January 31: News pics for the day
January 31: News pics for the day
An employee of steelmaker Posco walks at the company's headquarters in Seoul
India's environment ministry gave a conditional green light on Monday for South Korean Posco's $12 billion steel mill, a government statement said, in a boost for the foreign investment climate after a series of setbacks for big ticket industrial projects.
The approval for India's biggest foreign direct investment after long delays follows a year in which the outspoken Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has blocked several projects, raising criticism he was jeapordising India's growth story.
The mill in Orissa has been delayed by criticism it would ruin lives of thousands of poverty-stricken people, who say the plant will disrupt their betel leaf plantations and forest-based livelihoods.
A government panel had earlier said there were no ecological concerns over the plant and the final decision was with Ramesh.
Gold bars are displayed to be photographed at bullion house in Mumbai
Premiums for gold bars rose to their highest level in at least seven years in Hong Kong on tight supply, short covering ahead of the Lunar New Year and unrest in Egypt, dealers said on Monday.
Gold bars were offered at a premium of $4 an ounce to the spot London prices, its highest level since Reuters began compiling the data in 2004. The premium stood at $3 last week.
"I think the market is still tight. Let's see what happens after the Lunar New Year, whether we still have enough stocks for sale to China," said a dealer in Hong Kong.
Premiums for gold bars in Singapore remained firm at $3 an ounce, also their highest since at least 2004. .
Spot gold fell $4 an ounce to $1,334.3 an ounce, having posted its biggest gain in eight weeks on Friday on buying related to fears the deadly chaos in Egypt could spread throughout the Middle East.
A protestor burns a picture of Egypt president Hosni Mubarak after clashes in Cairo
Egypt has substantial reserves to avoid an external payments crisis but these could be seriously depleted within weeks if political protests continue, while its banks may struggle to cope with a rush of withdrawals.
In the two working days after the protests erupted last Tuesday, which was a bank holiday, Egyptians and foreign investors transferred hundreds of millions of dollars out of Egypt, currency traders estimated.
The government had $36 billion in foreign reserves at end-December, central bank figures showed. According to a Jan. 27 note by Citigroup, it also had $21 billion of additional assets with commercial banks at end-October -- its so-called "unofficial reserves".
These numbers suggest there is no immediate danger of a balance of payments crisis. But scenes of chaos at Cairo's main airport on Sunday, as both foreigners and Egyptians trie
Retired Supreme Court Judge Shivraj Patil hands over telecom probe report to IT and Communications Minister Kapil Sibal
Several Indian officials violated rules or did nothing to prevent irregularities during the grant of mobile phone licences, an independent probe found in the latest indictment of the scandal-tainted government.
The report by former Supreme Court judge Shivraj Patil could provide fresh ammunition to the main opposition party which has blocked parliament over charges corruption in the ministry cost the state coffers as much as $39 billion in lost revenue.
\"We have identified the officials on whose part either there was deficiency or violation or lapse,\" Patil said on Monday, after he submitted his report to Telecoms Minister Kapil Sibal.
(Picture by Sanjay Sharma)
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