Newsletter: 8th-14th January, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

It’s gold rush for mobile banking 

Banks have recorded 9.4% month-on-month rise in number of mobile banking transactions with the value growing 20.9% in November. The government’s demonetisation drive has compelled consumers to adopt digital payments, but except for mobile banking, other digital options such as credit cards and mobile-wallets failed to grow in value in November compared to October.

Sebi, tax dept investigating 32,000 entities for evasion, stock price manipulation 

Amidst a massive crackdown on black money and tax evasion, market regulator Sebi on January 14 will take up the misuse of Long Term Capital Gains (LTCG) and stock price manipulation at its first board meeting since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation on November 8.

Vibrant Gujarat Summit sees 25,578 agreements signed 

From a modest 76 MoUs worth Rs 66,068 crore in 2003, Vibrant Gujarat’s first Global Summit, the numbers climbed steadily to a dizzying height of 21,304 MoUs in 2015 and continued their upward journey to 25,578 agreements during the 2017 edition of the summit. The maximum number of 1,625 MoUs were signed in the Urban Development Sector.

India announces $100 million Line of Credit to Kenya 

India today announced a $100 million Line of Credit to Kenya for agricultural mechanisation after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta during which they also decided to deepen economic cooperation, identifying expansion of bilateral trade as a “priority”.

Post demonetisation, demand likely to be normal by Q2 2017: CII 

Terming demonetisation as a right long term decision despite short term “disruptions”, CII President Naushad Forbes has said consumer demand is expected to return to full normalcy in April-June quarter after seeing a 20 per cent fall in the 50-day period after the note ban.

India’s retail inflation cools to 3.41 per cent in December 

Retail inflation eased further to nearly 3-year low of 3.41 per cent in December, reflecting weak demand as consumers grappled with cash crunch following demonetisation. This is the lowest level at least since January 2014. The Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation stood at 3.63 per cent in November 2016, as per the data released by the MOSPI.

Demonetisation effects in India to disappear in medium term: World Bank 

The World Bank said that the “adverse effects” of demonetisation in India will disappear in the medium term, saying any reform has short-term costs.  It is expecting growth picking up over the period FY18 and FY19, supported by private consumption, infrastructure spending, and a rebound in investment growth.

Government may stick to 3.5% fiscal deficit target for FY17 

The central government is expected to stick to its fiscal deficit target of 3.5 per cent of GDP for 2016-17, despite lower-than-expected proceeds from disinvestment and spectrum auctions, according to an Standard Chartered report. Moreover, the Centre is likely to adhere to its fiscal consolidation plan by restricting deficit around 3 per cent of GDP in FY2017-18, the global financial services major said.

Niti Aayog set to redraw the poverty line 

Niti Aayog, the government’s premier think-tank, has finally decided that the country needs a freshly defined poverty line to help track the success and outreach of its poverty alleviation measures after a year-long deliberation of the task force on poverty failed to arrive at any other acceptable measure.

BUSINESS

Tatas pick first non-Parsi and professional executive as group chairman 

Two-and-a-half months after the Tatas stunned the world by sacking chairman Cyrus Mistry and recalling Ratan Tata as interim chairman, Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the 53-year-old MD and CEO of India’s largest technology company TCS, was elevated as the first non-Parsi and first professional executive to head the country’s largest, $108-billion conglomerate.

New CEO of TCS -Rajesh Gopinathan 

Country’s largest IT services company Tata Consultancy Services announced Rajesh Gopinathan as the new CEO and NG Subramaniam as president and COO of the company. Gopinathan is currently the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and vice-president of TCS and will succeed the current CEO Natarajan Chandrasekaran as Chandrasekaran takes charge of Tata Sons.

NSE introduces e-ETF facility under e-IPO module 

With an objective to facilitate acceptance of subscriptions for Further Fund Offer of CPSE ETF, NSE has introduced an online facility for the investment and subscription of exchange traded fund on its e-IPO platform. NSE would conduct a mock session for new ‘e-ETF’ on e-IPO platform on January 13 and January 16-17 in order to familiarise with the new facility.

South Indian Bank Q3 net profit rises 9.6% 

South Indian Bank has improved its results in the third quarter with the net profit showing 9.6% growth from a year ago to Rs 111.38 crore. The bank MD and CEO V G Mathew said the realignment of business strategies with emphasis on retail lending and CASA contributed to the better performance of the bank in a challenging environment.

IndusInd Bank Q3 profit jumps 29 per cent to Rs 750.64 crore YoY, beats estimates 

IndusInd Bank reported a better-than-expected 29 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 750.64 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 against Rs 581.02 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. Shares of the bank climbed as much as 1.78 per cent after the announcement of quarterly results.

ICICI Pru, ICICI Lombard buy 12% in Fino Paytech for Rs 150 crore 

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and general insurer ICICI Lombard have bought a 12% stake in fledgling payments bank Fino Paytech for Rs 150 crore valuing the company at Rs 1,200 crore. It would lead to twin benefit of Fino Paytech moving towards meeting regulatory orders on foreign holding in the company, start payments bank licence and help the two insurers to sell their products in remote villages

It’s Ira who’ll greet you at HDFC Bank 

The country’s second largest private sector lender HDFC Bank is in the process of introducing `Ira’ at its branches to help customers with their transactions. HDFC has developed a robot in India named, Ira which means Intelligent Robotic Assistant and is planning to use it for smoother customer service, marketing, employee assistance and also process automation.

PM Modi to inaugurate 16-storey international exchange in Gujarat to rival Singapore, Dubai 

PM Modi is set to inaugurate an international exchange in Gujarat’s new finance zone, seeking to grab some of India’s $48 billion in offshore banking activities from Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong. The India International Exchange, at the bottom of a 16-storey building that dominates the finance zone, will get Modi’s blessing on Monday and start trading single stock and equity index futures on Jan. 16.

BSE launches mobile app for mutual fund trading 

Making trading in mutual funds more convenient for investors, top stock exchange BSE announced the launch of the ‘BSE StAR MF’ mobile application. BSE runs the mutual fund trading platform – BSE Star MF – the largest MF distributor platform in India with more than 4 lakh SIPs (Systematic Investment Plans) per month.

BSE to launch country’s first IPO by a stock exchange on Jan 23, looks to raise Rs 1,350 crore 

India’s second largest domestic stock exchange BSE on Friday said it would hit the market with its initial public offering (IPO) on January 23. The IPO is expected to be sold in the price band of Rs 800-850 apiece, with existing investors offloading shares worth nearly Rs 1,350 crore through the offer.

Mega deal sealed- SpiceJet orders 205 Boeing planes 

In the largest commercial aircraft deal for Boeing in the country, SpiceJet ordered 205 aircraft with Boeing. The deal is valued at $22 billion, based on list prices. Of the 205 aircraft, 155 aircraft are firm orders of Boeing 737-8 MAX. “SpiceJet will have purchase rights for the rest 50 aircraft, which will include the airline’s capability to add long-haul aircraft,” said Ajay Singh, chairman of SpiceJet.

Yahoo to be named Altaba, Marissa Mayer to leave board after Verizon deal 

Yahoo Inc said that it would rename itself Altaba Inc and Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer would step down from the board after the closing of its deal with Verizon Communications Inc. Yahoo has a deal to sell its core internet business, which includes its digital advertising, email and media assets, to Verizon for $4.83 billion.

Barclays becomes first lender to tie up with India Post 

British lender Barclays today became the first bank to have a national tie-up with the India Post which runs over 1,55,000 post offices across the country. Others like Deutsche Bank, Citi, HSBC, StanC and many other domestic banks are also waiting for such a tie-up with the postal department which recently secured a payments bank licence.

Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong quizzed as suspect in Park scandal 

Samsung heir Lee Jae-Yong was grilled by South Korean prosecutors after becoming a criminal suspect in the corruption scandal engulfing impeached President Park Geun-Hye. Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics and the son of the Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-Hee, was to be questioned in connection to allegations of bribery, prosecutors said.

EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of excess diesel emissions 

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles of illegally using hidden software to allow excess diesel emissions to go undetected, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators’ investigation of rival Volkswagen. The EPA action affects 104,000 US trucks and SUVs sold since 2014, about one-sixth the vehicles in the Volkswagen case.

WORLD

India’s contribution to world GDP to reach 17% this yr: PwC 

India grew fastest among major economies worldwide at over 7.5 per cent in 2016 and will continue to drive global growth in 2017 with its share in the world GDP expected to rise to 17 per cent. “Asia will remain the fastest growing region of the world, but the spotlight will shift away from China to India and Indonesia,” PwC’s global economy watch (GEW) said.

France investigating Renault for possible emissions fraud 

French authorities are investigating carmaker Renault for suspected fraud in its diesel emissions controls, denting the company’s share price as the global fallout spreads from revelations of emissions cheating at Volkswagen. Renault insisted  that its cars are not equipped with pollution cheating software, and that the company complies with all laws.

Theresa May to make major Brexit speech next week 

British Prime Minister Theresa May will unveil more on her Brexit strategy in her long-awaited speech next Tuesday that will be keenly watched globally for the country’s future ties with Europe and its resolve to remain a global and outward-looking nation. May, who assumed office after David Cameron resigned following the Brexit vote, has been under pressure to unveil more details on the UK’s plan to leave the European Union (EU).

World Bank projects global growth at 2.7% in 2017 

In an encouraging sign, the World Bank today projected a global growth of 2.7 per cent in 2017, even as it observed that stagnant global trade, subdued investment and heightened policy uncertainty marked another difficult year for the world economy.

Obama awards Biden Presidential Medal of Freedom 

President Barack Obama awarded Vice President Joe Biden with the highest civilian honor Thursday, commemorating an “extraordinary man with an extraordinary career in public service.” A teary-eyed Biden accepted the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony at the White House dedicated to honoring the outgoing vice president.

Ban Ki-moon returns to S.Korea, poised for presidential bid 

Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, upon returning to South Korea, has hinted that he would run in the forthcoming presidential election, underlining his past 10 years of experience as the chief official of the international organisation. He also reiterated his denial over the allegations that he received massive kickbacks from a businessman.

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