12 December 2023 : Important Financial News in India


Source: Economic Times, “Today’s ePaper”
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Table of Contents

RIL, Disney Ready Term Sheet to Merge India Ops

In simple terms, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Walt Disney Co. are working on a preliminary agreement to combine their media and entertainment operations in India. This partnership aims to strengthen their position in the Indian market by merging their resources and expertise.

Apex Court Backs Centre’s Decision to Abrogate Art 370

The Supreme Court of India has upheld the government’s decision to remove Article 370 from the Indian Constitution. This article previously granted special status to the region of Jammu and Kashmir. The court’s decision confirms the government’s authority to make this change.

BBC World India to Rejig Shareholding

BBC World Service India is changing its shareholding structure to comply with India’s foreign direct investment regulations. These regulations limit foreign ownership in digital news companies to 26%, and BBC World Service India is adjusting its ownership to adhere to this rule.

SC asks EC to Hold J&K Elections by September 30

India’s Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission to organise elections in Jammu and Kashmir by September 30, 2024. The Court emphasised that elections should not be delayed until the state’s status is restored.

Parliament Okays Reorganisation & Reservation Bills

The Indian Parliament, specifically the Rajya Sabha, has unanimously approved two important bills related to Jammu and Kashmir. These bills focus on reservation amendments and reorganisation within the region, following their passage in the Lok Sabha.

FBI, CBI Chiefs Discuss Exchange of Info

Leaders of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have discussed improving coordination in fighting international crimes. This includes addressing extremism and other transnational criminal activities.

ED Set to Tighten its Noose Around Vadra’s Alleged Associate Nagar

India’s Enforcement Directorate is intensifying its investigation into Mahesh Nagar, an associate of Robert Vadra, in connection with a land purchase scandal. This action indicates a tightening of scrutiny on financial irregularities.

JNU Bans Protests on Campus, Students May Face Expulsion

Jawaharlal Nehru University has reinstated strict rules against protests and other forms of student dissent on campus. Students who violate these rules risk severe penalties, including expulsion, indicating a clampdown on campus activism.

Mirae Asset Acquires Sharekhan for ₹3kcr

Mirae Asset, a South Korean financial group, has purchased the Indian retail broking unit Sharekhan from BNP Paribas for ₹3,000 crore. This acquisition reflects Mirae Asset’s expansion and investment in the Indian financial market.

Latest COP28 Draft Document Omits ‘Fossil Fuel Phase Out’

During the climate talks in Dubai, the latest COP28 draft document did not include a commitment to phasing out fossil fuels. However, it suggests the possibility of countries agreeing to reduce fossil fuel production and consumption for the first time in UN climate conference history.

Onion Production to be Lower, Govt to Procure Additional 2 L tonne

The Indian government anticipates a decrease in onion production and plans to procure an additional 2 lakh tonnes to stabilise prices. This measure is aimed at managing supply and maintaining affordability of this essential kitchen commodity.

‘India’s Bio-economy Grew 8 Times in 8 Years’

India’s bio-economy, which includes biotechnology and related sectors, has significantly expanded, growing from $10 billion to $80 billion in eight years. This growth suggests a strong foundation for future medical treatments and innovations.

SpiceJet Board to Discuss Fundraising Plans Today

SpiceJet’s board is discussing plans to raise funds. This is part of the airline’s strategy to address its financial crisis and ensure operational sustainability.

‘53% Home Loan Demand from Millennials, Gen Z’

A significant portion of home loan demands in India comes from younger generations, with Millennials and Gen Z making up 53% of the total demand. This trend indicates a shift in real estate market dynamics, driven by younger homebuyers.

Tata Power, IOC Tie Up for EV Charging Points

Tata Power and India Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) have partnered to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across India. This collaboration represents a significant step in expanding EV infrastructure in the country.

ONDC must Fix Liability: Consumer Affairs Secy

India’s Consumer Affairs Secretary has emphasized the need for the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to address liability issues to ensure satisfactory consumer services. ONDC, a government initiative, aims to help small retailers benefit from digital commerce, but consumer protection remains a key concern.

Dixon Arm Wins Deal to Make IT Hardware for Lenovo in India

Dixon Technologies’ subsidiary, Padget Electronics, has secured a contract with Lenovo for manufacturing IT hardware in India. This deal is part of the government’s production-linked incentive scheme, aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing in the technology sector.

Vivo India Posts ₹123-cr Loss in FY22 Despite Increase in Sales

Vivo Mobile India reported a loss of ₹123 crore in fiscal year 2022, despite an increase in sales. This loss, amidst ongoing investigations into its financial practices, highlights challenges faced by the company in the Indian market.

‘Top NSE Firms have only 10% Women in Exec Director Roles’

An analysis reveals that only 10% of executive director positions in top NSE-listed companies in India are held by women. This statistic points to a gender disparity in leadership roles, despite ongoing efforts to improve diversity in corporate India.

Sahasra to Invest ₹350 cr to Step up Semicon Packaging

Sahasra Electronics plans to invest ₹350 crore to enhance semiconductor packaging and manufacturing under India’s ‘Make in India’ program. This investment signifies the company’s commitment to bolstering India’s growing semiconductor industry.

Spending on Mobile Services Nearly Doubles Sequentially in Q1 as Users Upgrade to 4G, 5G

Spending on mobile services in India has almost doubled, driven by users upgrading to 4G and 5G networks. This increase reflects the country’s rapid adoption of advanced mobile technologies and growing digital connectivity.

India says Laptop, PC Import Curbs for National Security

India informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that restrictions on importing laptops and PCs aim to safeguard national security and prevent deceptive practices, underscoring the government’s focus on digital security and data integrity.

Startups Find Meat in Millets, Gear Up to Meet Global Demand

Indian startups are tapping into the global demand for millet-based products, offering gluten-free and vegan options. A bakery in Jodhpur exporting millet cakes and cookies exemplifies this trend towards health-conscious and sustainable food choices.

Centre Defers Target to Halve Road Mishaps by Six Years: Gadkari

India’s plan to reduce road accidents by half has been deferred by six years to 2030. This decision, announced by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, indicates a recalibration of the country’s road safety strategy.

Sparkle Back as Polished Diamond Prices Rise 10%

Prices for cut and polished diamonds in India have increased by up to 10%. This rise in price is attributed to strategies like inventory clearing and halting rough diamond imports, balancing demand and fostering industry growth.

Cognizant Plans to Sell Office Assets in Hyd, B’luru

Cognizant Technologies intends to sell its office properties in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. This strategy aims to make the company more agile and focus on its core business operations.

CDPQ, Actis Vie for Ashoka Concession’s BOT Road Assets

CDPQ from Canada and UK-based Actis are in talks to acquire the BOT toll road assets of Ashoka Concessions. This potential deal indicates growing international interest in India’s infrastructure sector.

Motown Spreads Christmas Cheer with Best Deals in 5 yrs

Car manufacturers in India are offering attractive deals, the best in five years, to reduce dealer inventories post-festive season. This trend reflects the industry’s efforts to stimulate sales amidst a challenging market.

Kinetic Green Looks to Raise $30-40 m

Kinetic Green, an electric vehicle manufacturer, is aiming to raise significant funding to expand its operations and reach a production target of 1 million units in five years, showcasing the company’s growth ambitions in the EV market.

Consumer Goods Makers Now Expect Demand Recovery only by Q1 of FY25

Consumer goods companies in India anticipate a recovery in demand by the first quarter of FY25, revising earlier expectations. This projection indicates a longer-than-expected impact of current market conditions on consumer spending.

Master Plan to Expand GIFT City in Final Stages

The expansion plan for Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) is nearing completion. This development aims to transform GIFT into a larger financial and technological hub, contributing to India’s economic growth.

India Inc’s Hiring Sentiment Likely to be Highest Among 41 Nations in New Year

India’s corporate sector is showing the highest hiring sentiment globally for the upcoming year, suggesting a positive outlook for job creation and economic growth in the country.

‘Seven Airlines Owe More than Rs 95 cr to AAI’

Seven airlines, including both Indian and foreign carriers, owe over ₹95 crore to the Airports Authority of India, indicating financial strains and outstanding obligations within the aviation industry.

Ola Electric’s FY23 Revenue Jumps 6-fold

Ola Electric reported a significant increase in revenue, reflecting the company’s growth in the electric vehicle market and its efforts to expand its product range and services.

Leadership Crisis Deepens at Infy, CFO Quits

Infosys’ CFO has resigned, exacerbating the leadership crisis at the company. This development may impact investor confidence and the company’s strategic direction.

US’ Corning to Build a Gorilla Glass Unit in TN, to Invest ₹1k cr

Corning Inc, a key supplier to Apple, is investing ₹1,000 crore to set up a Gorilla Glass manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu, India. This investment underscores the importance of India in the global technology manufacturing landscape.

PhonePe Targets D2C Route, More Merchant Revenue

PhonePe, a prominent digital payments company, is enhancing its ecommerce presence by developing a comprehensive payment solution specifically for online platforms. This development comes after receiving preliminary approval from the Reserve Bank of India to operate as a payment aggregator. This move signifies PhonePe’s ambition to expand its role in the e-commerce sector.

Zomato Sees an Opportunity in Catering Business

Zomato, a well-known food delivery platform, is venturing into the catering business. By utilizing its vast network of restaurant partners, the company aims to cater to larger orders. This initiative is part of Zomato’s broader strategy to diversify its services and capitalize on its existing infrastructure.

Tide Intends to Up its Customer Base in India

Tide, a UK-based business banking application, has set its sights on significantly growing its customer base in India. Currently serving around 200,000 customers, Tide aims to boost this number to approximately half a million. This ambition reflects the company’s commitment to expanding its presence in the Indian market.

Decoding EU’s ‘Historic’ Deal to Regulate AI

The European Union has achieved a significant milestone in technology governance by reaching a consensus on regulating artificial intelligence (AI). After extensive discussions, the EU has formulated provisional regulations for AI usage across member states, marking a crucial step in managing AI’s ethical and practical implications.

‘Talks on to Drive Consensus on Ethical AI Use’

India is actively engaged in discussions with the 29 countries of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI). The goal is to formulate a unified declaration on the ethical use of artificial intelligence. This initiative highlights the global effort to address the challenges and opportunities presented by AI technology.

Chandrayaan-3, ChatGPT Top Google Search Charts this Year

Google’s ‘Year in Search’ list for 2023 reveals that India’s Chandrayaan-3 moon mission and the G20 presidency were among the most searched topics in the country. Other major themes included the Karnataka assembly election, the Uniform Civil Code, and major international events like the Israel-Palestine situation and the Turkey earthquake. This list offers insight into the interests and concerns of Indian internet users.

Nat Habit Raises $10m in Series B

Nat Habit, a direct-to-consumer brand specializing in beauty and wellness products, announced a successful Series-B funding round, securing $10.2 million. This round was led by Bertelsmann India Investments, signifying strong investor confidence in the brand’s potential and growth strategy.

Global Trade to Drop 5% This Year Amid Geopolitical Challenges

The United Nations agency predicts a 5% decline in global trade in 2023 due to various factors. High borrowing costs affecting economies, tensions between the US and China reshaping supply chains, and the emergence of policies limiting international trade are expected to contribute to this drop. These challenges will impact the flow of goods and services across borders, potentially affecting economies worldwide.

Google Play Trial Puts Android in the Spotlight

Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, has accused Google of using its financial influence to manipulate Android partners and app developers, hindering them from exploring alternatives to the profitable Google Play Store. The trial between Epic Games and Alphabet Inc.’s Google is bringing attention to the Android platform and the competitive dynamics within the app ecosystem.

Sensex Makes a Brief Tryst with 70,000

Indian stock markets witnessed a notable moment as the Sensex, a major stock market index, briefly surpassed the 70,000 mark during Monday’s trading session. Although it closed below this landmark figure, this achievement signifies a record-high closing level for Indian equities, reflecting a positive momentum in the market.

Higher Govt Spends can Give a Liquidity Boost Sans Rate Cut

India’s overnight call money rate, which is a key indicator of borrowing costs in the economy, is expected to decrease in January. This forecast aligns with the Reserve Bank of India’s recent stance, which seems open to allowing government spending to permeate through the banking system, provided that overall liquidity continues to decrease. This approach suggests a boost in liquidity without necessitating a cut in interest rates.

Oil Stocks Fall on Talk of Poll Sops, Some say Time to Buy

Stocks of oil marketing companies experienced a decline on Monday. This downturn was sparked by speculations that the government might reduce retail fuel prices, leading traders to retract some of their bullish positions. Despite this drop, some analysts suggest that the recent overbuying of these stocks could present a buying opportunity for investors, as a reversal in trends might be imminent.

Oil Prices Hold as Investors Still Wary

The global oil market remained relatively stable on Monday, with prices showing little change. This steadiness reflects ongoing concerns about potential crude oversupply, counterbalanced by production cuts from OPEC+ and projections of subdued fuel demand growth in the coming year. Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate crude futures both experienced slight decreases, indicating a cautious approach among investors.

Reverting to Old Pension System Will Burden States

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has estimated that if states revert to the old pension scheme (OPS), their fiscal burden could increase more than four times compared to the expenditure under the current National Pension System (NPS) retirement benefits. This suggests significant financial implications for state budgets if such a shift were to occur.

Angel Funds may Soon Get to Invest More in Startups Boosting System

Angel funds, which are investment vehicles that support startups, might soon have the opportunity to invest larger amounts in individual companies. This potential change is under consideration by the government and the capital market regulator, aiming to enhance the support system for early-stage startups.

RBI Flags Misleading Loan Waiver Ads

The Reserve Bank of India has issued a warning against misleading advertisements that offer loan waivers. These ads, often found on various media platforms, charge fees for issuing ‘debt waiver certificates’. The RBI’s caution highlights the need for vigilance against such deceptive financial schemes.

Indian Bank Offers to Sell ₹610-cr Loans

Indian Bank, a state-run entity, is looking to sell bad loans worth ₹610 crore as part of its strategy to clean up its books by the end of this financial year. The sale includes loans to various companies, including those in real estate and international trade.

No Housing Finance Stress Yet Despite Rise in Lending Rates

Despite the significant increase in interest rates over the past one-and-a-half years, the housing finance sector in India has shown resilience. The improvement in asset quality has been attributed to rising income levels, which have helped offset the impact of higher monthly instalments for borrowers.

‘RBI Unlikely to Cut Interest Rates in 2024’

According to Axis Bank’s outlook for 2024, the Reserve Bank of India is not expected to cut interest rates next year. This projection is based on the continued volatility of food prices, which significantly influence retail inflation, a key metric for economic stability and policy decisions.

‘Steel Shares May Continue to Underperform in 2024’

Morgan Stanley predicts that steel shares might continue to underperform in 2024, similar to their performance in 2023. The forecast cites factors such as a weak global macro-outlook, increased domestic supply, and unattractive valuations as reasons for this anticipated underperformance.

Schneider Electric Readies to Re-list Its Indian Arm

Schneider Electric, a French multinational corporation, is preparing to re-list its Indian subsidiary on the Metropolitan Stock Exchange of India (MSEI). This move comes nearly six years after the company delisted, following a directive from the capital markets regulator.

Azure Power Global to Buy Back Some Bonds

Azure Power Global, backed by Canadian firms CDPQ and OMERS Infrastructure, plans to repurchase a portion of bonds issued by two of its units at their face value. This decision has been supported by 99% of the bondholders, indicating strong backing for the proposal.

Livestock Emissions

Livestock agri-food systems, which encompass animals like cattle, pigs, buffaloes, sheep, goats, and chickens, are significant contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. These systems are responsible for emitting approximately 6.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (GtCO2eq) every year. This substantial amount highlights the environmental impact of raising livestock, not just for the purpose of food but also considering the entire process involved in livestock agriculture. It’s a call to action for both individuals and policymakers to understand and manage the environmental footprint of our dietary choices and agricultural practices.

Nab the Climate Villain

India is currently experiencing rapid economic growth and is at a pivotal point in its energy journey. As the country advances, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies are becoming increasingly important. These mechanisms are crucial for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that affect the climate. This development is particularly significant for India, as it seeks to balance its economic growth with environmental sustainability, highlighting the importance of innovative technologies in fighting climate change.

Distilling ₹353 Crore Is a Big Deal, Indeed

The discovery of ₹353 crore in cash is a monumental find, even for regular readers of ‘The Economic Times.’ This staggering amount was unearthed by Income Tax officials after six days of raids at various properties linked to Odisha MP Dhiraj Sahu. The sum, equivalent to a significant fortune, emphasizes the scale of financial irregularities and the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies in uncovering such hidden assets. It’s an event that captures the attention not only because of the amount involved but also due to its implications in financial and political circles.


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