March 25: Day in Pictures
March 25: Day in Pictures
An employee fills a car with petrol at a gas station in Jammu
India's local oil product sales in February rose an annual 3.5%, slower than the previous month, official data showed on Friday, but is likely to pick up next month as polls in some states are seen spurring demand.
Local oil product sales, a proxy for domestic oil demand in Asia's third-largest oil consumer, rose to 11.66 million tonnes in February, slower than January's annual rise of 6%.
India has revised down its annual growth rate in fuel demand for this fiscal year to 4.7% from 5.7% as a normal monsoon last year, after 2009's drought, dampened diesel demand from agriculture, which uses it for water pumps to irrigate land.
A ship is seen anchored at Pakistan's Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea
India and China's quest for clout and resources extends across the globe, but perhaps the best manifestation of this fierce competition, and possible sign of who will ultimately win, lies in a tale of two ports.
The port of Chabahar in the southwest coer of Iran, which India is hoping will win it access to Central Asia and Afghanistan, is barely 72km (44 mile) from Pakistan's deep-water Gwadar port which China has built to secure its energy supplies.
The dueling ports on the doorstep of Gulf shipping lanes are another strand in the race between the Asian giants to project influence beyond their shores, and seek resources to feed their fast growing economies, that has seen them compete for contracts from Africa to Latin America to even Afghanistan.
The govement will issue 2.5 trillion rupees ($56 billion) of debt between April 1 and Sept 30, the first half of its next fisca
Policemen stand inside cash-and-carry Wal-Mart store during its inauguration ceremony in Amritsar
The government has not taken a decision on opening up the supermarket sector to foreign investors, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday, continuing a stalemate on the long-awaited reform that will open the door to Wal-Mart and Carrefour.
India restricts foreign firms to operating wholesale outlets or single-brand stores. Trade Minister Anand Sharma last month said the government was close to a decision on letting them enter the multi-brand sector as well.
"Government has not taken any decision," Mukherjee told parliament during a discussion on allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail stores.
A man looks a screen outside a bank branch in Singapore's financial district
Deal-making in Asia got off to a strong start in 2011, with cashed-up companies tapping investment opportunities in sectors from energy to industrials, and bankers say the transaction pipeline for the rest of the year looks healthy.
Volatile stock markets, rising oil prices and higher interest rates in many Asian economies are risks that could derail the region's rapid economic growth and slow down deal activity.
But for now, deal makers are upbeat about the outlook.
"The M&A activity level remains quite high," said Anjani Kumar, head of India M&A at RBS. "Numerous discussions are going on, not only in energy and resources, but also in industrials, telecom, IT, infrastructure and others. The pipeline is strong," he added.
Announced M&A in Asia ex-Japan rose 9.7% in the first three months of 2011 to $129.1 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. That makes it
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