India

AUM of retirement-oriented schemes rises 24% to ₹10,425 crore in last 10 months Young India seems to be saving big time for retirement, and mutual fund schemes are emerging as the popular long-term retirement avenue.....


The combination of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers will create a pan-India tower company with over 163,000 towers, operating across all 22 telecom service areas The Department of Telecom (DoT) on Friday approved the merger of the country's largest mobile tower company Indus Towers with Bharti Infratel, according to official sources. The combination of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers will create a pan-India tower company with over 163,000 towers, operating across all 22 telecom service areas.…


JSW Steel's steelmaking capacity will increase to 21.5 MT from 18 MT post Rs 19,700 crore acquisition of Bhushan Power and Steel In the fight for supremacy in the Indian steel sector, Sajjan Jindal-controlled JSW Steel will overtake Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Tata Steel in production capacity, after the acquisition of Bhushan Power and Steel (BPSL). JSW Steel's steelmaking capacity will increase to 21.5 million tonne (MT) from 18 MT post the Rs 19,700 crore acquisition, for which it…


2020-02-22

Global players are beginning to recognize India as a potential aviation hub, analysts and industry executives said on Friday, after Groupe ADP of France announced plans to buy a 49% stake in GMR Airports Ltd (GAL). Groupe ADP became the second leading international airport operator to enter India in a span of less than three months. Zurich Airport International AG had won the bid to build an international airport at Jewar on the outskirts of Delhi.....


Adani Group gets a Lutyens' showpiece at bargain price After NCLT resolution, 3.4 acre bungalow to change hands for Rs 400 cr while debtor expected Rs 1,000 cr It’s a palatial bankruptcy resolution — 3.4 acres, total built-up area of more than 25,000 square feet, seven bedrooms, six living and dining rooms, a study room, 7,000 square feet for staff quarters, and all of it surrounded by verdant green in New Delhi’s ultra-posh Lutyens’ area. All this, for just Rs 400 crore.Adani Properties…


The government has managed to save nearly ₹28,700 crore during the first nine months (April-December) of the current fiscal (2019-20) through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) regime. That’s almost enough to meet the expenses on ‘Medical & Public Health’ for which Union Budget 2020-21 has provided ₹29,774 crore, or meet 46 per cent of the budgeted expenditure on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme, which has a provision of ₹61,500 crore in the Union Budget....…


Couple-preneur might have become a popular term recently referring to a couple running a company today, but you better not mistake it for a new trend. Dig into history and you will realise how this has been a practice for ages now. But when partners can have their differences, imagine when life-partners combine hands. Can business and pleasure work together? While many might find it tricky, Entrepreneur India spoke to five couple entrepreneurs to get an idea. These wonderful business minds, wake…


According to chef Radhika Khandelwal, seasonal produce is more than half the work done to make a delicious dish When did the culinary world become such a glamour space in India? Was it because of Vikas Khanna bringing Indian cuisine to the centre stage, Garima Arora becoming the first Indian women to win a Michelin star or veteran Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khaana Khazaana cook shows?....


Unacademy, an edtech start-up that helps students prepare for different competitive exams, has raised $110 million in a Series E round led by General Atlantic, Sequoia and Facebook. Existing investors Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital as well as Blume Ventures also participated in the latest funding. Founded in 2015, Bengaluru-based Unacademy started as an YouTube channel before launching its own platform and a mobile app. The platform currently has more than 1 million videos from over…


2020-02-21

The government has launched a scheme that provides financial aid to farmers looking for advanced farm machinery According to a press release, for farmers to have access to more tech-based farm machinery on a rent-basis, the government is promoting Custom Hiring Centres (CHC) through the Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation (SMAM) project. Under the scheme, subsidies are provided at 40% to individual farmers for projects costing INR 60 lakhs (about US$ 84,185) and 80% to a group of farmer…


2020-02-21

The government has increased the funds for its flagship programme Digital India to about $554,905 The government, in the budget for 2020, has increased funds for the Digital India initiative 23% to INR 3,958 crores (around US$5 54,905) compared to the actual allocation in the current fiscal. The increase is mainly on account of incentives for electronics manufacturing, for research and development, the development of manpower for the segment, cybersecurity and the promotion of IT and IT-enab…


2020-02-21

The Bhuvan Panchayat web portal will use data from satellites to better plan and monitor government projects in rural India India recently launched the third version of the Bhuvan Panchayat web portal in Bengaluru, earlier this week. The web portal is an easy-to-use geoportal and will provide database visualisation, data analytics, model-based products or services for village council members and stakeholders, and will generate automatic reports. For the first time, a thematic database (on a 1:10…


The top 6 make news pretty much every year. It’s the ones below them that have become a talking point. The key to success in a sluggish job market – an MBA degree, even if it’s not from the top six IIMs.Business schools other than the top six IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Kozhikode, Lucknow and Indore) have seen a jump in average salaries and number of recruiters for the class of 2020. The top six do well pretty much every year. It’s campuses just below them that have sprung a su…


Raymond stitches plans for a larger share of the male wardrobe with 3D printed cufflinks, and more When it comes to matters of sartorial flair, it is the small details that make a big difference. In the well-dressed man’s attire, cufflinks are subtle signifiers of one’s place in the world. Riding on the wave of resurgence that the shirt accessory is witnessing, the Raymond Group decided it would create bespoke masterpieces — with a technological tweak to it......


2020-02-21

Thai Airways International will cancel some flights to eight countries this and next months as the coronavirus outbreak has crippled air travel. The flight adjustments this month and most of March cover destinations in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Bangladesh and the United Arabs Emirates....


Reliance announced the merger of its various content, distribution, and media properties in its listed subsidiary Network18 earlier this week This week saw Mukesh Ambani consolidate the media assets of Reliance Industries, giving distribution a big push. With this, the battle of supremacy between Ambani and Subhash Chandra, who straddle the media convergence space of broadcasting, distribution, over-the-top (OTT) channel, content, and movies, will only intensify.....


In a major exercise to estimate poverty, a nation-wide survey has been launched to capture household accessibility to amenities including nutrition, drinking water, housing and cooking fuel.The exercise is likely to help India arrive at poverty levels, years after the poverty line idea was dumped. The number of poor as well as poverty levels are crucial for any government to prioritise social sector schemes.In 2014, the NDA government had junked the C Rangarajan committee rep .. Read more at:ht…


With goods trains envisaged to be running at 100 km per hour, the Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCIL) is looking to decongest up to 70 per cent freight load of the Indian Railways, which could be better utilised to run passenger trains efficiently, MD Anurag Sachan said here.....


Ahead of his visit, there have been talks about India and the United States agreeing on a trade package as a precursor to a major trade deal Days ahead of his India visit, US President Donald Trump on Thursday said the two countries could make a "tremendous" trade deal. "We're going to India, and we may make a tremendous deal there," Trump said in his commencement address at the Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony in Las Vegas......


The durable retailer plans to create digital kiosks at the stores, where the sales person can give 3D demonstrations of a refrigerator or a washing machine Croma will launch the first of its new-age stores in Mumbai in March. The launch of the new tech-heavy Croma store will coincide with the launch of the Croma app, says, Avijit Mitra, the company's CEO and Executive Director. The app which has been created by sister company, TCS, is supposed to offer consumers a new level of digital experien…


Middle East

2020-02-22

Petrofac, the international service provider to the oil and gas production and processing industry, has been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning, EPCC, contract by Sharjah National Oil Corporation, SNOC. The contract is worth around US$40 million, Jersey-registered Petrofac said in a press release here today. "The contract awarded to Petrofac’s Engineering & Production Services division, EPS, demonstrates delivery against company's strategy to secure smaller gre…


2020-02-22

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has unveiled a plethora of innovative initiatives to mark the UAE Innovation Month; which ends on February 29th. Events of the month are held across the seven Emirates under the theme 'The 50-Year Challenge'. The overriding objective is to engage all community segments in applying innovation as a tool for shaping the future of the UAE.  RTA’s galaxy of projects for this event includes the RTA Startup Challenge; a contest for start-ups enabling the…


2020-02-22

Dubai Economy, along with Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, HSBC, RAKBANK, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), has formed a consortium for sharing of verified KYC (Know Your Customer) data between banks and licensing authorities in the UAE. Part of the strategic focus of Dubai Economy on enhancing ease of business in Dubai and supporting the smart transformation of the emirate’s economy, the ‘KYC Blockchain Consortium’ will facilitate a faster, more secure on…


IN an effort to diversify markets for Filipino exporters, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Middle East and Africa, is conducting an outbound business matching mission to the Middle East from February 12 to 24, 2020. The OBMM is in conjunction with Gulfood 2020 in Dubai World Trade Centre. “We hope that through this OBMM, the Philippines will be able to explore business environment and possibl…


Tamara Pupic | Entrepreneur Middle East Having launched businesses like Bukhash Brothers, Buka, and Chalk, Emirati serial entrepreneur Anas Bukhash is definitely clued in to the charms of being one's own boss "I believe the UAE leadership knows that entrepreneurship is one of the most important sectors for the development of the UAE economy, and recognizes this immensely; however, when it trickles down to organizations that are supposed to support entrepreneurship in the ‘right’ manner, the…


2020-02-21

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to step up cooperation, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday. Under the MoU, the two authorities will establish a joint working group to boost cooperation in several areas including facilitation provided to investors, conducting economic studies of the market, building partnerships with commercial and industrial bodies and local companies, l…


2020-02-21

Wearable contemporary art Muneera Hamed Alsharhan from Kuwait is an artist who focuses on creating contemporary and art jewellery that offer something a little different. Alsharhan exploits her extensive knowledge of Kuwait’s jewellery history and of the current market seeking to create a new authentic Kuwaiti jewellery culture. One not trapped in the past, respectful history yet focused on the future of this countries now youthful cultural demographic....


Lubna Hamdan attempts to interview Formula One's Mercedes AMG reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez as he tackles a hot lap at 300km/h I love adrenaline. If I could skydive to my office every day, I would. But it’s not logistically possible and I don’t have AED1,499 to spend per dramatic appearance. So when I was invited to be driven around a race track by a Formula 1 driver as part of the F1 Pirelli Hot Laps programme, I was thrilled. It’s an experience that can’t be bought. It requires an e…


2020-02-21

One to watch Fashion Forward is back for another season to showcase emerging and established brands from the region and beyond. Always one step ahead, the event will introduce us to an up-and-coming designer – Yousef Akbar. Saudi-born designer took part in Not Just A Label (NJAL) competition and won an opportunity showcase at the Dubai event in April. Beating over 170 global entries, Akbar’s work was selected based on design aesthetic, innovative approach, and relevance to the region, as w…


Kuwait's low-cost airline Jazeera Airways will launch the airline’s first service to Sharjah in April this year, with a twice weekly return service. The new service, launching on April 2, will be Kuwait airline’s third destination in the UAE, following on from its Al Ain service that was launched in December last year. It will also provide competition for Air Arabia, which operates three daily flights between the cities.     Jazeera Airways will operate direct flights every Thursday and …


2020-02-21

In September 2019, Saudi Arabia reached an important milestone in its Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to diversify the Kingdom’s economy away from its petrochemical revenue base.The country finalized its entry into the JP Morgan suite of emerging market (EM) indices. It was the finale in a series of announcements by the major indexes, including MSCI, S&P and FTSE, confirming that Saudi Arabia met their inclusion criteria......


Latvia has signed a $1.5 million contract to build the country’s pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai site. The country was one of the first to confirm its participation at Expo, with an initial $4.75m budget allocated towards the six month event. However, in an effort to reduce its budget, the government terminated a contract with the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which had been organising the country’s participation in the event, including the pavilion design. ......


NMC Health Plc founder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty hired Houlihan Lokey Inc. to explore strategic options for his holding company, including a potential debt restructuring or the sale of some assets, according to people familiar with the matter. The investment bank is working with BRS Ventures Investment to revamp debt and seek potential investment partners or sell assets from the portfolio, which holds 30 companies including hospital operator NMC and financial services firm Finablr Plc, according…


2020-02-21

The campaign resulted in 146 offences including unlicensed passenger transport activities Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has carried an inspection campaign on activities relating to public transport services in collaboration with Jebel Ali Industrial Area Police Station and Dubai Investment Park. The crackdown covered the selling of nol cards, unlicensed passenger transport activities and shared transport practices.  The campaign, which is part of an annual plan carried out at specif…


Airlines operating in the Asia-Pacific region stand to lose a combined US$27.8 billion of revenue this year in the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the International Air Transport Association said on Thursday (Feb 20). The estimate is based on projections of a 13 per cent full-year decline in passenger demand, mostly in China, the trade body said in a statement.....


A French probe into former Renault SA Chairman Carlos Ghosn that was handed over to elite investigators will focus on interactions with an Oman distributor as well as spending on trips and events. Prosecutors from Nanterre, near Paris, gave the case to investigative judges with wider probing powers. The judges will examine suspected misuse of corporate funds, aggravated breach of trust, document forgery and money laundering, according to a prosecutor’s statement Wednesday.....


2020-02-20

Buamim: ASEAN region with its quest for new markets and rising consumer demand presents an opportunity for Dubai to explore new avenues for bilateral cooperation Dubai- ASEAN bilateral trade reached $21 billion in 2018 ASEAN countries have a combined population of 650 million people and GDP of $2.9 trillion  Dubai Chamber organised a briefing session, recently, to create awareness among Ambassadors and Consul Generals from ASEAN countries about the first Global Business Forum ASEAN (GBF …


Bilateral trade between China and the UAE reached $34.7 billion in the first nine months of 2019, up 6 percent, according to a top Chinese diplomat. Of the total bilateral trade, China’s exports to the UAE amounted to $23.5 billion, up 9.9 percent, while imports from the UAE fell 1.4 percent to $11.2 billion due to lower oil prices in 2019. Ni Jian, the Chinese Ambassador to the UAE, said in an interview with state news agency WAM: "China-UAE trade and investment are expected to maintain the m…


2020-02-20

The total assets of Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, Etisalat, and the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, du, increased to AED145.12 billion in 2019, a YoY growth of around 2.8 percent from AED141.74 billion. The financial statements announced by the two listed companies show their total combined revenues hit AED64.8 billion in 2019, while the royalty fee they paid to the government stood at circa AED7.85 billion. The net profit secured by Etisalat and du in 2019 grew to aro…


2020-02-20

Introducing a paradigm change in the culture of dealing with units of measurement, the UAE will enforce a mandatory application of the "gram /milli-litre" unit system instead of "Tula" in the perfume trade in all of the country’s markets, starting, Thursday, February 20, 2020, . Eng. Amina Zainal, Director of Metrology Department at the Emirates authority for Standardisation and Metrology, ESMA, said that the move fits within the synergy and concerned efforts between all government, and federa…


South East Asia

2020-02-22

Vietnam’s fintech industry, though still nascent, has witnessed significant growth over the past couple of years. As of mid-2019, the country was home to 154 fintech companies which had attracted a total of US$1.1 billion in investment, according to Lam Nguyen Hai Long, chairman of the HCM City Computer Association........


IN an effort to diversify markets for Filipino exporters, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Middle East and Africa, is conducting an outbound business matching mission to the Middle East from February 12 to 24, 2020. The OBMM is in conjunction with Gulfood 2020 in Dubai World Trade Centre. “We hope that through this OBMM, the Philippines will be able to explore business environment and possibl…


The Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA), lamenting that Chinese buyers have frozen their fruit orders, has called on the government to provide more assistance to the banana industry amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) scare Since 2018, China has become the biggest buyer of homegrown bananas and was considered as the biggest market among Filipino banana exporters.             PBGEA Executive Director Stephen Antig said they are hopeful for more interventi…


Trade show Industrial Transformation Asia-Pacific will be held for another five years in Singapore, with German organiser Deutsche Messe also setting up its regional headquarters here. On Friday (Feb 21), a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), German event organiser Deutsche Messe, and local partner SingEx to hold the trade show here from 2021 to 2025.....


Vietnam's manufacturing sector is suffering supply chain problems caused by the coronavirus epidemic, which may delay production of Samsung Electronics' new phones, the Ministry of Industry and Trade told Reuters on Friday. "Car, electronics and phone manufacturers are experiencing difficulty in acquiring supplies and materials due to disruptions from the virus," the ministry said in an emailed statement......


SLIGHTLY over 20 years ago, hybrid cars as we know them today were just entering the market, but 20 years from now, the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles we've known for 125 years will be leaving the market for good. The Singapore government is making a big push for electric vehicles (EV), which, at 1,125 cars on the road as of January 2020, make up fewer than 0.2 per cent of the current car population....


Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC) reported a 34 per cent jump in its net profit for the fourth quarter to $1.24 billion, compared with $926 million from a year ago. The increase comes on the back of stronger trading income, sale of investment securities and its wealth management business, the bank said on Friday (Feb 21). Annualised earnings per share was $1.11 for the quarter, an increase from 85 cents a year ago. Directors proposed a dividend of 28 cents per share, up from 23 cents a yea…


2020-02-22

In 2019, orders on the platform surged 50% YoY. Online food delivery service Deliveroo saw its orders in Singapore rise an average of 20% in 27 January to 16 February, according to a press release. This was partly attributed to the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. In 2019, orders on the platform surged 50% YoY, with most orders coming in between 7-9pm. However late night (11pm-1am) and breakfast (8-10 am) orders soared as high as 500% growth over the past twelve months. About 300 new r…


An agent linked to Sembcorp Marine's Brazilian subsidiaries has been found guilty by a court in Brazil of corruption, money laundering and participation in a criminal organisation. Guilherme Esteves de Jesus, was sentenced to 19 years and 4 months in prison and also fined by the Federal Courts of Curitiba, SembMarine said in a filing with the Singapore Exchange on Friday (Feb 21). It learnt of the sentencing on Feb 20.....


Singapore Airlines (SIA) has stepped up the cleaning and disinfecting of its aircraft to prevent the spread of COVID-19, amid a decline in demand for air travel.  SIA has also made changes to its in-flight services to reduce contact between passengers and crew, such as by replacing its in-flight magazines and using pre-packed wet towelettes instead of hot towels....


IN THE SAME WAY that co-working spaces are all the rage now, so too is co-living changing the way people look at accommodation. Hmlet was one of the first few players to introduce shared living spaces in Singapore in 2017, and more players have jumped on the bandwagon since. (see amendment note) Mostly, they offered co-living options in new buildings - think lyf Funan, or in existing condominiums. Compared to regular rental, co-living offers shorter leases, communal events and spaces to foster …


 They are places that encapsulate Singapore: Gardens by the Bay, with its gigantic artificial trees and botanical conservatories dripping with orchids; Lau Pa Sat, the colonial-era food hall beckoning with chili crab and chicken rice; Jewel Changi Airport, the futuristic shopping and entertainment complex straight out of Crazy Rich Asians.....


2020-02-22

Calum Handforth – Thematic Lead for Digitalisation and Smart Cities, at the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development – discusses some key aspects of smart cities for international development Urbanisation and the increasing role of innovation are two trends likely to continue well into the 21st century. With two out of every three people (or 2.5 billion more people) likely to be living in cities or other urban centres by 2050, innovation can help make these …


2020-02-21

An industrial zone project within the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Rakhine State will be developed for US$30 billion, deputy commerce minister U Aung Htoo told Pyithu Hluttaw this week CITIC Consortium from China owns 51 percent of the industrial zone while the Myanmar government owns 49pc, he said.   The industrial zone will be developed on 2400 acres of land and a high-end housing project will also be constructed across 1235 acres.....


2020-02-21

Myanmar is globally known for its high quality, locally produced jade, which is mostly extracted from Hpakant in Kachin State and sold to traders and jewellers worldwide.  Yet, despite the state’s rich deposits, the jade market in Kachin itself is relatively subdued.     But one person is trying to change the situation and has been working hard to develop the jade and jewellery market in Kachin State.    U Zay Lwan, chair of the Kachin State Gems and Jewellery Entrepreneurs Asso…


Cambodian telecoms operator Yes Seatel has launched a pilot trial for the latest generation wireless technology for digital cellular networks – 5G. It was begun this week at Yes Seatel’s headquarters in Phnom Penh. It’s the fourth telecom operator to pilot 5G in Cambodia. Yes Seatel Director Yao Yue Yin said that expanding to 5G will be convenient for the public and businesses given its speed and efficiency. “When fully operational, it will open up new opportunities for enhancing the sec…


2020-02-21

The gold futures contract on Bursa Malaysia Derivatives hit a record high, surpassing RM220 per gramme at the close Friday, as concerns over the spread of Covid-19 beyond China spurred a rush for safe-haven buy. Phillip Futures Sdn Bhd trader Stephen Lou Yoke Lim said the local gold futures were also tracking the surge in the US Commodity Exchange’s (Comex) gold futures market which hit a seven-year high on Thursday. “Gold received a boost this week even as China implemented fresh monetary s…


Plans to develop a Cambodia-South Korea Friendship Bridge is now being discussed in which form of financial assistance that will be provided by the South Korea government, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said on Friday. Speaking during a press conference, Minister Sun said the South Korea government is now taking into account that the financial assistance whether it would be a loan or grant aid to provide for the project development. “The project would cost relatively high at around $100millio…


2020-02-21

 Government officials from Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK) have discussed measures to raise two-way trade to 100 billion USD this year despite regional and global economic difficulties caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. At their recent meeting in Seoul, Vietnam Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and the RoK’s Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) Park Ki-young agreed on four main orientations for the two ministries’ action plan to achieve …


2020-02-21

A seminar on risk management in agriculture – experience from Canada was held in Hanoi on February 21.The event was a joint effort between the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Cooperative Enterprise Development (VCED) project.The VCED project aims to form and develop five new large-scale cooperatives in the Mekong Delta provinces of Soc Trang, Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong and Ben Tre since 2015.....