14 December 2023 : Important Financial News in India


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

Incentive Scheme for Semiconductor Industry

The Indian government is planning to launch a revised incentive scheme worth Rs 10,000 crore to promote the establishment of electronic and semiconductor component manufacturing plants in the country. This is aimed at boosting the domestic semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industry.

Global Agreement to Phase Out Fossil Fuels

At the recently concluded COP28 climate change conference, around 200 countries agreed to “transition away from fossil fuels” in energy systems in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This is the first time the countries have collectively made this commitment, marking an important milestone.

India Expected to Become Pernod Ricard’s Largest Market

Pernod Ricard, a leading global wines and spirits company, forecasts that India will surpass the US to become its largest market in terms of revenue. This growth would be driven by rising demand for premium spirits in India. Pernod already earns over 10% of its global revenue from India.

Vedanta Seeks to Restructure $3.8 Billion Bond Repayments

Vedanta Resources is looking to restructure its bond repayment obligations worth nearly $3.8 billion maturing over the next three years. It has initiated discussions with banks and private credit funds after securing some financing. This restructuring would ease Vedanta’s debt repayment burden.

Defence Min Clears Orders for Indigenous Area Denial Munitions

The Defence Ministry of India has recently approved the procurement of indigenous area denial munitions. This significant move is intended to enhance the firepower of the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers, a key asset in the country’s artillery arsenal. The primary function of these area denial munitions is to target and neutralize enemy tanks, armoured vehicles, and personnel effectively. By integrating these munitions with the Pinaka launchers, the Indian military will significantly boost its defensive and offensive capabilities.

This decision not only represents a stride in modernizing India’s military technology but also underscores the government’s commitment to supporting and promoting domestic defence manufacturing. The inclusion of these advanced munitions is expected to provide a substantial upgrade in the battlefield effectiveness of the Indian armed forces, particularly in scenarios involving armored combat.

Tech Mahindra Launches Populii

Tech Mahindra, a significant player in the technology sector, has introduced a new platform named Populii. This platform is designed as a crowdsourcing space where gig workers can engage in micro jobs. These jobs are unique as they require ‘human-in-the-loop’ services. The idea is to facilitate collaboration between these workers and leading organizations. The launch of Populii marks a notable step in the gig economy, offering new opportunities for people to work with major firms on a flexible basis.

Fake Docs Lead to 5.5 M Phone Numbers Being Shut Off

In an effort to combat cyber fraud, the Indian government has taken stringent steps. Devusinh Chauhan, the Minister of State for Communications, informed the Parliament about these measures on Wednesday. These actions have resulted in the deactivation of 5.5 million phone numbers. The deactivations were due to the use of fraudulent documents in obtaining these numbers, highlighting the government’s commitment to addressing different methods of cyber fraud.

Foxconn’s Bengaluru iPhone Factory to Start Production in April

Foxconn, a leading Taiwanese technology group and a key supplier for Apple, is all set to open its first iPhone assembly plant in Bengaluru, India. According to insiders, the first assembly line at this plant is scheduled to commence operations in April. This development is a significant milestone in the tech manufacturing landscape of India, indicating a strengthening of ties between Apple and Indian manufacturing capabilities.

Crude Oil Prices Expected to Average $83 per Barrel in 2024

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has forecasted that crude oil prices are likely to average around $83 per barrel throughout 2024. This prediction takes into account the recent production cuts by OPEC+ and is balanced against expected lower demand growth. This projection provides an essential insight into the future of global oil markets.

IPL’s Brand Value Surges by 28%

The Indian Premier League (IPL) has achieved a significant milestone by becoming a decacorn, with its brand value skyrocketing by 28% to $10.7 billion this year. This information comes from a report by Brand Finance, which also noted that since its inception in 2008, the total brand value of the IPL system has increased by an impressive 433%.

Emami Group Seeks New Business Avenues

The Emami Group has engaged the services of McKinsey & Co to explore new business categories. The focus will be on identifying two to three potential sectors for expansion, including areas like packaged staples (atta, rice, sugar, salt), ready to eat, ready to cook items, gourmet packaged food, and kitchen appliances.

India Loses World Cup, Local Businesses Gain

Despite India not winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, the Indian economy witnessed a significant boost. Local businesses, particularly restaurants, experienced up to a 400% increase in spending by foreign tourists during the tournament. This data was revealed in a report by the Mastercard Economics Institute.

M&M Arm Classic Legends Receives Major Funding

Classic Legends, a subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra known for manufacturing iconic motorcycle brands like Yezdi and Jawa, is set to receive a fund infusion of ₹875 crore. This funding, as reported in a stock exchange filing by Mahindra, is a significant boost for the subsidiary.

Poultry Sector to Request Lower Import Duty on Key Feed Ingredients

The poultry industry in India, affected by food shortages due to erratic monsoon patterns, is planning to request the central government for a reduction in import duty on essential feed ingredients like maize and soyabean. This move is aimed at addressing the scarcity of feed for poultry flocks.

Supreme Court Rules Unstamped Arbitration Agreements as Enforceable

Overturning its previous judgment from April, the Supreme Court of India, through a seven-judge bench, has unanimously ruled that unstamped arbitration agreements are legally enforceable. This decision clarifies that even unstamped or insufficiently stamped agreements with arbitration clauses are valid, and such defects can be rectified without rendering the contract invalid.

RIL and DBS Bank Collaborate to Finance Agricultural Residue Supply Chains

Reliance Industries, in partnership with DBS Bank India, has launched a financing programme for vendor partners. This programme focuses on aggregating agricultural residue to serve as inputs for compressed biogas (CBG) plants. This initiative is expected to help in combating the issue of stubble burning.

Delhi High Court Allows Amazon’s Customs Exemptions Claim

The Delhi High Court has recognized Amazon’s ‘Echo family devices’ as convergence devices, making them eligible for customs duty exemptions. This decision includes devices such as Echo Show 5, Echo Dot 4th Generation, and Echo 4th Generation with Clock.

Supreme Court Urges ITC & Britannia to Settle Packaging Dispute

The Supreme Court has directed ITC Ltd and Britannia Industries to exchange suggestions and resolve their dispute over the similarity in packaging of their cookies. This direction is aimed at finding an amicable solution to the ongoing disagreement.

Mutual Funds Target Potential Stars in November Purchases

In November, mutual fund managers displayed a strategic shift in their investment choices. They focused on buying stocks and sectors that had not significantly benefited from the recent market upturn. Notably, their attention was on the insurance and hospital sectors. Some of the key stocks picked during this period include LIC, HDFC Life, Star Health, Narayana Hrudayalaya, and Max Healthcare. This move suggests a keen interest in sectors that might play a pivotal role in the next market rally.

IT Sector Under Pressure Due to Hawkish Federal Reserve

The Information Technology (IT) sector experienced a downturn in Wednesday’s trading session. This decline was largely attributed to the fading momentum of the recent rally in these shares. The primary concern for investors was the upcoming meeting of the US Federal Reserve, which had adopted a hawkish stance. This cautious approach by the Federal Reserve regarding interest rates has led to muted sentiments and limited upside potential in the IT sector.

Federal Reserve Maintains Interest Rate

In a significant development, the Federal Reserve decided to keep its key interest rate unchanged for the third consecutive time. This decision indicates that the Federal Reserve might be pausing its aggressive rate hikes. Over the past year, the Federal Reserve had implemented the most rapid series of rate increases in four decades, aiming to combat the high inflation levels. The decision to maintain the rate suggests a potential shift in their approach to managing the economy.

Indian Rupee Hits New Low Ahead of Federal Reserve Policy Announcement

The Indian Rupee reached a new low in its value against the US dollar on Wednesday. This depreciation occurred as currency traders adopted a risk-averse stance in anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s policy statement. The uncertainty surrounding the future course of US interest rates has heightened investor nervousness. As a result, there’s been a noticeable shift towards the safety of the US dollar, impacting the value of the rupee.

Indian Stock Market: Balanced and Poised for Earnings Growth

Raamdeo Agrawal, the chairman of Motilal Oswal Financial Services, shared insights on the current state of India’s stock market in an interview with Rajesh Mascarenhas. Agrawal believes that the market is neither overheated nor cheap at the moment. He expressed optimism about the financial sector and sees potential in old-economy sectors such as cement and construction. His perspectives offer a balanced view of the market’s status and future prospects.

Inox India: A Crucial Player in the Value Chain

Inox India, known for manufacturing cryogenic tanks, is planning to raise ₹1,460 crore through an offer for sale (OFS). This move will decrease the promoters’ stake from 99.3% to 75%. The company’s significant role in the value chain of its industry makes it an attractive investment opportunity.

Inox India Secures ₹438 Crore from Anchor Investors

Ahead of its initial public offering (IPO), Inox India Ltd, a cryogenic tank maker, has successfully raised Rs 438 crore from anchor investors. The company allocated 66.33 lakh equity shares to 41 funds at Rs 660 each, which is at the upper end of the IPO price band. This development reflects strong investor interest in the company’s IPO.

Indian Banks and Corporates: Strong Prospects for 2024

According to S&P Global Ratings analysts, Indian banks and corporates are well-positioned for 2024, supported by a growing economy, improved corporate balance sheets, and better asset quality for banks. This positive outlook indicates a sustainable growth momentum for these sectors.

Rajan Comments on US Federal Reserve’s Rate Cut Expectations

Raghuram Rajan, India’s former central bank Governor, commented on the expectations surrounding the US Federal Reserve’s policy. He believes that the Federal Reserve will likely wait for further reductions in inflation before easing policy and considers the hopes for interest rate cuts by March as “overly optimistic.”

US Treasury Market: New Clearing Rules Adopted by SEC

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has implemented new rules to reduce systemic risk in the $26 trillion US Treasury market. These rules mandate more trades to be processed through clearing houses, a move that follows some industry pushback.

SAT Overturns Sebi’s Fine on Jio Financial

The Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) overturned a decision by market regulator Sebi, which had imposed a fine of ₹7 lakh on Jio Financial Services. This fine was related to alleged manipulation of trades in long-dated Nifty options in 2017.

Hemen Bhatia Appointed as Angel One’s Asset Management Business Chief

Angel One, one of India’s largest listed retail stock broking houses, has appointed Hemen Bhatia as the CEO of its asset management business. Bhatia previously led the ETF business at Nippon Life India AMC, showcasing his expertise in this domain.

Ongoing Consolidation in the Cement Sector

The domestic cement sector continues to witness consolidation trends, even after Adani Group’s significant acquisition of Holcim’s 67.5 million-tonne cement assets. This ongoing consolidation highlights the dynamic nature of the industry.

SGBS Unnati’s Milestone Listing on Social Stock Exchange

SGBS Unnati Foundation (SUF) made history by becoming the first non-profit organisation (NPO) to list on the social stock exchange platform. The Bengaluru-based NPO aims to raise ₹2 crore through this listing, marking a significant step for social enterprises in the financial market.

Mining Amendment Act Leads to Revenue Boost

The Mining Amendment Act has significantly increased revenues for key mining states in India, including Karnataka, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh. Since the Act’s implementation, these states have seen their revenues skyrocket from Rs 6,519 crore in the financial year 2016 to a staggering Rs 47,000 crore in FY23. This sevenfold increase highlights the Act’s substantial impact on the mining sector’s financial health.

Centre Prioritizes Skill Development in Public Sector Banks

The Indian government is now focusing on enhancing the skills of key executives in state-run banks. This initiative emphasizes capacity building for senior officials, including chief technology officers and chief revenue officers. The move aims to improve the overall efficiency and capability of public sector banks (PSBs) in a rapidly evolving financial landscape.

S&P Forecasts Robust Annual Growth for India

S&P Global Rating has projected a promising annual growth rate for India between 2024 and 2026. The forecasted growth rates range from 6.4% to 7%, indicating strong domestic activities that could effectively counter global economic headwinds. This outlook suggests a stable and robust medium-term economic growth for the country.

ADB Optimistic About India’s Economic Growth

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revised its growth forecast for India in FY24, raising it to 6.7% from the previously announced 6.3%. This upward revision follows India’s stronger-than-expected economic performance, with a growth of 7.6% reported in the September quarter of FY23.

NSC Committee Recommends Revamping Statistical Infrastructure

A panel established by the National Statistical Commission (NSC) has recommended a major technological upgrade of India’s statistics infrastructure. The proposed changes include hiring more technically qualified employees to meet the demands of modern statistical systems, ensuring accurate and efficient data collection and analysis.

GST Appellate Body Members’ Age Limit Increased

India’s Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to raise the age limit for the president and members of the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunals (GSTAT). This bill, along with another concerning changes in customs and excise duties, is aimed at implementing budget announcements immediately.

ADB Offers $200 Million Loan for Power Supply in Dehradun

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and India have signed an agreement for a $200 million loan. This loan is intended to improve the power supply in Uttarakhand, particularly in Dehradun, enhancing the region’s energy infrastructure and reliability.

Goyal Encourages Foreign Investment in Northeast and J&K

Piyush Goyal, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, has urged foreign investors to consider business opportunities in the Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir. He emphasized India’s vast domestic market and investor-friendly environment as key attractions for foreign investment.

CCI Approves Stake Acquisitions in Niva Bupa Health Insurance

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has given the green light to three proposals, including two that involve acquiring equity shares in Niva Bupa Health Insurance. This approval paves the way for significant investments in the health insurance sector.

Parliament Update on Electric Vehicle Subsidies

The Indian Parliament was informed that there are currently no proposals to provide subsidies on import duty for electric vehicles. This update clarifies the government’s stance on incentivizing electric vehicle imports, a key aspect of India’s evolving transportation and environmental policies.

Coca-Cola India’s Bottling Arm to Invest in Gujarat

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB), the bottling division of Coca-Cola India, has announced a significant investment plan. The company will invest ₹3,000 crore in a new facility in Gujarat. This decision, affirmed by a memorandum of understanding with the Gujarat government, represents a major financial commitment and is expected to boost the state’s economy.

India Leads in Global Light Vehicle Market Growth

India has emerged as the fastest-growing player among the world’s top ten largest automobile markets. This impressive growth, particularly in the light vehicle segment, has been recorded when comparing current market performance with the pre-pandemic year of 2019. This data comes from a global sales forecasting firm, highlighting India’s significant advancement in the automotive sector.

Wipro Consumer Care Ventures into D2C Segment

Wipro Consumer Care & Lighting is expanding into the direct-to-consumer (D2C) space. The company plans to make its global brand, Bio-essence, available through e-commerce platforms and its upcoming webstore. This move into D2C represents a strategic shift to capitalize on the growing online consumer market.

Indian Telcos Concerned Over 6 GHz Spectrum Stance at WRC

Indian telecom operators have expressed concerns over the Indian delegation’s stance on the 6 GHz spectrum band at the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC). The telcos believe that these interventions are contrary to the previously agreed position, potentially impacting the telecom industry’s future in India.

Government Clarifies Stance on Vodafone Idea

The Indian government, through the Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan, has confirmed that there are no plans to take over the financially struggling telecom operator Vodafone Idea (Vi). This announcement was made in the Lok Sabha and aims to clarify the government’s position regarding the operator’s future.

Nestle CEO Downplays Threat from Weight Loss Drugs

Mark Schneider, the CEO of Nestle SA, has minimized the potential impact of GLP-1 weight-loss drugs on the company. He emphasized that Nestle has been focusing on expanding its portfolio with lower-calorie products, suggesting confidence in the company’s ability to adapt to changing consumer health trends.

Open RAN Deployments Expected to Increase in India

Sanjay Bakaya, the country head for India at Mavenir, a US-based company, has predicted a rise in Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) deployments in India from 2024. This technology advancement is expected to revolutionize the telecom sector in India, providing more flexible and cost-effective solutions for network deployments.

Social Media Influencers Seek Legal Assistance for Brand Protection

Priya Raina, an actor, singer, and social media influencer, is among those in the influencer community considering legal measures to protect their personal brands. This trend highlights the growing importance of legal assistance in managing and safeguarding the personal brands and interests of influencers.

Green Living Becomes a Trend in Luxury Holiday Homes

Luxury holiday homes are increasingly adopting environmentally friendly practices. These homes are adhering to strict environmental, social, and governance (ESG) norms, utilizing new technologies, and reducing environmental impact. This shift towards green living reflects a growing consciousness in the luxury segment towards sustainable practices.


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