ข่าวเศรษฐกิจประจำวันที่ 16 กุมภาพันธ์ 2554
NEW DELHI, February 16 – ECONOMIC TIMES – Iran has made advances in its nuclear programme, building new uranium enrichment centrifuges and producing its own nuclear reactor fuel plates. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad led a ceremony on Wednesday inserting Iran's first domestically produced, 20-percent enriched nuclear fuel into Tehran's research reactor, according to live images on state television. The procedure was being hailed as a technical achievement in Iran, showing the Islamic republic had mastered all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle despite tough Western and UN sanctions. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has urged the world to isolate the Islamic country in the wake new nuclear announcements. Press TV said Iran has stopped exporting oil to Netherlands, Greece, France, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Blasts had ripped through Thai capital Bangkok on Tuesday in which one person was injured, one of the would-be bombers, an Iranian national who had his legs blown off in the blast.
BUSINESS STANDARD – Production at US factories increased in January, reflecting gains in demand for automobiles and business equipment that may keep manufacturing at the forefront of the expansion. Output at factories rose 0.7 per cent after a revised 1.5 per cent gain in December that was the largest in five years, figures from the Federal Reserve showed on Wednesday in Washington. Business investment in new equipment and the need to rebuild inventories will probably keep factory assembly lines rolling at the start in 2012. Nonetheless, Europe’s financial crisis and slowing growth in emerging economies like China threaten to temper orders for US goods.
BUSINESS STANDARD – The opening of Botswana as a major diamond trading hub has opened a new window of opportunity for Indian processing companies. Three diamond merchants from India have secured licences for participating directly in benefication projects there to ensure supply of rough diamonds. The move assumes significance as setting up diamond processing units will not only assure rough supplies from Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the marketing arm of the world’s largest mining company, De Beers, but also ensure control over price fluctuations, besides sustained supplies. While Shrenuj & Co had received licences three years ago, the company has spent $5 million so far in developing a small processing unit. Now, the Shreyas Doshi-led company plans to invest another $5-10 million to set up a full-fledged large diamond cutting and polishing unit in Botswana. Suashish Diamonds and Blue Star are the other two companies that have secured licences in Botswana. The government of Botswana has issued 21 licences so far to global players, of which five have been given to Indian-origin companies.
FINANCIAL EXPRESS – In the wake of the February 13 attack on its car, the Israel embassy requested the government to replace the blue-and-white “CD (diplomatic corps) number plates” in its official vehicles — in Delhi and its consulate in Mumbai — with local white-and-black plates. Israeli envoy Alon Ushpiz and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna met today, their first meeting since the attack happened. Taking the CD plates off, the envoy said, will allow the embassy vehicles to “blend in” with local vehicles. Incidentally, Indian High Commission vehicles in Pakistan also use local number plates to avoid being targeted. Sources said the Israeli side has also asked for additional security for its embassy personnel in Delhi and Mumbai and security agencies have been asked to make requisite arrangements. After meeting Ushpiz, Krishna also met the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia. While details of the meeting are not known, it is being seen as an effort to pile up pressure on India over Iran. Meanwhile, New Delhi continued to be cautious.
FINANCIAL EXPRESS – Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) was ranked the third best airport in the world by the annual Airport Council International (ACI). It also received the Airport Service Quality Awards for 2011. CSIA was also rated as the second best in India, for airports handling 25-40 million passengers per annum (mmpa). The survey was conducted across 180 airports in the world. G V Reddy, managing director of Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL), said the award showed improvement in service quality at the airport.