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#GlobalAmbition: How Indian public sector giant Union Bank is going global


Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley this week formally launched the UK subsidiary of India’s revered Union Bank of India.

The bank’s move into the UK signals the 96-year-old institutions global expansion plans – it plans to deliver 10% of overall business from overseas markets by 2019 as it looks to tap into the increasingly influential Indian Diaspora community whilst also providing banking services to companies and individuals queuing up to invest in India.

The bank, the 6th largest public sector bank in India with more than $59 billion in assets, will undertake retail and wholesale banking.

In retail banking the focus will be on current, savings, fixed term deposits and remittances while the wholesale banking arm will focus will be on syndicated loans, external commercial borrowings, SMEs, trade finance facilities and current accounts.

The UKAsian caught up with the bank’s chairperson Mr Arun Tiwari to find out more.

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#ASmallHope: Indian team in the running for private-sector moon exploration project

A team of Indian scientists could become the first to send a private spacecraft to the moon after bagging a million-dollar interim prize from search giant Google.

Bangalore-based Axiom Research Labs, whose team includes some young techies as well as veterans of the Indian Space Research Organization, won the prize after submitting their design for a lunar rover.

Now the team - which calls itself Team Indus - is the only Indian outfit in the Google Lunar X Prize competition, which features 17 other teams racing to build a complete exploration vehicle that can land on the moon by the end of 2016 and win $30 million for their troubles.

The team's machine is appropriately named 'Ek Choti Si Asha' ("One Small Hope") and was judged to have the competition's sturdiest landing gear, a crucial element in successfully getting a machine of this kind on the surface of the moon. 

“We can be the first, that’s why we are in this race,” said Dilip Chabria, one of the seven founders of the company.

Whilst the landing gear is important, the team's machine needs to safely land on the lunar surface and release a robot to explore at least 500 meters from the landing site in order to win the final prize.

Team Indus estimates that it will ultimately require a total of $45 million to get their spacecraft ready. 

Axiom has reportedly raised some of the money from investors but refuses to say how much.

The Google Lunar XPrize prize was created to spur private-sector innovation and investment needed for the world’s first privately-funded exploration of the moon.

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#FILIP: India to raise FDI limit in insurance sector to 49 percent

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Thursday announced plans to nearly double the proportion of foreign investment allowed in India’s $60 billion insurance business to 49 percent. The proposal, which requires the approval of both houses of parliament, would bring foreign investment worth up to $2 billion into the sector …

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India relaxes investment rules in retail sector

The Indian government has relaxed investment rules for the country’s retail sector paving the way for foreign chains like Tesco and Walmart to formally enter the booming market. Foreign companies have been keen to enter India’s $500 billion retail market since the country allowed foreign investment in its supermarket sector …

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Indian banking sector to be opened for non-finance players

Indian companies from any business sector will be allowed to seek entry to the country’s the banking industry as the government looks to bring banking services to the large proportion of the population without bank accounts. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday announced rules that would allow any …

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