Source: Economic Times, “Today’s ePaper”
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Economy Stays On Fast Track, Likely to Grow at 7.3% in FY24
India’s economic trajectory is set for a remarkable growth spurt, with forecasts indicating a 7.3% expansion in the fiscal year 2024. This growth is not only significant in its magnitude but also places India at the forefront of global economic expansion, outpacing many other major economies. The primary driver of this robust growth is a surge in investment activities, heavily buoyed by government spending. This uptick in investments reflects the country’s strong economic fundamentals and a conducive environment for business and economic development. The projection of such a high growth rate is a testament to India’s resilient economic structure, which has effectively navigated global challenges and is now poised for an accelerated growth path.
128 a Day Luxury Car Sales Hit Top Speed in 2023
The Indian luxury car market witnessed an unprecedented surge in 2023, with an average of 128 cars, each priced over ₹50 lakh, being sold every day. This figure marks a significant increase from the 95 cars sold per day in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. The total sales of luxury cars reached a new high for the calendar year, indicating a robust recovery and growing demand in the high-end automotive sector. This trend reflects the increasing purchasing power among Indian consumers and a growing appetite for luxury and premium products. The luxury car market’s growth also signals a broader economic recovery and consumer confidence post-pandemic.
Runway Ready for 150+ More Planes
The Indian aviation sector is poised for a substantial expansion in 2024, with plans to introduce more than 150 new aircraft, marking a 37% increase from the previous year. This expansion is facilitated by increased production capacities of aviation giants like Airbus and Boeing, who are ramping up their output to meet the record-breaking orders placed by Indian carriers. This growth in fleet size reflects the increasing demand for air travel in India and is a significant indicator of the aviation industry’s recovery and growth potential in the post-pandemic era.
Sebi Stresses on Proper Disclosures in Short-Selling
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has emphasized the importance of strict compliance with regulatory norms in the practice of short-selling in the stock market. This reiteration of rules, initially published in a 2007 circular, underscores the need for proper disclosures by all classes of investors. The move aims to enhance transparency in the stock market and to ensure that all market participants adhere to the principles of fair trading. SEBI’s focus on regulatory compliance in short-selling is crucial in maintaining the integrity of the stock market and protecting investor interests.
Brookfield Seals $2.5-billion Deal to Acquire ATC India
In a major development in the telecommunications infrastructure sector, Brookfield has finalized a deal to acquire the Indian unit of American Tower Corp (ATC) for $2.5 billion, approximately ₹21,000 crore. This all-cash transaction, poised to be completed in the second half of 2024, represents a significant investment in India’s telecom infrastructure. The acquisition of ATC India by Brookfield, a global asset management company, is indicative of the growing interest and confidence in the Indian telecom sector and is expected to have far-reaching implications for the industry.
Howdy, Partner! Coveted Title Gets Younger at Big 4
There is a noticeable shift in the leadership dynamics at the Big 4 accounting firms – EY, Deloitte, PwC, and KPMG – with a trend towards younger professionals being elevated to the ‘Partner’ status. This strategic move is driven by the need to rejuvenate the leadership pool in the face of rapid revenue growth, expansion in service lines, and the evolving business landscape. The promotion of younger partners is also a response to increased regulatory oversight, competitive talent poaching, and the integration of new-age technology in business practices. This trend underscores the importance of dynamic and agile leadership in the rapidly changing world of professional services.
Most Dreaded Subject for IITs Now: Student Placement
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are currently facing a significant challenge in their student placement programs. As they enter the second phase of placements, the placement cells at these premier engineering institutions are intensifying their efforts to devise strategies that can attract more job offers. This development comes in the wake of an increasingly competitive job market, necessitating a strategic approach to ensure that students secure optimal job opportunities. The placement process, once a routine aspect of the academic cycle, has now become a focal point of concern and strategic planning for these institutes.
Zomato Initiates Process to Liquidate Vietnam Arm
Zomato, a prominent player in the global food-delivery sector, has begun the process of liquidating its Vietnam-based subsidiary, Zomato Vietnam Company Ltd (ZVCL). This decision, disclosed in a regulatory filing, marks a significant shift in Zomato’s international business strategy. The liquidation of ZVCL signifies a reevaluation of market presence and resource allocation by Zomato. It reflects the challenges and strategic decisions companies face in the competitive food-delivery industry, especially when operating in diverse international markets. This move might also indicate Zomato’s focus on consolidating its resources and efforts in markets where it has a stronger foothold or sees greater potential for growth.
Tesla Rival VinFast Auto to Set Up EV, Battery Plant in Tamil Nadu
VinFast Auto, a Vietnamese automaker and a competitor of Tesla, has announced plans to establish an electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing facility in Thoothukudi, near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This facility is expected to have an initial production capacity of 150,000 EVs. This development underscores the growing interest and investment in the EV sector in India, highlighting the country’s potential as a hub for electric vehicle manufacturing. The choice of Tamil Nadu for this facility aligns with the state’s established automotive industry base and its emerging status as a center for EV and battery manufacturing. VinFast Auto’s entry into the Indian market signifies the increasing global competition in the EV sector and the importance of strategic locations in global supply chains.
Confident of Aditya L1’s Insertion in Halo Orbit: Shaji
Nigar Shaji, the project director of Aditya L1, India’s first space-based solar observatory, expressed confidence in the mission’s upcoming critical phase. Aditya L1 is scheduled to reach its final destination, a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian Point L1, at 4 pm on Saturday. Shaji’s optimism about the successful insertion of the spacecraft into this orbit marks a crucial milestone in India’s space exploration endeavors. The successful operation of Aditya L1 in this unique orbit will enable unprecedented observations of the sun, contributing significantly to solar research. This mission underscores India’s growing capabilities in space technology and its commitment to contributing to global scientific knowledge.
NIIF Appoints Actis’ Sanjiv Aggarwal as CEO & MD
The National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIFL), backed by the Indian government, has named Sanjiv Aggarwal, previously associated with Actis, as its new chief executive and managing director. Aggarwal’s appointment to this pivotal role signifies a strategic move for NIIFL, reflecting its commitment to enhancing infrastructure investment and development in India. His expertise and leadership are expected to drive significant progress in India’s infrastructure sector.
Come February, Your Daily Dose of TV Viewing to Cost More
Starting February, consumers in India will face increased costs for television viewing. This price hike is due to the decision of major broadcasters like Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Sony Pictures Networks India, and Viacom18 to raise TV channel bouquet prices. The increase is attributed to the rising content expenses, which will directly impact the monthly TV bills of consumers, marking a shift in the broadcasting industry’s pricing strategy.
Three Viruses Behind Covid-like Symptoms, Testing Key: Doctors
Doctors have identified three viruses – Covid-19, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and seasonal flu – as the culprits behind symptoms resembling those of Covid. The similarities in symptoms among these viruses make it challenging to differentiate them clinically, emphasizing the importance of testing for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Local Crypto Bourses Make Hay as Global Peers Put on Notice
Indian cryptocurrency exchanges are experiencing a surge in trading volumes, deposits, and user registrations. This boost is a result of the Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) decision to issue compliance notices to nine global crypto exchanges and request the IT ministry to block their website URLs for non-compliance with Indian regulatory norms.
Himachal Pradesh HC Directs EIH to Vacate Wildflower Hall
The Himachal Pradesh High Court has ordered EIH, the flagship of the Oberoi Group, to vacate the historic Wildflower Hall luxury hotel in Mashobra, Shimla. This ruling came following a petition from the state government, indicating a significant legal development in the hospitality sector involving one of India’s renowned hotel groups.
There will be No Violation of Ad Laws, Patanjali Assures SC
Patanjali Ayurved has assured the Supreme Court that it will comply with all advertising laws. This assurance follows the court’s directive in November, instructing the company to halt misleading advertisements. The court warned that any false or misleading claims could result in a penalty of ₹1 crore per claim, highlighting the strict regulatory environment for advertising in India.
NCLT Admits Insolvency Plea Against Shah Builders
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has accepted Canara Bank’s application for initiating the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) against Mumbai-based real estate developer Shah Group Builders. This development marks a significant step in addressing the financial distress in the real estate sector.
Urban Markets Drive Q3 Growth for FMCG Inc as Rural Demand Lags
Consumer goods companies reported that demand in urban areas outpaced rural growth in the December quarter for daily groceries, and personal and home products. However, a steady recovery across markets is expected, driven by improving macro indicators, increased government spending, and positive consumer sentiment.
T Series, Boney Kapoor Firm, Others Bid for Noida Film City
Several prominent entities, including Boney Kapoor’s Bayview Projects, T Series, KC Bokadia’s Lions Films, Supersonic Technobuild of Maddock Films, and Cape of Good Films, have submitted bids for the development of the proposed 1,000-acre film city near the Jewar airport in Uttar Pradesh.
Vikas Sheel is New Exec Director of ADB
Senior bureaucrat Vikas Sheel has been appointed as the executive director of the Asian Development Bank in Manila. This appointment reflects India’s active role and representation in significant international financial institutions.
Proposed ₹30k cr Capital Infusion in Oil PSUs may be Cut by Half
The Indian government is considering reducing its proposed ₹30,000 crore equity investment in major oil PSUs like Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) by half for this fiscal year. This revision is based on the robust profits these companies have recorded, diminishing the need for substantial financial support for their transition to green energy. This decision reflects the government’s assessment of the financial health and self-sufficiency of these major oil companies in the context of their ongoing transition to more sustainable energy practices.
Services Activity Accelerates to Three-Month High in Dec
The services sector in India has experienced a significant boost, reaching a three-month high in December. This acceleration is attributed to strong demand from both international and domestic markets, as per a recent private survey. The uptick in services activity indicates a robust recovery and growing dynamism in a key sector of the Indian economy, reflecting broader economic resilience and growth potential.
UN Cuts 2024 India Growth Forecast to 6.2%
The United Nations has revised its growth forecast for India in 2024, reducing it from 6.7% to 6.2%. However, it anticipates a growth acceleration to 6.6% in 2025. This revised forecast by the UN aligns with various global economic factors and internal market dynamics, providing a more nuanced outlook on India’s economic trajectory in the coming years.
Red Sea Crisis Impacts India’s Exports on Higher Shipping, Insurance Costs
The crisis in the Red Sea region is adversely affecting India’s exports due to increased shipping and insurance costs for shipments to the US, EU, parts of Africa, and the Middle East. A senior official noted the rise in costs over the last month, signaling the broader impact of geopolitical tensions on global trade, particularly for countries like India.
HC Halts Adani Power ‘Probe’, Cites SC Review
The Delhi High Court has put a temporary halt to the probe into allegations of over-invoicing of equipment by Adani Power, pending a review petition in the Supreme Court. This development highlights the legal complexities and scrutiny faced by major corporations in India, particularly in high-stakes sectors like energy.
GAIL to Buy 1 MT LNG a Yr from Vitol
GAIL, India’s state-run gas marketer, has secured a deal with Vitol, a global commodity trader, to purchase 1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually for ten years. This agreement signifies GAIL’s strategic efforts to diversify its energy sources and enhance energy security for India.
IIFCL Plans IPO by FY25: MD
The state-owned India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd. (IIFCL) is planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO) by FY25, according to its managing director, PR Jaishankar. This move indicates the company’s growth and readiness to enter the public market, reflecting the broader trend of privatization and public investment in the infrastructure sector.
CERC Proposes Sops for Higher PLF in Peak Hours by 10p
The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has proposed increasing the incentive for higher plant load factor (PLF) during peak demand hours by 10 paise per unit to 75 paise for the tariff period of FY25-FY29. This proposal is particularly beneficial for companies like NTPC, demonstrating the regulator’s efforts to encourage efficiency in power generation.
Tax Exemption Notified for Non-residents’ Investments in Offerings by IFSC
The Indian government has notified income tax exemptions for investments made by non-residents in financial products offered by capital market intermediaries in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). This move is aimed at attracting more foreign investment and bolstering the financial services sector.
Mahadev App Promoters Funnelled Illegal Proceeds into Crypto, Bogus Diamond Trade
The Enforcement Directorate’s probe into Mahadev Book, an illegal betting application, has revealed that the promoters invested their alleged proceeds of crime (PoC) in cryptocurrency, bogus diamond trade, stocks, and offshore real estate. This case highlights the complexities and challenges in regulating and monitoring financial transactions in digital and global markets.
Banks to Set up Common Website, Push e-Re
Banks in India are collaborating to establish a common website dedicated to promoting and facilitating digital currency transactions. This initiative aims to increase public awareness and encourage the adoption of digital currencies. By providing a centralized platform, the banks intend to make it easier for individuals and businesses to access and utilize digital currencies, potentially revolutionizing the way financial transactions are conducted in the country.
Meeting 5.9% Fiscal Deficit Target May Get a Tad Tougher
India faces a challenging task in meeting its fiscal deficit target of 5.9% for the fiscal year 2024. This difficulty arises due to the lower-than-expected nominal GDP growth. To achieve this target, the government must either reduce its spending by approximately ₹37,000 crore or increase its revenue. This situation puts significant pressure on the government’s budgetary planning and economic management strategies.
Goyal asks Auto Cos to Raise Share of Exports to 50% by ’30
Piyush Goyal, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, has urged the automobile industry to aim for a substantial increase in vehicle exports. The target is to export 50% of all passenger vehicles produced in India by 2030, a significant jump from the current 14%. This ambitious goal reflects the government’s focus on boosting the country’s export capacity and global competitiveness in the automotive sector.
Online Platform in Works to Report Road Mishaps: Secy
The Indian government is developing an online platform for the reporting of road accidents. This initiative, outlined by the Secretary of Road Transport and Highways, Anurag Jain, aims to simplify the process of reporting accidents and mitigate the implications of hit-and-run cases under the Bhartiya Nyay Sanhita. This digital solution could lead to more efficient handling of road mishaps and legal processes.
NCLAT Dismisses Kesoram’s Appeal in Birla Tyres Insolvency Case
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has rejected Kesoram Industries’ appeal in the Birla Tyres insolvency case. This decision upholds the National Company Law Tribunal’s Kolkata ruling, which denied Kesoram’s claim as a financial creditor of Birla Tyres Ltd. This ruling is a significant development in the ongoing legal proceedings surrounding the insolvency of Birla Tyres.
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