Relaxed: By RBI, lending norms for infrastructure projects to encourage banks to earmark more funds for core sector projects. Such loans will, henceforth, be treated as sub-standard only if commercial production is delayed by more than two years beyond the date originally envisaged, instead of the present norm of one year.
Signed: By Bharti Airtel, a construction and maintenance agreement for the Europe-India Gateway, the first high-bandwidth, optical fibre connecting India to Britain. Among the 15 other companies taking part in the 15,000-km project linking 13 countries that will start operations by 2010 are AT&T, BT Group, Djibouti Telecom, Gibtelecom and MTN Group.
Surged: By 31 per cent to $4.94 billion (Rs 20,649 crore), across 156 transactions, the value of private equity deals between January and April 2008. According to Grant Thornton India, this compares with 136 PE deals worth $3.42 billion in the same period last year.
Added: By GSM operators in India, 6.1 million mobile subscribers in April, taking the country’s total GSM user base to 198.8 million. The industry had added 7.6 million subscribers in March. The dip in growth is due to the poor performance of BSNL, which added only 470,000 new customers in April, compared to 1.6 million subscribers in the previous month.
Fallen: By $371 million, India’s foreign exchange reserves, to $312.5 billion, for the week ended May 2. This is the second successive week that forex reserves have fallen, mainly on account of a fall in the value of gold reserves, which are part of the country’s total forex reserves.
Launched: By Yahoo! India, a new concept called Glue Pages Beta. This search experience integrates the most relevant information from across the web onto a single visual-search results page. Glue Pages Beta, which aggregates text, images, and video content, is available across categories like health, sports, entertainment, travel, technology and finance.