A man sitting on a bench at the seafront looks out towards a dredging vessel operating at the construction site of the Colombo Port City development in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg)

BQuick On August 31: Top 10 News Stories In Under 10 Minutes   

This is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.

1. India Inc. Veterans To Face Deepak Parekh Type Test

The next few months are going to keep 290 directors of India’s top 500 companies on the edge of their seats. AM Naik, Habil Khorakiwala, PRS Oberoi, YK Hamied, Adi Godrej, N Vaghul, BK Birla…they are all above the age of 75 years, or will be soon, and need shareholders to reaffirm their directorships soon.

  • Earlier this month, another veteran business leader Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC Ltd., was put to the same vote—and won by a less than 0.2 percent margin.
  • A new governance provision in SEBI’s Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirement Regulations states that no director above the age of 75 can continue term or seek reappointment without shareholder approval via a special resolution.
  • In company law, a special resolution requires the votes cast in favour of the resolution to be not less than three times the votes cast against—that is 75 percent of votes cast should be in favour of the resolution.

Here’s the list of eminent personalities who will soon face the test.

2. World-Beating Growth

India’s economy returned to 8 percent growth for the first time in two years, as strong consumer demand spurred a modest revival in private investment.

  • Gross domestic product growth in the first quarter of 2018-19 was at 8.2 percent compared with 5.6 percent in the same quarter last year.
  • In gross value added terms, the economy grew at 8 percent compared to 5.6 percent last year.
  • Manufacturing sector grew at 13.5 percent compared to -1.8 percent last year.
  • Construction sector grew at 8.7 percent compared to 1.8 percent last year.
  • Agriculture sector grew at 5.3 percent compared to 3 percent last year.

India’s economic recovery is getting cemented.

3. Rupee Hits 71/$

The Indian rupee again hit a life-time low as rising crude oil prices were seen putting strain on the nation’s finances.

  • The local currency fell past 71 per dollar mark for the first time in early trade and recorded biggest monthly drop in three years.
  • The rupee closed at 70.9962 against the dollar.
  • The domestic currency weakened 3.57 percent against the greenback this month - its biggest monthly decline since August 2015.

What’s next for the rupee?

4. Indian Markets Close Flat; U.S. Stocks Mixed

Indian equity benchmarks were little changed as gains in information technology and pharma stocks was offset by losses in Reliance Industries Ltd. and private sector lenders ahead of June quarter GDP data.

  • The S&P BSE Sensex Index fell 0.12 percent or 45 points to 38,645.
  • NSE Nifty 50 Index was little changed at 11,680.
  • S&P BSE Healthcare Index's 2.2 percent gain was the best among all 19 sector gauges.
  • S&P BSE Energy was the top loser, down 1.5 percent.

Follow the day's trading action here.

U.S. stocks were mixed, with the S&P 500 Index on track for a fifth monthly gain, as investors awaited developments on trade talks.

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.7 percent, the biggest drop in more than two weeks.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2 percent to the highest in a week.
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index dipped 0.1 percent to a two-week low.
  • Copper fell 0.9 percent to $2.6945 a pound for the biggest drop in two weeks.

Get your fix of global markets action here.

5. Coal India Clocks Best August Gains Since Listing

State-run Coal India Ltd. clocked best August gains since its listing back in Nov. 2010, aided by higher demand and lower wage costs.

  • Shares of the world’s largest coal miner rose over 9 percent in August, tracking the Nifty Metal Index, according to Bloomberg data.
  • Prior to that, the stock rose only once during the month since listing—in 2016.
  • It outperformed the benchmark gauge this year, rising over 8 percent year-to-date compared with a 7.2 percent decline in the Nifty Metal Index.

Here’s what’s working for Coal India.

6. You Will Have To Pay More Upfront For Your Motor Insurance

Car and two-wheeler owners will have to pay more upfront for their insurance as only multi-year third-party covers are allowed starting Sept. 1.

  • Insurers will sell five-year plans for scooters and motorcycles, and three-year policies for cars and utility vehicles. One-year covers will be discontinued.
  • The Supreme Court on July 20 made multi-year third-party insurance compulsory.
  • Its decision was based on a report on road safety that found that only one in every three vehicles—from 18 crore plying on Indian roads—is insured.

Read the pros and cons on the move.

7. Vodafone India, Idea Cellular Get Final Approval For Merger

Vodafone India Ltd. and Idea Cellular Ltd. have received the approval from the National Company Law Tribunal—the last regulatory nod—for the merger of the two entities to form India’s largest telecom service provider, “Vodafone Idea Ltd.”

  • Aditya Birla Group, the promoter of Idea Cellular, will own 26.1 percent after purchasing additional 4.8 percent stake from Vodafone Plc.
  • The public shareholders of erstwhile Idea Cellular will own 28.7 percent stake in the merged entity.
  • Vodafone Plc. will hold 45.2 percent stake in the company with an option to sell 0.2 percent of its stake in the open market.

Here’s how the combined entity will look like.

8. India Post Payments Bank To Expand Rural Banking Network By Over Three Times

The India Post Payments Bank will launch with the might of the postal department behind it, in turn, increasing the physical presence of banking services in rural India by more than three times.

  • There are currently about 50,000 bank branches in rural India.
  • The Department of Post has almost 1,30,000 service points in rural India.
By converting these points into points of banking service, we are bringing the reach and accessibility to a different dimension and extending rural India presence of banking services by 3.5 times.
Suresh Sethi, CEO, India Post Payments Bank

The payments bank will adopt a three-tier structure.

9. Fugitive Millionaires To Get Better Living Conditions In Jail

The largest and oldest prison in Mumbai will get a new block of cells that will meet international norms on prisoner rights. The reason: fugitive businessmen are citing poor jail conditions to stave off extradition.

  • Arthur Road Jail, is demolishing an old structure to make way for the block, the Times of India newspaper reported, citing an official it did not identify.
  • The construction of the new block follows allegations by fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, who fled India to the U.K. and told a London court that Barrack 12 at the Arthur Road jail lacks natural light.

Here are some amenities that Mallya & co can expect.

10. Trump Doubles Down On Donald Trump

To the outside world, Donald Trump is in a bit of a bind. Prosecutors are creeping closer, he looks likely to lose control of the House to Democrats and he's still losing staff. But for Trump, sitting behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office, he has done an A-plus job so far.

  • Trump is residing over a record economic and stock market boom.
  • He calls the Robert Mueller investigation "illegal" and doesn't fear impeachment as he's "doing a great job".
  • “The level of love” at his rallies “is just a beautiful thing to watch”, Trump said.

Here's more from Bloomberg News’ exclusive interview with Trump.