17 January 2024 : Important Financial News in India


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

KKR Looks to Book a Big-ticket Investment in BookMyShow

KKR, a global investment firm, is in the final stages of discussions to invest between ₹2,087-2,505 crore ($250-300 million) in BookMyShow (BMS), a leading Indian online ticketing platform. This investment, for a significant minority stake, will occur through a secondary share sale by existing financial investors. BookMyShow is backed by Reliance Industries Ltd, a major Indian conglomerate. A ‘secondary share sale’ means that KKR will buy shares from current investors rather than BMS issuing new shares. This investment is substantial and signals confidence in the growing Indian online entertainment ticketing market. It could potentially lead to significant changes in BMS’s strategic direction, given KKR’s influence as a minority stakeholder.

Brands, Managers seek Legal Balm to End Fakes & Pain

Major brands and talent management companies are raising concerns about the misuse of artificial intelligence (AI) to create ‘deepfake’ videos, which are hyper-realistic video forgeries. They are advocating for stricter laws to protect their brands and celebrities from such exploitations. Deepfakes involve using AI to superimpose faces onto existing video footage, often without consent, leading to potential misuse in misinformation and violation of privacy. The call for legal intervention underscores the growing challenges in regulating emerging technologies and protecting intellectual property and individual rights in the digital age.

HDFC Bank Q3 Net Profit Jumps 34% to ₹16,373cr

HDFC Bank, India’s largest bank by market value, reported a 34% year-on-year increase in net profit for the third quarter, amounting to ₹16,373 crore. This significant rise in profits is attributed to the growth in retail loans and fee incomes. The performance of HDFC Bank, a bellwether in the Indian banking sector, often sets the tone for the industry’s financial health. This profit jump suggests a robust banking sector, potentially indicating a healthy economic environment and consumer confidence in India.

ED: ABG Shipyard Set up 27 Paper Cos to Divert Funds

ABG Shipyard Ltd, facing accusations in India’s largest bank fraud case, allegedly created 27 ‘paper companies’ to divert funds. These entities, along with 38 Singapore-based group companies, were used to misappropriate money borrowed from a consortium of banks led by ICICI Bank. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed this in a recent charge sheet filed in a Gujarat court. A ‘paper company’ is a non-operating but legally registered company used typically for financial manipulation. This case highlights the challenges in corporate governance and the need for stringent oversight in financial transactions.

This Crypto ‘Party’ is Not Without Risks: RBI Guv

The Reserve Bank of India’s Governor has warned that the renewed global interest in cryptocurrencies comes with significant risks, especially for emerging market economies. He notes that cryptocurrencies, lacking an underlying value, pose a financial hazard. This statement reflects ongoing global debates about the role and regulation of digital currencies, their impact on traditional financial systems, and the balance between innovation and consumer protection in finance.

IMF Sees Global Growth on Strong 2023 Tailwinds

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) anticipates a boost in the global economy in 2024, spurred by stronger-than-expected performance in 2023. This projection by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva suggests optimism for worldwide economic recovery, potentially influenced by various global factors like market resilience, policy interventions, and geopolitical developments. It underscores the interconnected nature of global economies and the importance of international cooperation in fostering economic stability.

Green H2 Key to India’s Net-Zero Target: Adani

Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, emphasized the crucial role of green hydrogen in achieving India’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions. He suggests that the high costs associated with green hydrogen production could be reduced by adopting strategies similar to those used in the solar power industry. Green hydrogen, produced using renewable energy sources, is seen as a key element in transitioning to sustainable energy and combating climate change, especially in a rapidly developing economy like India.

Inox JV, Maha Ink Pact for $3B Green Ammonia Unit

Inox Air Products, a joint venture between Inox Group and the US-based Air Products, has signed an agreement with the Maharashtra government to establish the state’s first green ammonia plant. This plant, with an investment of $3 billion, aims to produce 500,000 metric tons per annum (mtpa). Green ammonia, made from nitrogen and green hydrogen, is gaining attention as a sustainable energy source, reflecting a shift towards cleaner energy solutions in industrial processes.

Delay in Delhi Runway Redo Fuels Chaos

The recent delay in the renovation of a key runway at Delhi airport has led to significant operational disruptions, especially this winter. This particular runway, known for its capability to handle flights in low-visibility conditions, is undergoing renovations. However, the process has been delayed due to two primary reasons: the G20 Summit and pollution-related construction curbs.

Firstly, the G20 Summit, a major international forum for governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies, was held in the capital city. Such high-profile events often lead to increased security measures and logistical adjustments, which can impact ongoing projects like runway renovation. Secondly, in an effort to combat the worsening air quality in Delhi, there have been restrictions placed on construction activities. These pollution-control measures are essential for public health but can inadvertently cause delays in infrastructure projects.

The implications of this delay are significant. Winter is a challenging time for aviation in Delhi due to frequent low-visibility conditions caused by fog. The specific runway undergoing renovation is equipped to handle such conditions, meaning its unavailability puts a strain on airport operations. This leads to flight delays, cancellations, and general chaos for travelers. Moreover, the impact is not just limited to passenger inconvenience but extends to the economic aspect, as flight disruptions can lead to financial losses for airlines and associated businesses.

Select Edible Oils to Enjoy Lower Import Duty till March 2025

The Indian government has decided to extend concessional import rates for certain crude and refined edible oils until March 2025. This extension is a continuation of the government’s effort to make these essential commodities more affordable for consumers. The decision directly affects the prices of edible oils, which are a staple in Indian cooking, and aims to keep them within an affordable range for the general public. Additionally, the government has introduced a significant tax measure by imposing a 50% export duty on molasses, a by-product of sugarcane. This move could be aimed at balancing the domestic market and ensuring sufficient supply within the country.

Gujarat, Kerala, K’taka Offer Best Ecosystem for Startups

A recent report titled States’ Startup Ranking 2022, released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), has identified Gujarat, Kerala, and Karnataka as the top states in India for developing startup ecosystems. This ranking indicates that these states provide the most conducive environment for budding entrepreneurs, including aspects like ease of starting a business, availability of funding, supportive policies, and a vibrant entrepreneurial culture. Such an ecosystem is crucial for fostering innovation and economic growth.

India Asks WTO to Weigh Carve-out for Poor Fishing Nations

India has proposed a significant initiative at the World Trade Organization (WTO) to consider a permanent exemption or “carve-out” for low-income fishing nations. This proposal, made ahead of a key WTO ministerial meeting, aims to protect the livelihoods of poor fishers. It underscores the need for global trade rules to be sensitive to the socio-economic realities of less affluent nations, particularly in sectors like fishing where livelihoods are often vulnerable and heavily reliant on traditional practices.

Tax Reforms Needed for Manufacturing Investments: Virmani

Arvind Virmani, a member of NITI Aayog, emphasized the need for India to reform its tax structure to attract more investments in the manufacturing sector. He highlighted the importance of simplifying the tax system and improving the ease of doing business as critical factors in making India an attractive destination for manufacturing investments. Such reforms are essential for boosting the manufacturing industry, which is a key driver of economic growth and employment.

Will Impose Non-tariff Barriers on Reciprocal Basis, says Goyal

Piyush Goyal, India’s commerce and industry minister, announced that India would impose non-tariff barriers (NTBs) on a reciprocal basis. This statement suggests that India will match the trade barriers imposed by other countries, signaling a more assertive stance in international trade relations. Additionally, Goyal urged the local industry to move away from a subsidy-dependent mindset, indicating a shift towards a more self-reliant and competitive approach in the global market.

Online Portals Offering Travel Plans are Tour Operators: Appellate Tribunal

The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal in Delhi has ruled that online portals providing tour planning services, including accommodation arrangements, are to be classified as tour operators. This ruling was upheld in the case of MakeMyTrip India Private Limited, which had sought a 90% abatement in service tax liability, a concession available to tour operators. This decision has implications for the classification and taxation of online travel service providers.

India set to Explore Lithium in Argentina

India’s Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) and the state-owned enterprise of Catamarca province in Argentina have entered into an agreement to explore lithium resources. This partnership marks a significant step for India in securing lithium, a critical component in the manufacture of batteries, especially for electric vehicles, as part of its strategy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and move towards cleaner energy sources.

New Enrolments under ESIS Drop 7.5% in Nov

New enrolments under the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESIS) in India saw a 7.5% decrease in November, as per the latest data. ESIS enrolments are often seen as an indicator of formal job creation in the economy. This decline could signal a slowdown in new employment opportunities in the formal sector, raising concerns about the job market’s health.

RINL Plans to Trim its Debt by Selling UP Wheel Plant to Rlys

Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL), a state-owned entity, is planning to reduce its debt by selling its Raebareli forged wheel plant to the Indian Railways. This sale is part of RINL’s broader strategy to manage its financial liabilities and streamline operations. The decision to sell a significant asset such as the wheel plant to the railways is indicative of the company’s efforts to focus on its core competencies and improve its financial health. This move could potentially benefit both RINL, by reducing its debt burden, and the Indian Railways, by providing them with a strategic asset.

Deal Activity in Ecomm, Consumer Space Slows as Investors Turn Wary

The ecommerce and consumer sectors have experienced a significant slowdown in deal activity in 2023, with a decrease of one-third in volumes. This trend, as reported by Grant Thornton Bharat, is attributed to investors becoming more cautious due to high inflation and intense competition in these sectors. The competitive market conditions have led to several companies implementing salary hike freezes and workforce reductions as a response to the challenging economic environment. This slowdown indicates a shift in investor sentiment, reflecting concerns about the sustainability and profitability of businesses in these sectors amidst a challenging economic landscape.

Global, Domestic Brands Bet Big on Smaller Cities

In the first nine months of 2023, about three dozen domestic and global brands have ventured into tier-II cities in India, driven by robust demand. This expansion into smaller cities represents a strategic move by these brands to tap into new markets that were previously underexplored. The entry into these cities is not just about expanding their market footprint but also about leveraging the growing purchasing power and consumer demand in these regions. This trend signifies a significant shift in the focus of brands from metro-centric strategies to a more inclusive approach, targeting the burgeoning markets in smaller cities.

Cold Wave Heats Up Sales of Winter Products

The cold wave conditions in various parts of North and East India have led to a surge in sales of winter products, ranging from moisturisers to knitwear and room heaters. Despite this spike in demand, consumer companies report that it is unlikely to be sufficient to clear the unsold inventories resulting from the late onset of winter. This situation illustrates the seasonal sensitivity of certain product categories and the challenges faced by businesses in managing inventory levels in line with fluctuating and unpredictable weather patterns.

Medikabazaar Looks to Raise up to $200 m for Expansion

Medikabazaar, India’s largest B2B e-commerce marketplace for medical supplies, is preparing to raise between $150 to $200 million from private equity investors. This funding is intended to support the company’s expansion plans, which include acquisitions and organic growth. The move signifies the growing importance and potential of the B2B e-commerce space in the medical supplies sector, highlighting Medikabazaar’s ambition to consolidate and expand its market presence.

Cos Seek Higher Ceiling Prices for Advanced Coronary Stents

Stent manufacturers are lobbying the government to create a separate subcategory and allow higher ceiling prices for advanced coronary stents. This demand is based on the premise that advanced stents, with their enhanced features, warrant a premium over standard stents. The outcome of this appeal has significant implications for the healthcare sector, particularly regarding the affordability and accessibility of advanced medical devices for patients.

Palava City Annual Revenue may Top ₹8k cr in a Few Years: Lodha

Lodha, a real

estate major listed as Macrotech Developers, projects that its integrated smart township, Palava City, could generate over ₹8,000 crore (approximately $1 billion) annually in the next few years. Spread over nearly 5,000 acres near Mumbai, Palava City is poised to scale up significantly, driven by the development of residential and commercial properties, including offices, a life sciences hub, warehousing, and industrial spaces. This forecast indicates a strong growth trajectory for Lodha in the real estate sector, particularly in the development of integrated townships that offer a blend of residential and commercial amenities.

‘India 5th Most Preferred Investment Destination’

According to PwC’s 27th annual global CEO survey, India has climbed to the fifth most preferred investment destination globally, moving up from ninth place in 2023. This survey, which polled 4,702 CEOs in 105 countries and territories, including 79 from India, highlights the growing attractiveness of India as a hub for global investments. The improvement in India’s ranking reflects the country’s economic potential, market size, and ongoing reforms aimed at fostering a more conducive business environment.

Tech Giants’ Digital Ad Revenue in India Surges 16% to ₹55,053 crore in FY23

The digital advertising revenues of major platforms like Google India, Meta India, Amazon India, and Flipkart have surged by 16% to a total of ₹55,053 crore in the last financial year. This growth significantly outpaces the ₹40,000 crore earned by the TV broadcast industry in the same period. The data, sourced from the companies’ annual filings, indicates a robust growth trajectory for digital advertising in India, driven by the increasing digital penetration and consumer engagement on these platforms.

Corbevax Gets WHO’s Emergency Use Listing

Corbevax, India’s first indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine, has been granted an Emergency Use Listing by the World Health Organisation. This approval marks a significant milestone in India’s efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and underscores the country’s capabilities in vaccine development and production. The WHO’s recognition of Corbevax potentially opens doors for its wider global use, contributing to the global fight against the pandemic.

Most Consumers Prefer Streaming Content on TV

A NielsenIQ study commissioned by Amazon reveals that approximately 78% of streaming consumers prefer watching online content on their TV screens through streaming sticks, smart TVs, and set-top boxes. This preference highlights the continuing relevance of television as a preferred medium for content consumption, despite the proliferation of handheld devices. It also points to a trend where traditional TV viewing habits are merging with the digital streaming experience.

BCAS Issues Show Cause Notices to IndiGo, MIAL

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued show cause notices to airline IndiGo and Mumbai airport operator MIAL following an incident where passengers were found having food on the airport tarmac. This action by the BCAS, an aviation security watchdog, is a significant development in enforcing strict adherence to security protocols and maintaining safety standards in aviation operations.

Lamborghini Posts Record Sales in India

Automobili Lamborghini, the Italian super luxury automaker, announced that it crossed the 100 units annual sales mark in India for the first time in 2023, with record sales of 103 units for the year. This achievement reflects the growing market for luxury automobiles in India and indicates a strong consumer appetite for high-end brands, despite the broader economic challenges.

D2M Tech to be Tested in 19 Cities

The Indian government is initiating a pilot program in 19 cities to test direct-to-mobile (D2M) technology. This innovative technology enables broadcasting content or live TV on mobile devices without needing an active internet connection. The pilot will utilize Prasar Bharti’s infrastructure to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of D2M. If successful, it could lead to a broader rollout. This technology is significant because it offers a new way to access media content, potentially reaching wider audiences, especially in areas with limited internet connectivity. It could revolutionize how people consume media, making it more accessible and convenient.

TCS Aims to Train All Employees in GenAI Skills

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services company, plans to train its entire workforce of over five lakh (500,000) software engineers in Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI). This initiative, spearheaded by Siva Ganesan, head of the ‘AI.Cloud’ unit at TCS, recognizes GenAI as a burgeoning business opportunity, albeit in its nascent stage. The focus on GenAI skills reflects the increasing importance of AI in the tech industry and TCS’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements. This training could significantly enhance TCS’s capabilities in AI, potentially leading to innovative products and solutions.

Samsung Gets Nod for BP, ECG Features on Smartwatches

Samsung has received approval to activate blood pressure (BP) measurement and electrocardiogram (ECG) features on its smartwatches. This development marks a significant advancement in the health-monitoring capabilities of wearable technology. It’s expected to strengthen Samsung’s position in the premium wearables market, as these features add significant value to their smartwatches. This approval may also assist in clearing existing inventory by making Samsung’s smartwatches more attractive to health-conscious consumers.

Jindal Power Bids Higher than Adani Co for Lanco Subsidiary

Jindal Power Ltd. (JPL) has outbid Adani Power with a ₹4,203-crore offer to acquire Lanco Amarkantak Power. This aggressive bid by JPL, a company promoted by Naveen Jindal, underscores the intense competition in India’s power sector. The acquisition could enhance JPL’s capabilities and market position, signifying a strategic move in the ever-evolving power industry landscape.

78% of Respondents Prefer Streaming Content on TV: Study

A study commissioned by Amazon and conducted by NielsenIQ reveals that about 78% of streaming consumers prefer watching online content on their TV screens, utilizing streaming sticks, smart TVs, and set-top boxes. This trend highlights the shifting preferences in content consumption, indicating a significant market for devices facilitating streaming on larger screens. This preference could impact the strategies of content providers and device manufacturers, emphasizing the need to cater to home entertainment systems.

Fitch Affirms India Rating at ‘BBB-’ with Stable Outlook

Fitch Ratings has affirmed India’s sovereign rating at ‘BBB-’ with a stable outlook. The rating reflects a strong medium-term growth prospect and robust external finances. However, the agency flagged weak public finances as a major constraint. This rating is crucial for India as it affects the country’s borrowing costs and investment flow. A stable outlook suggests confidence in the Indian economy’s resilience, despite fiscal challenges.

As Temple Opens Doors, Jobs Come Rushing In

The opening of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22 is expected to create up to 20,000 new jobs in the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries. This development highlights the significant economic impact of major cultural and religious sites, particularly in terms of job creation and tourism growth. The anticipated influx of tourists to Ayodhya demonstrates the temple’s role as a major attraction and its potential to stimulate the local economy.

Corporate India’s Quest for Women Leaders Intensifies

Indian corporations, including large local companies and multinationals, are increasingly seeking senior women professionals for top management roles. This surge in demand for female leaders in roles like CFO, COO, CHRO, CMO, CTO, CLO, and CEO reflects a growing recognition of gender diversity’s value in corporate leadership. This trend is driven by the need for diverse perspectives at the highest levels of decision-making and the potential benefits it brings to business performance and corporate culture.

UN Bars Indian Rice Exporters from WFP

The United Nations has excluded Indian rice exporters from participating in its rice procurement tender for the World Food Programme (WFP) due to India’s restrictions on rice exports. This decision highlights the impact of national policies on global food supply chains and India’s role as a significant rice exporter. The exclusion from the WFP tender could have ramifications for India’s rice export market and the global food supply.

Govt Slashes Windfall Tax on Domestic Crude

The Indian government has reduced the windfall tax on domestically-produced crude oil from ₹2,300 per tonne to ₹1,700 per tonne. This tax cut could have multiple implications, including potentially lowering the cost of domestic crude oil, affecting the profitability of oil producers, and having broader economic impacts. The decision reflects the government’s response to changing market conditions and its efforts to balance fiscal needs with industry growth.

SC Backs HC’s Decision on AB Fin-Siti Dispute

The Supreme Court has upheld the Delhi High Court’s decision to refer a ₹150-crore loan default dispute between Aditya Birla Finance and Essel Group entity Siti Networks, with Zee Entertainment Enterprises as the guarantor, to arbitration. This ruling emphasizes the judiciary’s role in resolving corporate disputes and the importance of arbitration as a mechanism for settling such conflicts. It could set a precedent for similar cases in the future.

Sebi, NSDL Move SC Against SAT’s Karvy Decision

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the National Securities Depositories Ltd (NSDL) have approached the Supreme Court against the Securities Appellate Tribunal’s decision concerning Karvy Stock Broking (KSBL). This move indicates ongoing legal complexities in the financial sector and underscores the importance of regulatory bodies in maintaining market integrity. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the securities market and investor protection.

Omaxe Gets ₹450-cr Funding from Kotak Mahindra Bank

Real estate developer Omaxe has secured ₹450 crore in funding from Kotak Mahindra Bank. This funding, which includes a loan repayment to Värde Partners and investment in project development, signifies confidence in Omaxe’s business prospects. It illustrates the ongoing dynamics in the real estate sector and the role of financial institutions in supporting business growth.

SBI, BoB Among PSBs Pushing Bond Issues

State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB) are leading a trend among public sector banks (PSBs) in issuing bonds. This move is driven by the current lower government bond yields, which have reduced borrowing costs, and the need for funds due to tight liquidity and robust credit growth. Banks are leveraging these conditions to raise capital to meet increasing loan demands. This strategy could enhance their lending capacity and potentially impact their financial stability and growth.

Yield Spreads Hint Equity Rally may Lose Some Steam

A significant indicator in the financial markets, the spread between earnings yield and bond yield, suggests that the equity market rally might slow down. According to Bloomberg data, this spread has risen to 258 basis points, the highest in five years, indicating a potential shift in investor sentiment. This change, deviating from the long-term average of 120 basis points, could signal a more cautious approach by investors towards equities, impacting market dynamics.

LIC Shares Gain 4.4%, Top Listing Price

Shares of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) have surpassed their listing price for the first time since their debut in May 2022, marking a significant milestone. This 4.4% increase indicates growing investor confidence in LIC, reflecting its performance and potential in the market. This achievement is noteworthy given the size and importance of LIC in India’s insurance sector.

Shriram Fin Nets $750 m in its Largest-ever Fundraise

Shriram Finance has successfully raised $750 million through bond issuances, marking its largest-ever fundraising in the capital markets. This significant achievement signals a resumption of high-yield bond issuances by Indian corporates, indicating robust market confidence and a potentially favorable environment for corporate fundraising.

L&T Bags ‘Mega Order’ for Bullet Train Project

Engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has secured a ‘mega order’ for the electrification system of India’s bullet train project. This order, received from a Japanese agency, underscores L&T’s capability and reputation in the infrastructure sector. It also highlights the progress of the ambitious bullet train project in India, which is expected to have a transformative impact on the country’s transportation infrastructure.

Promoters of Some Mid- and Small-cap Cos Hike Stakes in a Sign of Confidence

In a show of confidence, promoters of certain mid- and small-cap companies are increasing their stakes in their firms. Unlike the typical trend of buying shares during market downturns, promoters are proactively investing in their companies, indicating their belief in the companies’ potential and stability. This trend could signal underlying strengths in these businesses and might influence investor perception.

Epack Durable’s Rs640.5-cr IPO to Open on Jan 19

Epack Durable, based in Uttar Pradesh, is set to launch its Initial Public Offering (IPO) on January 19, valued at Rs 640.5 crore. The IPO is priced between Rs 218 and Rs 230 per share. This public offering signifies Epack Durable’s entry into the broader market, potentially attracting investors looking for opportunities in the durable goods sector. It reflects the company’s growth aspirations and the market’s receptiveness to new entrants.

Capital Small Finance Bank Gets Sebi Nod for IPO

Capital Small Finance Bank, noted for being the first to commence operations as a small-finance bank in India, has received approval from the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for an IPO. This approval is a critical step in the bank’s journey towards further expansion and accessing capital markets. The IPO could open up new avenues for growth and increase its visibility and credibility in the financial sector.

Jyoti CNC Shares List at 11.8% Premium

Jyoti CNC Automation has made a strong debut in the National Stock Exchange, listing its shares at an 11.8% premium over its IPO price. Starting at Rs 370 per share against an IPO price of Rs 331, the shares touched a high of Rs 444 before closing at Rs 431.7. This successful listing reflects investor confidence in the company’s potential and market positioning, particularly in the automation sector.

ICICI Lombard Oct-Dec Net Profit Surges 22%

ICICI Lombard General Insurance reported a 22.4% increase in net profit for the October-December quarter, reaching Rs 431 crore compared to Rs 352 crore in the same period last year. This significant profit surge underscores the company’s strong performance and resilience in the general insurance sector. Such growth could enhance investor confidence and solidify ICICI Lombard’s position in the market.

RBI Preps India’s Top Banks to Face a ‘De-dollarised’ World

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is preparing India’s major banks for a shift towards a multi-currency global economy, indicating a move away from the dominance of the U.S. dollar. This initiative involves measures to internationalize the Indian rupee, which could significantly impact international trade and finance for India. The RBI’s guidance to banks suggests an anticipation of major changes in global financial dynamics, and a need for Indian banks to adapt to these changes.

PVR’s Not a Hit in Dec Qtr, but Non-Hindi, English Films May Light Up Screens Soon

PVR, India’s largest multiplex chain, experienced a 15% drop in stock value over the past month, despite positive trends in the broader market. This decline could be attributed to various factors including changes in consumer preferences and market competition. However, there is optimism about the potential boost from non-Hindi and English films, suggesting a shift in audience interests and the importance of diverse movie offerings in the cinema industry.

Aster DM Wins Over Street with a Big Payout Plan

Aster DM Healthcare’s stock surged by 13% following its announcement to allocate 70-80% of the revenue from its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region business sale for shareholder distribution. This significant payout plan reflects the company’s strong performance in the healthcare sector and its commitment to rewarding shareholders, potentially attracting more investors and enhancing market confidence in the company.

Riskometer in a Mutual Fund

The ‘riskometer’ is a mandatory tool used in mutual funds to display the risk associated with different investment schemes. This tool helps investors understand the risk level of each scheme, enabling them to make more informed investment decisions. The riskometer is an essential aspect of mutual fund investments, reflecting the industry’s focus on transparency and investor awareness.

Federal Bank Posts Highest-ever Quarterly Profit in December

Federal Bank reported its highest-ever quarterly net profit, a 25% year-on-year increase to Rs 1,007 crore for the December quarter. This remarkable performance, surpassing market expectations, could be attributed to factors such as loan growth and operational efficiency. This achievement underscores the bank’s strong financial health and could bolster investor confidence in its future prospects.

Bank of Maharashtra Posts 34% Rise in Q3 Net

The Bank of Maharashtra (BoM) reported a 34% increase in net profit for the December quarter, rising to Rs 1,036 crore from Rs 775 crore a year earlier. This significant growth, driven by loan expansion and a reduction in tax outgo, highlights the bank’s improving financial performance and efficiency. Such positive results could enhance the bank’s market reputation and investor appeal.

ICICI Securities Posts 65% Rise in Net Profit

ICICI Securities announced a 65% year-on-year increase in its consolidated net profit, reaching Rs 466 crore for the quarter ending December 31. This impressive growth, along with a 50.5% increase in consolidated revenue, reflects the company’s strong operational performance and market position. The success of ICICI Securities in the financial services sector is indicative of robust market conditions and effective business strategies.

Airlines and Fliers Are Stuck With 737 Max, Like It or Not

The Boeing 737 Max continues to be a staple in aviation despite various safety incidents, the most recent being an exit door breaking off mid-air. Despite these concerns, the aircraft remains in use due to several factors, likely including economic and logistical considerations. This situation reflects the complexities of the aviation industry, where safety concerns must be balanced with operational and financial realities.

Goldman Sees India’s Rising Affluent Class Buy Up Premium Goods

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts a surge in demand for premium goods in India, driven by the country’s rapidly growing affluent class, expected to nearly double to 100 million people within three years. This forecast suggests a significant shift in consumer dynamics in India, offering opportunities for companies in the luxury and premium sectors and indicating a broader economic transformation.

Insurers Find Pros to Parley with Hackers as Cyber Claims Shoot up

Private insurers like HDFC Ergo General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance are adopting new strategies, including negotiating with cyber attackers, to manage ransomware claims. This approach is a response to the increasing prevalence of cyberattacks in India, signifying a shift in how cyber risks are handled and emphasizing the growing importance of cybersecurity measures.

IT Cos Expect BFSI to Lead Recovery in a Few Quarters

India’s IT industry, particularly the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) sector, is anticipated to lead the recovery in technology outsourcing, outperforming other verticals like communications. This expectation reflects the robustness of the BFSI sector and its critical role in the growth of the IT industry.

IT MoS: Next Wave of Indian Startups on Deep Tech, IP-based Devices

India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, predicts that the next wave of Indian startups will focus on deep technology and intellectual property-based devices and products. This forecast highlights the evolving nature of India’s startup ecosystem, moving towards more innovation-driven and technologically advanced ventures.

Avg Unicorn Time for Startups Down to 5.5 Yrs: Report

According to a report by Orios Venture Partners, the time required for Indian startups to achieve unicorn status has decreased from 8.4 years in 2022 to 5.5 years in 2023. This trend indicates a maturing startup ecosystem in India, with faster growth trajectories and increased investor confidence in the potential of these ventures.

Unacademy Picks New CFO, Offline Centres

Educational technology startup Unacademy has appointed Pratik Dalal as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for its offline centers business. This strategic move, announced by CEO Gaurav Munjal, indicates Unacademy’s expansion and diversification strategy, blending online and offline educational services. The appointment highlights the growing trend of edtech companies exploring hybrid education models to widen their reach and impact.

Fintech Startup Upswing Bags $4m in pre-Series-A

Upswing Financial Technologies, a fintech-focused software suite provider for consumer businesses, has raised $4.2 million in a pre-series-A funding round. Led by Quona Capital, this investment signifies the burgeoning interest in fintech startups and their potential to innovate and disrupt traditional financial services sectors. Upswing’s success in securing funding reflects the growing investor interest in technology-driven financial solutions.

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