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Home, auto loans get costlier as SBI hikes lending rates
New Delhi: State Bank of India, along with two other banks, Thursday raised lending rates by 25 basis points or 0.25 per cent, making home, auto and commercial loans more expensive.

The country''s largest lender, SBI, has increased the deposit rates as well by up to 100 basis points, a decision which would ensure better returns for savers.

Several lenders, including ICICI Bank, Canara bank and Bank of Baroda, have already increased their lending rates by 25 basis points in response to the rate hike by the Reserve Bank last month.

While other banks have only raised the lending rates, SBI is the first bank to announce a hike in both lending and deposit rates.

Besides SBI, the other two banks which have announced increase in lending rates are Punjab & Sind Bank and Dhanlaxmi Bank. While PSB and Dhanlaxmi Bank have increase their rates with immediate effect, the new rates of SBI would come into effect from July 11.

SBI has revised the base rate or the minimum lending rate upwards by 25 basis points (bps), or 0.25 per cent, to 9.50 per cent.

The bank has also raised its benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR), used to determine floating interest rate loans, have been increased to 14.25 per cent from 14 per cent.

The interest rates on fixed deposits with a maturity period of 1-10 years has been fixed at 9.25 per cent. The new deposit rates would be effective from July 11.

Deposits of up to 90 days would fetch an interest rate of 7 per cent as against 6.25 per cent.

Microsoft launches Office 365 in India
Microsoft Wednesday launched Microsoft Office 365 in India to enable easy access to cost effective business productivity solutions.

According to the company, the launch is a part of Microsoft's comprehensive cloud services strategy. It said its low price offering starting $2 per user per month will allow small and medium businesses and enterprise customers to access Microsoft's popular e-mail, collaboration, conferencing and productivity capabilities online.

'Microsoft Office 365 provides all of the familiar enterprise class productivity solutions on a flexible usage and payment model, delivering streamlined communication with high availability, comprehensive security and simplified IT management,' said Sanket Akerkar, managing director, Microsoft Corporation India Pvt. Ltd.

'Customers who have already started using the services are realizing savings from reduced hardware, software and operational costs,' he added.

The company said that over the last 45 days, more than 12,000 organizations have signed up for Office 365 trials.

Office 365 is built with an updated platform and new infrastructure investments and is backed by the industry's most rigorous financially-backed SLA. It will be available in different 'packages' depending on the size and need of the customer organization.

Axis Bank opens new representative office in Abu Dhabi
India's Axis Bank has inaugurated a new representative office at Abu Dhabi, adding to its Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) office and another representative office in Dubai, the company has said.

India's Ambassador to the UAE, M K Lokesh, inaugurated the private sector bank's newly opened unit.

Axis Bank President - Treasury and International Banking P Mukherjee said the Abu Dhabi office extends the bank's presence in the UAE, providing their clients easier access to the bank's services in the region.

"The office will be engaged primarily in offering Non-Resident Indian (NRI) banking products and services, while also facilitating transactions between the bank's branches in India and NRIs in the UAE. Personal banking transactions between UAE and India are growing rapidly and our representative Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will complement the corporate banking offered by our DIFC branch," he said.

Supreme Court stays return of Singur land
The Supreme Court Wednesday stayed the return of land acquired from farmers in Singur in West Bengal for the Tata Motors Nano project till the final order on the issue by the Calcutta High Court.

The Supreme Court, however, said it will not interfere in the decision.

'The Supreme Court said it will not interfere in the special leave petition but till a further order from Calcutta High Court, no distribution of land will be done,' West Bengal government's lawyer Kalyan Bandopadhyay told reporters.

The newly-elected Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal had passed a bill to return the land acquired from farmers who were unwilling to part with it.

The legislation was challenged by Tatas in the Calcutta High Court, which ruled against them. They then moved the apex court.

Given the urgency of the matter, the Supreme Court also asked the Calcutta High Court to give its decision within a month

Airtel launched iPhone-4
Bharati Airtel launched the Apple iPhone4 in MP/CG

Industrialists overwhelmed
Shri Ambani expressed dedication towards Lord Mahakal, Offers to work in the social sector as well

As the hearts come closer, doors of emotions are also opened and they come out with a force. This scenario was visible at the Khajuraho Global Summit at the time when Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan was talking to mega industrialist Shri Anil Ambani. Shri Ambani became so overwhelmed during the talks with the Chief Minister that expressed his desire to join the social sector also beyond the realms of this summit. On this occasion, he made a special mention of his dedication towards Lord Mahakal.

Shri Anil Ambani was not the only industrialist who seemed to have read the mind and heart of Chief Minister Shri Chouhan. The Chief Minister had also one-to-one talks with other industrialists also. They were also overly impressed by the Chief Ministerís sincerity and clarity of heart that they also expressed their resolve to continue their emotional ties with Madhya Pradesh. These industrialists included Sarvashri Kumar Mangalam Birla, Sunny Gaur, Jaiprakash Gaur, Shashi Ruiea, V.N. Dhoot etc.

Shri Anil Ambani made his intention clear before Chief Minister Shri Chouhan that he wants to become a partner in the social development of Madhya Pradesh apart from establishing industries here. He said the he wants to work for the development of Ujjainís Jyotirlinga, Shri Mahakaleshwar temple and nearby areas. He also expressed his desire for working towards forest environment. He pledged to undertake all these works entirely selflessly.

Opinion on Investors Meet and MOU's : What's Right, What's Wrong ?
MetroMirror Business Team

Prof. D.K.Bandhopadhyay, Co-Chairman of Bhopal Management Association

If all the MOU's signed to date are implemented and the projects take shape in real terms then "I am sure we will be able to compete with Punjab, Maharastra, Karnataka & Gujrat. Govt. should be very sincere to help the industrialists to implement their projects without bureaucratic hassles and with the single window approach."

In my opinion big industries definitely help small industries to develop. To attract the right industrialists, we should provide them all facilities like infrastructure, Land, Power, Water and Tax concessions. Whoever in the political party all such facilities should continue in the future. We should also give top priority to maintain the law & order and the clean & green environment.

Prakash Ramani,Industrialist & Co-Chairman Bhopal Management Association

All the initiatives taken by the government to attract the investment in the state are commendable provided all the MOU's take concrete shape without fail. Prefect single-window system should be implemented for all big & small investors because big industries & small industries both are important. Entrepreneurs in the education, IT, Tourism and Services Sectors should be specially encouraged and attracted with the special financial incentives & packages for Bhopal. Chattisgarh Govt. has attracted more investment compared to MP.

Dr. Neeraj Kumar, Director of Ayushman Hospital & College

BJP Govt.'s initiative to organize the invertors meet to attract the industrialists for investment in the MP is good for development. Investment in the big projects will definitely help the small scale industries to flourish and generate the employment. We should also give top priority to maintain the clean environment. Govt. should also give priority to start the International Airport at Bhopal and develop world class infrastructure to attract the right investors.

Govt. should ensure that all the MOU's should be implemented in time. There should not be any default on the part of the investors and the Govt., irrespective of the change in the political party. Lastly, all the developments and position of all the projects related to the all MOU's signed in all the six investors meets should be put before the public through the media from time to time.

More opinion to follow. Please wait & watch. Also see Business in Hindi Edition.