29 December 2023 : Important Financial News in India


Source: Economic Times, “Today’s ePaper”

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Table of Contents

Centre Charts Plan to Paint 800K Diesel Buses Green

The Indian government is initiating a major environmental project to replace 800,000 diesel buses with electric ones over the next seven years. This ambitious plan aims to reduce pollution and embrace cleaner energy sources. By targeting over a third of the total buses currently on the roads, this move represents a significant step towards sustainable transportation. The transition to electric buses is expected to have a substantial impact on air quality, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and reduce fossil fuel dependency.

Forty Supercars for Me & My Friends, Please!

India’s affluent class is showcasing their wealth and unique demands following a financially successful year, marked by a 20.3% return in stock markets and a record number of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). This trend reflects the growing economic disparity and the lavish lifestyle of the wealthy in India. The demand for luxury items like supercars is not just a display of wealth but also an indicator of the economic vibrancy and consumer confidence among India’s elite.

Fiscal Discipline may Guide Interim Budget

Ahead of the upcoming general election, the Indian government is expected to maintain fiscal discipline in its interim budget for FY25. This approach suggests a strategic deviation from populist spending or incentives, focusing instead on a steady economic course. This decision, influenced by ongoing deliberations, highlights the government’s commitment to economic stability and prudent financial management during a politically sensitive period.

IPO Street Shines Bright in 2023 on Robust Local Demand, Equity Rally

India witnessed a significant surge in initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2023, ranking second globally after China. This growth, driven by robust local demand and a strong stock market, led to 240 IPOs during the year. This achievement underscores India’s dynamic economic landscape and investor confidence, reflecting the country’s status as a rapidly growing and populous economy.

Indian Banks Strong Enough to Face Adverse Macro and Credit Stress: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has affirmed the strength of Indian banks to withstand macroeconomic and credit stress without compromising their capital requirements. However, the RBI also noted the challenges posed by widespread adoption of technology and innovation in the banking sector, calling for regulatory attention to ensure financial stability.

Indices Close at New Highs on Global Cues, Rollover of Bullish F&O Bets

Indian equity benchmarks closed at record levels, extending their gains for the eighth consecutive session. This rise is attributed to traders carrying forward bullish derivative bets into January, influenced by positive global cues and the expiration of December contracts. This trend reflects the strong momentum in the Indian stock market and investor optimism.

Systemically Important SBI, HDFC Move to Higher Buckets

The State Bank of India and HDFC Bank, two of India’s largest lenders, have been moved to higher categories within the RBI’s classification of Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). This move requires them to set aside more capital, a measure that underscores their significance in India’s banking system and the need for enhanced financial safeguards.

Large International Banks ask Many Indian HNIs to Close Accounts

Several wealthy Indians are facing challenges in maintaining their overseas bank accounts due to stricter regulations from large international banks and restrictions imposed by the RBI. This development reflects the evolving landscape of global banking practices and the impact of regulatory changes on high-net-worth individuals.

Little Value in Most Parts of Mkt, Expect Low Returns in ’24: Kotak

Kotak Institutional Equities has advised investors to anticipate low returns in 2024 due to limited value in most parts of the equity market. This cautionary stance comes after a recent surge in share prices, pointing to the potential for market corrections and the importance of strategic investment decisions in an election year.

Liquidity Issues can Still Hurt Some NBFCs

The RBI has highlighted that while non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) in India have improved their financial positions, there remains a risk of stress under extreme liquidity conditions. This observation underscores the ongoing challenges faced by NBFCs and the importance of robust financial management in the sector.

Solvency Ratio of Three State Non-life Insurers Below Par

The RBI’s Financial Stability Report reveals that three state-owned non-life insurance companies are not meeting regulatory solvency requirements. Additionally, stress has been identified in several mutual fund schemes. This situation raises concerns about the financial health of these institutions and the need for corrective measures.

RBI Releases Draft on G-Sec Forwards

The RBI has proposed introducing bond forwards in government securities to help market participants manage cash flows and interest rate risks. This initiative aims to provide more tools for financial risk management, especially for long-term investors.

LIC Requests Access to RBI’s Database on Large Creditors

The chairman of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC), India’s largest institutional investor, has requested access to the RBI’s database on large firms. This move is part of LIC’s strategy to diversify its investment portfolio and reflects the evolving dynamics of India’s financial sector.

‘Banks Should Step Up Spending on IT Security Systems’

The RBI’s deputy governor has emphasized the need for banks to increase their investment in information technology security systems. This directive comes amid rising cyberthreats, highlighting the critical importance of cybersecurity in the banking sector.

‘Weak Growth in Consumption, Global Uncertainty Pose Challenges’

Shashanka Bhide, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, has expressed concerns about India’s GDP growth prospects, citing weak consumption and global uncertainty. These factors pose significant challenges to the country’s economic outlook, necessitating careful policy considerations.

Adani Group in JV with IHC

The Adani Group has entered a joint venture with Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company (IHC) to explore artificial intelligence, internet of things, and blockchain technologies. This collaboration aims to capitalize on India’s growing digital economy, valued at $175 billion.

Centre Paves Way for Using Waste in Building Highways

The Indian government is integrating road construction with the Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0, allowing the use of waste materials in building national highways. This innovative approach promotes sustainability and efficient resource utilization in infrastructure development.

Banks told to Explore Dashboard with Real-time Info on Services

The RBI has encouraged banks to develop a ‘service availability web page’ or SEWA dashboard. This platform is expected to provide customers with comparative insights into various banking services and real-time data on digital payment channels.

PNB Set to Raise ₹7,500 cr in FY25

Punjab National Bank plans to raise up to ₹7,500 crore in the next financial year through various means, such as QIP or public offers. This move is part of the bank’s strategy to bolster its financial resources.

‘Final ONDC Seller to be Liable for TCS’

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has clarified that in transactions involving multiple e-commerce operators, the final recipient of payment will be responsible for tax compliance. This directive aims to streamline tax collection and ensure fair practices in the digital marketplace.

10% Rise Seen in Q1 Power Generation

India’s power generation is projected to increase by 10% in the first quarter of the next financial year. This growth is attributed to factors like industrial expansion and increased domestic consumption.

RIL to be Among World’s Top 10 Groups: Ambani

Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani has expressed confidence that the conglomerate will rank among the world’s top 10 business groups. This ambitious goal reflects the company’s growth trajectory and global aspirations.

Tata must Prioritise Execution, Customers, AI in ’24: Chairman

Tata Group’s chairman has emphasized the need for prioritizing execution, customer satisfaction, and artificial intelligence in 2024. This focus highlights the group’s commitment to technological innovation and customer-centric strategies.

Tata Power Acquires Rajasthan Transmission Project

Tata Power has acquired a special purpose vehicle for a power transmission project between Bikaner and Neemrana in Rajasthan. This acquisition is part of the company’s expansion strategy in the energy sector.

Govt in Talks with Stakeholders to Boost Local Production of EVs

The Indian government is negotiating with domestic and international stakeholders to formulate a policy encouraging local production of electric vehicles (EVs). This initiative aims to attract potential investors and bolster the country’s EV industry.

AIIB to Lead Rs2.5kcr Funding in Mahindra-OTPP’s Green InvIT

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is leading a funding round of Rs2,500 crore for Mahindra group’s renewable energy InvIT. This investment underscores the growing interest in sustainable energy infrastructure.

Housing Affordability Sees Improvement Across Cities

Housing affordability in India’s major cities has improved in 2023 due to rising income levels and favorable macroeconomic indicators. This trend offers opportunities for homebuyers and reflects a positive shift in the real estate market.

Antara-Max Estates to Set Up Integrated Senior Living Facility

Antara Senior Living and Max Estates are collaborating to develop an integrated senior living facility in India. This project represents a pioneering effort in the country’s senior living sector.

Pharma Lobby Bats for Drug Approvals Here in Line with Global Mkts

The Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India is advocating for parallel drug approval processes in India, in line with global markets. This initiative aims to expedite the availability of new medicines in the country.

Duty, Tax Remission Scheme Benefits to be Extended to Ecomm Exports

The Indian government plans to extend the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme to e-commerce exports. This move is expected to boost the digital export sector.

Realty Platform Strata Targets Rs2,000 cr AUM by FY24-end

Strata, a real estate investment platform, aims to achieve assets under management of Rs2,000 crore by the end of FY24. This goal aligns with regulatory changes in the fractional ownership sector.

Amazon, Flipkart Ad Revenue Soars 39% in FY23

The advertising revenues of Amazon and Flipkart rose by 39% in FY23, reaching ₹8,705 crore. This growth reflects the expanding e-commerce market and increased advertiser spending.

DMI, Aditya Birla Fin in Race to Scoop up Zest Money in Firesale

DMI Finance and Aditya Birla Finance are competing to acquire fintech lending startup Zest Money. This development is indicative of the dynamic nature of India’s financial technology sector.

Here are the Biggest Exec Moves in Tech and Startups Space in 2023

ETtech’s annual list highlights major executive changes in the tech and startup industry in 2023. This compilation includes significant movements at companies like Microsoft, Meta, and others, reflecting the evolving leadership landscape in this sector.

FirstCry Files IPO Papers, Eyes ₹1,816cr via New Share Sales

FirstCry, a retailer of baby and kids products, has filed for an IPO to raise ₹1,816 crore through new shares. This move indicates the company’s growth ambitions and investor interest in the retail sector.

TN Invests ₹6.5 crore in Five Startups

The Tamil Nadu government has invested ₹6.5 crore in five startups across various sectors. This investment demonstrates the state’s support for innovation and entrepreneurship.

FIU Puts 9 Crypto Exchanges on Notice for PMLA Violations

India’s FIU-Ind has issued notices to nine crypto exchanges for non-compliance under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. This action reflects the regulatory scrutiny of the virtual digital assets sector.

Google Maps may Shut its ‘Driving Mode’

Google Maps might discontinue its ‘Driving Mode’ feature in its Android app by February 2024. This potential change follows the removal of the ‘Assistant Driving Mode’ and indicates ongoing adjustments in Google’s navigation services.

Google Play Malware Hits 330K: Report

An Android backdoor named ‘Xamalicious’ has infected about 338,300 devices via Google Play. This malware discovery by McAfee highlights ongoing security challenges in the digital ecosystem.

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