Showing posts from May, 2015


The Indian economy grew at 7.3 per cent in 2014-15 due to improvement in the performance of both services as well as manufacturing sectors. According to the data release by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today, the economic growth was 6.9 per cent in 2013-14 as per the new series of national accounts with base year of 2011-12. The growth in 2014-15 was lower than the advance estimates of 7.4 per cent released in February. The fourth quarter (January-March) of last fiscal saw the economy grow at 7.5 per cent, better than 6.6 per cent recorded for the previous three months, October-December. The Gross Value Added (GVA), a new concept introduced by CSO to measure the economic activity, rose by 7.2 per cent in 2014-15 compared 6.6 per cent in the previous fiscal. The manufacturing sector GVA rose by 7.1 per cent during the year as against 5.3 per cent in 2013-14. Similarly, the output of electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services rose by 7.9 per cent as against 4.8 per…


On the first anniversary of his government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said people's expectations are "high" and there is "much more to be done" as he enlisted the work done over the last one year, ranging from "rejuvenating" the economy to initiatives for the poor. He said his government systematically went about addressing the challenges and its endeavour is to transform the quality of life, infrastructure and services. Presenting the report card of his year-old government in two open letters to the people, Modi mentioned various measures and initiatives taken and said, "This is just the beginning. There is much more to be done and I know your expectations are high." He said he had devoted "every element of my body and spirit" in fulfilling with "fullest sincerity and honesty" the responsibility and honour entrusted by people a year ago in him of serving them as "pradhan sevak" (prime worker). "We…


The Reserve Bank today asked Urban co-operative banks to appoint nodal officers for implementation of the government's flagship scheme, Atal Pension Yojana (APY), which provides for a minimum pension of Rs 1,000-5,000, depending upon contribution. The APY, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month, is focused on all citizens in the unorganised sector, who join the National Pension System (NPS), administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years while the maximum age is 40 years. This means that minimum period of contribution by any subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more. The benefit of fixed minimum pension would be guaranteed by the government. The government would also co-contribute 50 per cent of the total contribution or Rs 1,000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-20).


The Maharashtra government has asked milk cooperative societies and distributors to slash milk prices by Rs 2 to Rs 5, dairy development minister Eknath Khadse said today. "I have directed the milk co-operative societies and distributors to slash the market price of milk by Rs 2 to Rs 5 as they have been earning more than double the procurement rates," Khadse told reporters here. "These milk distributors have been procuring milk from farmers at Rs 14 - Rs 16 while their market ranges between Rs 40 to Rs 60," he said. The issue of falling milk prices was raised by leader of opposition in Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde during the budget session of the state legislature in March. Khadse said that the government is also prepared to promulgate an ordinance for providing a fixed rate of Rs 20 per litre to milk-producing farmers who are facing difficult times owing to the steep fall in milk prices. "We will take a strict action against the milk procurement centr…


As the Modi government completes first year in office, though almost all American investors are "overweight" on the country, they also complain that nothing is changing on the ground, says a report by Bank of America -Merrill Lynch. The US-based brokerage expects Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan to cut policy rates by another 0.25 per cent on June 2 and said that rate cuts and not big-ticket reforms will have tangible impact on growth. In the report titled 'Investorspeak: From hope trade to show-me trade', BofA-ML India economist Indranil Sen Gupta said, "We met equity investors in New York and Boston last week. While almost all are overweight on Indian equities, there are indubitable concerns that nothing is really changing on the ground." On the rate cut, Gupta said, "I expect Rajan to cut (rates by) 25 bps on June 2, pause to allow markets price in the Fed rate hike expected in September, and then cut 50 bps more in early 2016." Stating tha…


The government today launched the website of NITI Aayog with a blogs section that will have articles, field reports, work in progress and opinions by the officials. The government had replaced the Planning Commission with NITI Aayog on January 1. Thereafter, the government had archived the website of the Commission in the first week of January. "Dr Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, launched the beta version NITI Aayog website here today. The website can be accessed on," a NITI Aayog press release said. However, the final website is under construction and will be updated soon, it added. The portal will provide details of the constitution, functions and current activities of the NITI Aayog. The web page will also have reports prepared by the Aayog in its initial stages. The website also has a unique feature -- NITI Blogs, which will incorporate articles, field reports, work in progress, and opinions by NITI officials, it added. Earlier an off…


Deflationary pressure continued for the sixth month in a row with inflation dropping to a new low of (-)2.65 per cent in April, mainly on account of decline in prices of fuel and manufactured items even as food prices increased.
Inflation, as measured on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), has been in the negative zone since November, 2014. In April last year, it was 5.55 per cent.
The deflationary trend has bolstered the case for a rate cut by the Reserve Bank, as retail inflation has also eased and industrial production is down, experts said. Industrial output had slowed to 5-month low of 2.1 per cent in March.
Inflation was (-)2.33 per cent in March, (-)2.17 per cent in February, (-)0.95 per cent in January, (-)0.50 per cent in December and (-) 0.17 per cent in November.
In April this year, the manufactured products segment witnessed deflation for the second consecutive month as prices dropped by a record low of (-)0.52 per cent.
Inflation in food articles category stood at 5.73 per cent, …


After two sessions of rally, the benchmark BSE Sensex today plunged by 630 points to end below the 27,000-mark on across-the-board selling over concerns that key reform bills may get delayed, while weakness in global bond markets also hit sentiment. Foreign investors' worries continue to bog market despite government's move to assuage their taxation issues, traders said. Moreover, rupee falling below the 64-mark against the dollar also too weighed on sentiments, they added. "The recent phase of range-bound correction is led by FIIs, in spite of setting up a high-level committee to decide MAT issue. Factors like increase in Europe bond yield...currency depreciation is impacting global inflows," said Vinod Nair, Head-Fundamental Research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. Moreover, Goods and Service Tax (GST) amendment bill and the land acquisition bill, which got stuck in Rajya Sabha, raised fears of del…


American brokerage Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) today retained its Sensex target at 33,000 by December, but said in the medium term, the Dalal Street will see more volatility. "We continue to maintain our December Sensex target of 33,000 points. But near-term the markets will remain subdued and range bound with a negative bias, as quarterly earnings are low and more earnings downgrades are likely over the medium term," BofA-ML Analyst Jyotivardhan Jaipuria said in note. "Also, the India versus GEM premium is near all-time at 35 per cent the GE averages," Jaipuria said. The markets are likely to witness another quarter of weak growth in the ongoing earnings season. Mirroring the previous quarter when aggregate Sensex profit fell 1 per cent year-on, profit growth is once again going to be subdued at 1 per cent, he said, adding he sees more earnings downgrades for the next few months before stabilising and earnings upgrades may not start until next year. On …


Rising for the second straight day, the benchmark BSE Sensex surged 402 points today to close at over two-week high of 27,507.30 on RBI rate cut hopes, better-than-expected corporate earnings and firm Asian cues. The NSE Nifty too spurted by 133.75 points or 1.63 per cent to settle at one-week high of 8,325.25. Meanwhile, to assuage concerns of foreign investors slapped with MAT demand, the government today put on hold issuance of fresh notices and any further assessments on levy of this tax on such entities. Traders said, China slashing interest rates by 25 basis points and US reporting strong jobs data boosted market sentiment in emerging nations, including India. "Though it is not certain if China’s latest interest cut could be taken as a positive for Indian markets, it sure did help traders’ sentiments, which were looking for cues to carry on with Friday’s short covering," said Anand James, Co Head Technical Research Desk at Geojit BNP Pa…


Stock market witnessed a bloodbath today with Sensex tanking 723 points -- its second biggest single day fall since Narendra Modi government took over -- on huge sell-off by FIIs on concerns over GST and other reforms. Across-the-board sell-off was triggered by concerns that reform process may get delayed as the key GST bill faces strong political opposition even as it got through Lok Sabha. Slowdown in the services and manufacturing sectors as also persistent taxation worries added to the pressure. Some traders said that conviction of hugely popular bollywood actor Salman Khan in a 13-year-old hit and run case could also have been at play, as a large number of HNI investors and traders typically rotate their funds between stock market, real estate and film industry. "Traders remained concerned due to prevailing conflict between the opposition and government over key bills in the parliament," said Jayant Manglik, President of Retail distribution at Re…


Boosted by a rally in stocks, the total market valuation of listed companies at the BSE regained the Rs 100 lakh crore mark today. The total market capitalisation of BSE listed companies stood at Rs 1,01,68,542 crore at the end of trade today. Investor wealth of BSE-listed firms, measured by market capitalisation, had on last Monday slipped below the Rs 100 lakh crore mark. The benchmark BSE Sensex today soared 479.28 points to settle at 27,490.59 on across-the-board buying. "After the long weekend, markets witnessed a jubilant start today and posted gain of close to two per cent by the end. "Buying in auto space too supported the sentiments with most of the companies releasing better-than-expected monthly sales data for April," said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities Ltd. Traders also attributed the rebound to value-buying from an "over-sold" position after persistent selling in April. The 30-Sensex companies, which are among t…


In a major consolidation between two homegrown retailers, Kishore Biyani-led Future group will hive off its retail business to merge with Bharti Retail. The board of Future Retail, at its meeting held today, approved the demerger of retail business of Future Retail and merge it into Bharti Retail, Future Retail said in a filing to the BSE. Further, as part of the deal, retail infrastructure business of Bharti Retail will also be hived off from the company to be merged into Future Retail, it added. Bharti Retail will issue one equity share of Rs 2 each for every share of Rs 2 held in Future Retail in consideration of the merger of Future's retail business into it. 
On the other hand, Future Retail will issue one fully paid up equity share of Rs 2 each to Bharti Retail shareholders for every share of Rs 2 held in it in relation to the merger of the retail infrastructure business. Bharti Group has been looking for a full-fledged retail play, keeping its options open for partnership wi…


Mutual fund managers pumped in over Rs 7,600 crore in equity markets in April, making it their highest net inflow in more than seven years, mainly on account of positive investor sentiments and the government's reforms agenda. In comparison, they pulled out Rs 2,698 crore from the stock markets in April 2014. According to the latest Sebi data, mutual fund (MF) managers invested a net sum of Rs 7,618 crore in April this year. This was the highest net inflow in equities since January 2008, when fund managers poured in Rs 7,703 crore. Besides, fund managers invested a net amount of Rs 28,650 crore in debt markets last month. Experts have attributed this strong inflow in stock markets to positive investor sentiments, government's reforms agenda, improved fundamentals of the domestic economy and increased participation from retail investors. However, industry body Association of Mutual Funds of India's (Amfi) decision to put one per cent cap on upfront commission paid to distri…


To revive the fortunes of what Ratan Tata called 'People's Car', Tata Motors is all set to unveil its new avatar, GenX Nano, positioning it as an aspirational vehicle. In a bid to lure first time buyers and bury the 'cheapest car' tag that has been associated with the Nano, which drew the world's attention when launched in 2009, the company is making a "critical intervention" offering, with a host of new features.
It will have automatic manual transmission, openable boot and bluetooth phone sync audio system, among other features.
The GenX Nano is expected to hit the markets in 6-7 weeks time, following which the existing range of Nano will be phased out except for the CNG version.
Putting to rest theories about the company killing the brand, Tata Motors Senior Vice President (Programme, Planning & Project Management, Passenger Vehicles) Girish Wagh told PTI that the Nano "is an extremely critical product" for Tata Motors.
"Never did we…


Tax issues, disappointing fourth quarter earnings and forecast of weak monsoon were spoilsports for the stock market last month, leading to heavy sell offs and making investors poorer by Rs 1.78 lakh crore.
The BSE 30-share Sensex plummeted by 946.18 points or 3.38 per cent to 27,011.31 last month, registering its second straight monthly fall.
Tracking weakness in the stock market, total investor wealth at the BSE slumped to Rs 99.7 lakh crore, from Rs 101.49 lakh crore as on March 31.
Experts said below-expectation earnings posted by Indian companies, the issue of imposing minimum alternate tax (MAT) on Foreign Portfolio Investors and forecast of a weak monsoon for the second consecutive year haunted the market, resulted in overall correction in equities.
"Just as the domestic investors were coming to terms with the MAT issue, there have been concerns with monsoon in India as projected by the Indian Meteorological Department," said Paras Bothra, VP, Equity Research, Ashika Stoc…