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Markets take a breather; Nifty hovers at 7300
Posted on 20th May 2014
The markets seem to have taken a pause as they seek to digest the stupendous gains witnessed in the past week till Monday. The Sensex is quoting at 24,402, higher by a modest 43 points and the Nifty is at 7,282, up 19 points. There is a lot of action in the broader market space for the second day in a row. The midcap index is at 8,206, higher by 115 points and the smallcap index is at 8,492, up 147 points.

ICICI Bank cuts home loan rates by 10 bps
Posted on 20th May 2014
ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector lender, has reduced home loan rates by up to 10 basis points (bps) for loans up to Rs 75 lakh. Under the new scheme, which will be offered till June 30 for new customers, interest on home loans up to Rs 75 lakh will be charged at 10.15 per cent or 15 bps over the base rate.

For loans above Rs 75 lakh, the bank will continue to charge between 10. 5 per cent and 11.25 per cent.

Narendra Modi to stake claim to form govt today
Posted on 20th May 2014
Narendra Modi is set to meet President Pranab Mukherjee today to stake claim to form the next government.

Prior to that, the BJP parliamentary party will officially declare Modi as the leader of the parliamentary party at its meeting today afternoon. MPs of other NDA partners will then join the meeting to give their assent to Modi as their leader.

Volkswagen to invest €100 million on new models, localisation in India
Posted on 19th May 2014
New Delhi: German auto giant Volkswagen group is planning to invest about €100 million (over Rs800 crore) in India to expand business, including launches of sedan and sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the compact segment along with a hatchback.

“At present, an investment of approximately €100 million is in the decision process for new models and for further localisation of parts and components,” Volkswagen India president and managing director Mahesh Kodumudi told PTI. While he did not share the timeline for the investment, he said “further large investments will accompany decisions for further new models for the Indian and export markets”.

AT&T buys DirecTV for nearly $50 billion
Posted on 19th May 2014
New York: US telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. clinched a deal on Sunday to acquire broadcast satellite service provider DirecTV for nearly $50 billion, the latest in a string of pay TV consolidation moves.

The cash-and-stock deal, approved unanimously by both boards, will see AT&T purchase DirecTV for $95 per share, for a total equity value of $48.5 billion and a total transaction value of $67.1 billion, including DirecTV’s net debt.

Metro smart card recharges to get costlier, minimum recharge value upped
Posted on 19th May 2014
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is going to introduce several changes to its smart cards to ensure shorter queues at ticket counters.

Effective from May 21, the minimum recharge value for the DMRC smart cards will be upped to Rs 200 from Rs 100, DMRC said. “Also, the minimum recharge value for a new card will be increased to Rs 100 from Rs 50. So, a new smart card will cost Rs 150 instead of Rs 100 (Rs 50 will be refundable security deposit),” a DMRC spokesperson said.

New species of dinosaur is largest animal to have walked the Earth
Posted on 19th May 2014
Move over T. rex, scientists have discovered in Argentina the bones of the world’s biggest dinosaur, as heavy as 14 African elephants and as tall as a seven-storey building.

The 65-foot-tall new species of titanosaur, 130 feet in length and weighing 77 tonnes, is much heavier than the previous record holder Argentinosaurus, palaeontologists said.

Car bomb in north Nigerian city of Kano kills 4
Posted on 19th May 2014
A car bomb exploded in the Christian neighbourhood of Nigeria’s second most populous and mainly Muslim city of Kano killing at least four people, police said. Five people were wounded.

Police Superintendent Aderenle Shinaba said the car exploded on Sunday night before the bomber reached his target of the busy restaurants and bars lining Gold Coast Street, indicating the casualties could have been much higher. It was unclear if the bomber was among them.

Hiking gas price will be a pressure test for BJP govt
Posted on 19th May 2014
The Narendra Modi government is widely expected to take steps to boost investor confidence in the oil and gas sector. What needs to be seen is how the new government tackles the controversial issue of revising domestic natural gas prices.

The UPA government failed to implement the new pricing regime based on Rangarajan formula as the Election Commission played spoilsport. Had the decision been implemented, the gas price would have nearly doubled from $4.2 per mBtu now to $8.4/mmBtu.

New York raises minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21
Posted on 19th May 2014
NEW YORK: New York raised the minimum age to buy cigarettes to 21 on Sunday, in its latest initiative to encourage healthier behavior among residents.

The law, signed November 19 shortly before former mayor Michael Bloomberg finished his second term, had a six-month waiting period before it came into effect, but its impact can already be clearly felt.

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