Business events that defined 2012

Here are the big business and economy-related events that marked the year 2012 in chronological order.
Business events that defined 2012
January 19: Kodak files for bankruptcy

Photography icon Eastman Kodak filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it sought to boost its cash position and stay in business. The move came as the ailing company failed to find a buyer for its trove of 1,100 digital imaging patents. Kodak had said in November 2011 that it could run out of cash in a year if it didn't sell the patents, which it hoped would fetch billions.
Business events that defined 2012
February 2: Supreme Court cancels 122 2G licences given away during A. Raja's time

The Supreme Court cancelled 122 second-generation (2G) spectrum licences issued during A. Raja's tenure as telecom minister and asked the telecom regulator TRAI to make fresh recommendations on allotment of the licenses through auction within four months. The court said the licences had been allotted in "an unconstitutional and arbitrary manner", and fined six telecom firms.
Business events that defined 2012
March 16: GAAR introduced in the Union Budget for fiscal year 2013

Pranab Mukherjee, the-then finance minister, tabled the Union Budget in Parliament, which India Inc. said was a “missed opportunity”, and would have a cascading impact on inflation and consumer demand, dampening growth. He introduced GAAR – the General Anti Avoidance Rules -- a set of stringent laws targeting tax evaders, partly by stopping Indian companies and investors from routing investments through Mauritius or other tax havens for the sole purpose of avoiding taxes. Mr Mukherjee also raised the income tax exemption limit to Rs 2 lakh for all individual tax payers. Also, the upper limit for the 20 per cent tax slab was raised, from incomes up to Rs 8 lakh to income up to Rs 10 lakh.
Business events that defined 2012
April 6: BMW launches Mini in India

German luxury car maker BMW launched its iconic Mini in India, which also happened to be the 100th market for the car. The Mini is available in five variants -- Cooper, Cooper S, Cooper Convertible, Cooper S Countryman and Cooper S Countryman High -- and is priced upwards of Rs 25 lakh.
Business events that defined 2012
April 12: Maruti Suzuki launches Ertiga

Maruti Suzuki, India's largest passenger car maker, launched multi-purpose vehicle Ertiga, priced between Rs 5.89 lakh and Rs 8.45 lakh. The Ertiga is based on the same platform as the immensely popular hatchback Swift, and is available in both petrol and diesel variants.
Business events that defined 2012
April 13: Whistleblower accuses Infosys of visa fraud

IT giant Infosys brought in Indian workers illegally to the US and often abused business visa rules requiring foreign workers to be paid US market rate, a former company insider alleged. Infosys could just have easily found local IT specialists to do what they were bringing foreigners in to do, at a fraction of the cost, Jay Palmer, a consultant for the firm was quoted as saying by CBS. A US court dismissed the harassment charges, providing a win for the company in its biggest market. The court also asked Mr Palmer to pay Infosys' legal charges.
Business events that defined 2012
April 17: RBI cuts repo rate by 50 basis points

The Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate, the first rate cut in three years, by an unexpectedly sharp 50 basis points to boost the sagging economy, but warned there was limited scope for more cuts, with inflation likely to remain high and growth on track to pick up, albeit modestly.
Business events that defined 2012
April 25: S&P revises India's economic outlook to negative

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's revised India's outlook to negative. The agency reaffirmed sovereign credit rating at investment grade, but suggested that the probability of a downgrade was higher than before. The agency said it saw little progress on economic reforms and believed that the gross domestic product growth could fall to 5.3 per cent in 2012-13.
Business events that defined 2012
May 7: Pranab Mukherjee defers GAAR

Pranab Mukherjee, the then finance minister, announced that the implementation of the General Anti-Avoidance Rules, or GAAR, would be deferred to April 2013. He also clarified that the government will remove a provision which puts the onus on the tax payer to prove that there has been no tax avoidance. The onus, he said, would be on tax officials.
Business events that defined 2012
May 18: Facebook goes public on Nasdaq, lukewarm debut

Social networking site Facebook went public, but didn't get many ‘likes'. Shares fizzled on their first day of trade on the Nasdaq, erasing early gains of as much as 18 per cent to trade close to their initial public offering price. The stock opened 11 per cent higher and rose to $45 before rapidly heading south in frenzied trade, touching its initial public offering price of $38. The No. 1 online social network raised as much as $18.4 billion in one of the biggest IPOs in US history.
Business events that defined 2012
May 23: Petrol price hiked by Rs 6.28 per litre (without state levies)

Petrol prices were hiked by Rs 6.28 per litre, the steepest hike ever. The revision came as the rupee hit a low of Rs 56.19 against the dollar.
Business events that defined 2012
14 June: Maruti lockout

An altercation between a worker and a supervisor sparked off a scuffle at Maruti's plant in Manesar, Haryana, which turned violent leading to the death of a general manager. The company declared a lockout which lasted a month.
Business events that defined 2012
22 June: IKEA announces plans to invest Rs 10,500 crore in India

Swedish retailer IKEA approached the Finance Ministry with a plan to invest Rs 10,500 crore to set up 25 stores in the country. Earlier this month, the company got approvals from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. It now needs approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs before the investment can go ahead.
Business events that defined 2012
July 4: Renault launches Duster

French automaker Renault launched the mid-sized sports utility vehicle Duster at Rs 7.19 lakh, with the top-end version priced at Rs 11.29 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The company received 10,000 orders within a month of the launch, forcing Renault to ramp up production.
Business events that defined 2012
July 30: Sahara buys New York's Plaza Hotel

The Sahara Group agreed to buy a controlling stake in New York's landmark Plaza Hotel for $570 million. The 105-year-old luxury hotel overlooking New York's Central Park is jointly owned by Elad Properties, an Israeli-owned real estate company, and Saudi-based Kingdom Holdings Co.
Business events that defined 2012
July 30-31: India blacks out on consecutive days

Most parts of the country witnessed massive outage on two days after the collapse of power grids. On the first day, 370 million people in seven states and Delhi were without power for many hours. The crisis was caused after the northern grid collapsed. The next day, as many as 19 states saw outages after three grids -- the northern, eastern and north-eastern -- tripped.
Business events that defined 2012
August 22: India gets its costliest SUV, Evade, at Rs 8.5 crore

Toronto-based Conquest Vehicles, the manufacturer of the popular Knight XV, an armoured, hand-built SUV, launched the Evade in India. Priced at Rs 8.5 crore, the Evade is the costliest SUV available in India. The vehicle is powered by a 6.8-litre engine that churns out 400 Bhp of power at 2215 Nm of torque.
Business events that defined 2012
August 31: Supreme Court orders Sahara to refund Rs 24,000 crore to investors

The Supreme Court ordered the Sahara conglomerate to refund Rs 24,000 crore it had raised from millions of small investors, reaffirming an order from market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, which had said the process violated rules. The court also ordered Sahara to pay 15 per cent interest to investors on their deposits.
Business events that defined 2012
September 5: Kaushik Basu takes over as chief economist at World Bank

The World Bank named Kaushik Basu, a Cornell University professor, as the institution's new chief economist and senior vice president. Basu was the chief economic adviser of the Finance Ministry while on leave from Cornell, where he was an economics professor and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies.
Business events that defined 2012
September 8: Air India gets its first Dreamliner

Air India's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner touched down at Delhi's IGI Airport, ending an over four-year wait of the struggling national carrier to add this next-generation airplane in its fleet. The Dreamliner took 15 hours of flying time from Boeing's Charleston factory in South Carolina in the US to Delhi, plus a 90-minute stopover at Frankfurt for re-fueling. Air India has placed orders for 27 Dreamliners, and has so far taken possession of three.
Business events that defined 2012
September 15: Government on a reform roll

The government allowed 51 per cent foreign direct investment or FDI in multi-brand retail. This means that foreign super market chains can now set up deep-discount stores in India. It also relaxed rules to allow foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent in Indian carriers.
Business events that defined 2012
September 29: Kingfisher lockout

Kingfisher's engineers first went on strike on September 29 and were joined by the pilots the next day. The airline was forced to declare a lockout and grounded its fleet of 10 planes. However, the airline has not been able to resume flights since then despite a tentative agreement with the striking employees. Its flying licence was suspended by the civil aviation regulator, DGCA. For resumption of operations, the airline will now have to approach the civil aviation regulator before December 31, 2012, saying it is ready to resume operations. The regulator will then decide if the airline is fully prepared to fly, including preparedness of its staff to operate flights, the airline's capacity to pay for the operations and all safety measures, before giving a go-ahead. The industry regulator had earlier rejected Kingfisher's winter schedule and will redistribute its slots.
Business events that defined 2012
October 16: Vikram Pandit steps down as Citigroup CEO

Vikram Pandit stepped down as the chief executive of Citigroup and was replaced by the head of the bank's European and Middle Eastern division, Michael L. Corbat. John P. Havens, Citi's president and a longtime associate of Mr. Pandit's, also resigned. The surprising move by Mr. Pandit came just one day after the firm reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings.
Business events that defined 2012
October 17: Mahindra drives Ssangyong to India with Rexton

Home-grown auto maker Mahindra and Mahindra launched sports utility vehicle (SUV) Rexton, the first vehicle from the stable of South Korean firm SsangYong, in which it bought a controlling stake in March 2011. The Rexton is priced at Rs 17.67 lakh and is the first vehicle under the SsangYong banner to roll out from Mahindra's Chakan facility near Pune.
Business events that defined 2012
October 19: Starbucks opens its first store in India

Starbucks inaugurated its first store in India in a historic building in southern Mumbai as the Seattle-based coffee giant sought growth in a market long associated with tea drinkers. Starbucks is operating in India through a 50-50 joint venture with Tata Global Beverages, called Tata Starbucks Ltd.
Business events that defined 2012
October 24: Rajat Gupta sentenced

Disgraced Indo-American Wall Street titan and philanthropist Rajat Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday, a much lighter sentence than U.S. prosecutors had demanded, by a judge who called his insider trading crimes "disgusting" and "a terrible breach of trust". Mr Gupta was also ordered to pay a $5 million fine. He was convicted in a Manhattan federal court last June for leaking Goldman Sachs' boardroom secrets to Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund manager at the center of a US government crackdown on insider trading over the past four years
Business events that defined 2012
November 9: Diageo-United Spirits ink deal

Diageo Plc, the world's biggest spirits maker, will acquire a controlling 53.4 stake in Vijay Mallya-promoted United Spirits for Rs 11,166 crore, the companies announced. Mr Mallya will continue in his current role as chairman of United Spirits. Diageo will acquire a 27.4 per cent stake in United Spirits for Rs 5,725.4 crore from Mr Mallya-promoted UB Holdings and through preferential share issues. After this, Diageo will launch the mandatory buyback offer to acquire an additional 26 per cent stake.
Business events that defined 2012
November 12: Government auctions 2G spectrum

The auction of second-generation (2G) GSM spectrum fetched the government just Rs 9,407 crore, a fraction of the Rs 40,000 crore in revenue that the government had hoped to get from the exercise. The auction, organised on the orders of the Supreme Court, ended after 15 rounds on the second day of bidding. All 22 telecom circles in the country were put on the block in the auction. Nearly half of the blocks remained unsold at the end of the auction.
Business events that defined 2012
November 15: Euro zone slips into second recession

The 17-country euro zone fell back into recession for the first time in three years. Official figures showed that the euro zone contracted by 0.1 per cent in the July to September period from the quarter before as economies including Germany and the Netherlands suffered from falling demand.

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