ECONOMY - 2018 JUNE

June 1

India's GDP grows 7.7% in Q4, retains fastest growing economy tag.
India’s economy grew at its fastest in seven quarters in the January-March period, bolstered by strong performance in construction, manufacturing and public services.
The full FY18 growth estimate was revised upward to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent in the second advance estimate released.
This is in line with the 6.75 per cent growth forecast by the Economic Survey and down from 7.1 per cent in FY17 with the slowdown being attributed to the lingering effect of demonetisation and the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) last year.
Gross domestic product rose a better-than-expected 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, retaining India’s ranking as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, outpacing China by nearly a percentage point.

ADB funds $375 million project for irrigation boost in Madhya Pradesh.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide USD 375 million (about Rs 2,532 crore) loan for a project to improve irrigation in Madhya Pradesh.
The total cost of the project cost is USD 535.1 million, of which USD 160.71 million will be provided by the government. ADB 84 per cent of all water withdrawals are used for agriculture in India.
In the first stage, the Kundalia irrigation project will develop 125,000 hectare of new and highly efficient and climate resilient irrigation networks as more than 40 per cent of the population in this area depends on agriculture for livelihood, with wheat and soybeans as the two main crops.
The state plans to double the total irrigated area to 7.2 million hectares (ha) by 2025 from current levels by boosting efficiency in water use.

June 2

Be an informer to Income Tax department; earn up to Rs 5 crore.
Sharing "specific information" with the income tax department about any benami transaction or property could earn you up to Rs one crore, while the same for undisclosed black money stashed abroad could fetch up to Rs 5 crore.
Besides, the 'Income Tax Informants Reward Scheme' has also been amended under which a person can get reward up to Rs 50 lakh for giving specific information about substantial evasion of tax on income or assets in India, which are actionable under the Income-tax Act, 1961.
The CBDT announced Benami Transactions Informants Reward Scheme, 2018, under which any person, including foreigners, can inform Joint or Additional Commissioners about benami transactions and properties which can be tried under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016.

HCL Technologies signs collaboration agreement with JDA Software.
Fourth largest Indian software services firm HCL will join hands with JDA on development, product support, and go-to-market (GTM) initiatives for JDA’s commerce, SofTechnics, and pricing and revenue management solutions.
HCL’s experience in product development and implementing technologies such as cloud into the supply chain and in retail applications will allow us to bring an immediate benefit to JDA customers.
The alliance will increase services capabilities for these solutions, enable new and enhanced product innovations, and allow expansions into new markets also leveraging other portfolio products.
With this partnership, JDA gains access to the breadth of HCL’s market coverage and depth of experienced domain experts with a strong transformation record enabling both companies to enhance the product offerings with new features and functionality for new and existing customers.

June 3

IMF releases $250 million of Sri Lanka loan, seeks airline shake-up.
The International Monetary Fund release of the latest instalment of Sri Lanka's USD 1.5 billion bailout, but warned that restructuring the loss-making national airline was essential to sustain economic recovery.
The IMF welcomed the island nation's increase in fuel prices last month - a precondition for it to receive USD 252 million of the three-year loan approved in June 2016.
Sri Lanka's economy has been on the mend since the IMF bailout, but growth in 2017 was more sluggish than expected and at 3.1 per cent was the slowest in 16 years.
The IMF price hike by state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, in some cases by as much as 130 percent, was a "major achievement" that would reduce fiscal risk.

India to be shared mobility leader by 2030.
India is expected to be a leader in shared mobility by 2030 as rising share of electric and autonomous vehicles will improve shared mile economics. Morgan Stanley expects shared miles to reach 35 per cent of all the miles travelled in India and this will further increase to 50 per cent by 2040.
India had 257 billion miles driven in 2017, and of that, 10 per cent were shared includes traditional taxis and app-based plays.
The large population clusters are the first prerequisite for successful shared mobility. India has 61 cities with populations greater than San Francisco's (850,000 population), and 50 cities with populations of more than 1 million.
As per World Bank data, 850 million of Indian are below the age of 35 and since young people are usually quicker to adopt new trends and are less likely to own a car, implying a likelihood of adopting new mobility options.

India to import 1st Russian LNG.
India will import its first ever cargo of LNG from Russia under a long-term deal as the world's fourth-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) diversifies its import basket to meet its vast energy needs.
State-owned gas utility GAIL India Ltd will bring the shipload of LNG from Gazprom at Petro net LNG Ltd's import terminal. Beginning of supplies from Russia comes within weeks of India importing its first ever LNG cargo from US under a long-term import deal.
GAIL has renegotiated with Russian supplier Gazprom the terms of the 20-year deal to import 2.5 million tonnes a year of LNG.
The contracted volume has been lowered from 2.5 million tonnes to 0.5 MT in the first year 2018-19, 0.75 MT in 2019-20, 1.5 MT in the third year 2020-21. GAIL has committed to importing the full 2.5 MT a year by the fourth year and make up for the initial volume reduction over the remaining length of the contract.

June 4

Microsoft to buy coding site GitHub for $7.5 billion.
Microsoft Corp would buy privately held coding website GitHub Inc for $7.5 billion in an all-stock deal to expand its clout among software developers.
GitHub supplies coding tools for developers and calls itself the world’s largest code host with more than 28 million developers using its platform.
Microsoft’s Nat Friedman will take over as the Chief Executive of San Francisco-headquartered GitHub, whose current CEO Chris Wanstrath will become a Microsoft technical fellow.
Microsoft expects the deal to add to its operating income in fiscal 2020 and reduce earnings per share by less than 1 per cent in 2019 and 2020. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

June 5

HUL to merge refreshment & foods ops from July 1.
Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has decided to go back to the old order and integrate the two portfolios. While the earlier move to split the combined business was done to provide sharper focus to each of the segments.
The integration, which comes into effect from July 1 this year, is aligned with parent Unilever’s structure globally. Last year, Unilever had realigned its foods and refreshments business into one to unlock future growth and faster margin progression.
In India, refreshments with annual sales of around Rs 5,181 crore, and foods at Rs 1,147 crore, together form about 18% of HUL’s turnover (about Rs 35,000 crore). Brands like Knorr, Kissan and Annapurna currently fall under the foods division, while Brooke Bond, Bru, Lipton and Kwality Walls come under refreshments. All these brands will now be housed under one category.

ICAI, SAICA sign pact to facilitate professional’s movement.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) has signed a pact with its South African counterpart to establish a framework for making recognition of their members easier and promote mobility of professionals between the countries.
Under the MRA terms, an ICAI member is exempted from appearing in Part I or initial test of competency and practical training requirements of SAICA and can become a member of the latter on the basis of completing the assessment of professional competence (APC) examination.
Besides, if an individual ICAI applicant, in good standing, fulfils the "competency requirements" of the SAICA competency framework, membership of the South African chartered accountants body may be granted without completing the APC examination.

June 6

Bharat Financial gets nod from bourses for merger with IndusInd Bank.
Micro-lender Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd (BFIL) has received a no-objection nod from stock exchanges for its merger with private sector lender IndusInd Bank.
BFIL (earlier SKS Microfinance) received no-objection from the NSE on June 1 and from BSE on June 4 for its proposed merger with IndusInd Bank following the feedback from markets regulator SEBI.
Approved by the boards of directors of both the entities on October 14, 2017, with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai.
IndusInd Bank had decided to acquire BFIL through an all-stock transaction of BFIL into IndusInd through a composite scheme of arrangement. BFIL has a presence across 16 states, covering one lakh villages.

World Bank forecasts 7.3 per cent growth for India; making it fastest growing economy.
The World Bank has forecast a growth rate of 7.3 per cent for India this year and 7.5 per cent for the next two years, making it the fastest growing country among major emerging economies.
Growth in India is projected to advance 7.3 per cent in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 and 7.5 per cent in FY 2019-20, reflecting robust private consumption and strengthening investment.
Growth in South Asia is projected to strengthen to 6.9 per cent in 2018 and to 7.1 per cent in 2019, mainly as factors holding back growth in India fade.
China is expected to slow down slightly from 6.9 per cent in 2017 to 6.5 per cent in 2018, 6.3 per cent in 2019 and 6.2 per cent in 2020.

India Inc announces M&A deals worth USD 25 billion in May.
Corporate India announced merger and acquisition deals worth USD 25 billion, significant jump over the same period last year thanks to the USD 16 billion Walmart-Flipkart deal.
Tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton's latest Deal tracker, there were 46 transactions worth USD 25,656 million in May this year, as against 35 deals worth USD 897 million in the year-ago period.
For the period between January and May there have been 204 transactions worth USD 63,328 million, while in the same period last year, there were 169 such transactions worth USD 30,529 million.
There has also been significant uptick in big ticket deals so far this year. The period between January and May registered 10 deals in the billion-dollar category and 24 deals valued USD 100 million or above each.

June 7

World Bank projects Indonesian economy to grow 5.2%.
The World Bank (WB) has projected that the Indonesian economy would grow 5.20 percent this year, more than the government's projection of 5.18 per cent.
The WB both private consumption and investment are expected to strengthen.
The World Bank country director for Indonesia "The investment growth is still high, considering the increasing prices of commodities".
The global economy would grow slower due to tightening monetary conditions.

Tata Motors proposes to raise up to USD 500 million via ECB.
Tata Motors planned to raise $250-500 million through overseas loans to refinance a buy-back of bonds issued by the company in 2014. Tata Motors had issued senior notes worth USD 500 million on October 30, 2014 and due in 2020.
Earlier this month, Tata Motors invited holders of the senior notes to sell their bonds to the company for a cash consideration.
In a BSE filing, Tata Motors informed that the company plans to raise USD 250-500 million through external commercial borrowings (ECB) to refinance a part of the principal amount.
The company had the purchase price would be 102.5 per cent of the principal amount of the notes, being USD 1,025 for each USD 1,000 of notes. It will accept up to USD 250 million aggregate principal amounts of notes.

June 8

FDI in India rises to USD 61.96 billion in 2017-18.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in India increased by about 3 per cent to USD 61.96 billion in 2017-18 on account of steps taken by the government to improve business climate and liberalised policy norms.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek, during the four years of the Modi government, foreign inflows jumped to USD 222.75 billion from USD 152 billion in the previous four-year period.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) to India decreased to USD 40 billion in 2017 from USD 44 billion in 2016, while outflows from India, the main source of investment in South Asia.

Moody's expects India to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.3.per cent.
Credit ratings agency Moody's expects India to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent of GDP for fiscal 2018-19, based on the incumbent government's commitment towards fiscal consolidation as well as its "achievable" budget assumptions.
Moody's Indian affiliate ICRA, however cautioned that rising global crude oil prices could widen India's Current Account Deficit (CAD) even further.
Moody's Vice President William Foster a statement that the ratings agency expects New Delhi to cut back on planned capital expenditure as it has done in the past to ensure that slippages related to its fiscal targets are contained to manageable limits.

Nirmala Sitharaman gives fillip to indigenisation approves Rs 5500 crore proposals.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved equipment valued at over Rs 5500 crore to strengthen Indian defence while encouraging indigenisation and self-reliance in matters of procurement.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) which was chaired by the minister, cleared the procurement of 12 High Power Radars for the Indian Air Force along with Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) for the Indian Coast Guard and Indian Army from Indian Shipyard.
In a statement issued by the government, the radars will provide long range medium and high altitude radar cover with the capability to detect and track high speed targets following parabolic trajectories.
These technologically superior radars will have the capability to scan 360 degree without mechanical rotation of Antenna and will operate on 24 x 7 bases with minimal maintenance requirements.

EFC approves revised cost estimate of DRIP for Rs. 3466 crore and extends time period for conclusion till June, 2020.
A meeting of the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) under the Chairpersonship of Secretary, Department of Expenditure, was held this week to consider the proposal of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation for revised cost estimate of World Bank funded Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project (DRIP).
The EFC approved revised cost estimate of DRIP for Rs. 3466 crore and extended time period for conclusion of this project till June, 2020. DRIP is a state sector scheme with central component to improve safety and operational performance of selected dams, along with institutional strengthening with system wide management approach.
The total original cost of DRIP was Rs. 2100 crore with State component of Rs. 1968 crore and Central Component of Rs. 132 crore The EFC approval was given to DRIP in May 2011 and Cabinet approval in November 2011. The Scheme commenced in April 2012 and was originally scheduled for six years with closure in June 2018.

June 9

OVL receives first crude cargo from Abu Dhabi’s Lower Zakum oil field.
ONGC Videsh Ltd has announced the arrival of its first equity cargo of Das blend crude oil to New Mangalore. The Das blend crude oil originates from the Lower Zakum (LZ) oilfield in Abu Dhabi.
The OVL-led Indian Consortium had acquired a 10 per cent participating interest in Lower Zakum Concession through its Dutch Joint Venture Company - Falcon Oil & Gas BV.
The Indian Consortium led by OVL includes BPRL and IOCL. Other shareholders in the LZ concession are ADNOC (60 per cent), CNPC and JODCO (10 per cent each) and TOTAL and ENI (5 per cent each). This first equity cargo, of approximately 690,000 barrels, was loaded onto the vessel MT Wafrah on June 2 was sold by ONGC Videsh for refining to MRPL.
This is the first time that Indian oil and gas companies have been given a stake in the development of Abu Dhabi’s hydrocarbon resources.

Vodafone may invest Rs. 8,000 crore in Idea JV.
British telecom major Vodafone plans to invest €1 billion or about Rs. 8,000 crore in the proposed joint venture with Idea Cellular which is expected to be in place.
Vodafone will look at monetising its stake in Indus Towers if it requires to make additional investment in India in case the Aditya Birla Group decides to put in additional funds in the proposed merged entity, Vodafone Idea Limited.
Idea’s equity raise of €0.8 billion in January 2018, which Vodafone Group will match at the time the merger closes; combined with other adjustments, net capital injection into India of up to €1 billion at closing in June 2018.
The merged entity will be largest telecom operator in India with a subscriber base of around 430 million.

June 10

Industry expects close to 8% GDP growth over next two years: CII.
Industry is expecting the GDP to grow by close to 8 per cent over the next couple of years, as strong reforms process and fiscal prudence have laid a solid foundation for growth.
The economy is in a sweet spot right now as the adjustment process regarding major reforms of the past few years is largely stabilised and industry is ready for a fresh phase of investment while capacity utilization builds up.
CII have been recently announced Rs 50,000 crore worth of investments.
A CEOs (chief executive officers) opinion poll showed that 82 per cent of them expect GDP (gross domestic product) growth to be higher than 7 per cent for the year 2018-19, with 10 per cent of them expecting growth to be above 7.5 per cent.

FPIs infuse Rs. 2,241 crore in equities.
Foreign investors poured in more than Rs. 2,200 crore in the Indian equity markets in the last six trading sessions on the back of easing of global crude oil prices and revival in corporate earnings.
This comes following a net outflow of over Rs. 15,600 crore in equities during last two months. Prior to that, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) had pumped in Rs. 11,655 crore in March.
Net investment by FPIs in equities stood at Rs. 2,241 crore Such overseas investors, pulled out Rs. 405 crore from the debt markets during the period under review.

June 11

Govt to launch Rs. 500 crore credit enhancement fund.
The Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank will take a 10 per cent equity stake in a Rs. 500 crore credit enhancement fund that seeks to raise investments in operational and stabilised infrastructure projects.
China is the largest shareholder in AIIB. The dedicated fund will be set up as a non-banking finance company (NBFC) with IIFCL as lead sponsor and financial institutions and public-sector banks as shareholders, Dr. Kumar V Prathap, Joint Secretary, and Ministry of Finance.
The fund will help in raising credit rating of bonds issued by infrastructure companies and facilitate investment from long-term investors.

June 12

TCS expands M&G Prudential pact; deal now exceeds $1.2 billion.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced on Tuesday that is has expanded its agreement with M&G Prudential, the U.K. and European savings and investments business of Prudential Plc - a move which will add £500 million ($668 million) revenue over the term of the contract, taking the deal value to more than $1.2 billion.
The 10-year partnership, which was announced in January 2018, was meant to digitally transform M&G Prudential’s business and deliver an enhanced service for its U.K. savings and retirement customers.
The agreement has now been expanded to cover an additional 1.8 million policies which will move from M&G Prudential to TCS, bringing the total number of policies covered by the partnership to 5.8 million.

Vodafone-Idea may lose Rs. 2,000 crore, 14 million subscribers.
Vodafone India and Idea Cellular combine will have to forego 14 million subscribers in six circles and revenues of more than Rs. 2,000 crore. in three circles as the merged entity will breach the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)-prescribed 50% cap on subscribers and revenue in the respective States.
Vodafone-Idea (the proposed name of the merged entity), India’s largest Telecommunications by subscriber base (423 million), breaches the DoT prescribed cap of 50% for subscriber market share in six circles of Gujarat, Haryana, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (West).
As per DoT’s merger and acquisition (M&A) guidelines notified in 2014, the combined entity has to reduce its subscriber share to below 50%, in circles where such cap is breached, within a year from the effective date of licence transfer.

June 13

US government clears sale of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for $ 930M.
The Trump administration has approved a deal to sell six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to India for USD 930 million, underlining that this will strengthen India’s ability to defend its homeland and deter regional threats.
In addition to the attack helicopters, the contract also includes fire control radars; Hellfire Longbow missiles; stinger Block I-92H missiles; night vision sensors and inertial navigation systems.
Pentagon’s Defence Security Cooperation Agency notified the Congress about the State department’s decision in this regard. The sale is expected to pass through if no lawmaker opposes this.
This support for the AH-64E will provide an increase in India’s defensive capability to counter ground-armored threats and modernise its armed forces. India will have no difficulty absorbing the helicopters and support equipment into its armed forces.

SEBI sets up expert panel for direct overseas listing.
Indian companies may be able to list their equity shares on overseas exchanges directly. SEBI has made a proposal to allow direct listing of Indian companies on overseas bourses, and foreign firms on Indian exchanges, and has set up an expert panel to look into it.
Indian companies can list their shares through depository receipts abroad, while foreign companies are allowed to list only via the Indian depository receipt route.
Considering the evolution and internationalisation of the capital markets, it would be worthwhile to consider facilitating companies incorporated in India to directly list their equity share capital abroad and vice versa.
In this regard, it has been decided to constitute an expert committee to look into this aspect in detail. The committee will examine in detail the economic case for permitting direct listing of Indian companies overseas and vice-versa.

NSE launches 'Tri-Party Repo Market' platform for corporate bonds.
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has launched a ‘Tri-Party Repo Market’ platform that will give a fillip to the demand for corporate bonds and provide liquidity boost to the debt segment of the bourse.
A tri-party repo contract is where a third entity or a tri-party agent, other than the borrower and lender, acts as an intermediary for two parties dealing in repo transactions.
NSE will act as the tri-party agent and through an online web-based platform, facilitate trading anonymously and order matching along with services like collateral selection, payment and settlement, custody and management during the life cycle of the transaction.

June 14

Fitch ups India growth forecast to 7.4% for FY'19.
Fitch Ratings raised India growth forecast for 2018-19 to 7.4 per cent from 7.3 per cent, but cited higher financing costs and rising oil prices as risks to growth. For 2019-20, it estimated the country to grow at 7.5 per cent.
2018-19 growth to 7.4 per cent from 7.3 per cent in March. Higher financing costs and rising oil prices should limit the upside to growth. The economy grew at 6.7 per cent in 2017-18 and 7.7 per cent in January-March quarter.
Indian rupee has been one of the worst performing currencies in Asia this year, although the depreciation was more muted than during the 2013 taper-tantrum episode.

June 15

Japan’s SoftBank to invest up to $100 billion in India solar power project.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund would invest in creating the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia. SoftBank Group Corp has decided to invest $60 billion - $100 billion in a solar power project in India.
SoftBank and the Indian government are expected to make an announcement soon after final arrangements and made.
The company is expected to make the investment through a fund backed by Saudi Arabia’s government.

PhonePe partners with Ola to enable riders to book rides using PhonePe’s payment platform.
Flipkart-owned PhonePe has partnered cab aggregator Ola that will allow riders to book rides using the former's payment platform.
PhonePe has also added 'Auto-pay' feature that allows users to make payments seamlessly. Users can switch off 'Auto-pay' instructions anytime they want.
This is part of our vision of being an open payments ecosystem, enabling businesses of all sizes to build and deploy apps on our platform with a unified login and payments experience for our users.
This will enable businesses to reach out with their services to a highly relevant and rapidly growing base of over 100 million PhonePe users.
Going forward, PhonePe is rapidly adding partners in the travel, hospitality, ticketing and food segments to its micro-app platform.

June 16

ICICI Venture sells 30% in KIMS to General Atlantic for Rs 850 crore.
India’s largest private equity fund ICICI Venture has sold its 30% stake in Hyderabad based hospital chain Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences to rival General Atlantic for Rs 850 crore.
The stake sale to General Atlantic values KIMS at around Rs 2,700 crore, up from Rs 850 crore in 2014. ICICI Venture had invested about Rs 220 crore in 2014 in the hospital chain, which had around 500 beds.
It helped expand and was waiting to exit through a public offer this year. KIMS, which received the SEBI approval for a public offer, had to put its share sale plan on hold due to regulatory changes and pricing uncertainty.

Pak, World Bank ink agreements in power, water sectors.
Pakistan and the World Bank inked agreements worth $565 million to help build and support the projects in power and water sectors.
The representatives of the government of Sindh and National Transmission Despatch Company (NTDC) signed the agreements of their respective projects.
Out of the total grant of $565 million, $425 million is meant for the NTDC and $140 million is for the Sindh government.
The total cost of the project is $536.33 million. The World Bank will provide $425 million and $111.33 million will be borne by the NTDC.

June 17

Almost 1 million people 'testing' WhatsApp payments service in India.
Almost one million people in India are "testing" WhatsApp's payments service, and the company is working with the Indian government, NPCI and multiple banks to further expand the feature to more users.
WhatsApp payment service, which rivals the likes of Paytm, has been in beta testing over the last few months. The Facebook-owned company hasn't yet announced a launch date but industry watchers expect it to happen in the next few weeks.
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and multiple banks, including payment service providers, to expand the feature to more people and support India's digital economy.

Muthoot Fincorp, NSDC to train 10,000 youth under PMKVY.
Muthoot Fincorp Limited announced its partnership with National Skill Development Corporation to train over 10,000 youth over the next three years and make them job ready.
With the partnership, Muthoot Fincorp claims to have become the first major private sector player to partner with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to launch the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY.2) programme.
NSDC has approved a target of 3,000 candidates in the first year and 3,500 each in the subsequent two years.
The BFSI sector is likely to become the fifth largest in the world by the year 2020 and third largest by the year 2025. It is expected to have a manpower requirement of 8.5 million skilled workforces by 2022, which is an increase of about 4-4.5 million from where India stands.

Reliance investing in India’s first carbon fibre unit.
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) is investing in setting up India’s first carbon fibre manufacturing unit to cater to aerospace and defence needs.
The owner of world’s largest oil refining complex will also make low-cost and high-volume composite products like modular toilets, homes and composites for windmill blades and rotor blades.
Without giving investment details, Reliance Industries, in its latest annual. It has developed capabilities for 3D printing of wide-range of plastic and metals products.

June 18

Government committed to meet fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent this year.
The government is committed to meet the fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent for the current fiscal. The government will maintain stability in the economy and meet all economic parameters fixed by the government.
The fiscal deficit target of 3.3 per cent. Fiscal deficit stood at 3.53 per cent of the GDP, broadly in line with the government’s revised estimates for 2017-18.
The revenue deficit was 2.65 per cent of the GDP. In absolute terms, the fiscal deficit was Rs 5.91 lakh crore, or 99.5 per cent, of the Budget estimates.
The government, in the Budget in February, had revised the fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 to 3.5 per cent from the earlier estimate of 3.2 per cent.

June 19

Bajaj Electricals acquires Nirlep for Rs. 42.50 crore.
Bajaj Electricals has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire stake in non-stick cookware company Nirlep Appliances for Rs. 42.50 crore in cash. Nirlep will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bajaj Electricals.
Aurangabad-based Nirlep Appliances had posted a turnover of Rs. 47 crore as of March 2018. This acquisition will provide Bajaj a complementary product portfolio in this fast growing Rs. 12,000 crore kitchenware category.
The acquisition will also give the company an “exclusive access” to Nirlep brand, its manufacturing facility, employees, distribution network, intellectual property rights and goodwill.

2nd tranche of Bharat-22 ETF opens.
The second tranche of Bharat-22 ETF (exchange traded fund) opened for fresh subscription. The government aims to raise Rs 6,000 crore. from this round. There is also a green shoe option of Rs 2,400 crore, subject to government approval.
Greenshoe option is a special provision where the bid issuer allows for oversubscription to the issue up to a certain limit/cap.
The issue opens for anchor investors and for other institutional and retail investors. The anchor book is expected to be worth nearly Rs 2,100 crore.
The government launched the BHARAT-22 exchange traded fund (ETF), which is managed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund. It's a part of the government’s disinvestment program.

World Bank approves $700 million to improve primary education in Bangladesh.
The World Bank has approved $700 million to help Bangladesh achieve its education for all vision by improving the primary education sector.
The Quality Learning for All Program (QLEAP) will cover more than 18 million children studying in pre-primary level to grade 5. It will also finance implementation of the government's Fourth Primary Education Development Program (PEDP4).
The project will build about 95,000 classrooms, teachers' rooms, and multipurpose rooms. It will also build 80,000 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) blocks and 15,000 safe water sources. The projects will provide recruitment to about 100,000 teachers.

June 20

SAIL Steel for World's Tallest Girder Rail Bridge.
Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has supplied around 60,000 tonnes of steel material for the 111-km-long Jiribam–Tupul-Imphal new broad gauge railway project in Manipur. The project was taken up in 2008 and was declared a National Project.
SAIL has supplied TMT rebars and structural along with HR Plates and Sheets, Plate Mill Plates for this project. SAIL has been supplying the materials produced in its state-of-the-art new mills at Durgapur, IISCO, Rourkela and Bokaro plants.
The project is being developed in two sections. The first section involves the construction of 84 kms of railway line connecting Jiribam to Tupul. The second section of 27 kms connecting Tupul to Imphal is expected to be completed by 2019.

Nasscom launches programme to support women techies.
In an effort to increase the number of women in senior levels in the Information Technology (IT) industry, Nasscom unveiled its 'Women Wizards Rule Tech' programme for women techies.
The initiative will aid women techies in core technologies like IT-Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES), Business Process Management (BPM), product and research and development (R&D) sectors by equipping them with the skills required for an edge in their career.
The Women Wizards Rule Tech was announced in March at the Nasscom Diversity and Inclusion Summit in Chennai as a joint initiative by the Nasscom Sector Skills Council and the Data Security Council of India.
Women and IT Scorecard - India launched earlier this year predicted that policies towards flexible work, work-from-home, parental leave, healthcare and anti-harassment will increase the number of women in senior level at IT firms from 20 per cent to 60 per cent.

Centre teams up with Google to predict floods.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with Google for flood forecasting.
CWC would use state-of-the-art advances made by Google in the field of AI, Machine Learning and geo spatial mapping for effective management of water resources, particularly in the field of flood forecasting and dissemination of flood- related information to the masses with the dissemination platforms developed by Google.
The CWC is India’s apex technical organisation in the field of Water Resources. At the Niti Aayog governing council meeting to deal with the flood situation currently affecting parts of the country.
Google will use a high-resolution Digital Elevation Model and vast computational resources to generate flood inundation maps utilising the level forecast input provided by the CWC.

June 21

India hikes import duty on 29 US products.
In a retaliatory move against the recent US import duty hikes, India raised customs duty on 29 products, including on iron and steel products imported from the US.
The duty hike would come into effect immediately for 28 products, while for the marine product artemia the increased duty would be effective from August 4th.
In March, US President Donald Trump slapped import tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and 10 per cent on aluminium, unfolding the prospect of an all-out global trade war.
India has sought an exemption from the US tariffs along the lines the US has allowed to the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.

PepsiCo Foundation pledges $4.26 million to WaterAid for safe water access.
The PepsiCo Foundation has announced expansion of its water access initiatives in India to impact 2 lakh people in communities around its plants.
The Foundation will provide a $4.26 million grant to Water Aid, a leading international non-profit, to provide safe water access to communities in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala by December 2020. The grant builds on investments worth over $17 million that the Foundation has made in India to date.
Universal access to clean water is a collaborative effort. Water Aid is committed to positive engagements with the private sector in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 – universal access to safe water and toilets.

June 22

Swiggy raises $210 million.
Online food delivery start-up Swiggy announced it had raised $210 million in a Series G funding led by existing investor Naspers and new investor DST Global.
The latest investment follows a $100 million Series F round in February, also led by Naspers with participation of China’s Meituan-Dianping. The latest round would enable it to quickly ramp up its supply chain network and expand to new markets.
The start-up would invest in core capabilities that enhance consumer experience and the brand. It would also double its technology headcount to build for robust operations, deep personalization and connected supply chain systems.

JSW Steel plans to invest $500 million in U.S. steel plant.
JSW Steel plans to invest up to $500 million in acquiring, enhancing and upgrading Acero Junction Inc., an integrated steel manufacturing unit with a potential capacity of three million tonnes per annum (MTPA), located at Ohio in the U.S., in phases.
This takes JSW’s overall investment blueprint for the U.S. market, to produce American melt and manufactured steel, to up to $1 billion. The proposed investment will be made in two phases at its Ohio steel manufacturing facility.
In the first phase, JSW will revamp and restart the electric arc furnace and the slab caster and modernise the hot strip mill at an investment of $250 million.

June 23

India targets plastics exports worth $10.6 billion in FY19.
India has targeted plastics exports of $10.6 billion in FY19 and plans to corner 3% of the global plastics exports market by 2025 from the current size of less than 1% through a multi-pronged strategy. The global plastics export market is estimated at $850 billion.
In FY18, India exported plastics worth $8.85 billion, a 17.1% increase from $7.56 billion in FY17. This was a faster rate of growth than the overall merchandise export growth of India.
Merchandise exports from India in FY18 at $303.3 billion, grew by 9.9% while plastics exports grew by 17.1% Plastics formed 2.92% of India’s overall merchandise exports in FY18, a tad higher than the 2.74% share held in FY17.


<--Back