ECONOMY - 2018 SEPTEMBER

August 1

GST revenue in July rises to Rs. 96,483 crore.
Revenue collected through the Goods and Services Tax touched Rs. 96,548 crore in July, marginally higher than the Rs. 95,610 crore collected in June.
The total gross GST revenue collected in July 2018 is Rs. 96,483 cocre, of which CGST is Rs. 15,877 crore, SGST is Rs. 22,293 crore, IGST is Rs. 49,951 crore (including Rs. 24,852 crore collected on imports) and cess is Rs. 8,362 crore (including Rs. Rs. 794 crore collected on imports).
This is broadly on expected lines. The total number of GSTR 3B returns filed for July up to July 31st was 66 lakh, higher than the 64.69 lakh filed for June up to June 30.

Elgi buys Australia’s Pulford for a $11 million.
Air compressor manufacturer Elgi Equipments has acquired Pulford Air and Gas, an Australian company, at a total cost of Australian $11.04 million.
Pulford is one of the largest distributors of industrial air compressors in Australia. Elgi has acquired F.R. Pulford & Son Pty Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary Advanced Air compressors Pty Ltd.
Elgi expects Rs. 60 crore revenue in Australia this financial year. Its current revenue there is Rs. 10 crore. Elgi has been present in Australia for the last 7-8 years and in the past year, Pulford has been its distributor.

August 2

NHAI to Sign MoU with SBI for a Long Term, unsecured Loan of Rs 25,000 Crore.
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is getting an unsecured loan of Rs 25,000 crore from State Bank of India for 10 years with 3 years of moratorium on repayments. This is the largest amount of loan to have been sanctioned to NHAI in one stroke by any institution.
NHAI had invited an Expression of Interest from Scheduled Commercial Banks to fund Rs. 25000 Crore as an unsecured loan for 10 years with 3 years of moratorium on repayments. In response to this EOI, SBI offered to fund the entire requirement of Rs 25000 Crore based on one month MCLR.
The loan sanctioned by SBI is unsecured. There is no principal repayment liability for initial three years.
After three years, the repayment would be done in 14 equal half yearly instalments. The total loan tenure is 10 years. NHAI can repay/ prepay it at any time without any prepayment penalty.

India's GDP growth to rise to 7.5% this fiscal, says Morgan Stanley.
India's economic growth momentum is likely to pick up further in the April-June period and the country is expected to clock GDP growth of 7.5 per cent in this financial year as per Morgan Stanley report.
In the January-March quarter, India's gross domestic product (GDP) grew at the fastest pace in seven quarters at 7.7 per cent on robust performance by manufacturing and service sectors as well as good farm output.
GDP growth to pick up to 7.5 per cent in this financial year as against 6.7 per cent in 2017-18 as per Morgan Stanley research.
The report forecasts Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to remain slightly above the inflation target of 4 per cent and the current account deficit below 2.5 per cent of GDP.

August 3

Apple becomes 1st trillion-Dollar Company.
Apple has become the world's first publicly traded company to be valued at USD 1 trillion. In 1997 when Apple teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, with its stock trading for less than USD 1.
Apple brought back its once-exiled co-founder, Steve Jobs, as interim CEO and turned to its archrival Microsoft for a USD 150 million cash infusion to help pay its bills.
Apple hit the USD 1 trillion mark when its shares reached an all-time high of USD 207.05 around midday in New York. The shares are up 22 percent so far this year.

SBI ties up with Jio to accelerate digital transactions.
State Bank of India (SBI) has inked a pact with Reliance Jio Infocomm to integrate its digital banking solution Yono with MyJio application to boost digital payment.
SBI’s Yono would now be preloaded on Reliance Jio handsets and SBI customers would benefit from Jio Prime, a consumer engagement and commerce platform with exclusive deals from Reliance Retail, Jio and partner brands.
1.5 crore of 42 crore SBI customers are using Yono now while the banking behemoth expects the number to multiply with the partnership with Jio. The latest pact is going to deepen SBI and Reliance's partnership after their 30:70 joint ventures in Jio Payments Bank.
MyJio, over-the-top mobile applications will now bring in financial services capabilities of SBI and Jio Payments Bank. The service will be rolled out in the next 60-90 days.

August 4

Govt. to seek new bids for Pawan Hans
The government will soon invite fresh bids for 100% stake sale in Pawan Hans by issuing an addendum to the disinvestment document as ONGC is ready to sell its entire stake in the company.
Helicopter services provider Pawan Hans is a joint venture between the government, which holds 51% stake, and state-owned ONGC, which owns the remaining 49% shareholding. Pawans Hans has a fleet of 46 choppers.
ONGC wrote to the government saying its board has resolved that it would prefer to exit Pawan Hans simultaneously with the government.
An addendum would be issued to the EoI (Expression of Interest) document issued. The addendum would state that ONGC has expressed its interest in selling its 49% holding and fresh bids can be put in for the entire 100% stake.

August 5

Wipro, National Grid to settle suit for $75 million.
Wipro has settled a lawsuit filed by the National Grid U.S. for $75 million, a move which would have an impact on its second-quarter earnings.
The Bangalore-based IT firm has effected a settlement for the release of all claims under the lawsuit with National Grid U.S. and a stipulation of discontinuance of the lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District of New York.
The formalities for withdrawal of the lawsuit are expected to be completed shortly.
The settlement has been effected for an amount of $75 million and is without admission of liability or wrongdoing of any kind by the parties.

August 6

SoftBank net rises 49% on Flipkart stake sale.
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group operating profit has jumped over 49% in the June quarter, helped by its sale of shares in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.
The company, which registered operating income of ¥715 billion ($6.42 billion) during the quarter, also attributed the growth to sale of the majority of chip designer ARM Holding’s Chinese operations.
Boosted by valuation gain of ¥244.9 billion at SoftBank Vision Fund: valuation gain of ¥164.3 billion ($1.4 billion) was recorded for Flipkart based on the expected sales price, following the sales agreement.
Calculated the deferred tax at 43.68%, being the Indian short-term capital gains tax rate expected to apply to the sale of Flipkart shares.

August 7

Nayara raises Rs. 2,400 crore via NCDs.
Rosneft and Trafigura-UCP promoted Nayara Energy Limited, India’s second-largest private refiner, has raised Rs. 2,400 crore via its maiden placement of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) in the domestic market.
Axis Bank was the sole arranger for the issue, which was subscribed 1.6 times the base size of Rs. 1,500 crore. The issue proceeds would be used for working capital requirements and refinancing of existing debt.
It is a landmark event in the history of the company being the first foray in the Indian debt capital market.

August 8

Govt doubles import duty on 328 textile products to 20% to boost production.
The government doubled import duty on as many as 328 textile products to 20 per cent to provide a boost to the manufacturing of these items in the country. Increase customs duty on products from the existing rate of 10 per cent to 20 per cent under Section 159 of the Customs Act, 1962.
Increase in manufacturing activity will help create jobs in the sector, which employs about 10.5 crore people. Imports of textile yarn, fabric, made-up articles grew by 8.58 per cent to USD 168.64 million.
Exports of cotton yarn/ fabrics/ made-ups, handloom products grew by 24 per cent to USD 986.2 million. Man-made yarn/ fabrics/ made-ups exports grew 8.45 per cent to USD 403.4 million. Exports of all textile readymade garments dipped by 12.3 per cent to USD 13.5 billion.

Chinese exports accelerate even as Trump escalates trade war with further tariffs.
China’s exports surged more than expected in July despite U.S. duties and its closely watched surplus with the United States remained near record highs, as the world’s two major economic powers ramp up a bitter dispute that some fear could derail global growth.
In the latest move by President Donald Trump to put pressure on Beijing to negotiate trade concessions, Washington is set to begin collecting 25% tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods.
World’s second-largest economy since U.S. duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports came into effect. China’s exports for July rose a bigger-than-expected 12.2% year-on-year, showing little tariff impact for now and beating June’s 11.2% rise and analysts’ expectations for 10% growth.
Of more direct consequence in the Sino-U.S. trade war, China’s surplus with the U.S. shrank only marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June. Washington has long criticised China’s trade surplus and has demanded Beijing cut it.

August 9

IMF forecasts India’s GDP to grow at 7.5% in 2019-20 fiscal year.
India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is poised to grow by 7.3% in the 2018-19 fiscal and 7.5% in 2019-20 on strengthening of investment and robust private consumption.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the report published the near-term macroeconomic outlook for India is ''broadly favourable''.
Growth is forecast to rise to 7.3% in fiscal year 2018-19 and 7.5% in 2019-20 on strengthening investment and robust private consumption.
Headline inflation is projected to rise to 5.2% in fiscal year 2018-19, as demand conditions tighten, along with the recent depreciation of the rupee and higher oil prices, housing rent allowances and agricultural minimum support prices.

August 10

Paytm acquires Bengaluru's savings management startup Balance Technology.
Digital payments major Paytm had acquired Bengaluru-based savings management start-up, Balance Technology for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition will help One97 Communications, which operates the Paytm brand, in further enhancing its user and merchant interfaces. While Paytm declined to comment on the deal size, the transaction is expected to be about $2 million.
They have created a fantastic product with real user engagement. As we constantly look to create customised and intuitive user experiences, the Balance Technology team will be an invaluable part of this journey.
The six-member team of Balance Technology has joined the SoftBank and Alibaba-backed company’s product and design team.

August 11

Amazon inked MoU with UP govt to boost MSME entrepreneurs under ODOP scheme.
Amazon partnered with UP government to provide support MSME entrepreneurs across nine districts. This will be a part of Amazon India’s Kala Haat programme which aims to help traditional industries to enter in to ecommerce business.
Under the programme, 300 MSME sellers registered under UP government’s ODOP scheme would be benefitted.
Amazon would provide training, account management guidance, marketing tools and world-class infrastructure of storage and delivery network to these sellers.
It has been introducing lakhs of weavers, artisans and crafts people across various clusters in India to digital commerce.

August 12

Coal India net soars 61% to Rs. 3,786 crore.
Coal India Ltd. (CIL) has posted a 61% jump in consolidated net profit at Rs. 3,786.44 crore for the June quarter of FY 2018-19. The state-owned company had reported a net profit of Rs. 2,350.78 crore in the same quarter of 2017-18.
Net income rose 17% to Rs. 25,470.86 crore from Rs. 21,774.42 crore in the year earlier period. Expenses remained higher at Rs. 19,383.99 crore as against Rs. 17,837.17 crore in April-June 2017.
During the reported quarter, the government divested 0.225% stake by way of placement of shares in ‘Bharat 22-ETF’ After the divestment, the Government of India holds 78.32% equity in CIL.
Coal production stood at 136.85 MT during the quarter, while offtake was 153.47MT.

PVR to acquire SPI Cinemas.
PVR Ltd. will buy SPI Cinemas, south India’s largest cinema chain and owner of the iconic Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai in a transaction valued at ₹850 crore. The deal would help PVR, which is listed on the stock exchanges, strengthen its base in Tamil Nadu, a key movie market.
As per the terms of the proposal, PVR would buy 2,22,7711 equity shares or 71.7% stake in SPI Cinemas. PVR currently operates a cinema circuit comprising 638 screens at 137 properties in 54 cities (19 States and UTs), serving 76 million patrons annually.
Post-transaction, PVR’s total screen count will increase to 706 screens across 152 properties and 60 cities.
SPI had total assets of Rs. 319.63 crore and a turnover of Rs. 309.60 crore. Ajay Bijli, chairman-cum-managing director, PVR Ltd., the transaction is a significant step in helping the firm achieves its goal of 1,000 screens by 2020.

IHCL, Hayre in pact for Vivanta in London.
Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has signed an agreement with Hayre Group Ltd. to operate a Vivanta hotel at Heathrow Airport in London.
IHCL owns and operates the Taj Group of hotels. The Vivanta brand caters to the upscale segment of business and leisure travellers.
IHCL was the first Indian hospitality firm to foray into the U.K. with the iconic St. James’ Court hotel in 1982.

August 13

Retail inflation slows to 9-month low at 4.17%.
Retail inflation eased to a nine-month low of 4.17% in July as food inflation cooled to its lowest level since July 2017. Inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) slowed from the 4.92% pace set in June.
Within the index, food category inflation was 1.73% in July, easing from 3.11% in June. The other significant slowdown in prices was in the pan and tobacco category, which saw growth of 6.34%, down from 8.05% in June.
Growth in the fuel and light category accelerated to 7.96% in July, from 7.22% in June. Growth in the clothing and footwear category slowed to 5.28%, from 5.6% in the preceding month.

CCI accepts acquisition of Intelenet by Teleperformance for $1 billion.
Competition Commission of India has approved the billion-dollar acquisition of BPO firm Intelenet by French outsourcing firm Teleperformance from private equity major Blackstone.
Teleperformance had announced the acquisition of Intelenet from Blackstone in June for $1 billion. Euronext-listed Teleperformance, which reported a consolidated revenue of about $4.7 billion, has 223, 000 employees across 350 contact centres in 76 countries.
DCC and Indian Subco are indirect wholly owned subsidiaries of Teleperformance. Indianet Bidco is wholly owned and controlled by the Blackstone Group. Intelenet, which was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Mumbai, had posted revenue of $449 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.
Blackstone had first invested in Intelenet in 2007 and in 2011, sold the latter to UK's Serco Group for 250 million pounds or then $383 million.

August 14

Amazon India gets another Rs 2,700 crore from parent company
Amazon India has received a fresh infusion of Rs 2,700 crore, just months after its parent company had pumped in Rs 2,600 crore into the marketplace business in May. This brings the total infusion into Amazon India to over $1 billion since January.
The Seattle company also pumped in Rs 100 crore into its food retail business Amazon retail, as per regulatory filings sourced from business intelligence platform paper.vc.
Amazon had in January received Rs 1,950 crore, and its total infusion into its marketplace business now stands close to Rs 25,090 crore or over $3.6 billion. It has committed $5 billion to win the India market.
Amazon would want to push aggressively this festive season and beat Flipkart on a standalone basis in terms of market share, senior forecast analyst at Forrester. Forrester’s recent data had shown Amazon had a market share of 31.1%, while Flipkart Group had a market share of 39.5%, with the standalone ecommerce entity having a market share of 31.9%.

GDP likely to expand by 7.4% in FY’19: FICCI survey.
The Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal, higher than the previous year as per FICCI.
The forecasts an annual median GDP growth at 7.4 per cent for 2018-19, with a minimum and maximum range of 7.1 per cent and 7.5 per cent. The expansion in the GDP was 6.7 per cent (provisional) in 2017-18.
On the growth in the first quarter of the current fiscal expansion in the economic activity would be 7.1 per cent.

Trade deficit at five-year high of $18 billion in July on oil imports.
India’s trade deficit in July widened to a five-year high of $18.02 billion as petroleum imports surged during the month by more than half compared to imports during the same month last year.
The country’s goods exports in July continued on the growth track increasing 14.32 per cent (year-on-year) to $25.77 billion propped by sectors such as electronics, engineering goods, gems & jewellery and chemicals.
Imports grew more than double of exports at 28.81 per cent to $43.79 billion resulting in the sharp increase in the trade deficit. The trade deficit in July. The deficit was at $16.6 billion last month.
Petroleum imports increased by a whopping 57.41 per cent to $12.34 billion in July compared to $7.84 billion in July 2017. There was also a substantial increase in imports of electric and non-electric machinery, gold (which increased 40 per cent), electronic goods and chemicals.

August 15

Rupee crashes to all-time low of 70.08 against US dollar.
The rupee hit the 70-per dollar mark for the first time, tumbling to a record low, as a Turkey-led rout in emerging-market currencies intensified losses. The rupee slipped as much as 0.2 percent to 70.08 per dollar in Mumbai and is down almost 9 percent this year in Asia’s worst performance.
The rupee has been among the hardest hit in Asia from the recent Turkey-led sell-off in emerging assets, a wide current-account deficit that’s already strained by higher oil prices.
A weaker rupee could complicate the Reserve Bank of India’s job of keeping inflation in check. The rupee had plunged by Rs 1.08, or 1.57 per cent, to a record low of 69.91 against the US currency.
In a ray of hope for domestic economy, latest data showed that retail inflation fell to 9-month low of 4.17 per cent in July on declining vegetable prices which may prompt the Reserve Bank to pause interest rate hike in its next monetary policy review.

REC inks pact with German bank for 200 mn euro loan.
State-run Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) has inked a loan agreement with German bank KfW for EUR 200 million facilities that would be used to finance clean energy projects in India.
REC Limited signed a 200 million euro loan with the German bank KfW in Frankfurt. This is REC's fourth line of credit under Indo-German development cooperation which REC will utilise to finance renewable energy projects in India.
The REC is one of the key players financing the power sector in India, lending to power projects across the value chain. Its sanctions in the renewable sector grew from Rs 2,090 crore in FY2016-17 to Rs 7,034 crore in FY2017-18. In the last quarter of FY2017-18, 17 per cent of the REC's total sanctions were for the renewable energy sector.

August 16

India Rating lowers FY19 growth forecast.
India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has revised down its FY19 economic growth forecast to 7.2% from 7.4% earlier.
It cited the headwinds emanating from elevated global crude oil prices and the government’s decision to fix the minimum support prices of all kharif crops at 1.5x of the production cost as the reason for the downward revision.
The rating agency expected the private final consumption expenditure to grow 7.6% in FY19 compared to 6.6% in FY18. The thrust for growth would come from the waning impact of demonetisation.
Ind-Ra felt that the government capex alone would not be sufficient to revive the capital expenditure (capex) cycle, as its share in the total capex of the economy was only 11.1% during FY12-FY17.

PhonePe to facilitate convenient payments on IRCTC app.
India's fastest growing payments platform, PhonePe announced entering into a partnership with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) to facilitate convenient, fast and secure payments through PhonePe on the IRCTC Rail connect Android app.
The partnership will enable PhonePe's 100 million plus users to now pay directly from their bank accounts using UPI, credit and debit cards and also the PhonePe wallet for their travel bookings.
This partnership gives IRCTC users a great travel booking experience and also provides the benefits of digital payments to a wider audience.
PhonePe has emerged as the largest player on the UPI network having clocked over 100Mn plus transactions in July 2018. The company was also awarded as an outstanding merchant UPI player at the NPCI excellence awards this year.

August 17

TCS overtakes RIL to become most valued Indian co.
Tata Consultancy Services pipped Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to regain the crown of India's most valued company in terms of market capitalisation.
The market capitalisation (m-cap) of TCS stood at Rs 7,69,065.04 crore, Rs 8,420.31 crore more than RIL's Rs 7,60,644.73 crore. Shares of TCS ended 0.37 per cent higher at Rs 2,008.75 on BSE, while RIL slipped 0.89 per cent to close the day at Rs 1,200.20.
TCS and RIL have been locked in a tussle to grab the top spot in market rankings. RIL had dethroned TCS to clinch the title of the most valued Indian company by market valuation.
On July 31, Reliance Industries had regained its status as the country's most valued firm by m-cap, replacing Tata Group's crown jewel TCS from the top slot.

August 18

Walmart completes acquisition of majority stake in Flipkart for $16 billion.
Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has completed the acquisition of majority stake in India's leading e-commerce marketplace, Flipkart.
Walmart and Flipkart announced the completion of the $16 billion deal that would see the US giant taking ownership of 77 per cent stake in the Indian firm.
The deal, which is the largest of its kind globally, was announced in May and received the nod from India's competition watchdog earlier.
Its closure sets the stage for India to become the latest battlefield in the fight for dominance between Walmart and its biggest rival, Amazon.

August 19

India's CAD is expected to widen to 2.8 per cent of GDP this fiscal.
India's current account deficit is expected to widen to 2.8 per cent of the GDP in this financial year. With rising oil prices, depreciating rupee and outflow of portfolio investments, there are concerns that CAD might rise in the current fiscal.
Overall expect the current account deficit to widen to 2.8 per cent of GDP in FY19 from 1.9 per cent in FY18. Balance of payment (BOP) funding to remain a challenge in FY19 as the basic BOP (current account + net FDI) is negative and portfolio flows also remain negative.
CAD, which is the difference between the inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, jumped to USD 48.7 billion, or 1.9 per cent of GDP, in 2017-18 fiscal. This was higher than USD 14.4 billion, or 0.6 per cent, CAD in 2016-17 fiscal.
India's trade deficit, or the gap between exports and imports, in July widened to USD 18 billion, the most in more than five years. India's exports rose by 14.32 per cent to USD 25.77 billion in July, while imports during the month were valued at USD 43.79 billion.

August 20

India’s sovereign credit rating not at risk from rupee’s decline: Fitch.
Strong external finance is likely to limit the impact of the rupee weakening against the US dollar on sovereign rating profile. This report comes at a time when the rupee breached the 70 level against the US dollar.
It opened strong at 69.83, a gain of 32 paise against the previous close 70.15. The rupee has lost approximately 9 per cent during this calendar year, and it is ‘the worst-performing major currency in Asia.
Despite these, the agency feels that India’s vulnerability to currency risk and capital outflows is unlikely to translate into significant pressure on the sovereign credit profile or pose external financing risks.
India also has relatively low foreign currency debt. Only around 7 per cent of the government debt is denominated in foreign currency, while total foreign currency external debt, including the private sector, is equivalent to just 13 per cent of GDP, which is one of the lowest among major the emerging markets.

August 21

AGS Transact Tech files for Rs. 1,000 crore IPO.
Rajesh Kurup In its third attempt, payments solutions provider AGS Transact Technologies (AGS) has filed initial papers with SEBI to raise about Rs. 1,000 crore through an initial public offering.
The IPO comprises a fresh issue of up to Rs. 400 crore and an offer-for-sale of up to ₹600 crore by the promoters. AGS and promoters may also consider a pre-IPO placement of up to 50 lakh shares for about Rs. 125 crore.
AGS provides customised products and services comprising ATM outsourcing and cash management, digital payment solutions such as merchant solutions, transaction processing services and mobile wallets.
This is the third time the company is looking at raising funds through an IPO. It had filed papers for an IPO in March 2015 to raise up to Rs. 1,350 crore, but withdrew from making the offer citing ‘bad market conditions’.

L&T: Eyes on share buyback details.
The board of directors of Larsen & Toubro will meet to consider a proposal for buyback of equity shares of the company. Shareholders would be keen to know the buyback size and price at which the company will buy those shares.
The mode of purchase (through tender route on proportionate basis or from the open market) would be another key aspect that investors would be looking for from the construction and engineering company’s board meet.

August 22

GDP likely to grow at 7.7 per cent in Q1 as per SBI report.
The country’s GDP is expected to grow by 7.7 per cent in the April-June quarter on the back of pick up in leading indicators like cement production, sale of vehicles and bank credit.
The CLI is signaling that the economic activity for Q1 FY19 has picked up substantially and the GVA (Gross Value Added) growth would be 7.6 per cent.
Major indicators that driving GVA in Q1 FY19 are cement production, passenger traffic, sale of both commercial vehicle and passenger vehicles, non-food credit growth and aircraft movement among others.
Finally, how much GDP will be higher than GVA at 7.6 per cent Q1FY19, it could be 7.7 per cent, as a lot of subsidy has been frontloaded in Q1, implying that the gap between GDP and GVA may just vanish in Q1.

Centre initiates stake sale in NBCC, HUDCO, NEEPCO.
The government has initiated the process of divesting its stake in three Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) - NBCC, Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO), and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO).
It is considering divesting 10 per cent stake each in NBCC and HUDCO, and 25 per cent in NEEPCO. Divestment will be through ‘Offer for Sale’ (OFS) route in NBCC and HUDCO, while there will be an Initial Public Offer (IPO) for NEEPCO.
NBCC and HUDCO are already listed on the stock exchanges. Based on the closing price on the BSE, stake sale in these two companies could fetch over ₹2,400 crore. The government owns 73.75 per cent in NBCC and is considering selling 1.80 crore shares.
In HUDCO, the Government has 89.81 per cent. After divesting over 20 crore shares, its stake will come down to 79.81 per cent. NEEPCO is 100 per cent owned by the government. The company was incorporated in 1976 to plan, investigate, design, construct, generate, operate and maintain power stations in the North Eastern Region of India.
The Government has budgeted Rs. 80,000 crore to be mobilised through disinvestment. Till date, it has got over Rs. 9,200 crore through IPOs of Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd (MIDHANI) and RITES Ltd and through Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Bharat 22.

BSE invites Bengal SMEs to list.
BSE, the oldest stock exchange in Asia, has signed an MoU with the West Bengal government to create awareness among small and medium enterprises on the benefits of listing.
The stock exchange release that it would facilitate capacity building of the State MSME sector through a series workshops and seminars and encourage the SMEs to tap domestic capital markets. A similar MoU has also been signed between the NSE and the State government.

August 23

PMO steps in to allay concerns over e-commerce policy draft.
The proposed e-commerce policy drafted by the Commerce Ministry is likely to see a number of changes with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) stepping in to take on board concerns raised by sections of the industry, as well as the government.
The PMO, which convened a meeting of senior officials from key Ministries and Departments including Commerce, Industry, Consumer Affairs, IT, Finance and also the NITI Aayog last week.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant interaction with the media last week that the government should not get into the market by looking at micro issues of discounts and pricing.
The suggestion made in the draft e-commerce policy, of introducing a sunset clause for offering deep discounts to customers, has also not gone down well with many big players such as Amazon and Flipkart.

Rupee likely to appreciate following relief rally in Asian markets.
The rupee, which has seen a severe battering of late to the relief rally seen in most Asian emerging markets as well as positive capital inflows. The rupee ended below the 70-mark against the US dollar for the first time ever on August 16 on strong demand for the greenback amid the ongoing Turkish crisis.
The falling rupee was not a cause of worry as it was getting back to its natural value. The rupee rose by about 17 per cent during the last three years. Since the beginning of this year, rupee has declined by only 9.8 per cent.
The rupee was expected to stabilise at 68-69 per US dollar level riding on positive capital inflows this month. That the rupee fared well compared to other emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey.

August 24

Moody's puts India growth in 2018, 2019 at 7.5%.
The Indian economy is largely resilient to external pressures and is expected to grow around 7.5% in 2018 and 2019. In its Global Macro Outlook for 2018-19, Moody’s growth is supported by strong urban and rural demand and improved industrial activity, pointing to the strong PMI and the index of 8 core industries.
A normal monsoon together with the increase in the minimum support prices for kharif crops. Economic activity grew 7.7% in first quarter of 2018 and high frequency indicators suggest a similar outturn for second quarter.
India will report its July-September quarter results on August 31. Moody’s had cut India’s growth forecast for 2018 to 7.3% in May from 7.5%.
The graphic presentation of the growth estimates in the latest report still shows India’s growth at 7.3% for 2018 but the commentary pegs growth at around 7.5%.

August 25

Paytm launches AI Cloud for India, partners Alibaba for cloud computing infrastructure.
One97 Communications Limited has partnered Alibaba to launch artificial intellingence-based cloud computing platform ‘Paytm AI Cloud for India’ for developers, startups and enterprises. The platform offers business-centric apps for organisations that need high-quality solutions for cloud computing, ready-to-use services to automate workflow, easy to integrate payments, among others.
Paytm AI Cloud processes and stores all their consumer data locally in servers located only in India while conforming to the highest security and privacy standards.
Every new-age organisation needs to be AI-enabled. They need growth engines to acquire customers, engage one-to-one with them, and AI empowered systems to predict their business.
The company will soon offer enterprise messaging solution in partnership with DingTalk.

Reliance Industries becomes first Indian company to cross Rs 8 lakh crore market capitalization.
The first Indian company to cross Rs 8 lakh crore market capitalisation. RIL shares rose 1.72 per cent to hit a record high of Rs 1,268 per scrip trade on BSE.
Following the gain in the counter, the company’s market valuation soared to Rs 8,04,247.76 crore in the afternoon trade.
On July 13, the market valuation of RIL surged past Rs 7 lakh crore mark, making it the second company after TCS to achieve this milestone.
RIL was among the top gainers of the S&P BSE Sensex, which traded at 38,356.55, up 70.80 points or 0.18 per cent.

Flipkart unveils dedicated portal for refurbished goods, names it '2gud'.
Retail giant Walmart-owned leading e-tailer Flipkart unveiled a dedicated portal '2Gud' for refurbished goods, including mobile phones, laptops and tablets, a week after shutting its eBay India operations.
The independent platform '2Gud' aims to bring affordability, accessibility and availability to the refurbished market, while also addressing the problem of trust and convenience.
The platform offers refurbished mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic accessories along with a 3-12 month warranty.
The platform has been launched on mobile browsers initially through the site 2gud.com, and it will soon be accessible through desktop browsers and a mobile application.

August 26

Reliance Power unit wins $56 million arbitration award; shares up 0.74%.
Reliance Power wholly-owned subsidiary Reliance Power Netherlands BV has won an international arbitration award of USD 56 million (Rs 390 crore) against Prestige Capital Holdings (a Seychelles-based company) and Kokos Jiang.
The Arbitration Tribunal constituted under Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) rules in Singapore, has ordered the respondents jointly and severally to pay USD 56 million to Reliance Power Netherlands BV.
Kokos Jiang is the owner of Sugico Group in Indonesia from whom Reliance Power had acquired the entire economic interest in three coal mining concessions in Indonesia in 2010.
These mining concessions have total coal resources ofthe around 1.5 billion tonnes with the potential to produce up to 30 million tonnes of coal per annum. Shares of Reliance Power were trading 0.74 per cent higher at Rs 33.95 apiece on BSE.

August 27

Indian economy likely to grow at 7.4% in FY19: NCAER.
Economic policy think-tank NCAER has retained India's growth forecast for the current fiscal at 7.4 per cent citing comfortable agricultural sector outlook and a marked improvement in the external sector.
Economic Research (NCAER) report, in 2018–19 the real agriculture Gross Value Added (GVA) is envisaged to grow at 4.6 per cent, real industry GVA at 5.1 per cent, and real services GVA at 8.5 per cent.
Both the NCAER annual and quarterly models forecast that GVA will grow at 7 per cent per annum in 2018–19 on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis. The annual model forecasts that GDP at market prices will grow at 7.4 per cent for 2018– 19 on a year-on-year basis, same as May 2018.
The growth rates in exports and imports, in dollar terms, are estimated at 11.9 per cent and 15.1 per cent respectively. The current account balance and central fiscal deficit, as percentages of GDP, are projected at 2 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively.

August 28

Google Tez rebranded as Google Pay; ties up with banks to offer instant loans.
Vying for a bigger share in the emerging market of online payments industry, Google during its annual event, Google for India, rebranded its payments app for India Google Tez as Google Pay, and also launched its new features.
The company has announced that users will now be able to avail instant loans using Google Pay app. It has tied up with private lenders like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Federal Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to offer customised loans, which will involve minimum paperwork.
Google Pay will work with all banks that support BHIM UPI (Unified Payments Interface). To make it a seamless experience, the banks will offer loan services in minimum time and the amount will be disbursed to the account linked with Google Pay.
Google Pay claims to have over 22 million monthly users worldwide, with over 750 million transactions so far. The service will soon be available on over 2,000 online merchants and websites and over 15,000 retail stores in India.

Amazon Pay to acquire Tapzo.
Amazon Pay, the payments arm of Amazon India, will acquire Sequoia-backed Tapzo as the e-commerce giant looks to strengthen its play in the country's growing digital payments space.
The deal values Tapzo at about $35-40 million. They did not wish to be identified as the matters are private.
Commitment to the vision of a less-cash India remains the same. Goal is to make it easier than ever before for customers to make digital payments by improving the customer experience, affordability and daily routines. Response could not be elicited from the Tapzo team.
Tapzo has undergone multiple name changes since its launch in 2010 from Akosha to Helpchat and then finally Tapzo in 2016. The Bengaluru-headquartered startup had raised Rs 100 crore in funding from Sequoia India and Ru-Net in May 2015, followed by another round of an undisclosed amount led by American Express Ventures.

August 29

IBM partners with Indian tech firms for solutions to tackle natural disasters.
IBM has partnered with a host of organisations, including Invest India, Wipro, and IT body Nasscom for its 'Call for Code' initiative that aims to build global solutions for disaster management.
2017 has been the costliest year ever for natural disasters in the Indian sub-continent. At the same time, India has the second largest developer community with 3.5 million developers - a community with great potential to create innovative solutions.
The winning team of the 'Call for Code' programme will receive a cash prize of USD 200,000, long-term open source project support from the Linux Foundation, an opportunity to pitch the solution to a venture capitalist as well as an opportunity to deploy the solution with an IBM corporate services team.
Committing IBM technology and USD 30 million over 5 years in the annual 'Call for Code' global initiative. There have been over 300 events in 50 cities across the world in addition to 'Call for Code' days across 13 IBM Development Labs.

August 30

Olympia to set up two mega IT parks in Chennai at Rs. 720 crore.
City-based Olympia Group has set aside a capex of Rs. 720 crore for the current year to set up two mega IT parks in Chennai on an area of 1.2 million sq.ft.
The first IT park admeasuring one million sq.ft of office space is coming up on an idle property of Exide Industries in Guindy. and Olympia Infratech Pvt. Ltd.
This requires an investment of Rs. 120 crore. The first phase of this project will become operational by December 2019. Olympia Group plans to raise funds for these projects through banks.
They still had some idle assets in and around Chennai, which would be used for affordable housing. Last year, Olympia clocked a revenue of Rs. 115 crore. It has set a revenue target of Rs. 200 crore to be achieved by 2020.

MRPL to merge with HPCL.
ONGC-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) plans to merge its subsidiary Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) with itself.
The company plans to invest Rs. 75,000 crore over five years across its business segments to fuel growth and expansion. Of this, Rs. 33,303 crore is earmarked for refinery expansion, Rs. 29,554 crore for marketing, Rs. 774 crore for renewables and R&D, and Rs. 12,000 crore for joint ventures.
HPCL plans to expand capacity at its Visakhapatnam refinery from 8.33 million metric tonnes per annum (mmtpa) to 15 mmtpa at a cost of Rs. 20,928 crore. The company’s Mumbai refinery is being expanded from 7.5 mmtpa to 9.5 mmtpa at a cost of Rs. 5,060 crore.
HPCL is also setting up a 9 mmtpa greenfield refinery cum petrochemicals complex in Barmer, Rajasthan for Rs. 43,129 crore and is a partner in the 60 mmtpa Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.

August 31

India's GDP grows at 8.2 per cent in 2018-19 Q1.
India's economy grew at an impressive 8.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018-19 financial year ending June 30 on the back of a strong core performance and a healthy base.
The government amid a debate over its economic record versus that of its predecessor following the release of back-series data recently. This will also be factored in by the monetary policy committee at its next review scheduled for October 3-5.
The Indian government changed the base year for GDP calculation from 2004-05 to 2011-12, by changing the goods and services in the basket to make it more current, in 2015.
India's GDP grows at 8.2 per cent in 2018-19 Q1. GDP at current prices in Q1 of 2018-19 is estimated at Rs 44.33 lakh crore, as against Rs 38.97 lakh crore in Q1 of 2017-18, showing a growth rate of 13.8 per cent.

Rupee hits record low of 71/$, RBI sells dollars in small amounts.
The Indian rupee fell to a record 71 per dollar, tracking weakness in almost all other Asian peers as the latest round of U.S. - China trade tensions dulled investor risk appetite and gave a boost to the dollar.
The partially convertible rupee was trading at 70.93/94 per dollar, compared with its previous close of 70.74. It touched 71 per dollar in opening deals before recovering slightly on the back of dollar sales by state-run banks.
The central bank was likely sporadically selling dollars through state-run banks to prevent a sudden sharp fall but traders do not expect any major intervention as the fall has been in line with fundamentals.

Coca-Cola buys Costa coffee chain for $5.1 billion.
Coca-Cola is hoping to give itself another caffeine-fueled boost. Costa coffee brand from British firm Whitbread for 3.9 billion pounds ($5.1 billion) in cash. Costa is Britain’s biggest coffee company with over 2,400 coffee shops in the U.K. and another 1,400 in more than 30 countries. It has 460 in China, its second-biggest market.
The deal, expected to complete in the first half of 2019, plugs a big hole in Coca-Cola’s portfolio. Coca-Cola owns the Georgia and Gold Peak coffee brands, but the purchase of Costa will give it a much broader presence.
Coca-Cola, which has over 500 brands in its stable including Fanta, innocent smoothies and Powerade sports drinks, certainly has the deep pockets to help push Costa on the world stage. In 2017, it generated operating income of $9.7 billion on revenues of $35.4 billion.
The deal represents a big return to Whitbread, which bought Costa in 1995 for 19 million pounds. Since then, Costa has grown from just 39 shops and in the year to March, Costa made an operating profit of 123 million pounds on sales of 1.29 billion.


<--Back