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9 December 2023 : Important Financial News in India

FINANCE MARKET HEADLINES TODAY
FINANCE MARKET HEADLINES TODAY

Source: Economic Times, “Today’s ePaper”, 09 December 2023.

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RBI Holds Rates Again, Bumps up FY24 Growth Forecast to 7%

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has maintained its interest rates without change for the fifth time in a row, due to decreasing inflation pressures. However, the RBI signals that rates will stay high to control consumer inflation. Additionally, the RBI increased its forecast for India’s economic growth in the fiscal year 2024, predicting robust demand.

Nifty Scales 21k Intraday; Sensex Nears 70k Mark

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Indian stock markets reached new highs, with the Nifty index briefly crossing 21,000 and the Sensex nearing the 70,000 mark. This rise was mainly led by gains in large banking and IT stocks. The market experienced fluctuations throughout the day, balancing gains and losses due to concerns about the recent rapid growth in stock prices.

Worked 70+ Hours a Week For Over 40Yrs, wasn’t a Waste

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy defended his recent statement that encouraged young people to work 70 hours a week. He believes this work ethic is necessary to enhance productivity and improve India’s competitiveness in the global market.

Funding in Indian Startups Sinks to its Lowest Since 2017

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Investment in Indian startups has significantly decreased in 2023, totaling $7 billion, which is much less than the $25 billion received in the previous year. This marks the lowest funding level for Indian startups since 2017.

BJP MP Introduces a Bill in RS to Repeal Waqf Act

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – A BJP member of the Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh introduced a bill to repeal the Waqf Act of 1995. This move could lead to significant changes in the management and regulation of Waqf properties in India.

HC Seeks Govt’s Stand on Assets

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Delhi High Court has requested the Central Government’s position on the status of Waqf properties that might be affected by the Central Vista Redevelopment Project. The court is seeking a status report on any potential impacts.

Tunnelling Most Ecologically Sound Way For Building Roads: Sukhu

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu advocated for tunneling as the most ecologically viable method for road construction in the state, especially in the wake of recent heavy rains and related damage.

Can’t Keep People Behind Bars Before Trial for Long: SC

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Supreme Court of India granted bail to Benoy Babu, a regional head of Pernod Ricard India, who was arrested in 2022 on money laundering charges. The court emphasized the importance of not detaining individuals for extended periods before their trial.

Development Has Replaced Corruption, Nepotism: Shah

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Union Home Minister Amit Shah claimed that growth and development have replaced corruption and nepotism in India over the past decade, leading to a brighter future for the country’s youth.

Lalduhoma Sworn In As 14th Mizoram CM, Scraps Previous Govt’s Flagship Scheme

(Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Lalduhoma, leader of the Zoram People’s Movement, was sworn in as the 14th Chief Minister of Mizoram. He immediately announced several austerity measures for the government, citing the state’s weak financial condition.

RBI’s Weekend Liquidity Move to Help Banks Tame the Skew (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Reserve Bank of India introduced a new measure to help banks manage their funds more effectively, especially considering the 24×7 payment environment. This adjustment is aimed at reducing stress in situations where overall liquidity is low, enhancing the financial stability of banks.

‘We Do Not Wait for the House to Catch Fire and Then Act’ (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The RBI defended its recent steps regarding unsecured loan exposures at banks and NBFCs, indicating that it won’t delay action until problems worsen. This proactive approach is to prevent imprudent lending that could destabilize the financial system.

‘RBI-BoE Agreement Should be a Guidepost’ (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Following an agreement between the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of England on the Clearing Corporation of India, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das encouraged other regulators to adopt similar principles. This move is part of ongoing efforts to enhance financial cooperation and stability.

Unified Regime Coming for Related Party Loans (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The RBI is planning to introduce a unified regulatory framework for connected lending across all regulated entities. This initiative aims to streamline and standardize the regulations regarding loans to related parties.

Higher Limits for UPI, a Repository for Fintechs (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The RBI increased the transaction limits for UPI payments and announced the creation of a repository for fintech companies. These steps are part of efforts to boost digital payments and reduce reliance on traditional cash or cheque transactions.

Fuel Demand Falls 2% in Nov (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – India’s overall fuel demand decreased by 2% in November compared to the previous year, primarily due to a 3% drop in diesel sales. This decline reflects changes in energy consumption patterns across the country.

Tone’s Hawkish, and There’s Nothing ‘Inadvertent’ About It (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Central bankers, including those in India, maintain a cautious approach to financial policies, often tempering any positive news with reminders of potential risks. This balanced approach helps manage market expectations and stability.

Festival Spends Leave Less to Invest in Nov, Retail Equity MF Flows Drop 22% (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The festive season led to a decrease in investments in retail equity funds, with a 22% drop in November. This decline reflects the impact of seasonal spending habits on investment trends.

Steady Rates to Sustain Sales and Building of New Housing (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The RBI’s decision to keep the repo rate steady is expected to support the housing market. Stable interest rates are seen as beneficial for maintaining growth in home sales and construction.

Only 2-3 Yr Window to Woo Cos Moving Out of China: Niti VC (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman highlighted that India has a limited window of 2-3 years to attract companies diversifying away from China. He emphasized the need for policies that make doing business in India more attractive and easier.

Same-day Trade Settlement by End of FY, says Sebi Chief (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) plans to implement same-day trade settlements in the stock market by the end of the financial year. This move is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the trading system.

Single KYC for all Financial Services Soon: DEA Secy (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Department of Economic Affairs Secretary announced that a single KYC process for all financial transactions is in the works. This initiative is expected to simplify the process for consumers and enhance the ease of doing business.

Cybersecurity, Data Protection Areas of Concern: Joshi (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Financial Services Secretary emphasized the importance of having a competitive banking sector with robust cybersecurity and data protection measures by 2047. He stressed the need for universal access to banking and financial services at low costs.

Will Address EU’s Carbon Tax, Retaliate if Required: Goyal (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stated that India will address the European Union’s plan to impose a carbon tax on certain imports and is prepared to retaliate if necessary to protect its interests.

Periodic Review of Regulatory Norms Needed, Says CEA (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Chief Economic Advisor emphasized the need for private capital in accelerating India’s growth and called for periodic reviews of regulatory norms to keep pace with the changing economic environment.

₹15k crore Infra Projects Taken up (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Indian government discussed four infrastructure projects worth ₹15,000 crore at the 62nd Network Planning Group meeting under the PM GatiShakti initiative, highlighting its commitment to infrastructure development.

Cabinet Approves ₹25k cr for Interest Equalisation Scheme (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Union Cabinet approved an additional ₹2,500 crore for the continuation of the interest equalisation scheme on export credit, which is extended until June 30, 2024. This scheme is designed to support exporters by reducing the cost of borrowing.

‘CCI to study AI to Gauge Antitrust Concerns’ (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Competition Commission of India (CCI) plans to conduct a study on artificial intelligence to better understand antitrust concerns in this rapidly evolving technology sector.

Standing Committee Flags Delay in Road Projects (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The parliamentary standing committee criticized the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for delays in projects and shortfalls in asset monetisation, primarily due to land acquisition issues.

Aim to Increase Efficiency of Supply Chains (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework’s supply chain agreement aims to enhance the resilience and efficiency of supply chains in the region, as informed to the Parliament.

Initiatives taken to Conclude Trade Pacts (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The Indian government is actively working to finalize trade agreements with key countries to expand India’s share in global commerce.

Hunter Biden Indicted in Tax Case on Nine Charges (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, faces nine federal tax charges, a development that could pose a political challenge for the Biden administration and the Democratic Party as the 2024 campaign begins.

Israel Ramps Up Strikes; UNSC Delays Ceasefire Vote (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The United Nations Security Council postponed a vote on a resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza, allowing more time for Arab leaders to persuade the US to support the resolution. Meanwhile, Israel intensified its military actions.

Rocket Hits US Embassy in Baghdad, No Casualties (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – A rocket attack targeted the US Embassy in Baghdad, causing minor damage but no casualties. This incident underscores ongoing security challenges in Iraq’s capital.

Explore Limitless Potential of Uttarakhand: PM to Investors (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged investors to explore the vast potential of Uttarakhand, highlighting its diverse offerings from nature and culture to adventure sports and pilgrimage opportunities.

US FDA Okays Two Gene Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The US Food and Drug Administration approved two gene therapies for treating sickle cell disease. This includes the first therapy based on the groundbreaking CRISPR gene-editing technology.

Vedanta Resources Close to Raising $1.25 b from StanC, Cerberus Cap (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Vedanta Resources is nearing a deal to secure a $1.25 billion loan from Standard Chartered Bank and Cerberus Capital Management. This funding is crucial to prevent default on upcoming bond repayments.

Domino’s Gaining Share from Local Rivals, Says CEO (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Domino’s Pizza CEO stated that the company is gaining market share from local and regional pizza competitors, with India and China being key growth markets.

Jayaswal Neco to Raise ₹3,200cr in Debt (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – Jayaswal Neco, a steel manufacturer, plans to raise ₹3,200 crore in debt, facilitated by three private credit funds. This funding is a significant step in the company’s financial strategy.

Rough Diamond Imports to Resume from December 15 (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – India’s diamond industry will restart importing rough diamonds from December 15, after a two-month voluntary suspension due to low demand.

Onion Exports Banned till Mar (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – India has banned onion exports until March 31 to increase domestic availability and control prices. This decision aims to stabilize the market and prevent price inflation.

NARCL Acquires two Srei Cos under IBC (Explanation for a layman: Key Points) – The National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) announced the acquisition of Srei Equipment Finance and Srei Infrastructure Finance, marking a significant development in the financial sector.

 

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