News in Brief: India’s growth, Aramco oil, GSK, Standard Chartered, Ocado

News in Brief

India: brightest spot on global map with 7.8% growth

The World Bank expects India's growth to pick up to 7.8% in the next financial year, projecting it to be the fastest growing economy in the world for the next three years by a distance, riding on stronger domestic policy reforms.

The Economic Times reports India is expected to notch near 8% growth in the subsequent years as the world economy also picks up pace to 2.9% growth in 2016, compared with a modest 2.4% in the just concluded year.

"South Asia will be a bright spot, reflecting improved conditions in India," the World Bank said in its flagship 'Global Economic Prospects'.

The report pegs growth in the current year at 7.3%, same as last year while raising concerns over legislative reforms.

Aramco oil giant could be sold by Saudi Arabia to raise funds

Saudi Arabia may sell shares in state energy giant Saudi Aramco, the largest oil producer, creating what could be the world's most valuable company.

In an interview in the Economist, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said the move was being "reviewed".

"We believe a decision will be made over the next few months," he said.

The BBC reports Aramco has crude reserves of about 265bn barrels - more than 15% of global deposits - and with falling oil prices a sale would raise revenues for Saudi.

The government has a deficit nearing $100bn (£68.4bn) due to the collapse in oil prices over the past 18 months.

The deputy crown prince told the Economist he favoured listing Aramco shares on the stock market.

GlaxoSmithKline should be split, star investor Woodford says

The UK's biggest drugs company should be split up, says one of Britain's most successful and influential investors.

Neil Woodford said GlaxoSmithKline needs radical restructuring.

The founder of Woodford Investment Management said GSK should be divided into separate companies, rather than run as a single £65bn giant.

In an exclusive interview with Radio 5 live's Wake up to Money he said GSK is so complicated it is "like four FTSE 100 companies bolted together".

And, he says, the pharmaceuticals giant does not "do a particularly good job of managing all of the constituent parts".

Standard Chartered deputy chief executive Mike Rees steps down

Standard Chartered deputy group chief executive Mike Rees will step down at the end of April, the bank announced.

Rees, who has worked for Standard Chartered for 26 years, will be stepping down from both his job as deputy group chief executive and his role on the board, the bank said in a statement.

City A.M reports Rees, 59, will not seek re-election as a group executive director at the bank’s 2016 AGM in May and will leave the group fully at the end of the year.

This announcement is just the latest in a series of changes seen under the leadership of Standard Chartered's chief executive Bill Winters, who took the reins of the Asia-facing bank last June.

Cheap share price puts Ocado top of bidders’ shopping lists

Ocado was among the few risers on the FTSE 250 during stock market carnage.

Ocado’s cheap share price has put the online supermarket top of bidders’ shopping lists. That was the rumour doing the rounds in the City, which triggered a buying spree, reported The Independent.

The company was among the few risers on the FTSE 250 during a day of stock market carnage, and it climbed by 2.9p to 292.2p.

Traders said that with supermarkets on the back foot, now would be a good time to swoop for Ocado.

The grocer’s shares have dropped by almost 40% since July amid the growing threat posed by Amazon - which is gearing up to expand its food delivery service in the UK - and concerns about a delayed overseas deal.