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News: Economic Times - Top Stories

Is Budget 2017 the most difficult one till date?

Perhaps no Indian finance minister in history would have ever presented a budget with so many global and local uncertainties, coupled with such sparse domestic economic data, as Arun Jaitley. He will be presenting this Union budget on February 1, barely three months after demonetisation—the biggest Black Swan event in recent national memory— whose impact is still unknown. The country's chief statistician has already revealed that the economy is slowing down; the prognosis based on numbers only until October and without factoring in effects of demonetisation. Union budgets usually have visibility of economic performance, including corporate balance sheets, at least until the end of December, and a tentative idea of how the last quarter of the fiscal year is shaping up. The advanced date of this year's budget robs the finance minister of those insights. To add to the confusion, the Railway budget, which was presented separately for the past 92 years, is being folded into the fiscal plan. "This (2017-18) budget would be presented in most uncertain times and is unpredictable," NR Bhanumurthy, professor at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), told ET. In 1991, a balance of payment crisis had made the finance minister's job a difficult one. But the uncertainty at the time was about the future and the government then had a clear idea of its balance sheet. In 2008 and 2009 global headwinds buffeting the Indian economy had created uncertainty. Yet, Pranab Mukherjee, the then finance minister had enough headroom to provide a stimulus even though it derailed fiscal targets. And there was no dearth of domestic data. But Jaitley will have none of these luxuries. Oil No Comfort Zone Since the Narendra Modi government took office, it has had the comforting cushion of depressed international commodity prices, especially oil. But these are now off their lows, moving up steadily. Oil prices dropped to a 12-year low of $28 for a barrel last year. They have since firmed up and Brent Crude was trading below $55 a barrel on January 23 on the Intercontinental Exchange. 56743262 Correspondingly, the Indian crude oil basket has risen from $39.88 in April 2016 to $54.24 in the first week of January, according to the oil ministry's petroleum planning and analysis cell. "We expect international oil prices to rise to near $60 in 2017 and about $65 in 2018," an energy analyst with a foreign broking firm told ET on condition of anonymity.India imports more than 70% of its oil, and high international prices are the single biggest factor after monsoon rains that impact the economy. The volatile nature of both rains and oil prices are enough to give sleepless nights to finance ministers and can spoil the most meticulously planned budgets. Every time the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agrees to cut production to push up prices, the finance minister back in India loses a bit of headroom. When, in the second week of January, Jaitley jubilantly announced buoyant tax figures for the first three quarters, the biggest spike he reported was 43% in excise duty collections to Rs 2.79 lakh crore. About Rs 1.37 lakh crore of that would have come just from duties on petrol and diesel retail sales; customers pay Rs 21.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 17.33 for diesel in excise duties. PPAC data shows the sector as a whole contributed 80% of Rs 1.52 lakh crore excise duties collected in the fiscal's first half. Retail prices of fuels are already near historic highs hit during the UPA regime. Jaitley said that as on December 31, direct taxes were up 12% and indirect taxes 25% over the previous year. But that could be the end of good news, as the Central Statistics Office (CSO) had reported that GDP growth would slow down to 7.1% in fiscal 2017 from 7.6% the previous year. The CSO estimates used data up to end of October last year and did not take into account the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which made up 86% of currency value in circulation. Demonetisation PangsNo reliable data is available to estimate the real cost of the PM's decision, whose objective was variously described as rooting out fake currency, fighting black money or pushing digital transactions. In what can be considered early impact indications, vehicle sales dropped 19% in December, the most for that month in 16 years. Two-wheeler sales, which are an important pointer to rural demand, shrunk 22% — the sharpest contraction since Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers started recording data two decades ago. "The last quarter of fiscal 2017 will be weak,'' said Ajit Dange, head of portfolio management services, domestic business, at SBI Mutual Fund. Dange expects an economic revival from the middle of 2017. Private data compiler, Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), has estimated transaction cost of demonetisation at Rs 1.28 lakh crore for the 50 day up to December 30. It estimated that 48% of the workforce had lost incomes during the period, affecting consumption and savings. "This impact of lost wages, broken supply chains and lost businesses will be lasting," said CMIE in a note of January 12. Bhanumurthy of NIPFP listed out unclear growth targets and ambiguity with regard to fiscal and monetary relationship among the many current macro-economic uncertainties. Instead of a specific target, the government should aim for a revenue deficit range. Monetary policy having a flexible inflation target and fiscal policy having fixed deficit targets — as it is now — creates inconsistency, he said. 56743283 Tax Shift The biggest comfort for the finance minister has been buoyancy in tax collections. Incredibly, 2016-17 will be a year when economic growth would fall way short of estimates at the beginning of the year but federal government revenues will overshoot targets thanks to a relentless pursuit of evaders and amnesty schemes. A voluntary income disclosure scheme yielded about Rs 30,000 crore in taxes and searches had unearthed another Rs 56,000 crore of unaccounted income, the finance minister had revealed in October. The chase is expected to continue the next year as well. The government is hoping to bring in a uniform goods and service tax (GST) from July, introducing more efficiency and compliance in tax collection. SBI Mutul Fund's Dange anticipates job losses as the shift to GST will shut down a number of small industries in the informal sector that employs over 90% of India's workforce. "Many of them (small industries) will be unable to evade taxes and will become uncompetitive. Tax evasion was the only source of profitability for many of them," he said. More revenues will give the Modi government leeway to spend more. Most economists ET spoke to agree that public spending on infrastructure is absolutely necessary to keep industry buoyant over the next several quarters. Disruption caused by GST would be close on the heels of the shake-up because of demonetisation. Right now, it's anybody's guess how long a tail demonetisation has. 56717517
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Niti Aayog brings in Big Data big gun to track fraud in Jan Dhan a/cs

NEW DELHI: It’s not the income tax department, but a team of Big Data experts sitting in a corner room at the Niti Aayog which is scanning the post-demonetisation deposit deluge in Jan Dhan accounts to identify the fraudulent ones. Depending on the success of this exercise, the team may also scrutinise all bank accounts for unusual transactions after demonetisation, asenior government official said. Pulak Ghosh, a data analytics expert who teaches at Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore and advises a UN Big Data project, is leading the team at the Aayog, the official told ET. He is part of the government think tank’s data analytic cell, being overseen by Avik Sarkar, an officer on special duty to Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya. IIM-B confirmed Ghosh’s assignment at the NITI Aayog. “While it is right that Professor Pulak Ghosh has been roped in by NITI Aayog, he is unavailable for comment as he is currently traveling on work,” a spokesperson said in an emailed response to ET’s queries. In Big Data, huge amounts of information are machine analysed to reveal patterns, trends and associations. Data analytics is still a very niche area in India, especially in government work. “The knowledge of Big Data and analytic for checking fraud in banking is very relevant. For large systems, big data and analytics is needed,” TV Mohandas Pai, former board of member at Infosys, said, endorsing the move. The government official said the analytic cell of the Niti Aayog was seeking access to transaction networks of all banks to analyse the data and look for deposits and withdrawals which were aimed at laundering black money. Jan Dhan accounts had seen huge inflows since demonetisation. While Rs 646 crore had come into 32 lakh such accounts between October 2 and 30, the inflows swelled by Rs 29,000 crore to Rs 74,321crore between November 2 and 30, with most of the deposits happening after November 8. This has raised suspicion that the accounts had been used for money laundering. The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna was launched in 2014 to increase the coverage of formal banking. Accounts under it have a deposit limit of Rs 50,000. Sensing their misuse following demonetisation, RBI restricted withdrawals from such accounts to Rs 10,000 a month. By the end of December, the amount in these accounts fell to Rs 71,036 crore. Since scrutinising the data would be a humongous task, the work was assigned to Ghosh’s team at Niti Aayog. Prior to IIM, Ghosh was a professor at Georgia State University and Emory University. He is serving also in advisory group on Big Data at UN Global Pulse. He is a fellow at the Centre for Advanced Financial Research and Learning, promoted by RBI. “Big Data research is of great importance these days because of Internet of Things applications where one is expected to collect a huge amount of data from interconnected sensors,” IIT-Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao said. Don’t mix up roles Niti Aayog is a think tank, not a law enforcement agency. That job of enforcement is best left to the income-tax department that is empowered under law to probe tax evasion. There is no reason why the tax department cannot hire data analytics firms to mine information. Interference, if any, in law enforcement functions will become messy and lead to needless harassment of taxpayers.
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UP polls to define future role of Akhilesh, Mayawati, Rahul and Priyanka

NEW DELHI: The outcome of UP assembly elections will define the future of several top politicians across political parties, including the likes of UP CM Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati, Congress veep Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka. Winning these elections may establish Akhilesh — also the chief of Samajwadi Party — as the inheritor of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s legacy within his party and make him a contender for leading the non-Congress and non-BJP parties in 2019. Akhilesh may find himself in the league of Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. He may turn out to be the front-runner of the third front due to the sheer number of the Lok Sabha seats in UP. If Congress fails to set its house in order, the front could be the main challenger to the BJP-led NDA in 2019. Moreover, if Akhilesh gets a second consecutive term on his own steam — he has made the UP elections presidential by turning the debate to his achievements as CM — it would be an unprecedented event in the state’s recent history. This would give him a free hand in implementing his development plans and make SP a representative of a wider vote-base, going beyond the Yadavs and Muslims. However, a drubbing will see Akhilesh fighting battles within the SP. Mayawati is also on the brink of either emerging as a strong force or witnessing her party’s breaking up. If she manages to get the Muslim votes along with the Jatavs, she may be able to form the next government. But the SP-Congress alliance may keep the minority votes away from her. A loss for the BSP would prompt the BJP — and to some extent the Congress — to woo the Jatavs away from Mayawati. For the Congress, the prospects are likely to be better after the alliance with the SP. The other bright spot for Congress is that Priyanka is taking a more than active interest in the party’s work in UP. The clamour within the party that she should take up a post and even contest the 2019 general elections is likely to grow after these elections. Party leaders are hopeful she will accept if only to strengthen the hands of her brother Rahul. A loss for the BJP, which has upped the stakes in UP by claiming a repeat of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls where it won 71 out of 80 seats, would mean some dissenting voices becoming more vocal. Party chief Amit Shah, who still enjoys the full confidence of PM Modi and appears unassailable, may find some leaders and the RSS questioning his performance. The party performed badly in Delhi and Bihar under his stewardship. However, the BJP is not known to change chiefs based on poll outcomes. Outside UP, the AAP has high hopes in Punjab and is putting up a good show in Goa. If the party wins Punjab, Arvind Kejriwal will surely assume a larger role than being just a CM of any one state. The party will also be encouraged to increase its political footprint in other states.
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Banks tell SC action on Aircel will hit them too

NEW DELHI | MUMBAI: A State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders on Monday filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking to be included in the proceedings of a case involving Aircel, saying they would be “severely” affected if the telco is restrained from earning revenue using its 2G airwaves, which would impact repayment to creditors. The country’s largest public sector bank sought the apex court’s permission to be part of the proceedings, saying that it was “vitally interested” as the Chennaibased carrier owed the bank and others a total of Rs 20,000 crore as of December 2016. ET was the first to report on January 19 that the SBI-led consortium might approach the Supreme Court to make it a party to the case. “In the event this court passes an order directing that Aircel be restrained from earning any revenue, by using 2G spectrum licences which were granted to them in November 2006, the same would severely affect all lenders as it would result in non-payment of dues owed to lenders,” the plea, filed by SBI and 11 other banks including Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank, urged the court. ET has seen a copy of the plea. The lenders assured the court that “there is no occasion for any benefit being passed on to (majority Malaysian stakeholder) Maxis or any persons as all amounts are to be deposited with SBI for benefit of lenders.” The banks added that, “no payments by way of dividends, profits or otherwise can be made to any of the shareholders of Aircel or Maxis unless all debt servicing obligations are met.” SBI did not immediately comment on the development. The revenue generated by Aircel through use of licences and spectrum is “principal security” and the primary means of servicing debts due to SBI, other public sector banks and foreign lenders, which have advanced huge sums of money for the business and operations of Aircel. In its plea to the apex court, the lenders said that shares of Aircel are secured with them and cannot be transferred or sold by shareholders without their consent. Hence, the SC can give them the right to oversee all assets so that they’re not diluted. They also appealed that the court need not attach Aircel’s spectrum, licences, moveable or immovable assets, network equipment and its equity including redeemable shares, as they are secured with the bankers. Dues owed to local banks including SBI is Rs 12,627 crore, foreign currency debt is Rs 595 crore and that from bank guarantees and letters of credit stands at Rs 3,232 crore. Maxis Communications Berhad, which owns 74% of Aircel, has since December 2005 invested Rs 33,000 crore in the unit through equity contributions, redeemable preference shares and shareholder loans. SC THREAT Earlier this month, the court said it would revoke Aircel’s licence if promoter T Ananda Krishnan and former executive Ralph Marshall, who ran Maxis, the parent company of Aircel at the time of the acquisition, didn't appear in an ongoing case of corruption in a lower court. The court barred the transfer or sale of Aircel’s 2G airwaves to a third party in the interim. The top court had also asked the telecom department to look for an alternative service provider for Aircel’s 91 million subscribers, and it could even consider auctioning the spectrum. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Friday directed Aircel to inform about 40 million customers to provisionally switch to other operators if they want to continue their mobile services in case of an adverse order. Aircel, however, has objected to that, saying it was too premature for DoT to take action or for the telco to be sending such a message, and that they should wait till the next hearing on February 3 or till a final order is passed. The Supreme Court developments, coupled with the latest diktat from DoT, cast a deep shadow on the proposed merger between Aircel and Reliance Communications, as well as on the latter’s deal to sell its tower business to Brookfield. Any move to bar revenue generation can hurt valuations. TRANSFERING LICENCE In its plea to the apex court, the lenders said that as per a tripartite agreement with lenders and DoT, lenders shall be permitted to assign or transfer the licence in favour of a party nominated by lenders and approved by DoT. Lenders said approval of the execution of the tripartite agreement is awaited from DoT, while Aircel has created a charge over the licences and spectrum. A trust and retention account (TRA) under SBI was created in May 2014 to monitor all receivables including revenue of Aircel, and between August 2014 and December 2016 about Rs 38,600 crore has been deposited. These funds are utilised for making licence fee payments, operational costs, capital costs, debt obligations, debt service reserve, in that order. Payments to shareholders only happen after all these obligations are checked off. As an example of how lenders have been paid, SBI said in its plea that in the sale of 2300 MHz spectrum of Aircel to Airtel in April 2016 for a total of Rs 4,023 crore, Rs 1,630 crore was paid to DoT and Rs 1,444 crore was prepaid to lenders, while Rs 949 crore was deposited in the TRA. GTL INFRA STANCE Adding another dimension to the ongoing legal issues, Chennai Network Infrastructure, the company GTL Infra had bought from Aircel with 17,000 towers in 2010, has sought legal advice saying Aircel's spectrum, customers and vendors are synonymous and it stands to lose unless conjoined with any handing over that may be court mandated, said a person familiar with the application. The application being drafted further highlights that business prospects for vendors have already seriously been harmed by the licence cancellation in the wake of the 2G scam and the stalling of BSNL contracts. “We are seeking appropriate legal advice to protect the interests of the lenders, investors and all other stakeholders including GTL Infra, GTL Ltd and their respective lenders,” the company confirmed. Aircel is in the crosshairs of criminal conspiracy and corruption charges filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother and Sun TV promoter Kalanithi Maran in 2011. The former telecom minister allegedly forced former Aircel promoter and serial entrepreneur C Sivasankaran to sell his stake in Aircel to Maxis, before awarding Aircel 14 telecom licences suggesting there was a quid quo pro.
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Hiranandani looks to boost commercial realty portfolio

MUMBAI: Realtor Hiranandani Group is looking to ramp up its commercial portfolio by 10-15% annually over the next five years through new projects. The Mumbai-based developer will be adding five million sq ft in the two years ending December 2017 in Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Ahmedabad. The group is also planning to develop a 250-acre industrial township in Talegaon in Pune and a 160-acre park in Chennai. “We believe in the Prime Minister's vision of `Make In India', which will boost both industrial and commercial activity in India and therefore initiating the new industrial space building and growing the commercial footprint from our side. Apart from commercial development, we are also going to focus on industrial townships. We will be deve loping an industrial township on 250-acre land in Pune and 160 acres in Chennai,“ said Niranjan Hiranandani, CMD of Hiranandani Group of companies. The company has already started the first phase of construction for the industrial township in Pune spread over 50 acres and is expected to be completed in four phases.It has also completed acquisition of 160-acre land for a similar project in Chennai. Currently, the group is developing nearly six million sq ft of commercial properties, including two million sq ft in Panvel and 3.5 million sq ft in Thane. A four-lakh sq ft project in GIFT SEZ in Gandhinagar is the latest addition to this portfolio. “We have already leased 30% of Hiranandani Signature tower in GIFT City and hope to increase the occupancy to 85% by September. There are seven prominent banks which have shown interest in picking up office space. Demand for space here is high, given the tax benefits being offered,“ said Hiranandani. The (BSE and Kotak Mahindra Bank are the anchor tenants at Hiranandani Signature tower with first and second floors, respectively. BSE Brokers Association has also picked up an entire floor spread over 28,000 sq ft. Re venues from businesses operating out of this tower will be tax free, except for a levy of minimum alternate tax (MAT) of 9%. In 2016, the company concluded India's largest commercial space transaction for the year with two million sq ft built-to-suit office leased to software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). It also concluded the largest commercial space divestment deal to a private equity when it sold 4.5 million sq ft office and retail space to Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management for $1 billion.
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Private equity players may flock to real estate market

MUMBAI | BENGALURU: The big-ticket transition signalled through the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA), currency demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax is set to spell more opportunities for institutional capital in India's real estate sector. Private equity players, who have so far preferred the structured-debt route to invest in Indian property market, are likely to find the market even more transparent and attractive. More foreign direct investment (FDI) can be expected through equity now as this will lead to an economy more aligned to global compliance standards, making investing easier for foreign entities. "From a historic high seen in 2009, when the share of private equity inflows into residential real estate peaked to 60% of the overall pie, it has gradually reduced to 10% in 2016.This 10% figure is same as the investment split seen in 2006, which was the first time equity interest tracked into the residential asset class. Private equity investment was entirely focused on the commercial asset class in the initial few years," said Anuj Puri, chairman, JLL India. "While the real estate business has currently taken a step back due to these, it will set a very strong foundation for long-term growth. Equity investments at such times can work extremely well for longterm investors," Puri said. "Going forward, the nature of private equity participation in real estate will have to change significantly. Gone are the days of evaluating security values based on projected capital rates and cash flows in order to take secured debt positions.Taking these debt positions is no more risk free and returns are also diminishing as developers continue to shy away from high cost debt," said Rubi Arya, vice-chairman, Milestone Capital Advisors. Private equity funds will have to increase their risk appetite as pure debt opportunities will not be available with good established brands. Taking structured equity or pure equity positions is the way for ward for higher returns. Since high returns are linked to high risks, inherent knowledge, investment discipline and team strength will matter the most, Arya said. Asset management companies need to be more and more hands-on with their knowledge of micro markets, project development and statutory aspects in particular. In 2016, the trend of raising debt continued especially in the residential segment. Further leverage being limited, developers are likely to be open to providing entry points to the long-term equity investors.While a few equity-related risks would continue, attractive entry points will also provide a higher margin of safety. "Both investors and developers will gain more confidence with respect to the underlying returns of real estate projects. Stabilised RERA implantation will enhance the predictability of earnings and project cash flows, and hence, prompt them to consider equity option as well," said Neeraj Sharma, director at Grant Thornton Advisory, a global consultancy firm. "Equity money will be back in the market. It will be a challenge for builders to get higher returns as they may not find the right partners. There will be a huge demand for liquidity as sales have considerably slowed down," said Ravindra Pai, MD, Century Real Estate Holdings.
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USFDA notice to Hetero over conditions at Telangana unit

MUMBAI: The US Food and Drug Administration has sent a notice to Hetero Labs, a supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients, about possible manufacturing deficiencies at its unit located in Telangana. The FDA issued the Hyderabadbased company Form 483, which notifies a company of objectionable conditions at its manufacturing site that are potentially in violation of the regulator’s rules. The 13-page observation by investigators Massoud Motamed and Latorie Jones noted several deviations that were against good manufacturing practices, including the shredding of documents, mismatch in batch records and failure to remove defective products from the market. EThas viewed the form. Hetero did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the matter. The FDA inspected the company’s CCTV records and found that quality technicians and other individuals were seen destroying and altering records pertaining to commercial batch manufacturing immediately prior to the regulatory inspection. “A document shredder was introduced into your firm’s document storage area… days prior to the current US FDA inspection. After introduction of the document shredder we observed extensive shredding of what appears to be controlled documents and extensive signing of documents by QA,” the FDA investigators noted. The company failed to maintain a record of what had been shredded before the current inspection, the FDA said. It noted that the company’s staff shredded the documents in the middle of the night and were unable to explain their actions when they were questioned about it. The FDA observed that as preventive and corrective actions, Hetero failed to remove defective products from the market and did not investigate or document complaints. Hetero is .`400 crore drug company that makes range of drugs, including anti-retrovirals, which are used in HIV treatment.
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Complete e-KYC of mobile subscribers: Trai asks DoT

KOLKATA: Flagging security concerns, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has urged the government to undertake verification of existing mobile subscribers using the electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) platform within a defined timeframe. “The paper-based KYC process of customer verification is not robust enough, and the Authority has received several cases from the state police (crime branch), which suggest the existence of hundreds of working SIM cards obtained with fake/forged documents, which poses a real security challenge,” the telecom regulator said in its recommendations to the telecom department (DoT) on Monday. The e-KYC solution is an instant, secure and green mobile-subscriber verification project where a mobile user’s Aadhaar card and fingerprints are adequate to validate and activate pre-paid and post-paid connections. In August 2016, DoT had cleared the Aadharbased e-KYC authentication rules to issue new mobile connections. However, it “excluded the huge existing mobile subscriber base”. The regulator has suggested that DoT “works with telcos to evolve a framework to verify existing mobile users through the e-KYC process in a phased manner”.
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Tech view: Nifty forms ‘piercing’ pattern; momentum may sustain

NEW DELHI: The Nifty50 on Monday closed above the 8,400 level, but formed a ‘piercing’ pattern on the daily chart, which suggests the positive momentum may sustain in the market for now. But there is a condition; the index needs to break above the 8,460 level on a closing basis, as this level has been proving a strong resistance for the index over the past few sessions. Daily diary Despite opening on a weak note, the NSE barometer saw a spike. The 50-pack index was soon trading above the 8,400 level. But the rally fizzled out. Nonetheless, the bulls fought hard and ensured that the bears do not gain an upper hand. After coming close to day’s low, the index rebounded to settle the day at 8,391, up 42.15 points, or 0.50 per cent. ‘Piercing’ pattern suggests end to downtrend A piercing pattern often signals the end of a small to moderate downward trend, noted Pushkaraj Sham Kanitkar, AVP for technical research at GEPL Capital. “The market has clawed back to the range of last two weeks, which it had pierced in the previous trading session. The same may help retest the recent high at around the 8,460 mark, extending up to the 8,500 mark. However given the F&O expiry ahead, gains beyond the 8,500 mark look remote,” Kanitkar said. The NSE benchmark, which was staring at its 200-day simple moving average of 8,318, has rebounded and would be looking to get past its 100-day SMA at 8,428 in coming sessions. But don’t jump to conclusion... Mazhar Mohammad, Chief Strategist for Technical Research & Trading Advisory, Chartviewindia.in, expects that it will be too early for traders to jump into conclusion in favour of the bulls “until the resistance of 8,460 is taken off.” “On the downside, it is very important for the index to sustain above the 8,270 level as a breach of this level on a closing basis shall result in the resumption of the downtrend,” the expert said. Kanitkar said if the Nifty50 retests the earlier breakout levels at 8,280 and 8,300, it may not be ruled out if the index retreats from the prevailing level.
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Mapping the market: Metal stocks shine, Nalco hits 52-wk high

NEW DELHI: Value buying at lower levels supported the benchmark equity indices on Monday. The 30-share Sensex closed 82.84 points, or 0.31 per cent, higher at 27,117, while the 50-share Nifty50 index settled 42.15 points, or 0.50 per cent, up at 8,391. However, market sentiments remained cautious ahead of the Union Budget next week. Here’s a look at the stocks and sectors that made headlines in Monday’s session. Metal stocks shine again: Metal and mining stocks remained in demand as copper prices edged higher in the global commodity market. The BSE Metal index closed 2.61 per cent up at 11,435. Among the 10 components of the index, Hindalco surged the most at 5.75 per cent, followed by SAIL (up 5.15 per cent), Nalco (up 4.88 per cent), JSW Steel (up 4.38 per cent), Hindustan Zinc (up 3.06 per cent) and Vedanta (up 2.81 per cent). High-grade copper for March 2017 delivery was up around 0.82 per cent during the day at $2.6465 per pound on the COMEX. New 52-week highs: Over 50 stocks hit their fresh 52-week highs on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) on Monday. The list includes stocks such as Ambika Cotton Mills, Arshiya, Bhushan Steel, Geometric, Shemaroo Entertainment, Shilpi Cable, Vakrangee, Steel Authority of India, National Aluminium Company and Prakash Industries. Booster dose for BEML: Shares of BEML advanced nearly 7 per cent on Monday after the government kick-started the process of strategic sale of 26 per cent equity in the company, inviting bids from advisers on the issue. The selected adviser would be required to manage the bidding process and assist government in fixing the range of the fair reserve price while considering the valuation of BEML, the heavy equipment maker with presence in various sectors including defence. USL rises on earnings impact: United Spirits (USL) advanced over 6 per cent after the liquor major on Saturday reported an over three-fold jump in its standalone net profit at Rs 147.70 crore for the third quarter ended December 31 on the back of lower finance costs and exceptional expense in the corresponding period last year. Needs energy: JSW Energy plunged over 3 per cent on BSE after consolidated net profit of the company fell 93.2 per cent to Rs 21 crore on 25.58 per cent decline in turnover to Rs 1,955 crore in December quarter of 2016 over that for the December quarter of 2015. Spurt in OI: Futures of HUL saw the biggest jump in open interest (OI) at 62.76 per cent. It was followed by UltraTech Cement (60.36 per cent) and Bharti Airtel (59.06 per cent). Most active stocks: Suzlon was the most active stock in terms of traded volume on NSE on Monday. It was followed by ICICI Bank, Adani Power, Vishesh Info, GMR Infra and Hindalco.
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'Indian IT decision makers adopting open source to go digital'

NEW DELHI: Indian IT decision makers are turning to open source to drive digital innovation to support business with new capabilities, a study said on Monday. Fifty one per cent of respondents reported that their organisations have implemented open source solution while 49 per cent of respondents plan to expand/implement open source solutions within the next 12 months, said open source solutions provider Red Hat which conducted the study with market research firm Forrester Consulting. "The power of participation and collaboration of open source is no longer just an IT initiative but has become a top business priority for many enterprises in India," said Rajesh Rege, Managing Director, Red Hat, India, in a statement. Eighty six per cent of survey respondents highlighted reducing cost/improving efficiency as one of their key business initiatives within the next 12 months, the findings showed. Fifty three per cent of respondents use open source to both support business innovation with new capabilities and to engage in an open ecosystem of innovation partners. "Respondents from India anticipate that their organisation's use of open source will increase in Internet of Things by 45 per cent whereas 43 per cent believe that open source will help increase their agile hybrid Cloud infrastructure, application development and DevOps environments," the study noted. The study surveyed 455 CIOs and senior IT decision makers from nine countries in Asia Pacific.
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Life insurance policy holders get 30 days more to pay premium

NEW DELHI: Extending a helping hand to people facing cash crunch, regulator Irdai has asked life insurance companies to provide an additional window of 30 days to policy holders for paying premium. Following withdrawal of legal tender character of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes from November 9, government has put restrictions on cash withdrawals from banks and ATMs. Currently, a person can withdraw up to Rs 24,000 in a week. Amid the cash crunch, Life Insurance Council had approached the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) to extend grace period by an additional 30 days for all the policies falling due between November 8 and December 31, 2016. After examining the representation and keeping in view the inconvenience to policyholders, Irdai has allowed "the extension of grace period by an additional 30 days for all the policies issued by life insurers the premium/s of which fell/falls due on or after November 8, 2016 till December 31, 2016". The regulator said that the special one-off dispensation is given so that policyholders do not suffer from non-payment of due premiums due to recent cash crunch. "All life insurers are advised to comply," said the Irdai circular addressed to CEOs of the Life Insurance Companies. This follows a move by the Reserve Bank to provide additional 60 days for repayment of housing, car, farm and other loans worth up to Rs 1 crore. This is applicable to loans payable between November 1 and December 31, RBI said in a notification.
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Good work gets done when great minds come together: Chumbak's Vivek Prabhakar

My first 100 days at work My first job was as a marketing executive at Titan. Things were moving at breakneck speed at the time. I had to work on the mandate of finding a new public relations agency, put together a store-opening process and begin work on our summer campaign. I found myself juggling operations and brands, while just a few months ago my biggest concern had been having enough pocket money for college. My worst mistake I was always moving so fast because there was so much to do and so many projects to complete. There was really very little time for regrets or introspection or to specifically look at a mistake as my biggest. The best leadership lesson I learnt The amount of responsibility I was given at my first job was amazing. Very few questions were asked but I was always free to ask for help. This also ensured that there was no concept of hierarchy as there was a belief that good work gets done when great minds come together and not by pulling rank. Both these lessons have held me in good stead till this day, with some of the lessons coming back into the culture we have built at Chumbak.
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