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News Wrap Dec 21: Omicron spreading faster than Delta; Parliament clears Election Laws Amendment Bill; MapmyIndia strong market debut and more

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Here are the top news from the world of business, economics, politics and more, handcrafted for you by the CNBC-TV18.com team

News Wrap Dec 21: Omicron spreading faster than Delta; Parliament clears Election Laws Amendment Bill; MapmyIndia strong market debut and more
The Indian equity benchmark indices rebounded Tuesday and closed over 1 percent higher after two sessions of losses. Wells Fargo Investment Institute said that its outlook on the stock market remains optimistic for 2022. Meanwhile, the Election Laws Amendment Bill received the Rajya Sabha nod today amid a walkout stage by Opposition members. On the health front, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant. Here are some top news of the day
ECONOMY/BUSINESS 
RBI’s surprise variable reverse repo announcement signals possible rate hike
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on December 20 announced a three-day variable rate reverse repo (VRRR) in a surprising move. The sudden announcement is being seen by market leaders as a sign of the central bank's intention to tighten inflation by hiking interest rates in the near future. Read more
SBI acquires minority stake in JSW Cement for Rs 100 crore
The State Bank of India (SBI) has acquired a minority stake in JSW Cement Ltd by infusing Rs 100 crore via compulsorily convertible preference shares (CCPS), the cement maker said. Read more
Talent acquisition to get a major boost in the New Year: Report
As tech companies adopt new digital modes of running business post the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for tech talent is set to soar in the New Year. Read more
MARKET
Stock market woes may have little to do with health of economy
The steep fall in share prices over the last month is causing many market watchers to wonder if it is a reflection of the health of the economy. It’s tough to blame the market fall on the economy, which has largely been doing well. Dig deeper
Optimistic on 2022 market outlook but EMs to face headwinds in near term: Wells Fargo
Gary Schlossberg, Global Strategist of Wells Fargo Investment Institute said that their outlook on the stock market remains optimistic for 2022. Wells Fargo is still looking for above-average growth in early 2022, which may be delayed a bit depending on how serious the Omicron fallout is. Read more
MapmyIndia makes strong market debut, shares list at 53% premium over issue price
MapmyIndia shares made a strong start in the secondary market on Dalal Street. The stock of CE Info Systems - which owns the MapmyIndia platform - listed on BSE at Rs 1,581, a premium of 53 percent over its issue price of Rs 1,033. The stock, however, gave up some of its initial gains at close. Read more
INDIA
Parliament passes bill to link voter ID with Aadhaar; experts weigh in
The Election Laws Amendment Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha today despite strong criticism by opposition parties. Here's what experts make of it
3 killed, 44 injured in Indian Oil Corporation's Haldia refinery fire in Bengal
Three persons were killed and 44 others suffered injuries in a fire that broke out in the Haldia Refinery of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district this afternoon, police said. Read more
Severe cold wave conditions in Delhi, Rajasthan and other northern states this week
Several northern states, including Haryana, and Rajasthan as well as the national capital have seen significant drops in temperature. Weather agencies have warned that these conditions are likely to persist this week. Read more
WORLD
COVID-19 variant Omicron spreading faster than Delta, warns WHO
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said. Read more
Omicron sweeps across America, now 73% of new US COVID cases
Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the US, accounting for 73 percent of new infections last week, federal health officials. Read more
Shifting sands: How Saudi Arabia is changing with the times
Saudi Arabia hosted the MDL Beast Soundstorm, a four-day music festival sponsored by the government. Music festivals like this most recent one highlight the changing social dynamics in Saudi Arabia in the past few years. Read more
YOU & ME
What India ate in 2021: Chicken biryani tops charts on Swiggy deliveries
While Indians devoured their chicken biryani for main course, the humble samosa remained Swiggy's top snack item. Gulam jamun came in first on desserts. Read more
ITR filing deadline nears; here's all you need to know about key documents, types of forms
ITR filing deadline nears: With only 11 days to go, taxpayers should file ITR without any further delay. The obvious reason: late filing can result in interest charges. Read more
How new debit/credit card rule will impact customers
Debit and credit card rules for online payments will change from January 1, 2022 as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked merchants and payment gateways to remove sensitive customer data on cards saved on their end from next year. Here's how it will impact you
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