Newsletter: 5th February – 11th February, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

Govt looking to include PSU banks in future CPSE ETFs 

Government is looking to include public sector banks in its new CPSE Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) that it plans to float in the next fiscal, as it is looking to lower its stake in banks, whose valuations have been under pressure due to bad loan problems.

RBI disappoints market, keeps repo rate unchanged 

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on kept the short-term lending rate, called repo rate, unchanged at 6.25 per cent. Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains unchanged at 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75 per cent.

Government appoints IAS officer Ajay Tyagi as Sebi chief for 5 years 

Senior Finance Ministry official Ajay Tyagi was appointed as chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). He will succeed U K Sinha, whose extended tenure ends on March 1. Tyagi, a 1984 batch IAS officer of Himachal Pradesh cadre, is at present Additional Secretary (Investment) in the Department of Economic Affairs and handles capital market, among others.

Rs 6.78 lakh crore remonetised, Rs 9.1 lakh crore in circulation: Government 

In the ongoing process of remonetisation, banknotes worth Rs 6.78 lakh crore returned to the formal banking system between November 10 and January 13, taking the total currency in circulation to Rs 9.1 lakh crore, the government said.

Note-ban takes toll on IIP; output shrinks 0.4% in December

 Demonetisation took a toll on industrial activity as output contracted to four-month low of 0.4 per cent last December with consumer durables taking the worst hit, plummeting by over 10 per cent due to cash crunch. The factory output had contracted 0.9 per cent in December 2015.

Government to make all ration shops Aadhaar-enabled by June 

Government is planning to make all ration shops under the public distribution system in the country Aadhaar-enabled by June 30 this year, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. He said that already all ration shops in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have been made Aadhar-enabled.

Tata Sons removes Cyrus Mistry from the board

Tata Sons removed former chairman Cyrus Mistry from its board on Monday, bringing to a close another chapter in the battle for control at India’s oldest and largest conglomerate that erupted with his dramatic ouster as chairman on October 24 last year. The 80 per cent vote in favour of the decision put the seal on the founding Tata family’s control of the group holding company after Mistry had rebelled against his ouster.

10 NBFCs surrender registration certificate 

Reserve Bank said 10 Non Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs), including Supreme Securities and Island Leasing, have surrendered their registration certificate. The other NBFCs, which surrendered their registration certificate, are Pinnacle Trades and Investments, Kalyani Mfg and Leasing, Sahyog Credits, M CT M Global Investments, Sree Sankari Benefit Funds, Wham Investments, M K W Finance and Shasun Leasing and Finance.

Mobile payments to overtake physical card spends in 2017 

Mobile and digital payments will overtake physical card payments as the predominant non-cash payment mode in India in 2017, driven by demonetisation. The possibility has been expressed by Deloitte India in its report titled ‘Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions 2017’.

BUSINESS

ITC moves past HDFC Bank and RIL to No. 2 spot in market-cap 

Cigarette maker ITC emerged as the second-most valuable company in India, with a market capitalisation higher than that of Reliance Industries and HDFC Bank. Software giant Tata Consultancy Services has the highest market-cap while HDFC Bank -one of the most expensive banking stocks ­ now occupies the third slot followed by Reliance Industries, the country’s largest private sector company by profits.

National Stock Exchange names IDFC’s Vikram Limaye as CEO 

India’s National Stock Exchange (NSE) named Vikram Limaye, the CEO of infrastructure lender IDFC Ltd, as its new chief executive as the country’s largest bourse gears up for a much-awaited initial public offering this year.

HDFC Bank goes live on Bharat Bill Payment System 

Private sector lender HDFC Bank said that it has gone live on Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) for HDFC Bank’s Net Banking for customers. BBPS is a centralized system created by National Payments Corporation of India involving banks and non-banks, which allows agents to access bill payments services in an interoperable manner.

SBI Q3 net profit up 71% on spurt in other income 

State Bank of India (SBI) reported a 70.88 per cent rise in consolidated profit at Rs 2,152.23 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, thanks to a rise in other income and a drop in provisions for NPAs. This was boosted by Rs 1,755 crore other income that the company generated on the sale of 3.9 per cent stake in its subsidiary SBI Life Insurance Company.

Former Rolls-Royce CEO John Rose questioned in bribery investigation 

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) questioned former Rolls-Royce chief executive John Rose in a bribery investigation the company settled last month. The newspaper said Rose, who was chief executive from 1996 to 2011, was one of many former Rolls-Royce executives questioned under caution in the investigation, which was the largest ever undertaken by the SFO.

Havells India enters into personal grooming space; aims to capture 25% market share 

Havells India announced entry into the personal grooming space with an aim to capture 25% market share in next three years, while drawing up plans to enter the baby care segment by June. As part of this, it has already forayed into baby hair clippers for the first time in the country. Havells personal grooming products include electric shavers, beard trimmers, grooming kit, hair straighteners and dryers.

WORLD

Japan logs biggest current account surplus since 2007

Japan attained its second-biggest current account surplus on record in 2016, Ministry of Finance data showed, just days before the US and Japanese leaders meet for talks with trade surpluses and currency valuations expected to be high on the agenda. The 20.6 trillion yen ($183.63 billion) surplus reflected the trade balance swinging into surplus on cheaper oil, rising foreign tourists arrivals creating a record travel surplus, and hefty foreign income from overseas investments.

Beijing vows 30% cut in coal use in 2017 to fight smog 

China’s smog-hit capital Beijing plans to slash coal consumption by a further 30 percent in 2017 as part of its efforts to combat air pollution. Beijing has promised to implement “extraordinary” measures this year in a bid to tackle choking smog from traffic congestion and the heavy use of coal.

China’s population to touch 1.42 billion by 2020 

China’s population, the largest in the world, is expected to reach about 1.42 billion by 2020, according to the country’s National Health and Family Planning Commission. As of the end of 2015, China had a population of about 1.37 billion. The annual natural population growth rate will be around six per thousand while China’s gender ratio at birth is expected to be reduced to 112 boys for every 100 girls by 2020.

Brexit bill set to clear major parliamentary hurdle 

MPs look set to approve a bill empowering Prime Minister Theresa May to start Brexit negotiations, in a major step towards Britain leaving the European Union. Seven months after the historic referendum vote to leave the 28-nation bloc, the House of Commons is expected to grant its approval for May to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.

3-0: Judges reject US travel ban 

President Donald Trump suffered a legal blow on Thursday when a federal appeals court refused to reinstate his executive order temporarily banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. A three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the Trump administration failed to offer any evidence that national security concerns justified immediately restoring the ban, which he launched two weeks ago.

Donald Trump, Shinzo Abe pledge to strengthen US-Japan relationship 

US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed to work together to strengthen the relationship between the two countries in defence, strategic ties and agreed to make their bilateral trade more fair. Trump said the two countries face numerous challenges and bilateral cooperation is essential to address them.

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