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March 31, 2008

Permitted: By RBI, DBS Bank, Singapore’s largest bank, to open eight new branches across India. RBI has also issued a licence to United Overseas Bank of Singapore to set up shop in India.

In turn, the Monetary Authority of Singapore has offered full bank status to SBI, which will allow it to operate in that country as a full-fledged bank.

Soared: To a 59-week high of 6.68 per cent, the inflation rate measured by wholesale price index (WPI), for the week ended March 15. The figure for the previous week was 5.9 per cent. The steep rise was led by manufactured goods, unlike in previous weeks, when it was led by food and fuel prices.

Cleared: By DoT, the Tata Teleservices-Virgin alliance. DoT said Virgin Mobile India, the operating company set up as part of the agreement, was not operating as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in India. Tata Teleservices had argued that the partnership was set up purely for nonlicence activities.

Bought: By Telco Construction Equipment Company, a subsidiary of Tata Motors, the majority holding in a European construction firm in Serviplem, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of transit mixers, dry bulk tankers and pumps. The company has a strong presence in China and the acquisition will give Tata an entry into the Chinese construction space.

Ranked: By the Nielsen Global Luxury Brands Study, India, at #3 among the most brand-conscious countries in the world. According to the survey, 35 per cent of respondents said they preferred designer brands. A total of 26,312 internet users in 48 countries were surveyed. Greece and Hong Kong occupied the top two positions.

Launched: By Maruti-Suzuki India, Swift Dzire, a 1.3-litre sedan in petrol and diesel versions. The car replaces old warhorse Esteem, which was phased out six months ago.

The Swift Dzire has been manufactured on the Swift platform, and will cost Rs 4.49-6.70 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

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