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Daily News Podcast: Coca Cola eyes the cannabis drinks market

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September 18, 2018

Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank to merge; govt promises to protect employees' interests

Moving ahead with consolidation of public sector banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday announced the merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank. The merged entity would be India's third largest. There will be no adverse impact on employees of merged entity, the Finance Minister added. Department of Financial Services Secretary Rajeev Kumar said that the new bank will be strong competitive bank with economies of scale.
Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank, Dena Bank stocks make major moves post merger announcement

A day after the government announced the merger of Bank of Baroda, Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, stocks of the public sector lenders made major moves on the bourses. While Bank of Baroda reached 13. 76%, Vijaya Bank surged 10.36% on the BSE. Their weaker counterpart Dena Bank hit the upper circuit  of 19.75% to 19.10 level.
US-China trade war: Trump imposes fresh round of tariffs on imports worth $200 bn

US President Donald Trump escalated his trade war with China on Monday, imposing 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, but sparing smart watches from Apple and Fitbit and other consumer products such as bicycle helmets and baby car seats. Trump, in a statement announcing the new round of tariffs, warned that if China takes retaliatory action against U.S. farmers or industries, "we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports."

India delays imposition of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods till Nov. 2

According to a Reuters report, India has delayed the implementation of higher tariffs on some goods imported from the United States to Nov. 2.  This is the second time India has put off retaliatory action against U.S. import tariffs on steel and aluminium.Trade differences between India and the United States have risen since President Donald Trump took office, but India's decision to further delay comes as the two countries negotiate a package to remove trade frictions over a range of items.

Gold to become more expensive? Govt may hike import duty to stem rupee fall

In a bid to stem the free fall of Indian rupee, the government may be looking to hike tariffs on the yellow metal. An import duty on gold may help Centre to keep India's widening current account deficit (CAD) under control. The gold import bill nearly doubled to $3.6 billion in August. Surendra Mehta, national secretary, India Bullion & Jewellers Association (IBJA) told The Economic Times that the best option for government in the present scenario is to increase the import duty on gold by 2 per cent.
Amazon India plans to start selling insurance

Amazon.com Inc. plans to sell insurance in India as the online retailer looks to join local rivals in strengthening financial services offerings as reported by Bloomberg. It wants to start by selling life, health and general insurance, according to its filings with the Registrar of Companies. The Seattle-based giant said it aims to carry out the business of soliciting, procuring and servicing insurance as a corporate agent. Amazon has yet to seek an approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority.
Goldman Sachs downgrades India to marketweight

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered its investment view on Indian equities from overweight to market-weight saying that risk/reward is less favourable at current levels, given the elevated valuations and recent strong performance, as reported by Mint. While earnings have improved, Indian equities have almost doubled over the past five years and performed better than the Asian region by 60 percentage points in US dollar terms, said the investment bank in the note. "At current levels, we believe the risk reward for Indian equities is less favourable and we lower our investment view from overweight to market-weight," they said.

Coca Cola eyes the cannabis drinks market

Coca-Cola Co is closely watching the fast-growing marijuana drinks market for a possible entry that would provide it an option away from sugary sodas. Coca-Cola announced its interest in a statement  responding to a report from Bloomberg that said it was in talks with Canada's Aurora Cannabis Inc to develop drinks infused with cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. Coca-Cola says it's monitoring the nascent industry and is interested in drinks infused with CBD that treats pain but doesn't get you high.

Compiled by Rashi Bisaria
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