Mercedes-Benz retains pole position, sells 15,538 cars in 2018

Mercedes-Benz, India’s biggest German luxury car maker by sales, has retained its pole position in the luxury segment for the fourth year in a row. Sales at the Pune-headquartered automaker gr-ew 1.4 per cent at 15,538 units in December 2018 despite strong macro-economic headwinds in the second half of this year.

Amazon boss Bezos, wife MacKenzie to split

Amazon.com Inc chief executive officer Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos said on Tuesday that they have decided to divorce after a long separation trial, Bezos posted a joint statement on Twitter.

The billionaire executive announced the news three days before his 55th birthday in a tweet signed by both of them. They have been married 25 years.

The couple last year launched a charitable fund together, dubbed the Day One Fund.

2019 likely to be a cold year for tech jobs

Tech hiring outlook for 2019 will remain muted throughout the year as companies have not shared any people addition mandate with their human resources (HR) heads and people officers.

Low single-digit, need-based, lateral hiring may take place across Indian technology landscape. But companies in general will stay extremely low-key on hiring, especially when there is uncertainty (of a slowdown) in their key marketplace, the USA.

Nilekani to head e-payments panel

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday appointed former UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) chief Nandan Nilekani as chairman of a five-member committee on digital payments.

The panel will submit its report within 90 days from the date of its first meeting.

“With a view to encourage digitisation of payments and enhance financial inclusion through digitisation, RBI has decided to constitute a high-level committee on deepening of digital payments,” the central bank said in a statement.

Iran hopes India will seek another waiver from US sanctions

Iran on Tuesday expressed hope that India will seek another waiver from US sanctions to continue buying its crude oil, noting that it is the world's fastest-growing major economy's most reliable energy provider. India in November last year won a six-month waiver to buy crude oil from Iran after it agreed to cut imports and escrow rupee payments.

Iran bank to become channel for rupee/rial dealings

India may settle oil contracts with Iran in rupee using a bank from the Gulf nation from next fiscal when the US imposed sanctions get stricter and existing exemptions to few oil importing nations is phased out.

Sources privy to the development told FC that Iranian Bank Pasargad could become the channel for rupee/rial dealings in the oil trade between the two countries from early part of next fiscal when the real picture emerges about the scale of disruption in oil supplies from the Gulf country post lifting of exemptions.

To improve revenues, BSNL ties up with Eros for web content

In a bid view to increase revenues through data usage, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has signed an agreement with Eros Now to offer movies, videos, web shows to  its customers.

The tie up will offer 11,000+ movie titles, music videos, original web shows and exclusive videos to its consumers under which BSNL prepaid subscribers of select STV/plans will be offered Eros Now subscription as a part of the validity of STV/Plan, a statement from the PSU said.

Nepal's minister, bureaucrats charged with graft in Airbus deal

Nepal's $209.6-million Airbus deal, the largest ever in the country's aviation history, is turning out to be one of the biggest corruption scandals in the country as a parliamentary committee indicted a top minister and some senior bureaucrats of graft in the deal.

IGST on gold for export scrapped

Gem and jewellery exporters will no longer have to pay three per cent IGST on gold to nominated agencies with effect from January 1, 2019, the GST council announced.

Legal tangles kept IT firms busy in 2018

In a major setback to the information technology sector, the year that just ended few days back witnessed a large number of lawsuits against infotech services giants, both nationally and globally.