India emerges as the world’s most optimistic market

According to the latest global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, India remained the world's most optimistic market for the eighth consecutive quarter

India has once again emerged as the most optimistic market, driven by its buoyant domestic consumption levels, but slowing growth and inflationary concerns could put pressure on consumer confidence for the year ahead, says a survey.

According to the latest global consumer confidence findings from Nielsen, a provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, India remained the world's most optimistic market for the eighth consecutive quarter with a one point consumer confidence index increase to 122.

India was followed by Indonesia and the Philippines at 117 in the list. Venkatesh Bala, Chief Economist at The Cambridge Group, a part of Nielsen said, "Buoyant domestic consumption also maintained confidence levels in the large emerging economies of India, Indonesia and Brazil. However, slowing GDP growth within emerging economies and inflationary pressures would suggest some degree of caution for the year ahead."

Elaborating further, Nielsen India managing director Justin Sargent said, "The stabilisation of India's consumer confidence metric is encouraging and the retention of the top spot globally reminds us of the inherent strength of the Indian economy, the savings mindset of the Indian consumer, and the positivity of consumer sentiment which has likely been helped by the recent cooling of inflationary pressure."

Meanwhile, the global consumer confidence increased in the December quarter led by the world's two largest economies - the US and China, but deteriorated in the euro zone countries.

Global consumer confidence increased one index point to 89, even as confidence levels in 24 out of 27 European markets witnessed a decline.

"While Europe's challenging economic conditions in the second half of 2011 bought renewed vulnerability and fragility to consumers and financial markets globally, some of the most positive news last quarter came from the world's two largest economies - the US and China - where confidence rebounded to Q1 2011 levels," Bala added.

Confidence levels declined in 35 out of 56 markets, while confidence rose in 12 markets and remained flat in nine, but shoppers are still cautious, the survey, conducted between November 23 and December 9, 2011, said.

Hungary was the world's most pessimistic market at 30 index points, followed by Portugal (36) and Greece (41), where quarterly confidence levels fell seven, four and 10 points, respectively.

"European markets accounted for nine of the 10 most depressed markets last quarter," the report said.

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SBI consolidated net rises 16.3% to Rs4,318 crore in December quarter

SBI’s standalone net profit went up by 15.3% to Rs3,263.04 crore in the third quarter, from Rs2,828.06 crore in the same quarter of 2010-11

SBI’s standalone net profit went up by 15.3% to Rs3,263.04 crore in the third quarter, from Rs2,828.06 crore in the same quarter of 2010-11

Mumbai: State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday reported 16.3% increase in consolidated net profit at Rs4,318.08 crore for the third quarter ended 31 December 2011 compared to Rs3,710.48 crore in the corresponding quarter of the last fiscal, reports PTI.

The total income of SBI (Consolidated) stood at Rs43,155.95 crore during the quarter under review, up 16.7% over the figure of Rs 36,966.87 crore in the year-ago period, it said in a filing to the BSE.

SBI’s standalone net profit went up by 15.3% to Rs3,263.04 crore in the third quarter, from Rs2,828.06 crore in the same quarter of 2010-11.

Standalone total income rose by 20.4% to Rs 29,787.37 crore in the quarter ended 31 December 2011 compared to Rs24,726.73 crore in the same quarter of the last fiscal.

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Gati to form a JV with Japan’s Kintetsu World Express

Under the JV agreement, Gati will hold 70% stake and 30% will be held by KWE

The Board of Gati has approved a proposal to form a joint venture (JV) with Japanese global logistic service major Kintetsu World Express under the name ‘Gati-Kintetsu Express’.

Under the JV agreement, Gati will hold 70% stake and 30% will be held by KWE. As part of the transaction, Express Distribution and Supply Chain (EDSC) business of Gati will move into the joint venture company through a Business Transfer Agreement. KWE will invest Rs2,677 million for its 30% stake in the JV through a combination of primary and secondary acquisition of shares. The funds raised from the transaction will be primarily used to reduce debt. The JV company shall be consolidated in financials of Gati.

The proposed joint venture will combine Gati’s expertise in 3PL and express distribution in India with KWE’s freight forwarding expertise and global customer base. The joint venture company will support large customer base of KWE who have operations in India, simultaneously strengthening KWE’s distribution capabilities into the Indian market. Together KWE and Gati will partner in supporting business expansion of domestic and international customers in the Indian market. The JV company shall also invest in high end 3PL facilities, including temperature controlled warehouses. KPMG Corporate Finance was the exclusive financial advisor to Gati Limited.

In the late afternoon, Gati was trading at around Rs41 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 9.99% down from the previous close.

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