Newsletter: 16th-22nd October, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

GST: Anti-profiteering screening panel set up in MP, Chhattisgarh

The Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Commissionerate has constituted a state-level ‘anti-profiteering screening committee’ in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to ensure that the benefits of GST reduction are passed on to the consumers

You can now use GSTN offline to file tax returns

The GST Network has rolled out an offline, Excel-based utility to make the process of filing returns simpler.
Taxpayers can download the offline utility from the GSTN portal under the download section, according to a GST statement. After filling in the data, they need to upload the GSTR 3B form on the GST portal. They will have to then preview the form, complete formalities like submit, offset the liability and file the GSTR-3B Return using digital signature or an electronic verification code.

India’s oil imports hit record high in September – trade

Top 5 Gainers NSE                                                                                  Top 5 Gainers BSE

Optiemus Infra Parabolic Drugs IFB Agro Shekhawati Poly Karma Energy   Optiemus Infra. Polo Queen Industrial IFB Agro. Welcast Steels Provestment Svcs
87.11% 50.33% 49.69% 42.86% 40.85%   88.15% 73.84% 49.53% 47.32% 46.75%

 

The world’s third-biggest oil importer shipped in 4.2 percent more oil last month than a year earlier and about 19 percent more than in the previous month, ship-tracking data from industry sources and Thomson Reuters Analytics showed.“There was heavy maintenance at some refineries in July-August. All those refineries have come online, so naturally refiners will have to boost purchases to meet local demand.”  FGE.Maintenance turnaround at some refineries led to Indian Oil Corp deferring the shutdown of its 300,000 bpd coastal Paradip refinery to April-March. During the first nine months of the year India’s oil imports rose 1.8 percent to about 4.4 million bpd, with most supplies coming from the Middle East, followed by Africa and Latin America.

Led by commercial papers, credit offtake clips 14.6% to Rs 80.09 trillion in September

Driven by commercial papers, the record low credit growth, it seems, has turned around finally, as outstanding credit in the system till the end of September clipped at 14.6 per cent to Rs 80.09 trillion, against 13.6 per cent a year ago, according to Reserve Bank and Sebi data.
At a paltry 5.08 per cent, fiscal 2017 was the worst year in over six decades for bank credit-lowest since fiscal 1953 when it grew at a much lower 1.8 per cent

India stiffens restrictions on trade with North Korea

India has put in place a stricter regime for trade with North Korea in line with the restrictions imposed by the United Nations. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has come out with a notification to widen the prohibition on direct or indirect import and export from/to North Korea.”The direct or on direct or indirect supply, sale, transfer or export of specified items to North Korea is prohibited,” it said. The items include condensates and natural gas liquids, refined petroleum products and crude oil.

BUSINESS

Milestone Capital looks to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore

Private equity firm Milestone Capital Advisors is looking to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore through a logistics fund to invest in warehousing and industrial assets. The fund will target developing around 6 million sq ft of integrated logistics parks across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

Hero Group set to buy wind energy assets of Bhilwara

The Hero Group is close to acquiring almost the entire wind energy portfolio of the LNJ Bhilwara Group, helping the buyer emerge as one of the biggest players in the rapidly growing sector that has seen large M&A deals in recent months.
The acquisition, on the verge of being finalised, follows several deals since last year in the sector, involving the Tatas, Sun Edison, CLP Holdings and other companies.

Mahindra ties up with HDFC Cap for affordable housing platform

Top 5 Losers NSE                                                                                    Top 5 Losers BSE

KSS Ltd Stampede Cap Arcotech Ltd TV Vision Ltd. Usher Agro   Arcotech Ltd Siddharth Education  Sri Adhikari Ashirwad Cap Usher Agro
33.33% 32.62% 23.17% 18.16% 17.32%   24.88% 21.23% 18.34% 18.30% 17.91%

 

Realty developer Mahindra Lifespace Developers has partnered HDFC Capital Advisors-managed HDFC Capital Affordable Real Estate Fund-1 to form a platform focused on the development of affordable housing projects in India.
The platform will have total investment commitment of Rs 500 crore over 3 years.

Reliance Jio tariff revision gives Airtel, Vodafone, Idea room for price hike

Reliance Jio Infocomm’s decision to raise effective prices of most 4G tariff plans by 15-20% from October 19 will allow incumbents Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular to consider price hikes after several quarters of chasing the newcomer’s disruptive rates, analysts say.

Maruti’s new Dzire crosses 1 lakh sales mark in over 5 months

Maruti Suzuki India today said the all-new version of its compact sedan Dzire has crossed one lakh unit sales milestone in just five and half months of launch. The third generation Dzire was launched in May 2017 and has become the fastest to clock one lakh unit sales mark, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a statement. The new Dzire takes the brand to a whole new level an authentic sedan designed for the young, aspirational and indulgence seeking Indian customer.

GM India’s Hardeep Singh Brar set to join Volkswagen as head of sales

Hardeep Singh Brar is set to return to Volkswagen India as head of sales, filling a critical post that had been lying vacant for several months. People aware of the development said Brar, who was head of sales at General Motors India, had his contract running till March 31 next year but also had the option of exiting by September 30. He will take up his new role after Diwali, they said.

Arvind Limited signs MoU with Gujarat for Rs 300-crore apparel park

Textile major Arvind Limited today signed an MoU with the Gujarat government to set up a mega apparel park with an investment of Rs 300-crore in Dahegam in Ahmedabad district. The MoU has been signed days after the state government announced its garments and apparel policy, 2017, the company said in a release here. The “mega apparel facility” will be a “first-of-its-kind” which will employ more than 10,000 people, it said.

Sebi bans Grass Root Finance, 13 others from markets

Regulator Sebi has banned Grass Root Finance & Investment Company (India) Ltd and 13 others from the capital markets for raising funds without complying with the public issue norms. A probe by Sebi found that the company had issued equity shares to 9,321 people between 1995-96 and 2006-07 and raised Rs 6.80 crore through such issuance.

End of an era as Hong Kong stock trading floor set to close

Hong Kong’s last remaining stock market floor traders are taking their final orders as the exchange prepares to shut its trading hall, joining other world exchanges in going fully automated. The bourse’s operator, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, says it will close the trading hall by the end of the month and turn the space into a showcase for the city’s financial markets.

Bharti Airtel, Millicom close deal to combine Ghana operations

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular today announced completion of a deal to combine their operations in Ghana. The deal, executed through their respective subsidiaries, will create Ghana’s second largest mobile operator with nearly 10 million subscribers and USD 300 million in revenue.

WORLD

Madrid to impose direct rule in Catalonia to quash independence bid

The Spanish government will impose direct rule on Catalonia, firing the regional government and forcing a new election, it said on Saturday, unprecedented steps that brought thousands of pro-independence protesters onto to the streets.

Tillerson lands in Riyadh at start of Gulf, South Asia tour

The chief U.S. diplomat flew into King Salman Air Base a little more than a week after U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled a strategy to contain Iran and compel Tehran to agree to close what he charged are flaws in the multinational 2015 deal designed to prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Billionaire Babis scores big in Czech election

Babis’s ANO movement held an unbeatable 30.04 percent of the vote with 94.4 percent of voting stations having reported — almost three times any other party and giving it a chance to rule with just one partner in a coalition.

China says winter smog battle to have limited impact on economy

“Measures to fight pollution don’t have a big impact on economic growth,” Zhang Yong, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, told reporters during a briefing. As many as 28 cities in northern China have vowed to slash industrial output this winter in a bid to cut smog by at least 15 percent and meet politically important air quality targets for this year.

Trump expected to pressure China’s Xi to rein in North Korea: officials

Trump leaves Nov. 3 on a trip that will take him to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. It will be his first tour of Asia since taking power in January and one with a major priority: Preventing the standoff with North Korea from spiraling out of control.

Eastern Libyan central bank launches its own coins made in Russia

Authorities in eastern Libya will circulate their own coins for the first time to ease shortages of money. The new coins, made in Russia, will join Russian-made paper currency that has already been issued in the eastern half of the country. Libya, once one of the richest countries in Africa, has faced a sharp decline in living standards since a 2011 NATO-backed uprising toppled dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Trump considers Fed’s Powell, economist Taylor to lead central bank

President Donald Trump is considering nominating Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor for the central bank’s top two jobs, in an apparent bid to reassure markets and appease conservatives hungry for change. Under that scenario, either Powell or Taylor would take the reins from Fed Chair Janet Yellen when her term expires in early February, and the other would fill the vice chair position left vacant when Stanley Fischer retired this month.

 

 

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Newsletter: 9th October- 15th October, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

Top 5 Gainers NSE                                                                                  Top 5 Gainers BSE

RKEC Projects Ltd. KSS Ltd. Global Offshore Financial Tech Ravi Kumar Dist   Cadsys( India) Ltd. Next Mediawoks Aarvi Encon Ltd. Oriental Trimex Sterling Bio
74.17% 50% 38.46% 37.95% 34.08%   33.79% 68.14% 29.64% 26.67% 26.09%

 

IMF favors three structural reforms in India

The IMF has suggested a three- pronged approach for structural reform in India that includes addressing the corporate and banking sector weaknesses, continued fiscal consolidation through revenue measure, and improving the efficiency of labour and product markets.

Agriculture growth likely to be above 3% in FY18: Niti Aayog member

Agricultural growth rate will be more than 3% in 2017-18, according to Ramesh Chand, a member of the government’s premier think-tank Niti Aayog. He said agricultural growth rate in 2016-17 might be revised upwards to 5% from earlier 4.1%.

Direct tax collections jump 16% to Rs 3.86 lakh core in April-September

The government’s net direct tax collections rose 15.8% to Rs 3.86 lakh crore for April-September, buoyed by healthy growth in advance tax mop-up, the finance ministry said. Personal advance tax climbed over 30%, according to provisional data. The net direct tax collections for the first six months of the financial year constituted 39.4% of the budget estimate of Rs 9.8 lakh crore, the finance ministry said.

Exports climb 25.67 per cent in Sept, imports up 18 per cent

India’s merchandise exports rose sharply in September, belying fears of a slump due to disruption and working capital issues brought on by the introduction of the goods and services tax. Exports climbed 25.67 per cent in September, exceeding an 18.1 per cent increase in imports, helping to narrow the trade deficit to $8.98 billion from $9.07 billion in September 2016.

Indo-Bhutan trade infrastructure to have large scale upgradation

To ensure seamless trade of Bhutan with India and other third parties, India is further widening its door for Bhutan. Development and upgradation of new Indo-Bhutan cross border trade routes are expected to give a quantum jump to the commercial strata of economically backward Himalayan foothills region in northern West Bengal .

BUSINESS

Banks, foreign companies face tax dept’s heat over GST credit

The tax department has sought explanations from banks and financial institutions, including multinationals, on transitional credit claimed by them in July under the goods and services tax (GST) regime, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Banks need to set aside Rs 3.3 lakh crore as NPA provisioning in FY18

Top 5 Losers NSE                                                                                    Top 5 Losers BSE

Radha Madhav TV Vision Ltd. Sri Adhikari SAB Events & Governance Now Media Ltd. Bharatiya Glo   Ashirwad Cap Radha Madhav Sri Adhikari Bharatiya Glo Suryanagri Fin
22.18% 18.40% 18.37% 18.10% 17.90%   26.92% 22.36% 18.43% 18.39% 18.37%

 

Banks are likely to need nearly Rs 3.3 lakh crore this fiscal as provisioning for large NPA accounts in the current financial year, said a Crisil report. The report said with the economic value of assets underlying NPAs eroding with time, and resolutions are hard to come by, banks would need to step up on provisioning, mainly for large corporate NPAs. It will facilitate faster clean-up of their balance sheets.

Idea shareholders okay Vodafone merger

Shareholders of Idea Cellular approved the merger of the company’s mobile business with Vodafone, with almost all of the votes going in favour of the alliance. Idea Cellular and Vodafone India have approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for a nod, which had earlier ordered the companies to get shareholder approval, before the companies go to the telecom department to get a final approval to the merger.

Flipkart all in on payments, loads $500 million in PhonePe

Online retail major Flipkart has committed $500 million to its payment arm PhonePe, as the Bengaluru-based company prepares to take on Noida-based rival Paytm, which has become the largest mobile wallet player. The first tranche of $180-200 million is expected to come in by December-January, said PhonePe’s chief executive Sameer Nigam. The newly-committed amount adds to the $75-million worth of infusion Flipkart has made in PhonePe since the acquisition.

Airtel-Tata Teleservices deal unchains the bulls

Shares of Bharti Airtel and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra), the listed unit of Tata Teleservices, surged Friday, a day after India’s biggest telco announced its decision to take over the consumer mobile business of Tata Teleservices. Bharti Airtel rose 7.9% to close at Rs 431.60 on the BSE, while those of Tata Tele (Maharashtra) shot up nearly 10% to close at Rs 4.86.

HSBC names John Flint as next chief executive

HSBC has appointed John Flint as its next chief executive the bank said, sticking with a tradition of promoting company insiders to run the firm. Flint, who currently runs HSBC’s retail and wealth management business, will start in his new role on Feb 21 2018, taking over from current chief executive Stuart Gulliver, who is retiring after seven years in the job.

Google commits $1billion to prepare modern workforce

India-born Google CEO Sundar Pichai has pledged $1 billion in new initiatives to prepare people for the next generation technology jobs. At an event in Pittsburgh, Pichai said Google will spend the money over the next five years to fund grants to non-profits globally, CNET reported.

Tesla fired hundreds of employees in past week

Luxury electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc fired about 400 employees this week, including associates, team leaders and supervisors, a former employee told Reuters. The dismissals were a result of a company-wide annual review, Tesla said in an emailed statement, without confirming the number of employees leaving the company.

Qualcomm asks China to halt manufacture, sale of iPhones

Qualcomm Inc. filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker’s biggest shot at Apple Inc. so far in a sprawling and bitter legal fight. The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world’s largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made. The product provides almost two-thirds of Apple’s revenue. Qualcomm filed the suits in a Beijing intellectual property court.

WORLD

France’s Audrey Azoulay wins vote to be next UNESCO chief

UNESCO’s executive board has chosen former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay to be the UN cultural agency’s next leader over a Qatari candidate in an unusually heated race overshadowed by Mideast tensions. The US announcement this week that it’s quitting UNESCO rocked the multi-day election and heightened concerns about the agency’s funding and future direction.

Pakistan gets its first Metro, all thanks to China

Pakistan’s first Metro train rolled into Lahore, all thanks to its growing cooperation with China under CPEC, the controversial project of China’s Belt and Road initiative. The first set of coaches and engines were showcased in Lahore under the CPEC project, which comprises a network of railways, roads and pipelines that would connect Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar in the province of Balochistan, with the Chinese city of Kashgar in landlocked Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Trump, Trudeau meet at the White House amid new NAFTA talks

President Donald Trump remained non-committal about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement as he welcomed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the White House amid simmering disputes over trade between the two North American neighbors. Trudeau joined Trump in the Oval Office at the start of a new round of talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement, which the U.S. president has threatened to withdraw from if he can’t negotiate a better agreement with Canada and Mexico.

China September FDI jumps most in over 2 years as manufacturing, hi-tech boom

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China rose the most in more than two years in September, likely boosted by strong growth in the country’s manufacturing and hi-tech sectors, the commerce ministry said on Friday. FDI rose 17.3 percent to 70.63 billion yuan ($10.73 billion) in September from a year earlier, compared with a 9.1 percent gain in August, marking its biggest percentage gain since August 2015.

Clinton attacks Trump’s handling of Iran, North Korea

Hillary Clinton says President Donald Trump’s threat to pull out of the Iran nuclear accord is “dangerous,” and she suggests her former campaign opponent is undermining the validity of the United States’ promises to other nations. Trump accused Iran of violating the landmark 2015 accord, blaming the Iranians for a litany of sinister behavior and hitting their main military wing with anti-terror penalties.

US will withdraw from UNESCO over its ‘anti-Israel bias’

The Trump administration announced that it would withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of the United States distancing itself because of what it saw as the group’s “anti-Israel bias.” “This decision was not taken lightly,” according to a State Department statement. The department also cited “the need for fundamental reform” and “mounting arrears” at the organization.

Newsletter: 2nd October- 8th October, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

Government to invest Rs 15,000 crore in ‘strategically important’ Andaman and Nicobar Islands 

Acknowledging the strategic importance of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the central government plans to invest Rs 15,000 crore for various developmental projects. Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari announced that out of this, projects worth Rs 10,000 crore have already commenced.

Government may hike import duty on wheat to 20-25 per cent 

The government is likely to raise import duty on wheat to 20-25 per cent from 10 per cent to curb cheap shipments and give positive price signal to farmers who will start sowing winter crop after the Diwali festival.

Top 5 Gainers NSE                                                                                  Top 5 Gainers SENSEX

Raj Rayon KSS Grob Tea Ramky Infra Adob Welding Tata Motors Tata Steel Reliance Sun Pharma NTPC
75% 50% 49% 46% 38% 7.7% 6.3% 6.3% 5.88% 5.89%

 

Industrial units in hills to get budgetary support: Suresh Prabhu 

The government has approved a new scheme to provide budgetary support to industrial units in hilly states including Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh under the GST regime, Union Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

DIPP notifies rules for excise-free zone scheme 

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has notified guidelines for the excise free zone scheme for eligible manufacturing units in Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and North Eastern States including Sikkim. Companies who have units operating in these states will get reimbursement of 58% on the Central Goods and Service Tax.

Winter crops at risk as muted monsoon cuts water level 

India’s winter crops may be at risk this year as insufficient showers in some key regions reduced dam levels. The country’s 91 main reservoirs held 103.43 billion cubic meters of water as of Sept. 28, down 13 per cent from the 10-year average, according to the Central Water Commission.

Digital drive gaining steam: Currency circulation declines during festive season, says RBI data 

The government’s demonetisation-led digital push may be bearing fruit. For the first time in more than a decade, the amount of currency in the hands of people has shown a contraction during the festive season, according to Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data. Currency in circulation has dipped in three weeks out of the five to September 22.

ADB $500 million funding soon for private sector infrastructure in Asia and Pacific 

Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is actively processing USD 500 million (about Rs 3,275 crore) as debt and equity funding for private infrastructure projects in countries, including India and Pakistan. Further, the ADB said it has approved two projects worth over USD 210 million in debt financing from the co-financing arm Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) in its first year of operation.

Farm loan waiver could cost the exchequer upto Rs 2.5 lakh crore or 0.5% of GDP: Crisil

If all affected states also announce farm loan waivers the Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab did, then the total cost the exchequer could be upto Rs 2.5 lakh crore or 0.5% of GDP, estimates ratings firm Crisil. Terming farm loan waivers as a “paradox” in a year of normal monsoon, Crisil said, “We estimate that if other states also announce loan waiver schemes the way Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Punjab did, the collective cost to the exchequer ~Rs 2.5 lakh crore – or 0.5% of GDP – per year, assuming the waiver gets equally staggered over three years.”

The price of basmati paddy — the premier long grain rice in its unshelled form — has increased 30-45% from last year as farmers harvest a lower output in India, the largest producer and exporter, even as demand remains steady globally. Traders expect the price to remain firm through this season. Unshelled basmati is trading between Rs 26 and 45 per kilogram in Punjab during the ongoing harvesting season.

Top 5 Losers NSE                                                                                    Top Losers SENSEX

SAB Events TV Vision Sri Adhkari Pochiraju Indus Malwa Cotton Power Grid Axis Bank TCS ICICI Hero Motor
30% 22.5% 22.4% 21.5% 21.2% 2.1% 1.4% 1.34% 1.2% 1.09%

 

6,000 companies with ‘withdrawal syndrome’ post demonetisation under government scanner 

The government said about 6,000 companies had been caught in what looked like attempts to launder money in the wake of demonetisation, calling it the “tip of the iceberg,” making it clear that more such wrongdoing would soon be unearthed. “This data is only 2.5% of the total number of suspect companies that have been struck off by the government,” the corporate affairs ministry said in a press release.

Forex reserves dip by USD 2.59 billion to USD 399.66 billion

The country’s foreign exchange reserves fell by USD 2.590 billion to USD 399.656 billion in the week ended September 29 due to decline in foreign currency assets, RBI data showed. In the previous week, the reserves decreased by USD 262.3 million to USD 402.246 billion, after touching a lifetime high of USD 402.509 billion in the week to September 15.

BUSINESS

Apple names former Honeywell exec as new general counsel 

Apple Inc said its general counsel, Bruce Sewell, will retire and be succeeded by former Honeywell International Inc executive Katherine Adams, who will take over Apple’s multinational legal battle against Qualcomm Inc. Adams, who will also be senior vice president of legal and global security, will report to Chief Executive Tim Cook, the company said.

Amazon testing its own delivery service to rival FedEx, UPS 

Amazon.com Inc is experimenting with a new delivery service intended to make more products available for free two-day delivery and relieve overcrowding in its warehouses, which will push the online retailer deeper into functions handled by long time partners United Parcel Service Inc and FedEx Corp.

Bain aims to list Toshiba chip unit in 3 year 

US private equity firm Bain Capital LP said it aims to list Toshiba Corp’s chip unit on the Tokyo Stock Exchange within three years, to cash in its investment after leading an $18 billion acquisition of the business. Bain, whose consortium signed the purchase deal last week, also said it hopes to settle legal disputes over the transaction at an early stage with Western Digital Corp, Toshiba’s joint venture partner.

Uber board trims power of former chief Travis Kalanick 

Uber’s board of directors approved a plan that reins in the influence of ousted CEO Travis Kalanick and opens the door to a colossal investment by Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank. The proposal adopted by Uber’s board also promised to put an end to in-fighting between Kalanick supporters and investors who suspected the cofounder was plotting a wily return to the head of the company.

Berkshire Hathaway buys stake in Pilot Flying J 

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc bought a stake in Pilot Travel Centers LLC, owner of the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain, and detailed plans to become the company’s biggest shareholder in six years. Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire 38.6 per cent of Pilot Flying J, a closely held company based in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Pakistan International Airlines to discontinue flights to US from October 31 

Citing huge losses, flagship carrier Pakistan International Airlines will be discontinuing flights to the US from October 31, airline officials said. According to the officials, PIA had been incurring losses of up to Rs 1.25 billion annually due to its US operations — a concern which prompted the management to discontinue the flights, Geo News reported.

Manufacturing jobs coming back to US: Donald Trump 

The manufacturing jobs are coming back to America, President Donald Trump has said, asserting that his administration has already created tens of thousands of new jobs and is working to improve US’ business climate. Proclaiming October 6 as the national day of manufacturing, Trump said American manufacturers were consistently finding new ways to incorporate advanced technology into the traditional assembly line to produce previously unfathomable breakthroughs in areas like aerospace.

WORLD

 

CPEC is a development and connectivity project: Pakistan 

Pakistan said that the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is for development and it aims at the betterment of the people in the region. The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southern Pakistan, and the Gwadar Port, to China’s restive Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde asks world to seize opportunity of global recovery 

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that the long-awaited global recovery is taking root and asked the global community to seize this opportunity of the upswing to create a more inclusive economy that works for all. Referring to IMF research which has shown that reforms are more potent and easier to implement when economies are healthier, Lagarde said that the international community needs to use this time frame to lift incomes, create jobs, invest in people’s futures.

Birth control: Trump expands opt-out for workplace insurance 

President Donald Trump is allowing more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections, issuing new rules that take another step in rolling back the Obama health care law. The new policy is a long-expected revision to federal rules that require most companies to cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost. Preventive services are supposed to be free of charge to employees and their dependent.

Donald Trump may ‘decertify’ landmark Iran nuclear deal: Reports 

President Donald Trump is planning to decertify the landmark Iran nuclear pact negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama, paving the way for potentially reopening sanctions, two leading US dailies said. Trump will argue that the agreement is not in the interest of the United States, the Washington Post reported.

China says it’s not thrusting Belt and Road 

China has played down the US criticism of the Belt and Road project, especially the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor artery, and denied that Beijing is trying to foist the project. The Chinese Foreign Ministry told IANS that the CPEC, which goes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir that is claimed by India, was an economic project that does not target New Delhi.

US severe poverty worsens in 2016: Study 
A study has shown that severe poverty in the US has worsened in 2016, rising to almost half of all those living in poverty. Severe poverty, which is defined as those with income below half of the poverty level, makes up 45.6 per cent of all those impoverished population, the highest point in 20 years, the study by the Pew Research Centre revealed.

Theresa May under fresh pressure to step down as British PM

Theresa May has come under fresh pressure from within her own party to step down as British prime minister as it emerged today that a former Conservative party chairman is leading an attempted coup against her. Grant Shapps, co-chair of Britain’s ruling Tory party between 2012 and 2015, claims having the backing of nearly 30 party MPs including former Cabinet ministers.

 

Newsletter: 25th September- 1st October, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

Top 5 Gainers NSE                                                                                  Top 5 Gainers BSE

Jindal Cotex Premier Poly Orient Press Panama Petro Radha Madhav Premier Poly Orient Press RSD Finance Ltd. Panama Petro Radha Madhav
2296% 85.01% 68.70% 42.73% 34.64% 80.97% 68.14% 62.15% 42.00% 34.81%

 

Government to build agri-value chain in Public Private Partnership mode

The government is building agri-value system in collaboration with private players to transform agriculture sector from pure production system into an agri-business. Producers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, storehouses and packaging houses representing private sector can come forward and partner with government at district level thereby taking the responsibility for building a value chain system.

Forex reserves drop by $262.3 million to $402.246 billion

After touching a record high, the foreign exchange reserves declined marginally by USD 262.3 million to USD 402.246 billion in the week to September 22, due to fall in foreign currency assets, the RBI data showed. In the previous week, the reserves had touched a life time high of USD 402.509 billion after rising by USD 1.782 billion.

Profitability of telcos to fall in FY18, says ICRA

Pricing pressure in India’s telecom sector will lead to a decline in profitability this financial year and a recovery is still a few quarters away, rating company ICRA said. A weak first half has led to high credit risk, with pockets of stressed debt that may require inorganic funding, said analysts of ICRA. Capital expenditure for the sector will remain upwards of Rs 50,000 crore a year, said the company owned by Moody’s Investors Service.

Total taxpayers up at 6.26 crore in FY17 from 4.72 crore in FY13: Arun Jaitley

Net collections till Sept 18 of this fiscal grew 15.7% to Rs 3.7 L crore, says Jaitley. The number of taxpayers rose to 6.26 crore in 2016-17 from 4.72 crore in 2012-13. Some parliamentarians suggested that more searches be conducted against black money holders since many people are still transacting in black money, according to a finance ministry statement.

Fiscal deficit hits 96.1% but Modi govt confident of meeting target

India’s fiscal deficit touched 96.1% of the Budget estimate for FY18 at the end of August as the government kept its foot on the spending pedal to support the economy while revenues came in at their usual modest pace in the opening months of the financial year. The April-August fiscal deficit is substantially higher than 76.4% for the year-earlier period, data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) showed.

India jumps to 14th rank as best country for expats: HSBC

India leapt up the global rankings by 12 places to take the 14th spot in terms of best country for expats to live and work in, says a HSBC survey. “Driven by strong ratings across a range of economic, experience and family measures, India shines in this year’s league table, moving up 12 places since 2016 (to rank 14 as overall best country for expats),” HSBC said.

BUSINESS

DLF gets shareholder nod for promoters’ Rs 12,000 crore stake sale

Realty major DLF said its shareholders have approved the promoters’ decision to sell their entire 40 per cent stake in the rental arm for Rs 11,900 crore. This deal, the biggest in the country’s realty space, included sale of 33.34 per cent stake in DLF Cyber City Developers Ltd (DCCDL) to Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC for Rs 8,900 crore and a buyback of the remaining shares worth Rs 3,000 crore by DCCDL.

Alstom, Siemens rail merger to create new European behemoth

German industrial group Siemens AG and French rival Alstom SA agreed to merge their rail operations, creating a European champion to better withstand the international advance of China’s state-owned CRRC Corp Ltd. Siemens will own 50 percent plus a few shares of the joint venture, to be called Siemens Alstom, while Alstom will supply Henri Poupart-Lafarge as chief executive, helping to counter criticism that France is giving up control of another national industrial icon.

Merger with Idea on track for completion in 2018: Vodafone CEO

Top 5 Losers NSE                                                                                    Top 5 Losers BSE

SAB Events & Governance Adunik Industries Easun Reyrolle TV Vision Ltd Sri Adhikari SAB Events & Governance Adhunik Industries Nihar Info Glob Sunstar Realty Bharati Ship
37.07% 30.65% 19.82% 19.59% 18.48% 34.89% 30.59% 29.82% 26.63% 18.50%

 

Vodafone India MD and CEO Sunil Sood said that process of merger with Idea Cellular is “going ahead of schedule”. “There are three stages, first is CCI, second is Sebi, and third is NCLT and DoT, we’re on track for all three. By the end of 2018 merger is expected to complete,” added the MD. The $23 billion merger — announced on March 20 — if completed will create India’s largest telecom firm, which will be better placed to take on the threat posed by Reliance Infocomm.

US fines HSBC $175 million for lax forex oversight

The US central bank has fined global banking giant HSBC $175 million for failing to oversee foreign exchange traders who misused confidential client information and colluded with traders at competing banks. Between 2008 and 2013, the bank failed to detect misconduct by senior traders, including its global head of foreign exchange cash trading, according the Federal Reserve.

Citigroup to settle dispute with Lehman Brothers for $1.74 billion: Report

Citigroup Inc and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc resolved a fight over $2.1 billion that dates to the financial crisis era after Citigroup agreed to give back $1.74 billion to the estate of the investment bank, according to Bloomberg. Citigroup had kept about $2.1 billion that Lehman had on deposit with it for trades following the Lehman bankruptcy. The dispute arose because Citigroup said it was owed $2 billion as a result of Lehman’s bankruptcy, while Lehman argued that the money should go to its creditors

SoftBank plots seals to build $300 billion asset-management arm

The Japanese firm is eyeing further acquisitions in the financial sector in order to potentially create a $300 billion asset management arm that would also house its $93 billion Vision Fund for technology investments. SoftBank agreed to acquire alternative-asset manager Fortress Investment Group LLC for $3.3 billion in February. Since then, SoftBank executives have discussed various investments in the financial sector, from acquiring traditional investment firms to more surprising moves including stakes in major private equity shops such as KKR & Co.

WORLD

Global Tea production to see a decline in 2017

Global tea production is likely to record a decline in calendar 2017, primarily on the back of crop losses in Kenya, which accounts for around 16% of the total black tea production globally. Given Kenya’s status as one of the world’s largest exporters of black tea, production levels from the country are likely to have a considerable impact on global demand-supply dynamics for the year, according ICRA.

WTO warns of global ramifications of local labour policies shortcoming

In its World Trade Report 2017, the organisation said: “Today’s labour market problems are largely traceable to domestic policy shortcomings, but a failure to find answers could have global ramifications.” The fact that some countries seem to be adapting to technological change and globalization better than others, by reducing obstacles to labour mobility suggests that government policy can play an important role in helping economies and societies to adjust to a changing world, it said.

UK annual GDP growth revised down for Q2, July services weak

Britain’s economy recorded its weakest year-on-year growth since 2013 in the three months to the end of June, and the major services sector contracted in July, showing a possible loss of momentum as the Bank of England prepares to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade. Official data showed year-on-year gross domestic product growth slowed to 1.5 percent in the second quarter from 1.8 percent in the first three months of the year.

Air Berlin races to clinch deal with Lufthansa, easyJet

Insolvent German airline Air Berlin hopes to conclude talks with Lufthansa and easyJet on a carve-up of its assets by the middle of next month as it races to secure jobs and keep flying. Air Berlin, which has around 8,000 employees, filed for insolvency in August after major shareholder Etihad said it would stop providing funding. The German government stepped in with a 150 million euro ($178 million) loan, due to last until the end of October, to prevent the airline being grounded.

Trump blames Puerto Ricans for slow hurricane response

U.S. President Donald Trump placed blame squarely on Puerto Ricans for the slow recovery from Hurricane Maria after critics and the mayor of San Juan complained his administration’s response to the U.S. territory’s plight was insufficient. 11days after the devastating storm wiped out power, water and communications systems, more than half of the 3.4 million people on the island do not have access to drinking water, and 95 percent remain without power, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

Japan PM Shinzo Abe dissolves lower house, calls snap election

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the lower house of parliament today, paving the way for a snap election that is expected to be held October 22. Abe is widely seen as trying to reconsolidate his grip on power within the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party, so he can extend the term of his premiership next year. The dissolution of the more powerful of Japan’s two-chamber parliament comes more than a year before required by law.

Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive, in historic decision

Saudi King Salman on Tuesday ordered that women be allowed to drive from next June, in a historic decision that makes the ultra-conservative kingdom the last country in the world to permit women behind the wheel. The longstanding driving ban was seen globally as a symbol of repression of women in the Gulf kingdom and comes after a years-long resistance from female activists.

Angela Merkel wins 4th term but nationalists surge in German vote

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a fourth term, but now faces the tricky prospect of forming a coalition with two disparate new partners after voters weakened her conservatives and a nationalist, anti-migrant party surged into parliament. “We have a mandate to form a new government, and no government can be formed against us,” Merkel told cheering supporters. She added that it wasn’t a “matter of course” to finish first after 12 years in power, and that the past four years were “extremely challenging.”

Newsletter: 3rd – 9th July 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

Foreign exchange reserves go up $4 billion, reach a record high

India’s foreign exchange reserves rose $4billion to reach a record high of $386.5 billion for the week ended June 30, said the Reserve Bank of India on Friday. This comes on the back of a continuing rise in forex reserves as the RBI is reported to be mopping up dollar reserves, utilising the suitable market conditions.

Government likely to pump more money into PSU banks

The government is likely to infuse more money in state-run banks amid crackdown on bad loans and increasing capital needs under Basel III guidelines. The exact amount will be decided after the first quarter results of banks are available, a senior finance ministry official said.

Net income tax collection rises 14.8 per cent to Rs 1.42 lakh crore in Q1

Net direct tax collection grew by 14.8 per cent to Rs 1.42 lakh crore at the end of first quarter on account of surge in advance tax payments. During April-June, the revenue department also issued refunds to the tune of Rs 55,520 crore. This was, however, 5.2 per cent lower than the refunds issued during the corresponding period last fiscal.

June services PMI soars to eight-month high on new orders

Activity in India’s services sector expanded at its fastest pace in eight months in June, as new business orders surged and demand improved, a private survey showed. The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) rose to 53.1 in June from 52.2 in May. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Indian ‘shadow economy’ to shrink to 13.6 per cent of GDP by 2025: ACCA

The “shadow economy” in India will shrink to 13.6 per cent of the GDP by 2025, a study by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) said. Shadow economy refers to the production of and trade in goods and services that are deliberately and often illegally concealed from public authorities. The shadow economy in India currently represents 17.22 per cent of GDP, totalling about Rs 26,15,800 crore in 2016.

BUSINESS

IDFC, Shriram Group enter 90-day exclusive talks for $10 billion mega merger

Even as IDFC and Shriram Group readied for a mega merger to create a large finance behemoth, the two groups received verbal clearance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to go ahead with the deal, Cogencies reported. IDFC and Shriram Group announced brief contours of the merger to create a $10 billion conglomerate.

Cash-strapped Venezuela offers India’s ONGC oil stake

Cash-hungry Venezuela has offered Indian oil firm ONGC Videsh an increased stake in an oil field, as the country seeks to shore up its bruised energy industry and strengthen ties with New Delhi. State oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has proposed selling a 9 percent stake in the San Cristobal field to ONGC Videsh (OVL), a subsidiary of India’s state-owned top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp.

LIC picks over 3% additional stake in Bank of India for Rs 451 crore

Insurance behemoth LIC has bought an additional stake of over 3 per cent in public sector Bank of India for about Rs 450.88 crore. The Bank of India sold 33,500,000 shares equivalent to over 3.12 per cent equity to LIC through an open market purchase on a preference shares allotment on June 28, 2017, as per bank’s regulatory filing.

Interested only in international biz of Air India: IndiGo

Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, founders of IndiGo, clarified Thursday that their primary interest in Air India is in the carrier’s international operations that include the lowcost Air India Express, and that they are not keen to partner the state in a joint venture for the flagship airline. Gangwal cited the example of United Airlines buying PanAm’s international operations and, later, its London routes.

NMCE, ICEX to merge creating 3rd biggest commodity exchange

National Multi Commodity Exchange (NMCE) will merge with Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) creating the country’s third biggest commodity exchange, they said in a statement. The ICEX will hold a 62.8 per cent stake in the merged entity, while NMCE shareholders will own the rest, the companies said.

Tatas, Bharti on a call to explore joint front in telecom and DTH

The Tata Group and Bharti Enterprises have held exploratory talks to evaluate a mega alliance involving their telecom, overseas cable and enterprise services, and direct-to-home TV businesses. Discussions between both sides have revolved around a possible merger between unlisted Tata Teleservices and Tata Sky and the listed Tata Communications with the Sunil Mittal-owned Bharti Airtel, which includes its wholly owned DTH arm.

Reliance Jio may disrupt the market again with a Rs 500 4G VoLTE handset

Reliance Jio is likely to launch its much-awaited 4G VoLTE feature phone within this month, with brokerage HSBC putting the price at as low as Rs 500, a move which could bring in another wave of disruption in the telecom market. The launch could be announced at parent Reliance Industries’ annual general meeting on July 21— would follow Jio’s likely announcement of a new tariff plan with aggressive price-points over the next couple of days with its 84-day Dhan Dhan offer- announced on April 11- drawing to a close.

Microsoft CIO Jim DuBois quits amid layoffs

With Microsoft announcing job cuts as part of reorganising its global sales staff, the company’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jim DuBois has decided to move on, the media reported. Named CIO in 2013, DuBois had been with Microsoft since 1993 where he worked in several roles mostly focused to information technology. Senior Microsoft employee Kurt DelBene will replace DuBois as Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

Chairman of struggling Ericsson Leif Johansson to stand down

Leif Johansson, chairman of Sweden’s Ericsson, plans to quit before the company’s annual meeting in 2018 as the struggling mobile equipment firm tries to restore profitability. Cheaper Chinese rivals have ousted Ericsson as the biggest player in the mobile equipment market while its attempt to boost revenues by broadening its client base to include utilities, transport firms and media companies has been an expensive failure.

Axis Bank emerges the frontrunner to acquire FreeCharge

Axis Bank, India’s third-largest private sector lender, has emerged the frontrunner to acquire FreeCharge, the digital payments platform owned by troubled ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal. The payments unit has been seeking a buyer for several months now, even as its parent negotiates the terms for its own sale. Axis Bank is currently conducting due diligence on FreeCharge and could deliver a payout of up to $100 million to cash-starved Snapdeal.

Lenskart to launch IPO in 3 years, eyes Rs 600 crore business in 2017-18

Online eyewear firm Lenskart plans to launch its initial public offer within next three years to create value and provide an exit option to existing shareholders.

WORLD

Federal Reserve sees steady economy, only ‘moderate’ financial vulnerabilities

The U.S. economy continues to churn out jobs and grow at a steady pace, with investment and consumer confidence both healthy and only moderate signs of risk in financial markets, the U.S. Federal Reserve said in its semiannual report to Congress. The report gave detailed attention to whether the financial system and bond markets posed any particular threat to the country’s eight-year economic expansion.

Rupee devaluation in Pakistan? Currency drops most in 9 years

Pakistan’s rupee plunged the most in nine years, after the central bank was said to have devalued the currency as South Asia’s second largest economy showed signs of stress ahead of elections next year. The rupee fell 3.1 per cent to 108.1 against the dollar at 2:29 p.m. local time on Wednesday, the lowest level since December 2013.

Big banks fail to clear climate test

The world’s biggest banks are continuing to fuel climate change through the financing of “extreme” fossil fuels at a rate that will push the planet beyond the climate change limit agreed upon at the Paris Climate Change Conference in 2015. In the three years ending December 31, 2016, as many as 37 international banks financed 158 companies $290 billion for their “extreme” fossil fuel activities, said the Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2017.

Donald Trump pledges $639 mn in aid to four countries at G20 summit

U.S. President Donald Trump promised $639 million in aid to feed people left starving because of drought and conflict in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen. Trump’s pledge came during a working session of the G20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, providing a “godsend” to the United Nations’ World Food Programme, the group’s executive director, David Beasley, told Reuters.

Donald Trump wins key climate, trade concessions at stormy G20

Trump won key concessions on climate and trade from world leaders at the most fractious G20 summit to date, in exchange for preserving the unity of the club of major industrialised and emerging economies. In a final statement agreed by all 20 economies, they acknowledged Trump’s decision to go his own way on taking the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

Qatar bans residents, citizens from leaving the country as Saudi deadline nears

After Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar for its support to terror networks, the Qatari government is struggling to tackle the blockade on the country which threatens to disrupt its economy. It has banned its citizens and residents from leaving the country. The ban is part of several drastic measures taken by the government to save its economy.

Newsletter: 5th March – 11th March, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

Karnataka may build new city to decongest Bengaluru 

Call it an over-ambitious or non-implementable project, the Karnataka government is thinking of developing a new city in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) to decongest Bengaluru. The plan is to relocate at least 20 lakh of the state capital’s population to the new city. Urban development minister R Roshan Baig that the city will be developed on 11,000 acres of abandoned mining land in Kolar Gold Fields (KGF), around 100 km from Bengaluru.

IIP bounces back in January, expands by 2.7% 

Industrial production bounced back in January expanding by 2.7 per cent year-on-year mainly due to better performance by the capital goods segment, a barometer of investment activities. The factory output, measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had contracted by 0.1 per cent in December on account of cash crunch following demonetisation of high value currency notes.  Continue reading “Newsletter: 5th March – 11th March, 2017”

FinTech in India – The Road Ahead

Over the last few years, the way payment is done in India is similar to way it occurs in global markets with a small time lag. India now represents one of the largest market opportunities for payments. With a population of over 125crs being pushed to go digital, India is poised to make the most of digital developments transforming the payments space. Continue reading “FinTech in India – The Road Ahead”

Newsletter: 26th February – 4th March, 2017

INDIAN ECONOMY

Goldman Sachs expects IT sector growth to slow down 

Goldman Sachs said it expects India’s technology industry to witness a slowdown going ahead due to cloud computing, rising protectionism and weak exposure to high-end businesses. The revenue of top five Indian IT services companies is likely to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% against the 11% they saw during the FY11-FY16 period.

Digital payments slump in February as cash flow eases 

According to data released by the Reserve Bank of India on electronic payments for February, card payments on point of sale devices fell 28.2% over January. Unified Payments Interface (UPI) declined 9.5% while that of Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) hosted by National Payments Corporation of India slid 12.5%. However the data is for 28 days of February against 31 days of January.

Impact of demonetisation showing to be transient: Naushad Forbes on the recent GDP figure 

With GDP growth rate at 7%, the impact of demonetisation is showing to be transient, Naushad Forbes, president, Confederation of Indian Industry, CII, said. “The impact of demonetisation is showing to be transient and we are likely to reach higher growth levels in the coming quarters. Most large businesses have made efforts to integrate their supply chains into cashless payment systems and this will soon yield benefits in terms of higher efficiency and productivity of the economy,” Forbes said.

States’ fiscal deficit will rise to 3.3% in 2017-18: India Ratings 

Even as the centre has managed to contain its fiscal deficit, state governments still remain profligate. A report by ratings firm India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) estimates that aggregate fiscal deficit of Indian states will increase marginally to 3.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY’18 from its forecast of 3.2% for FY;17. It expects states’ debt/GDP ratio may increase marginally to 24.3% in FY’18 from 24% forecasted for FY’17.

India should cut corporate tax, go for inheritance levy: OECD 

India should bring down corporate tax rate to 25 per cent, introduce inheritance tax and provide certainty in rules, global think-tank OECD said today, taking the line that demonetisation will benefit the economy in the long run. In its Economic Survey of India, the OECD said comprehensive tax reforms, especially the goods and services tax, “would lift all boats” and raise revenue helping the government effectively deal with high poverty rate.

Services rebound after four months, PMI rises to 50.3 in February 

India’s services activity bounced back into expansion mode for the first time in four months in February, a private business survey showed on Friday, providing further evidence that the effects of demonetisation may be fading. The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 50.3 in February from 48.7 in January, marginally above the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction. The PMI manufacturing survey had showed a similar recovery.

GDP growth rate plays down note ban worry, 7% growth recorded in Q3 

India seems to have braved the effects of demonetisation with the economy growing at an unexpectedly robust 7% in what was deemed to be the worst hit October-December quarter. It’s now forecast to achieve 7.1% growth in the year to March. Going by these projections, India will retain its tag of being the fastest-growing major global economy that it was at risk of surrendering to China going by some estimates.

BUSINESS

IDBI Bank freezes lending & branch expansion plans 

The government-owned IDBI Bank has decided to freeze lending and branch expansion plans after it posted a historic loss of Rs 2,255 crore in the third quarter in an effort to conserve capital, a buffer that banks keep as a cushion against loan defaults. Instead, it has decided to focus on bad loan recoveries which are almost a fifth of its loan book.

ONGC may acquire HPCL in $6.6 billion deal 

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) may acquire India’s third-biggest fuel retailer HPCL in an about Rs 44,000 crore (USD 6.6 billion) deal as part of the government’s plan to create an integrated oil giant. Following up on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget announcement of creating an integrated oil company, India’s biggest oil and gas producer ONGC may buy all of the government’s 51.11 per cent stake in HPCL.

Finance ministry official Ajay Tyagi to take charge of Sebi 

Finance ministry official Ajay Tyagi takes over as Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman with two likely priorities – developing the country’s commodity and corporate bond markets and shoring up corporate governance. Tyagi will also inherit from outgoing SEBI Chairman UK Sinha critical regulatory decisions, including whether to penalise National Stock Exchange, over potential trading violations and whether to adopt tougher rules against high frequency traders.

Axis, ICICI Bank bring back cash charges, HDFC Bank hikes fee

Private sector banks such as Axis Bank and ICICI Bank restored their charges on cash transactions to discourage use or hard currency for business, which were suspended after the government demonetised high-value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 last November. While Axis Bank and ICICI Bank returned to their pre-demonetisation charges, HDFC Bank has increased some fees.

Big leap for Snap as messaging app debuts on Wall Street 

Snapchat owner Snap Inc rode a wave of euphoria in its Wall Street debut Thursday as investors sent shares of the popular messaging app soaring. Snap jumped 44 per cent to close at $24.48 in its inaugural trading day, after raising $3.4 billion in the richest US tech company listing since Facebook in 2012.

Saudi Arabia is all set for the world’s biggest IPO 

Saudi Arabia is going to break a Chinese record. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, a Chinese Internet retailer, raised $25 billion in 2014, which made it the biggest IPO of the world. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, is preparing for an IPO next year that would beat Alibaba’s record. he share sale would be worth $100 billion, four times the world’s biggest IPO of Alibaba. The share sale will value the company at $2 trillion.

Asian currencies hit by heightened prospects of Fed rate hike 

Most emerging Asian currencies fell against the dollar on Friday and were also on track for weekly losses, pressured by growing expectations for a US Federal Reserve interest rate hike this month. Leading the losses were the South Korean won and the Taiwan dollar, the two emerging Asian currencies that have seen the biggest gains against the greenback so far in 2017.

Tata, Docomo agree to settle $1.17-billion payment dispute 

Tata Sons and NTT Docomo proposed aresolution to the Delhi High Court on settling a dispute over the $1.17 billion due to the Japanese telco for exiting their joint venture, Tata Teleservices, ending two years of public acrimony. The two sides, which filed a joint petition in the court on Tuesday, said they will not oppose RBI’s intervention in the matter, leaving the resolution in the hands of the court.

Tata Global Beverages and Keurig announce multi-year expansion 

Tata Global Beverages and Keurig Green Mountain, Inc announced a multi-year expansion of their successful partnership for the manufacturing, sales, licensing and distribution of the Eight O’Clock coffee and Tetley tea brands in K-Cup pods for use in Keurig brewers. The renewed long-term agreement allows for the continued success for the brands through in-home and away-from-home channels, as well as on Keurig’s consumer direct websites, throughout the US and Canada.

Nestle, Coca-Cola to end tea joint venture: Nestle 

Nestle and The Coca-Cola Company have agreed to dissolve their tea joint venture Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW) as of the start of 2018, Nestle announced.  Created in 2001, BPW offers ready-to drink tea, in particular Nestea, in Canada and Europe. “The ready-to-drink tea market has evolved, and Nestle believes the time is right to develop Nestea independently,” it said in a statement.

Hershey expects to cut 15 per cent of global workforce 

Hershey Co. says it expects to cut its global workforce by about 15 per cent, with the layoffs coming mostly from hourly employees outside the United States. The Pennsylvania-based chocolate company also lowered its forecast for long-term sales growth to between 2 and 4 per cent, down from the previous 3 to 5 percent.

WORLD

China will allow more IPOs to lure capital 

China will allow more companies to list on its stock market to boost support for its economy, the nation’s top securities regulator said, dismissing concerns that more supplies of shares can depress the market. The capital market’s recovery from a 2015 rout has been stronger than expected and is now ready for “appropriately” larger supplies of initial public offerings, China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Liu Shiyu said.

With rocketing population, Pakistan to conduct first census in 19 years 

Fast-growing Pakistan will conduct its first census in 19 years in March, the statistics bureau said, hoping to end years of wrangling by politicians concerned about how a survey would affect the makeup of their local electorates. Changes could be significant in a country where 60 per cent of the population is under the age of 30. In 2015, the World Bank estimated Pakistan’s population at 188.9 million but the country still uses the official 1998 figure of 134.7 million.

Trump’s office on immigrant crime is dramatic overhaul 

President Donald Trump is spotlighting violence committed by immigrants, announcing the creation of a national office that can assist American victims of such crimes. He said during his address that the Homeland Security Department’s Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement office will provide a voice for people ignored by the media and “silenced by special interests.”

Janet Yellen points to March rate hike and confidence of more this year 

The Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates this month and is on track to lift them further later this year, Fed Chair Janet Yellen signalled, evidence the fears that forced the Fed to keep borrowing costs near zero for so many years are firmly on the wane. Yellen’s strongly worded message barely budged markets, which had reset earlier this week to price in a March rate hike after several of Yellen’s colleagues in recent days also put a rise at the next rate-setting meeting firmly in view.

China dismisses speculation over mega stimulus package to spur economy 

China will not resort to heavy stimulus package to halt slowdown of its economy, a planning body official said, dismissing concerns over reports of $6.54 billion fixed-asset investments plans for this year. “Instead, China will focus on supply-side reform for a modest expansion of aggregate demand,” Li Pumin, secretary general of the National Development and Reform Commission, told media answering a question on whether China would roll out a major stimulus plan like in 2008.

Budget 2017

With the recent uproar on Demonetization and restructuring in the political frameworks of the Indian administration, the economy was waiting with bated breath for the Union Budget 2017-2018 to be unveiled. During his Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, spoke at length about certain primary areas of concern and they were:

  • Farming sector
  • Rural Population
  • Youth
  • The poor and the underprivileged
  • Infrastructure
  • Financial structure for stronger institutions
  • Digital Economy
  • Public services
  • Prudent fiscal management
  • Tax administration

Continue reading “Budget 2017”