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India Infoline Weekly Newsletter – October 26, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

A lot of attention will be paid to the political developments over the weekend. Expectations are that a cabinet reshuffle is on the cards which may bring in a whole set of young ministers.

Top Stories

Cabinet reshuffle on the cards…SM Krishna steps down

The government is set to reshuffle the cabinet yet again, probably on Sunday (Oct 28). Ahead of the reshuffle, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna has resigned. Krishna was made the External Affairs Minister immediately after the elections in 2009 when UPA came back to power for the second time. A host of vacancies have been created by the exit of Trinamool Congress from UPA last month along with the resignations of DMK representatives in 2010 end. The big question now is whether Rahul Gandhi will take charge of any ministry. Reports indicate Rahul Gandhi may be inducted as either the Rural Development minister, a portfolio currently held by Jairam Ramesh or put in charge of Human Resources, headed by Kapil Sibal.

Delay in making fresh appointments has led to many Cabinet ministers holding multiple portfolios. These include C.P. Joshi (Railways and Surface Transport), Kapil Sibal (HRD and Telecom and Information Technology), Vayalar Ravi (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Overseas Indian Affairs and Science and Technology), Anand Sharma (Commerce, Industry and Textiles) and M. Veerappa Moily (Corporate Affairs and Power). Jyotiraditya Scindia, who is minister of state (MoS), may be promoted to Cabinet rank or given independent charge, while MPs Meenakshi Natarajan and Pradeep Manjhi may join as MoS. Rajya Sabha MP from Jharkhand Pradeep Balmuchu may also get a key portfolio. Expectations are that the government is looking at adding younger MPs aligned to Rahul Gandhi as junior ministers.

RBI may restructure SLR to meet Basel-III norms: Reports

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that it may restructure the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) to compute liquidity under the Basel-III regulatory norms. The move is aimed at preventing a recurrence of 2008 like financial crisis, according to media reports. This may be an indication that RBI may ease the Basel-III norms on capital and liquidity, which the banking industry is opposed to citing a likely fall in profitability, the reports added. RBI deputy governor Anand Sinha said that the central bank is thinking how to design a scheme under which a part of the SLR is treated as Basel III liquidity requirement. Mr Sinha was speaking at a banking conference organised by CARE Ratings on 22nd October. Mr Sinha further said that restructuring liquidity coverage ratio will not make a huge change in the Indian context since domestic banks are mandated to hold 23% of their deposits in government bonds, which are not marketable, the reports further mentioned.

CARE Research estimates domestic banks will be required to raise equity in the range of $40-$50bn over the next six years to meet BASEL-III guidelines. Banks ROE is projected to fall by 80-100bps for every 1% increase in core equity ratio, if other things remain constant. Given that most PSU banks core equity ratio is 6%-9%, CARE believes their ROE is expected to remain under pressure in the range of 100-200bps due to higher capital requirement. However, banks could increase/decrease their lending/ deposit rate by 15-25 bps, increase fee income or bring in cost efficiency to protect their ROE to fall from the current levels. Basel-III guidelines (implementing from 1st Jan, 2013) requires all unamortized pension liabilities to be fully written off from the books before 1st Jan, 2013. As a consequence, CARE said that PSU banks are required to write-off roughly Rs. 14,000 cr before 1st Jan, 2013, representing 4%-12% of net worth in FY12. Considering the fact that banks ROE would be severely impacted if unamortized liabilities would be charged to P&L account, CARE added that most banks would seek approval from RBI to directly write-off from reserves account as sought by SBI in FY11. In case, RBI does not approve to directly adjust the unamortized amount with B/S, then ROE of PSU banks will be severely impacted in FY13.

Time right to cut repo rate by 100bps: CII

Central Bank of India announces attractive home-loan offers

Western Union ICICI Bank prepaid card launches in India

Forbes billionaires – Mukesh Ambani remains on top

Forbes has unveiled its billionaire India rich list for 2012. RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani has for fifth time in a row topped it at $21bn. His wealth is down by $1.6bn as compared to the last year but still way ahead of steel baron Lakshmi Mittal who holds the number 2 spot at $16bn. Mittal is down by $3bn this year as per global business magazine Forbes' annual ranking of 100 wealthiest Indians. Anil Ambani who heads telecom to infrastructure conglomerate Reliance group, however couldn’t make it to the top 10 list and was ranked 11th at $6bn. Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of telecoms giant Bharti Airtel Ltd and Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, also dropped out of Forbes' annual list of the 10 richest Indians. India’s top 100 super rich saw their wealth increase despite a slowdown in the country’s economy. Even as the net worth of top-ranked persons like Ambani and Mittal fell, the collective wealth of India's richest 100 rose by 3.7 per cent ($ 9 billion) to $ 250 billion in the past one year, Forbes said. The number of billionaires also rose to 61, from 57 last year. Sun Pharma group's Shanghvi entered the top-five for the first time. Following is the Forbes rankings for 2012.

1 Mukesh Ambani $21bn
2 Lakshmi Mittal $16bn
3 Azim Premji $12.2bn
4 Pallonji Mistry $9.8bn
5 Dilip Shanghvi $9.2bn
6 Adi Godrej $9 bn
7 Savitri Jindal $8.2bn
8 Shashi & Ravi Ruia $8.1bn
9 Hinduja Brothers $8bn
10 Kumar Mangalam Birla $7.8bn

Global consumer spending slowdown eases: PwC

Growth in global consumer spending is has been slowing – but the latest value of PwC’s new Global Consumer Index (GCI) suggests that the slowdown may have eased in October. This may lead to a gradual recovery in 2013. The Index is a leading indicator of trends in the global consumer cycle. It combines dozens of economic series into a single index, which historically has tracked global consumer spending closely. It is unique in that it provides an early warning indicator of trends at a global level, giving businesses and policy makers an indication of future consumer demand for goods and services and an early steer on short-term growth prospects.

The results of the index in two ways:

Growth: this is the current year-on-year growth rate of the index. This declined for five consecutive months over the summer, although the latest value shows it ticking up to 1.7% in October, from 1.5% in September. This is significantly below the long-run average value of 2.8%, and the recent figures are the lowest since the end of the financial crisis.

Momentum: this looks at what annual growth would be if the index were to grow at the rate of the last three months for a whole year. Following four consecutive and sharp monthly falls, this briefly turned negative in August. The latest value shows it recovering slightly to 1.0% in October from 0.2% in September. This is a relatively good story, as had the Momentum score stayed negative it may have implied a double dip in the consumer spending cycle.

Christine Cross, PwC Chief Retail and Consumer Advisor, says: "The effects of this continued slowdown will be felt across the retail and consumer supply chain. Manufacturers need to be cognisant of changes in both their domestic and export markets. As the GDP of both developed and developing economies reduces so will consumer propensity to spend on discretionary items in particular. Retailers may not only feel the impact of this on their domestic trade, but those with actual or planned exposure to sales in international markets may also see a slowdown. Advance warning of this protracted decline means cash and working capital management remain key for the rest of 2012 and Q1 2013." The report finds that there are many indicators in each country that may give insight into the consumer cycle, such as confidence surveys, commodity markets, equity indices and other financial market data. To make sense of it all, PwC has analysed and compiled key leading indicators of consumer spending into a single global index – the PwC Global Consumer Index, which will be updated each month, and included in the firm’s Global Economy Watch report...Read More

Growth in employment has been slow; unemployment rate remains elevated: Fed

Special Stories

Mumbai alone contributes 62% to NSE’s turnover

Mumbai’s contribution to the total turnover on cash segment of BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) stood at 50.19% in August 2012 against 37.4% in the fiscal 2011-12, 36.3% in FY10-11 and 36% in FY09-10, according to the SEBI (Security and Exchange Board of India) data on city-wise distribution of turnover on cash segments of BSE and NSE (National Stock Exchange). On NSE, Mumbai’s total turnover increased to 62% in August 2012 from 60.4% in FY11-12, 58.6% in FY10-11 and 57.5% in FY09-10, the SEBI data mentioned.  Except Mumbai and Hyderabad, the remaining 18 cities—for which SEBI data is available—have indicated a gradual decline in their contribution towards turnover since the start of FY12-13 against the last three financial years. Currently, Mumbai dominates the equity cash market segment as its total traded turnover on BSE and NSE has increased in FY12-13 as well as in the last three years. The contribution of four major cities—Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Kolkata—to the total cash market turnover on NSE has more or less remained constant in the last three years and is now at 84%, the SEBI data pointed out.

City-wise turnover on cash segments of BSE & NSE 

  2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Aug-12 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Aug-12
Ahmedabad 9.9% 9.4% 9.5% 8% 5.6% 6.2% 6.1% 4.9%
Bangalore 0.4% 0.4% 0.3% 0.32% 0.6% 0.6% 0.5% 0.4%
Delhi 12.8% 12.8% 10.9% 4.43% 12.9% 10.8% 8.4% 8.3%
Hyderabad 0.5% 0.5% 0.3% 0.37% 1.8% 1.6% 1.4% 2.3%
Kolkata 1.6% 2% 5% 6.2% 7% 7.5% 8.6% 7.6%
Mumbai 36% 36.3% 37.4% 50.19% 57.5% 58.6% 60.4% 62%
Source: BSE & NSE; Percentage share in turnover

India top improver in Business Regulation: IFC, WB

A new IFC and World Bank report finds that India has improved the regulatory environment for local entrepreneurs more than any other economy in South Asia since 2005. In the past eight years India implemented a total of 17 institutional or regulatory reforms making it easier to do business. Released , Doing Business 2013: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency. The report also records regulatory reforms in those areas in the year from June 2011 to June 2012. It finds that India is the first economy in the region to make dealing with construction permits easier for local firms since 2005.

In the past year India established strict time limits for preconstruction approvals, reducing the time needed to process permit applications. "India stands out in the region as the economy that has improved its business regulations the most since 2005," said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. "After establishing its first credit bureau in 2004, India focused mostly on simplifying and reducing the cost of regulatory processes in key areas such as starting a business, paying taxes, and trading across borders. These efforts notwithstanding, further progress is needed in coming years to release the vast potential of India’s private sector." Globally, Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business for the seventh consecutive year. Joining it on the list of the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulation are Hong Kong SAR, China; New Zealand; the United States; Denmark; Norway; the United Kingdom; the Republic of Korea; Georgia; and Australia.

Private-Sector Retirement plans continue to play important role for retirees: study

The annual update of an ICI research study finds that, contrary to conventional wisdom, retirees across all income groups are collecting more in retirement income from employer-sponsored retirement plans than they were in the mid-1970s, when sweeping new retirement plan regulations were enacted. The study, A Look at Private-Sector Retirement Plan Income After ERISA, 2011, finds that in 2011, 33 percent of retirees received income—either directly or through a spouse from private-sector retirement plans, compared with 21 percent in 1975. The median income received by those with private-sector pension income was US$6,300 in 2011 compared with about US$4,700 in 1975 (in 2011 dollars). The research examines private-sector retirement income trends since 1974, just after the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted...Read More

CFO Optimism level improved significantly: D&B India CFO Survey

Dun & Bradstreet, the world’s leading provider of global business information, knowledge and insight conducted a pan India survey of Corporate CFOs in which they were asked about their confidence in the overall financial and macro-economic conditions for Q4 2012 (Oct-Dec of the calendar year 2012), as compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The survey reveals how optimistic the CFOs are with respect to the overall financial health of their respective companies, the business risk environment and the macroeconomic scenario in the country.

The survey revealed interesting facts about the CFOs’ perspective on the overall Business Climate:

  • The optimism level for the overall macroeconomic condition for Q4 2012 stands at ~60, an 8.1 point increase from the previous quarter led by increase in the optimism level of CFOs in the industrial sector (Optimism level ranges from 0 to 100; 0 being pessimistic and 100 being optimistic)

  • Around 56% of the surveyed CFOs revealed the macroeconomic scenario for Indian corporate to remain favourable during Q4 2012, an increase of 29% over Q3 2012.

  • Around 50% of the surveyed CFOs consider operating margin of their company to improve during Q4 2012

  • Of the surveyed CFOs, 39% expect cost of funds to decrease in Q4 2012 as against only 23% in Q3 2012 who expected this to happen in the immediate future. Further, 50% of the surveyed CFOs expect availability of funds to increase during Q4 2012, an increase of 15% over Q3 2012

  • Around 70% of the surveyed CFOs wish to prioritize their focus on overall cost control. 47% of surveyed CFOs prefer to focus on overall cash flow management during the next six months

  • Effective recovery system and increase in close monitoring of strategic accounts have emerged as the most preferred mode of risk management for CFOs during the next six months

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Mohan Ramaswamy, Chief Operating Officer of Dun & Bradstreet India said, The CFO survey conducted by D&B India reveals that the optimism level among the CFOs stands at a three quarter high. The recent reform announcements have lifted sentiment within the domestic industry and renewed interest of foreign institutional investors in the Indian market. However, CFOs still remain cautious with respect to the overall cost structure. Inflation is on the rise and the second round impact of the fuel price hike announced by the government during end of Q3 2012 is yet to materialize fully. Thus, controlling cost and proper cash flow management has probably emerged as key priorities for majority of the CFOs which would aid in protecting margins. Further, CFOs expect liquidity conditions to improve and the overall cost of funds to ease during the forthcoming quarter.


ICICI Bank Q2 cons net profit at Rs23.90bn

ICICI Bank Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs. 23903.70 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 as compared to Rs. 19916.80 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. Total Income has increased from Rs. 161106.10 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2011 to Rs. 186094.30 mn for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Operating review

The Bank has continued with its strategy of pursuing profitable growth.The Bank has grown its retail lending volumes, resulting in an improvement in retail loan portfolio growth. The Bank continued to leverage its strong corporate franchise, its international presence and its branch network in India. At September 30, 2012, the Bank had 2,772 branches, the largest branch network among private sector banks in the country. The Bank has also increased its ATM network to 10,006 ATMs at September 30, 2012 as compared to 6,913 at September 30, 2011.

Credit growth

Advances increased by 18% year-on-year to Rs275,076 crore (US$ 52.0billion) at September 30, 2012 from ` 233,952 crore (US$ 44.3 bn) atSeptember 30, 2011. The year-on-year growth in retail advances was 14.0% at September 30, 2012 compared to a year-on-year growth of 10.3% at June 30, 2012.

Deposit growth

At September 30, 2012, savings account deposits increased by 15% yearon- year to Rs 80,618 crore (US$ 15.3 billion). Current account deposits were Rs33,800 crore (US$ 6.4 billion) at September 30, 2012. The CASA ratio was at 40.7% at September 30, 2012. The average CASA ratio was at 37.5% for Q2-2013...Read More

Dabur, HUL, Thinksoft Global, HCC, PNB, Akzo Nobel India, Idea Cellular, DHFL, Oberoi Realty, HDFC, Cairn India, Polaris Financial, BASF India, Tata Coffee, Lupin, Bank of Maharashtra, Arvind, Sterlite Industries, Hero MotoCorp, Rolta India, United Phosphorus, Yes Bank, Goa Carbon, Kolte-Patil Developers, L&T, Nucleus Software, Indiabulls Financial, Ruchi Soya, BOB, Bajaj Auto, Federal Bank, Bajaj Electricals, OBC, Ipca Laboratories, Adani Enterprises, Kotak Mahindra Bank, JP Power, SKF India

Domestic News

PM launches Aadhaar Enabled Service Delivery in Dudu, Rajasthan

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will launch Aadhaar Enabled Service Delivery on October 20 in Dudu, Rajasthan, marking the 2nd anniversary of Aadhaar. The Aadhaar Enabled Service Delivery application utilizes an Aadhaar number’s property of uniqueness and linkage with various government schemes/ services database to correctly identify beneficiaries. There are many benefits associated with such integration for various stakeholders, ranging from better compliance management to reduced leakages and increased efficiency and accountability in service delivery. The 21st crore Aadhaar letter will also be handed over to a resident, on the occasion. The Government is rolling out Aadhaar Enabled Service Delivery initiatives in 51 districts across the country.

Aadhaar-enabled applications will be used for making pension payments, MNREGA payments, PDS distribution, scholarship payments, etc. The launch of Aadhaar Enabled Service Delivery will be in the presence of Smt. Sonia Gandhi, UPA Chairperson; Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot; Finance Minister P.Chidambaram; Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia; Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology, Earth Sciences Dr. Ashwani Kumar and Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology Sachin Pilot. On the occasion of the launch, ongoing Aadhaar Enabled Service Delivery pilots of PDS in Kakinada, East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh; Social Security payment in Aurangabad, Maharashtra; LPG cylinders delivery in Mysore, Karnataka; MNREGS payment in Ramgarh, Jharkhand and Old Age Pension payments in West Tripura district of Tripura will be telecast live. The Prime Minister will also be presenting the Aadhaar Governance Awards and the Aadhaar Excellence Awards...Read More

FM calls for penetration of Non Life Insurance

The Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said that the major challenges before the Non Life Insurance sector is how to increase its reach to the maximum number of people along with growth of investment in this sector. He asked the participating CEOs of both Public Sector and Private Sector Non Life Insurance companies to express their concerns about various factors hindering growth of this sector as well as give suggestions to overcome the same. There is significant room for growth as the penetration in non life insurance sector (premium to GDP) is only 0.71 % in 2011 which is far below the international bench marks and much geography in the country are still untapped.

The Union Finance Minister, P. Chindambram was addressing a meeting of CMDs, CEOs and MDs of both the public and private sector Non Life Insurance Companies here . Along with the Finance Minister, P. Chidambram, the Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narain Meena, Secretary, Financial Services D.K. Mittal, Additional Secretary, Financial Services Sunil Soni, Members of IRDA, M. Ram Prasad and R.K. Nair, Secretary General, General Insurance Council R. Chandra Sekaran, CMDs of public sector Non-Life Insurance Companies and MDs and CEOs of private sector Non Life Insurance Companies were also present among others during the aforesaid meeting...Read More

Indian companies beat economic slowdown with focused regional strategies: Deloitte

India’s highest growth companies are powering through the global financial uncertainty, with the leaders actually increasing their revenue growth rate, says Deloitte. Announcing the 50 fastest-growing Indian companies for 2012 in the Technology, Media & Telecommunication (TMT) industry vertical, Deloitte says that in this year’s Technology Fast 50 (Tech Fast) rankings, the top five companies showed a remarkable improvement in the average three-year revenue growth of 1947%, compared to 910% last year, the highest average three-year revenue growth in all the previous editions of the Fast 50 India program since 2005. The Deloitte Tech Fast 50 India Program conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited (DTTIPL), now in its eight year, ranks the fastest growing technology companies in India based on percentage revenue growth over the last three financial years.

The average percentage growth for all the top 50 companies this year showed a tremendous improvement over last year’s total, at 432%, up from 236% in 2011 – testament to the strength and depth of India’s growth economy. All the top 50 winners of this year recorded a three year revenue growth in excess of 100% – a phenomenon noted in five of the eight editions of the Fast 50 India program. The overall winner in this year’s ranking is Online Recharge Services Private Limited realizing a remarkable 5227% three year revenue growth. The second, Amagi Media Labs Private Limited achieved 1497%, whilst the third placed Prizm Payment Services Private Limited, grew by 1190%...Read More

Every Budget is becoming an IT Budget: Gartner

Twelve years ago technology spending outside of IT was 20% of total technology spending; it will become almost 90% by the end of the decade, according to Gartner, Inc. Much of this change is being driven by the digitization of companies’ revenue and their services. The Nexus of Forces is leading this transformation. The Nexus is the convergence and mutual reinforcement of social, mobile, cloud and information patterns that drive new business scenarios. Gartner analysts examined the impact of the Nexus of Forces during the opening keynote at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place here through Thursday. Organizations are digitizing segments of business, such as moving marketing spend from analog to digital, or digitizing the research and development budget. Secondly, organizations are digitizing how they service their clients, in order to drive higher client retention.

Thirdly, they are turning digitization into new revenue streams. Gartner analysts said this is resulting in every budget becoming an IT budget. To address these changes, organizations will create the role of a Chief Digital Officer as part of the business unit leadership, which will become a new seat at the executive table. Gartner predicts that by 2015, 25% of organizations will have a Chief Digital Officer. Willis said the forces of cloud, social, mobile and information are reconfiguring how people work and live. It’s a world in which business and personal lives are intertwined. A world with fewer commands and control restrictions that stifle productivity and innovation...Read More

Gold reserves rise 7.2% in Apr-Oct in FY13 

India - China to achieve trade target of US$100bn by 2015

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India and the Embassy of India, Beijing is organizing the "India Show" concurrently with the 6th China International Auto Parts Expo from 26-28 October, 2012 in Beijing. Dr S Jaishankar, Indian Ambassador to China addressing the inauguration of the "India Show" during the China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE) in Beijng today, said that economic cooperation between India and China in the last decade has been a remarkable story. From very modest beginnings, China has become India’s largest trade partner and India is China’s seventh largest export destination. Trade last year was US$74bn and steadily growing. While this is heartening, it has posed its own challenges in terms of a deficit last year of US$27bn, which is difficult to sustain or to defend. Market access for Indian companies is a major concern and that is precisely why it is important that so many of them are here. He said that the Sino-Indian economic relations are now maturing, moving from trade to investments.

A number of Chinese auto manufacturers are contemplating projects in India. Their success in such a competitive market depends on strong relationships with suppliers of components. Impressive though its growth is, India-China economic relations is an under-leveraged one. We offer each other so many opportunities for mutual development. Creating an enabling environment to take advantage of them is our endeavor, he said. S Gopalakrishan, President Designate, CII observed that in 2011, bilateral trade between China and India reached US$73.9bn and both the countries have sustained the world's highest annual GDP growth in the past 10 years - 9 percent for China, about 7 percent for India. As per the figures released by China’s Ministry of Commerce, cumulative Chinese investments into India till December, 2011 is US$575.7mn and Indian investments into China stood at US$441.7mn. Indian manufacturing and IT companies are making serious moves in China, demonstrating their capabilities in high-tech engineering, software development, banking and forex trading platforms. India's IT companies started their businesses in China by serving large multinational clients in the country. Similarly the Indian manufacturing companies have been setting up their factories in China, in their aspiration to be global players in their respective sectors.

International News

Rajat Gupta sentenced to 2 years in prison for insider trading

On Wednesday, former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison by a Manhattan court. Mr Gupta was ordered two year imprisonment for leaking the Goldman Sachs’s boardroom secrets to Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund manager at the centre of the US government's crackdown on insider trading. Mr Gupta was also fined $5 million, the media reports said. Mr Gupta is the most prominent figure to face prison in the government’s sweeping crackdown on insider trading. While his prosecutors had sought the maximum prison term of 10 years for Mr Gupta, the 63-year-old corporate honcho had pleaded probation, or community service, including working with needy children in New York or Rwanda, the reports added. Mr Gupta, who was convicted for securities fraud and conspiracy in June, is set to report to prison on January 8. Indian-born Gupta also once sat on the boards of Procter & Gamble Co and American Airlines. He also had advised philanthropies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Seeking forgiveness from all: Rajat Gupta

President Barroso’s statement after EU Council summit

President Barroso stressed that the Compact for Growth and Jobs agreed in June must not stay only on paper. When asking our citizens to make major sacrifices, we need to provide them with hope, a realistic prospect of growth and assurance for the most vulnerable, he said. "The reality is that the crisis is still with us … I am painfully aware of the difficult situation in which many European citizens find themselves, and this is precisely the reason why we have asked heads of state and government to immediately implement the Compact for Growth and Jobs," said President Barroso at the final press conference of the October European Council. While some progress has been made, it is not yet enough: "The reality is that this Growth Compact, an important investment package worth €120 billion, has not yet been fully implemented." The President then gave concrete examples of areas where the implementation must be sped up in such as tax on savings, energy taxation, public procurement reform or boost for venture capital. (Read more in his report to the heads of state and government. He stressed that the financial sector must also make a fair contribution to the recovery: "Next week the Commission will take the first step towards launching enhanced cooperation on a Financial Transactions Tax and we will present an action plan on tax fraud and tax evasion before the end of the year."...Read More

EU - Priorities for growth and job creation

European Council conclusions – 18 and 19 October 2012

FAO mourns ‘tireless advocate for world's hungry'

"we have lost a tireless advocate for the world's hungry," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, paying tribute to former US Senator George McGovern, who died at a hospice near his home in the US state of South Dakota. He was 90. "His work drafting legislation in his own country to meet the nutritional needs of vulnerable women, infants and children and as a vigorous champion of school lunch programmes, both in the US and around the world, has helped give millions of the world's poorest children the nutritional foundation needed to succeed in school and life," Graziano da Silva said.  "He will be sorely missed by the FAO community and by our partners in the fight against hunger." McGovern was appointed the first director of the US Food for Peace Programme by President John F. Kennedy in 1960 and was instrumental in the foundation of the World Food Programme in 1963. He served in the US Senate from 1963 to 1981 and ran for US president in 1972. 

From 1998 to 2001, McGovern served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. In 2000, in partnership with former Senator Bob Dole, he created the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which commits an annual amount from the US federal budget to provide nutritious meals to poor students around the world. McGovern and Dole were honoured in 2008 with the World Food Prize for, according to the prize organizers, "their inspired, collaborative leadership that has encouraged a global commitment to school feeding and enhanced school attendance and nutrition for millions of the world's poorest children, especially girls"...Read More

ESSEC Business School launches General Management Program in Mauritius and Southeast Africa

Google is world’s most InDemand Employer brand: LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 175 million members, recently revealed that Google is the world’s most InDemand Employer brand, followed by Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Unilever rounding out the top five. In India, Accenture tops the list of the most sought-after companies among professionals on LinkedIn followed by Hewlett Packard, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. The InDemand Employer rankings were powered by Talent Brand Index, a new, free service for LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions customers that allows them to measure and benchmark the strength of their employer brand and offers new insights into how they can improve their ability to attract top talent.

Irfan Abdulla, Director Talent Solutions, LinkedIn India said, "Talent remains the one distinctive asset that companies must build and nurture to retain their competitive edge. LinkedIn’s Talent Brand Index addresses this critical need and helps companies devise campaigns that help them become an employer of choice to the potential talent pool. The three companies of Indian origin that feature in the top 10 list of most InDemand employers - Bharti Airtel Ltd., Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services are testimony to the increased importance of developing and maintaining employer brand by Indian corporates."

Globally, a few interesting insights came out about what makes a desirable and sought after employer:

  • Tech is hot: Software was the most represented industry on the list, and Google topped several categories including our global rankings.

  • A strong consumer brand helps, but isn’t essential: Consumer powerhouses like Coca-Cola and Nike ranked highly, but so did leading professional services firms like McKinsey & Company and B2B companies like GE.

  • Bigger isn’t necessarily better: Big global brands are well represented, but 50% of the top 100 are under 7,000 employees.

The new service analyses interactions that take place every year between LinkedIn’s more than 175 million members and the companies on LinkedIn; pinpointing specific types of actions that tell us when professionals are interested in a company as a place to work — things like connecting to employees, viewing their profiles, visiting company pages, and following companies. Companies are then able to measure their ability to attract specific talent groups on LinkedIn, utilising the unique information to which LinkedIn has access. The InDemand Employer rankings reveal the most attractive and in-demand employers on LinkedIn, determined by the companies that LinkedIn members are most intere



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