank

B Sriram is the longest serving PSB MD

B Sriram Has Experience In Managing Stressed Assets

INDIAN HOTELS

Wins bid for Connaught Place in Delhi

Taj Group wins 33-year lease for Connaught Hotel in E-auction

Offered to share 31.8% of annual revenue earned with civic body

INDIGO CLARIFIES

Have not received any notice from ED on FEMA violations

WELSPUN CORP

U.S. to levy tariff on Indian welded pipes

U.S. imposes anti-subsidy duties of upto 500% on welded pipes from India

China, South Korea, & Turkey to also face duties from U.S.

U.S. imported large-diameter welded pipes worth $294.7 Mn from India in 2017

U.S. International Trade Commission scheduled to make a final decision By Dec 20

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  • NIFTY

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Opec meet: Oil minister discusses about sustainable pricing

News In Brief

 

    Saudi energy minister says market demands more oil in second half

    Vienna: Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Wednesday that the market demands more oil in the second half of this year and that OPEC was converging on a good decision on production policy this week.

    “I think any decision that we make will be based on fundamentals ... we will be looking at supply and demand, inventory,” Falih told reporters. Oil ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meet on Friday in Vienna, followed by talks with non-OPEC oil producers on Saturday.

    (Reuters)

    US Commerce's Ross: More pressure needed for China to change trade, IP policies

    Washington: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump wants China to cut its trade barriers and protect U.S. intellectual property, but believes Beijing will not do so without increased pressure from the US.

    Speaking at a US Senate Finance Committee hearing two days after Trump announced that he was prepared to add tariffs to an additional $400 bn worth of Chinese imports, Ross said years of talks with China over US intellectual property concerns have failed to yield progress. “The president feels and I agree that now is the time for action,” Ross said. “And unless than we make it more painful for them to continue those practices than to do otherwise, unless we put that kind of pressure on, it’s unlikely we will succeed.”

    (Reuters)

    UK's Prince Louis to be christened next month, palace says

    London: Prince Louis, the third child of Britain’s Prince William and wife Kate, will be christened by the Archbishop of Canterbury next month, Kensington Palace said on Wednesday. 

    Louis, the fifth in line to the British throne who was born on April 23, will be christened at a private service on July 9 at The Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace in central London.  As customary with such royal occasions, the service will be conducted by the spiritual leader of the Anglican communion, Justin Welby.  Since his birth, Louis has not been seen in public although his family did issue official photographs of the new royal last month.

    (Reuters)

    Powell says U.S. trade policy could impact outlook

    Washington: Concerns about U.S. trade policy are increasing among business officials who are beginning to hold off on hiring and investment decisions given the level of uncertainty, U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday. 

    “Concerns seem to be rising,” said Powell, speaking to a European Central Bank conference in Portugal. While Powell said he would not comment on specific proposals from the Trump administration, “for the first time we are hearing about decisions to postpone investment, postpone hiring, postpone making decisions. That is a new thing. If you ask is it in the forecast yet, is it in the outlook, the answer is no. And you don’t see it in the performance of the economy.”

    (Reuters)

    Trump to meet lawmakers about 'problematic' ZTE measure: White House

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump and a group of lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives will meet at the White House on Wednesday to discuss their disagreement over how to penalize Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), a White House spokeswoman said. 

    The Trump administration moved to lift a ban on the company doing business with U.S. suppliers, but the Republican-led U.S. Senate on Monday passed a measure to kill that settlement deal as part of a defense policy bill. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said the meeting would focus on the “problematic” amendment to the defense bill, but she declined to go into details. A list of participants in the meeting was not immediately available.

    (Reuters)

    Russia gives Latvia list of citizens banned from entry

    Moscow: The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday it had given Latvia a list of Latvian citizens it has banned from entering Russia for their “Russophobic” views and calls to tighten sanctions against Russia. 

    The entry ban is retaliation for a similar move by Latvia with regard to 49 Russian citizens, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

    (Reuters)

    US Commerce Department investigating steel price hikes after tariffs: Ross

    Washington: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday his agency is launching an investigation of recent steel price hikes to determine whether some market participants are “illegitimately profiteering” from new U.S. tariffs. 

    Ross told a Senate Finance Committee hearing that the price of steel in the U.S. market has risen far more than justified by the 25 percent tariff, possibly because of “speculative activity” with some market intermediaries holding back inventories.

    (Reuters)

    Danish PM to reshuffle government again as business minister steps down

    Copenhagen: Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen will have to reshuffle his cabinet for the second month in a row after business minister Brian Mikkelsen said on Wednesday said he was stepping down. 

    Mikkelsen will become chief executive of the Danish Chamber of Commerce lobby group. Last month’s reshuffle came after Soren Pind quit as minister for education and science. Rasmussen will present the new cabinet changes on Thursday, his office said in press release.

    (Reuters)

    Amazon, Berkshire, JPMorgan name Atul Gawande CEO of healthcare venture

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Amazon.com Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co on Wednesday named Atul Gawande, a prominent medical professor who has criticized his industry’s practices, to lead their joint healthcare company.

    The venture will be based in Boston and operate free from profit-making incentives, the three companies said in a joint statement. Berkshire, Amazon and JP Morgan Chase announced in January that they would form a healthcare company aimed at cutting costs for their U.S. employees. The move rattled shares of the healthcare supply chain, including CVS Health and Express Scripts, among others.

    (Reuters)

    PM May defeats pro-EU rebels, wins lawmakers' approval for Brexit plan

    London: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday won approval for her plan on how much say MPs should get over Brexit, defeating a attempt by pro-European Union rebels to give parliament more influence.

    MPs in the House of Commons voted 319 to 303 against an amendment put forward by the rebels and then accepted May’s proposal without a vote. The result had been expected after one of the leading pro-EU MPs changed his mind and sided with the govt earlier in the day.

    (Reuters)

    Boeing executive confident new mid-market jet can enter service in 2025

    Paris: The head of Boeing (BA.N) jetliner sales said on Wednesday he was confident a new mid-market jet could enter service in 2025. 

    Ihssane Mounir, senior vice-president for commercial sales and marketing at Boeing, also said his company was holding advanced talks with Brazil’s planemaker Embraer (EMBR3.SA) to set up a new company focused on commercial aviation.

    (Reuters)

    Japan faces significant impact from US-China trade war: BOJ's Kuroda

    Sintra, Portugal: The Japanese economy could suffer “quite significant” consequences if a trade war between the United States and China drags on, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday. 

    “The indirect impact on the Japanese economy could be quite significant ...if this escalation of tariffs between the U.S. and China continues,” Kuroda told an ECB conference in Sintra, Portugal.

    (Reuters)

    Trump eyes executive action to end immigrant child separation: Fox

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump is considering taking executive action on Wednesday that would allow children to stay with detained immigrant parents through the adjudication process, a Fox News reporter said on Twitter, citing unidentified sources. 

    “Sources say Admin believes it is likely to draw a court challenge on the basis of Flores v Reno,” the reporter said, referring to a 1997 settlement agreement setting standards for the treatment of immigrant minors.

    (Reuters)

    BOJ's Kuroda says 'deflationary mindset' will take time to dispel

    Sintra, Portugal:  A ‘deflationary mindset’ that has taken hold in Japan will take time to dispel, the country’s central bank governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday.

    “The deflationary mindset that has become entrenched amongst people is quite tenacious and it will take time to completely dispel this mindset,” Kuroda told a European Central Bank conference in the Portuguese town of Sintra. He added, however, that the momentum toward achieving the BOJ’s inflation target of 2 percent was “firmly maintained” provided that “further price rises were to be observed widely”.

    (Reuters)

    Ecuador: OPEC could agree to compromise on oil supply boost

    Vienna: OPEC and its partners could agree to a compromise increase in oil output of between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels per day, Ecuador’s oil minister said on Wednesday. 

    “I hope that countries put down their own interests and look at the whole as a better picture. That will benefit all of us if we can do that,” minister Carlos Perez told Reuters. “Maybe we can find somewhere in between, not 1.5 (million bpd) and not zero, maybe something in the middle.” Asked whether that implied an increase of 500,000 to 600,000 bpd, he said “probably”.

    (Reuters)

    Genpact gets US patent for natural language understanding technology framework

    New Delhi: Business process management firm Genpact today said it has received a patent for natural language understanding (NLU) that enables its artificial intelligence (AI) applications to understand the meaning of natural language.

    The patent was awarded by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Genpact said in a statement. NLU enables artificial intelligence (AI) applications to understand the meaning of the natural language, something not previously possible in the context of solving business problems, it added.

    (PTI)

    Instamojo appoints Deepak D Prakash as chief business officer

    New Delhi: Instamojo, a MSME- focused digital payments platform, today said it has appointed Deepak D Prakash as its chief business officer. Prakash, who has more than 24 years of experience, was previously associated with Tally Solutions Ltd, Instamojo said in a statement.

    "Deepak's quarter of a century experience working with SMEs globally will help Instamojo immensely as we build India's largest MSME platform to provide a full-stack digital experience with payments, e-commerce and more," Instamojo co-founder and CEO Sampad Swain said. In his new role, Prakash will be responsible for creating a differentiated customer experience, along with enhancing the growth of the business and brand alike, the company said.

    (PTI)

     

    eMudhra forays into Latin America market

    New Delhi: eMudhra, a provider of digital identity and transaction management solutions, today announced its entry to Latin America in the education sector. The company's paperless office solution 'emSigner' aims to curb diploma fraud and completely digitise the diploma issuance process.

    "eMudhra has partnered with Diplogrados Ltda, the leading diploma preparation and printing provider in the region to target over 100 universities in Colombia and surrounding countries," eMudhra said in a statement. Diplogrados Ltda prints over 2 lakh diplomas for universities each semester in addition to other documents, it added.

    (PTI)

     

    Noble House raises SGD 1 mn funding

    New Delhi: Noble House Consulting PTE, a global marketplace for independent HR talent, today said it has raised an angel funding of one million SGD 1 million (Singapore dollars) from HR and business leaders based in Singapore and India.

    "Noble House is now looking for a pan-India and Asia expansion before they start exploring the other geographies across the globe. The funding will also help the company enhance its technology platform and accelerate hiring to create a wider outreach," the company said in a statement. It is our aim to meet the needs of these companies through our HR Talent Marketplace," Noble House co-founder Sumer Datta said.

     

    (PTI)

     

    BYJU'S eyes Rs 1,400 cr revenue this year

    New Delhi: Online education start-up BYJU'S today said it has crossed the milestone of Rs 100 crore of monthly revenue and aims to garner a topline of Rs 1,400 crore this year.

    "Growing consistently at 100 per cent annually for the last three years, BYJU'S is one of the few Indian unicorns that has become profitable within a very short period of time since the launch of its learning app in 2015," the company said in a statement. "With a consistent 20 per cent month-on-month growth, we expect to finish this year with Rs 1,400 crore in revenue. The launch of the personalised version of our app last year, further helped us boost engagement and enhanced the learning experience for our students," BYJU'S founder and CEO Byju Raveendran said.

    (PTI) 

    Draghi welcomes Franco-German proposal on euro zone budget

    Sintra: A Franco-German proposal to deepen the monetary union through a euro zone budget is an encouraging step and should be welcomed, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

    “The recent document produced by France and Germany is to be welcomed,” Draghi told a central banking conference. “It’s an encouraging step in this direction (of deepening the monetary union)” “It’s made important by the very difficult political circumstances in which document was produced ... it’s the first time we’re having a proposal by governments,” Draghi added.

    (Reuters)

    Senior Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer B V R Subrahmanyam appointed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary

    New Delhi: Senior Chhattisgarh cadre IAS officer B V R Subrahmanyam appointed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary in place of B B Vyas.

    (PTI)

    J-K Chief Secretary B B Vyas and former IPS officer Vijay Kumar appointed advisors to Governor N N Vohra

    New Delhi: J-K Chief Secretary B B Vyas and former IPS officer Vijay Kumar appointed advisors to Governor N N Vohra, says Official communique.

    (PTI)

    Oman says thinks Iran will agree to an OPEC oil output increase

    Vienna: Oman’s oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhy said on Wednesday he believed Iran would agree to an oil output increase at an OPEC meeting on Friday. 

    He said the meeting would tackle over-compliance with oil output cuts and added that Iran was very cooperative.

    (Reuters)

    Wall Street opens higher after trade spat selloff

    New York: U.S. stocks rose at open on Wednesday led by technology and media stocks after a punishing few sessions due to a rapid escalation in trade tensions between the United States and China.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 70.96 points, or 0.29 percent, at the open to 24,771.17.The S&P 500 opened higher by 7.14 points, or 0.26 percent, at 2,769.73. The Nasdaq Composite gained 38.56 points, or 0.50 percent, to 7,764.15 at the opening bell.

    (Reuters)

    Government moves to calm fears over Brexit bill

    London: Government moved to calm fears in parliament over its proposal for a “meaningful vote” on any Brexit deal on Wednesday, saying MPs may be able to change ministers’ plans in the event of a no deal with the European Union.

    In a statement, Brexit minister David Davis said it would be up to the parliamentary speaker to determine whether a motion when it is introduced by the government under the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is amendable or not. Some pro-EU Conservative MPs had complained that a govt plan to simply make a statement to parl if it fails to negotiate a deal or if MPs reject it gave them no real control over the process because they could not make changes that could influence the govt’s thinking.

    (Reuters)

    European bank deposit insurance scheme is long-term project: Germany

    Berlin: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that a European insurance scheme (EDIS) for bank deposits was a long-term project and the conditions for it did not exist currently.

    On Tuesday German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to create a budget for the euro zone but they soft-pedalled on the EDIS idea. Scholz said the euro zone budget was only a small part of the agreement with France. He also defended his idea of a Europe-wide unemployment insurance system to shield workers from mass unemployment during economic crisis.

    (Reuters)

    Ukraine's Tymoshenko announces she will run for president

    Kiev: Ukrainian opposition leader and political veteran Yulia Tymoshenko said on Wednesday she would run for president in elections due next year.

    “I will run for the presidency of Ukraine,” she said during a question-and-answer video posted on her official Facebook page. Tymoshenko led an opinion poll conducted in May by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation and the Kiev-based Razumkov think-tank, with support among likely voters of 13 percent. Incumbent President Petro Poroshenko came fourth in the poll.

    (Reuters)

    PM May says images of caged children in U.S. 'deeply disturbing'

    London: Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday said images of children being held in cages in U.S. migrant detention facilities were deeply disturbing and that Britain did not approve of separating migrant families.

    “The pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing. This is wrong, this is not something that we agree with, this is not the United Kingdom’s approach,” May told parliament.

    (Reuters)

    B Sriram appointed MD and CEO of IDBI Bank

    New Delhi: State Bank of India's Managing Director B Sriram on Wednesday appointed IDBI Bank's MD and CEO for a temporary period of three months, a government order said.

    (PTI)

    Britain's Lloyds Banking Group axes 450 jobs

    London: Britain’s Lloyds Banking Group said on Wednesday it would cut 450 jobs, with mainly back office roles affected. 

    The bank also said it would create 255 new roles, meaning a net reduction of 195.  The cuts follow the axing of 930 jobs at the bank earlier this year, as lenders try to trim costs, digitise and adapt to falling footfall in branches.

    (Reuters)

    UK clears Daily Mirror publisher's takeover of Express titles

    London: The publisher of the Daily Mirror was cleared to buy rival tabloids the Daily Express, Daily Star and OK! magazine on Wednesday, with the government saying the deal would not limit the free expression of newspaper opinion.

    Trinity Mirror, now called Reach announced the 127-mn-pound takeover in Feb, bringing together tabloids from opposite ends of the political spectrum in a group it said would be better positioned to cope with advertisers and readers moving online. Media Secy Matt Hancock said he accepted regulators’ opinions that the deal did “not give rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition” and did not raise concerns about the range of views and the free expression of opinion in Britain’s newspapers.

    (Reuters)

    WDM witnesses trade worth Rs 1,464.20 cr on NSE

    Mumbai: Wholesale debt market segment of the National Stock Exchange today witnessed a total turnover of Rs 1,464.20 crore in 40 trades.

    Top securities (nn-repo) traded at the WDM were: The 182-days Treasury Bills (Issue No.291118) traded at Rs 130.00 at weighted yield of 6.76 per cent and the 364-days Treasury Bills (issue No.100119) traded at Rs 120.00 at weighted yield of 6.82 per cent,NSE release said.

    (PTI) 

    Vohra puts Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly under suspended animation

    New Delhi: Governor N N Vohra puts Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly under suspended animation, informed by an official notification.

    (PTI)

    US mortgage applications post biggest rise since January: MBA

    New York: U.S. mortgage applications rose last week, posting their biggest weekly increase in over five months as some 30-year home borrowing costs held steady or fell from the prior week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday. 

    The Washington-based industry group’s seasonally adjusted index on filings for home loans rose to 384.1 in the week ended June 15. This was up 5.1 percent from a week ago, marking the largest percentage gain since a 8.3 percent jump in the week of Jan. 5.

    (Reuters)

    Ten killed in Zambia copper mine dump collapse: Police

    Lusaka: Ten people were killed and another ten injured after a dumping site for mining waste that contains copper collapsed in Zambia’s copperbelt region in the town of Kitwe, police said on Wednesday. 

    “The incident happened this morning and at least 10 people have been confirmed dead,” Copperbelt police chief Charity Katanga said by phone from Kitwe, 400 km (248 miles) north of the capital Lusaka.

    (Reuters)

    Walt Disney raises bid for Fox assets to $38 per share

    Twenty-First Century Fox Inc said on Wednesday Walt Disney Co raised its offer for Fox assets to $38 per share. 

    The new offer, which is in the form of cash or stock, subject to 50/50 proration, is about $10 higher than Disney’s first offer in December 2017.

    (Reuters)

    China eyes reserve cuts, other policy measures to aid small firms

    Beijing: China will use targeted cuts in banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRR) and other policy tools to boost credit support for small firms and keep economic growth steady, state radio on Wednesday quoted a cabinet meeting as saying. 

    Fears of a full-blown trade war with Washington have magnified concerns about the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy, following weaker-than-expected growth data for May.

    (Reuters)

    EU to impose duties on U.S. imports Friday after Trump tariffs

    Brussels: The European Union will begin charging import duties of 25 percent on a range of U.S. products on Friday, in response to U.S tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminum early this month, the European Commission said on Wednesday. 

    The move confirms a tit-for-tat dispute that could escalate into a full trade war, particularly if U.S. President Donald Trump carries out his threat to penalize European cars. 

    (Reuters)

    US dollar ends cheaper against rupee

    Mumbai: The US dollar ended cheaper against the rupee at Rs 68.08/09 per dollar and the pound sterling also finished lower at Rs 89.72/74 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 68.08/09 US Dollar Rs 68.0838 Pound Sterling 89.72/74 EURO Rs 78.8274 Euro 78.74/76 Japanese yen (100) 61.87/89

    (PTI)

    South Sudan president Kiir departs for Ethiopia ahead of peace talks

    Juba: South Sudan President Salva Kiir left the capital on Wednesday and headed to Ethiopia ahead of a planned meeting with his rival and rebel leader Riek Machar ahead of planned talks to try to negotiate an end to a five-year-old civil war, an official said. 

    “IGAD has decided to call face-to-face dialogue between our president and Riek Machar on outstanding issues,” Awut Deng, a senior member of Kiir’s delegation, said before departing, referring to the regional East African bloc. “So we expect the face-to-face meeting between our president and Riek Machar will be today as scheduled by IGAD.”

    (Reuters)

    Greece says will support Macedonia efforts to meet name change accord

    Athens: Greece will support efforts by Macedonia to meet the terms of an accord to change the country’s name, Greece’s government spokesman said on Wednesday. 

    The two countries signed a deal this week to change the Balkan nation’s name to North Macedonia.

    (Reuters)

    Bombardier to sell 20 aircraft to Delta Air Lines

    Canadian plane and train maker Bombardier Inc said on Wednesday that Delta Air Lines Inc has signed a purchase agreement for 20 CRJ900 aircraft, in a deal valued at about $961 million.

    The airplanes, which Delta will take delivery in late 2018, will be the first to feature Bombardier’s new Atmosphère cabin design, Bombardier said.

    (Reuters)

     

    Irish mortgage arrears inch lower to 6.7 percent in first-quarter

    Dublin: The number of Irish homeowners in arrears for more than 90 days fell to 6.7 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from an upwardly revised 6.8 percent three months earlier, central bank data showed on Wednesday. 

    Accounts in arrears over 720 days also declined a touch, to just under 30,000, but still represented 60 percent of homeowners who have missed three or more payments and at 2.6 billion euros, 90 percent of all arrears balances outstanding. There was an increase in the number of accounts in arrears up to 90 days, but the central bank said this was due to the country’s worst weather for decades impacting customers’ ability to make payments at their branch.

     (Reuters) 

    Arvind Subramanian says he will leave finance ministry in a month or two

    New Delhi: Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian says he will leave finance ministry in a month or two with "best of memories".

    (PTI)

    Governor's rule imposed in J-K

    New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir was brought under governor's rule today, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of its alliance with the PDP, the Home Ministry said.

    In a surprise move, the BJP yesterday announced withdrawal of support to the PDP, saying it has become impossible to continue in the govt in view of the growing radicalism and terrorism in the state. Following the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Governor NN Vohra had recommended imposition of Central rule in his report to President Ram Nath Kovind, a copy of which was also forwarded to the Home Ministry.

    (PTI)

    China's Xi says Korean peninsula will be peaceful, stable

    Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday that with the joint efforts of the two countries, the Korean peninsula will definitely be peaceful and stable, official news agency Xinhua said. 

    Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China June 19, 2018. Greg Baker/Pool via Reuters Xi made the comments during a meeting at Beijing’s Diaoyutai state guest house, it added. Kim is in Beijing on the last day of a two-day visit.

    (Reuters)

    Kremlin says ex-FIFA boss Blatter is in Russia on a private visit

    Moscow: Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter is on a private visit to Russia and any meetings he plans while he is here will be held in a private and non-official capacity, the Kremlin said on Wednesday. 

    Blatter arrived in Moscow on Tuesday to attend the soccer World Cup, posing for selfies with fans in a hotel lobby before a meeting his spokesman said is scheduled for Wednesday with President Vladimir Putin. “Any meetings that could be held are being realised in the framework of his private visit and are not official,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call when asked if Blatter has met or would meet Putin.

    (Reuters)

    German intelligence agency warns of possible Islamist attacks using ricin

    Berlin: Islamist militant attacks using toxicological substances are possible at any time in Germany, a source in the BfV domestic intelligence service warned on Wednesday. 

    The warning followed the June 13 arrest in Cologne of 29-year-old Tunisian Sief Allah H. on suspicion of planning an Islamist-motivated attack and manufacturing a “biological weapon” using ricin. The BfV source said Islamic State militants had experimented with ricin in the past and had also manufactured it. Islamic State, the source added, had offered detailed instructions on how to produce ricin in a handbook, thereby encouraging its use.

    (Reuters)

    Centre wants that terrorism should end in Kashmir

    New Delhi: Centre wants that terrorism should end, peace should prevail in Kashmir, says Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

    (PTI)

    Sensex soars 260.59 pts to close at 35,547.33

    New Delhi: Sensex soars 260.59 pts to close at 35,547.33, while Nifty gains  61.60 pts to 10,772.05.

    (PTI)

    L'Oreal appoints Amit Jain as India MD

    Mumbai: French beauty major L'Oreal today appointed Amit Jain as its India managing director effective August 1, becoming the first Indian to head the company's operations here. He succeeds Jean-Christophe Letellier, who after five years in the role, takes on an important position within the L'Oreal group.

    With over 30 years of experience with companies like Coca Cola, Viacom and Akzo Nobel, prior to joining L'Oreal, Jain was the managing director of Akzo Nobel Northwest Europe, based in Amsterdam. Apart from India, Jain will also look after the operations in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal and will report to Pierre-Yves Arzel. 

    (PTI)

    ECB's Nowotny sees more political than economic risks to financial stability

    Vienna: The risks for financial stability in Europe are currently more political than economic, veteran European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said on Wednesday.

    “On the whole, there are more risks to financial stability in Europe on the political side than on the economic side,” Nowotny, who heads Austria’s central bank, said at a news conference in Vienna. A weakening of the euro against the U.S. dollar was largely due to interest rate policy, he said.

    (Reuters)

    Austria's Kurz plans to meet Merkel, other leaders on migration

    Linz, Austria: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is likely to meet his German counterpart Angela Merkel and other European leaders this week to discuss migration, he said on Wednesday. 

    “There will probably be a meeting this week between Angela Merkel, me and other heads of state and government on the issue of migration policy,” Kurz told reporters ahead of a joint cabinet meeting with ministers from the German state of Bavaria.

    (Reuters)

    Upper chamber to debate Brexit laws later on Wednesday

    London: Britain’s upper house of parliament will consider any changes made to proposed Brexit laws on Wednesday evening, shortly after they have been voted upon by the lower house of parliament, the opposition Labour Party said.

    Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown with rebels in her Conservative Party on Wednesday after refusing to accept demands for parliament to have a “meaningful vote” on Brexit that could stop Britain crashing out of the European Union with no deal. The debate in the lower chamber will start some time after 1200 GMT (1.00 p.m. BST). Labour said the upper chamber would then consider any changes at around 1830 GMT.

    (Reuters)

    Saudi-led coalition seizes Yemen's Hodeidah airport: Spokesman

    Dubai: The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has seized control of Hodeidah airport and continues to attack pockets of Houthi resistance nearby, a coalition spokesman said on Wednesday. 

    “We are now destroying Houthi fortifications near the airport,” spokesman Turki al-Malki said in an interview with Al Arabiya television from Brussels. Residents said clashes at the airport have abated but coalition warplanes were bombing positions held by the Iran-aligned Houthis as the group dug in to defend Hodeidah, its sole port and the lifeline for millions of Yemenis.

    (Reuters)

    Aviation minister says to review Air India stake sale plan soon

    New Delhi: India will soon review a plan to sell a stake in Air India, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said, weeks after the government found no takers for the beleaguered flag carrier.

    The government is committed that Air India remains an independent, globally-competitive and a highly-successful airline, junior civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha told a news conference on Wednesday. The government announced a plan in March to divest a 76-percent stake in Air India and offload about $5.1 billion of its debt, but prospective buyers stayed away, with some citing onerous terms as a reason for their lack of interest.

    (Reuters)

    EU regulators order Luxembourg to recover 120 million euros in Engie back taxes

    EU regulators on Wednesday ordered Luxembourg to recover 120 million euros ($138.8 million) in back taxes from French utility Engie (ENGIE.PA) after ruling that their tax deal infringed the bloc’s state aid rules. 

    The move by the European Commission underlines its continuing crackdown against corporate tax deals which give some companies an unfair advantage. “This artificially reduced the company’s tax burden. As a result, Engie paid an effective corporate tax rate of 0.3 percent on certain profits in Luxembourg for about a decade. This selective tax treatment is illegal,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

    (Reuters)

    Govt committed to strategic disinvestment of Air India

    New Delhi: Govt committed to strategic disinvestment of Air India, says Union Minister Jayant Sinha.

    (PTI)

    Iran says Trump responsible for high oil prices: Shana

    Vienna: Iran oil minister Bijan Zanganeh says the real responsibility for the current oil price hike lies with the U.S. President - Shana 

    Zanganeh says the reason behind the current high oil prices is not a lack of balance between supply and demand. Iran’s oil minister says since the primary reason for the oil price increase is political, then the remedy should be political as well

    (Reuters) 

    Germany, Italy, France, Austria to hold migration meeting with others on Sunday

    Brussels: Germany, France, Italy, Austria and others will hold a special meeting on migration in Brussels on Sunday, an EU diplomat said on Wednesday.

    Germany’s coalition government almost cracked apart as Merkel’s Christian Democrats and their sister party - Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU) - rowed over immigration but the CSU on Monday gave Merkel two weeks to get a deal with European allies.

    (Reuters)

    China's Xiaomi plans to raise up to $6.1 billion in Hong Kong IPO: Sources

    Hongt Kong: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is planning to raise up to $6.1 billion from a Hong Kong initial public offering, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

    Xiaomi plans to sell about 2.18 billion shares at a price range of HK$17 to HK$22 ($2.17-$2.80) each, said the people, who declined to be identified as the information was not public.  Xiaomi declined to comment.

    (Reuters/IFR) 

    ECB's Nowotny sees more political than economic risks to financial stability

    Vienna: The risks for financial stability in Europe are currently more political than economic, veteran European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny said on Wednesday.

    “On the whole, there are more risks to financial stability in Europe on the political side than on the economic side,” Nowotny, who heads Austria’s central bank, said at a news conference in Vienna. A weakening of the euro against the U.S. dollar was largely due to interest rate policy, he said.

    (Reuters)

    CEA Arvind Subramanian to leave finance ministry and return to the US

    New Delhi: CEA Arvind Subramanian to leave finance ministry and return to the US, says Arun Jaitley.

    (PTI)

    Banco BPM ready to sell debt collection unit if all bad loans bid for: CEO to paper

    Milan: Italy’s Banco BPM (BAMI.MI) is willing to sell its debt collection unit if suitors bid for nearly all of the bad loans it has put up for sale, its Chief Executive said on Wednesday in an interview with an Italian paper. 

    On Tuesday a source familiar with the bidding process told Reuters suitors eyeing the debt recovery unit of Banco BPM are expected to take on bad loans for an amount close to the top of a 3.5-10 billion euro ($4-$12 billion) range set by the bank.CEO Giuseppe Castagna told Italian daily Corriere del Veneto the price of its so-called Project Exodus bad loan sale could have been higher had it not been for recent market turmoil.

    (Reuters) 

    Foodgrain prices ruled steady

    Chennai: Prices of all commodities ruled steady in the wholesale foodgrain market here today.

    Following are the wholesale rates of various agri-commodities (rates in rupees per quintal, unless stated otherwise): Thoor Dal Rs 6,700, Urad Dal Rs 6,700, Moong Dal Rs 6,900, Gram Dal Rs 4,500, Sugar Rs 3,600, Wheat Rs 2,900, Maida (90 kg) Rs 2,500 and Sooji (90 kg) Rs 3,000. 

    (PTI)

    Taliban kill 30 soldiers in first major attack since ceasefire, governor says

    Kanul: Taliban militants killed 30 security forces in an ambush on two checkpoints in the farwestern province of Badghis early on Wednesday, the provincial governor said, their first major attack since the their Eid ceasefire. 

    The Taliban’s three-day ceasefire ended on Sunday.

    (Reuters) 

    Tokyo's Nikkei share average closes up 1.24 percent

    Japan's benchmark Nikkei average .N225 closed up 1.24 percent at 22,555.43 on Wednesday, while the broader Topix .TOPX gained 0.51 percent to 1,752.75.

    (Reuters)

    Eritrea sending delegation to Ethiopia: Diplomat

    Addid Ababa: Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki is dispatching a delegation to Addis Ababa for “constructive engagement” with Ethiopia after peace overtures from its new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a senior Eritrean diplomat said on Wednesday.

    Eritrean ambassador to Japan Estifanos Afeworki said on Twitter that Isais had made the announcement on Wednesday of the potentially significant break-through in one of Africa’s most protracted conflicts. He gave no further details.

    (Reuters) 

    Governor's rule imposed in J-K

    New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir was brought under governor's rule today, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulled out of its alliance with the PDP, the Home Ministry said.   

    In a surprise move, the BJP yesterday announced withdrawal of support to the PDP, saying it has become impossible to continue in the government in view of the growing radicalism and terrorism in the state. Following the resignation of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Governor N N Vohra had recommended imposition of Central rule in his report to President Ram Nath Kovind, a copy of which was also forwarded to the Home Ministry. 

    (PTI) 

    Johnson says U.S. withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council 'regrettable'

    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that the U.S. decision to withdraw from the U.N. Human Rights Council was “regrettable” and that the UK’s support for the council remained steadfast.

    “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the UK wants to see reform of the Human Rights Council, but we are committed to working to strengthen the Council from within,” Johnson said in a statement.

    (Reuters) 

    Iran says Europe's proposals not enough to save nuclear deal: IRNA

    London: Iran’s nuclear chief said on Tuesday that Europe’s proposals to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrawal from the pact were not satisfying for Tehran, warning that all sides would lose if Iran is sidelined by the West, the IRNA state news agency said.

    IRNA reported that the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, Ali Akbar Salehi had shown Iran’s dissatisfaction with European proposals to save the nuclear deal in a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Referring to Iran’s important regional role, Salehi was quoted as saying: “if it continues like this, all sides will lose.”  

    (Reuters) 

    North Korea sanctions to remain until denuclearisation achieved: South Korea minister

    Seoul: Sanctions against North Korea will remain in place until Pyongyang can assure concerned parties such as South Korea that “complete denuclearisation has been achieved”, the South’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

    Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said South Korea expected to see “concrete action” by North Korea to “live up to its complete denuclearisation commitment”, in return for guarantees of its security and other efforts for peace.  “Meanwhile, the sanctions will remain in place until we are assured that complete denuclearisation has been achieved,” Kang told a news conference in Seoul. 

    (Reuters) 

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