Current Affairs Jan 2016 - Economic


News 1 - Paytm Procures Shifu for $8Mn to Deepen Customer Experience.

Paytm Shifu

04-Jan − Paytm, the mobile wallet and e-commerce platform, has bought Shifu for $8 million (about Rs 53.2 crores). Shifu explores the smartphone usage patterns of users and makes personalized and relevant recommendations to them. Paytm aims to leverage the tech infrastructure of Shifu to enrich the customer experience it offers to its users. Paytm has a user base of more than 100 million people. In November, Paytm acquired home service marketplace as well.

News 2 - Nokia Gains Control of Alcatel-Lucent After a Deal of 15.6 billion Euros.

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent

04-Jan − In a deal worth 15.6 billion euros, Nokia Corporation has acquired the French telecom equipment company, Alcatel-Lucent after completing the regulatory formalities. The deal was already approved by European Commission and now by the French stock market regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). Nokia, now, holds 79.32 percent of outstanding Alcatel-Lucent shares and at least 78.97 percent of voting rights. Rajeev Suri is the President and CEO of this company.

News 3 - Reliance Capital-Goldman Sachs Deal Cleared by CCI.

Goldman Sachs

05-Jan − The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the Reliance Capital Asset Management's proposed acquisition of Goldman Sachs' mutual fund business in India for 243 crore rupees. The deal was approved by CCI after it was convinced that it may not have an adverse impact on competition in the country. SEBI is yet to approve the deal. RCAM will acquire all 12 onshore mutual fund schemes of Goldman Sachs Asset Management India with total asset under management of 7132 crore rupees. The deal would also make Reliance MF, the exclusive fund manager for the Government's ambitious Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) Exchange.

News 4 - Uber launches ‘uberEXCHANGE’, start-up mentorship program.


06-Jan − Uber, in partnership with Invest India, announced a new start-up mentorship program called ‘uberEXCHANGE’. In this, it will host a series of six leadership talks by senior Uber executives. This program will address issues like fund-raising, product design, engineering and how to scale up a business. The top 10 start-ups will also travel to San Francisco, where they will meet global investors, fellow entrepreneurs and the team at Uber. The Chief Executive of this company is Mr. Travis Kalanick.

News 5 - Quikr buys online real estate portal in a $200-Mn all-stock deal.

Quikr Homes

07-Jan − The first major consolidation story of 2016 has been the acquisition of real estate portal, by Quikr for a $200-Mn all-stock deal stitched by Tiger Global, main investor in both Quikr and CommonFloor. Quikr is an Indian classified advertising platform founded by Pranay Chulet. Whereas, is an Indian real estate portal founded by Sumit Jain, Lalit Mangal and Vikas Malpani.

News 6 - RINL inked MoU with Andhra Pradesh Government for an Investment of 38500 Crore Rupees.

Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited

11-Jan − Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh government. It includes expansion capacity of Vizag steel to 7.3 million tonnes per annum. The cost of this project is around 38500 crore rupees.

News 7 - Defence Acquisition Council approves significant changes in the Defence Procurement Procedure.

Defence Acquisition Council

12-Jan − The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved major changes in the new Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016. This DPP 2016 aims to enhance private sector participation and speed up procurement process. It will give a big push to the Make in India initiative.

News 8 - Jet Airways and Bangkok Airways enter into Loyalty Program Pact.

Jet Airways and Bangkok Airways

15-Jan − Jet Airways and Bangkok Airways have signed a Loyalty Program Pact. This will benefit the frequent flyers of these two airlines, wherein they can redeem their reward points, while travelling on each other's network.

The programs involved are:

  • JetPrivilege − The loyalty and rewards management program and frequent flyer program of Jet Airways.

  • FlyerBonus − the loyalty scheme of Bangkok Airways

News 9 - Flipkart ties-up with Mahindra for KUV100 online bookings.

Flipkart and Mahindra

18-Jan − Flipkart has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Now, consumers can book their KUV100 SUV on Flipkart from January 18th, 2016. Flipkart launched Automobiles as one of their category last month. Their association with M&M is a part of their vision to change the way how vehicles are bought/sold in the country. The website currently also offers a wide range of car accessories as a part of its endeavour to become a destination for all the automotive based needs.

News 10 - BSE launches Algorithm Trading Test Facility.

Bombay Stock Exchange

18-Jan − Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Ltd has launched algorithm trading test facility for investors on its derivatives and equity platform. This new service is free-of-cost for market participant. It was launched in partnership with Mumbai based Symphony Fintech Solutions Pvt. Ltd. Algorithmic trading refers to transaction orders created by using radical mathematical models that involve automated execution of trade.

News 11 - SEBI Published Narayan Murthy-panel report on Alternative Investment Policy.

N R Narayan Murthy

20-Jan − The 21-member Alternative Investment Policy Advisory Committee (AIPAC) constituted by the SEBI in March 2015 under the chairmanship of N R Narayan Murthy, has proposed creating a favorable tax environment for investors, tweaking of safe harbor rules, unlocking domestic pools of capital, enabling onshore fund management in India and reforming the AIF regulatory regime. All the alternate forms of investments (like venture capital, hedge funds, private equity funds) are categorized as alternative investments. The traditional investments include investments in FD, debt, equity etc.

The highlights of the recommendations are:

  • Introduction of Securities Transaction Tax (STT) for private equity and venture capital investments.

  • The exempt income of AIFs should not suffer tax withholding of 10 per cent.

  • Investment gains of AIFs should be deemed to be ‘capital gains’ in nature.

News 12 - BEPS rules to be implemented from 1 April 2016 in India.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

21-Jan − The government has decided to implement Base Erosion and Profit Shifting norms announced by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) beginning 1st April, 2016. The new guidelines make country-by-country reporting mandatory for Indian multinationals. BEPS refers to tax planning strategies that help to have a check on gaps and mismatches in tax rules. It will reveal artificial shift of profits to low or no-tax locations.

News 13 - India's first Social Digital Wallet Udio launched by TranServ.


21-Jan − TranServ has launched the country’s first Social Digital Wallet named Udio. It wants to create a highly social, community-driven P2P (peer to peer) digital transactions platform via its secure and seamless payment structure. Extending and replicating social behaviors, Udio enables squaring of dues a hassle free task. Thus, sharing bills at restaurant or paying a pool cab becomes easy.

News 14 - US-based KBACE Technologies acquired by Cognizant.

Cognizant and KBACE

27-Jan − Cognizant Technology Solutions have acquired KBACE Technologies Inc., a US-based global consulting and technology services company. It specializes in cloud strategy, implementation and integration. The terms of this transaction were not disclosed though.