2009: Top 10 business stories
2009 has been an eventful year for India in terms of business, economy and other developments in the financial sphere.
From the clash of Titans in the RIL and RNRL dispute, to the people's man Ratan Tata assuring Indians that they can soon afford a car and an apartment, these were the big stories on the business front.
On the economic front, the year begun carrying forward the gloom of the global economy meltdown. Problems continued, but with a little support Indian as well as global economy started to show signs of recovery.
The Top 10 business and financial stories of 2009 are listed below:
1. RIL Vs RNRL
The Ambani brothers' dispute, without doubt, claimed the business limelight for 2009.
The ongoing dispute between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) and Anil Ambani-led Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) over the pricing of natural gas found in the Krishna Godavari basin is being fought in the Supreme Court of India.
2. Tata Nano Cars and Housing
Besides unveiling the word's cheapest car Tata Nano in Jan 200, Ratan Tata gave the country hopes of affordable housing as well.
3. Satyam Scam
Just a week into the new year, Satyam Computer Services founder-chairman B Ramalinga Raju shocked the country when he admitted to orchestrating a multi-crore fraud in the company"s accounts and resigned.
While the leading outsourcing company struggled to survive this huge blow, the Indian IT industry hoped to not be affected by Ramalinga Raju's revelation.
4. Tech Mahindra takes over of Satyam computers
With the highest bid of Rs 58 per share, Tech Mahindra bagged the scandal-hit Satyam Computer Services Ltd on Apr 13.
Tech Mahindra thwarted competition from Larsen & Toubro and billionaire tycoon Wilbur Ross to acquire the IT major just four months after the founder Ramalinga Raju confessed to inflating the books to over 1 billion dollars above their worth.
The company was then christened Mahindra Satyam.
5. Circuit breaker
After the people's mandate gave power to Congress-led United Progressive Alliance on Saturday, May 16, the stock markets celebrated the news on Monday, May 18 with a circuit breaker.
The markets zoomed to the upper circuit levels as soon as they opened. The unusually bullish trend forced the trading to be suspended for some time.
When the markets refused to cool down and the index moved up by 20 percent, the markets were closed for the day even before noon.
6. Extending trading hours
In Oct, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) gave its approval for long trading hours in the country's premier stock exchanges - Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE).
The stock exchanges are expected to advance the timings starting from Jan 2010 to gain from the Asian and global markets and boost volumes.
7. GDP and IIP
Both GDP and Industrial Production suffered the aftermath of the global financial crisis in the beginning of the year (Q1FY2009). However, the numbers began to rise subsequently with government stimulus packages, foreign investment and domestic demand.
In Q12009, India"s GDP grew at 6.1 per cent, which rose to 7.9 per cent in Q32009.
Index of Industrial Production (IIP) started increasing at more than 9 per cent only from Aug 2009. India Inc also posted impressive numbers in Q2FY2010.
8. Inflation dips below zero
In Jun 2009, India's Inflation rate dipped below zero and entered the negative zone. The inflation rate was last in the negative zone in 1977-1978.
India's inflation for the week ended Jun 6 was at -1.61 per cent, forcing the government and the central Reserve Bank of India (RBI) into damage control action.
However, prices of primarily food articles broke levels of government and RBI, and surged due to supply constraints.
9. Layoffs and cost cutting continues
'Leaner, Meaner, Greener', continued to be the mantra of companies and firms across the world. Despite signs of recovery from the worst economic slump, companies were forced to undertake cost cutting measures and layoffs to stay afloat in the times of recession, making 2009 a troubled year with unemployment issues, government bailouts and more.
This affected India as outsourcing MNCs not only indulged in cost cutting steps but also took back the jobs to their own countries to create employment there, and a big example of this trend is Obama's famous 'choose Buffalo over Bangalore' statement.
10. Dubai Debt Crisis
On Nov 29, Dubai announced that two of its flagship firms Dubai World and Nakheel planned to delay repayment of billions of dollars in debt.
Stock markets across the globe plunged and the world feared a second global economic slump.
Even though the Indian authorities calmed the nerves of the country by saying that the exposure to the crisis was small, many Indians working in Dubai were handed out pink slips.