IndUS Business Journal

No SFIO reference on ICICI Bank to Corporate Affairs: Secretary

Apr 4, 2018 0

New Delhi– No reference has been made to the Union Corporate Affairs Ministry by its Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) on the issue involving the private sector ICICI Bank and Videocon Group, its Secretary Injeti Srinivas said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of a conference on Resolving Insolvency organised by industry chamber CII, Srinivas, however, also said that it is well within the rights of the SFIO to make a reference on the matter.

“If the SFIO considers it necessary to make a reference to the ministry, it is well within its ambit,” he said, adding that no such reference had been made to the ministry.

Officials here said on Tuesday that the Income Tax Department has issued a notice to Deepak Kochhar, the husband of ICICI Bank Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar, in connection with its ongoing tax evasion probe in the Videocon bank loan case.

He has been named by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its preliminary enquiry registered last week and the agency had also questioned a few ICICI bank officials as part of the probe to find if any quid pro quo was involved in the bank issuing a Rs 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Group in 2012.

The deal recently made news after reports questioned the loan and linked it to a possible quid pro quo that Videocon group promoter Venugopal Dhoot allegedly had with NuPower Renewables, a company founded by Deepak Kochhar.

In its preliminary enquiry — a precursor before lodging an FIR — the CBI had named Dhoot, Deepak Kochhar and unidentified others.

In his address at the conference earlier, Srinivas, who heads the Insolvency Law Committee, that made public its recommendations on Tuesday, said that Less than half of the staggering Rs 9 lakh crore worth of non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans, accumulated by banks had returned due to the system set in place by the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code enacted by Parliament in 2016. (IANS)

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India, Iran to set up expert group on trade remedy measures

Apr 4, 2018 0

New Delhi– The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday gave its ex post facto approval to an agreement between India and Iran to set up an expert group on trade remedy measures.

“The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will promote cooperation between the two countries in area of trade remedies such as exchange of information, capacity building activities, cooperation in investigations related to anti-dumping and countervailing duty,” said an official statement.

The MoU, signed on February 17, 2018 during the visit of Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, is aimed to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest. (IANS)

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China hits back, slaps new tariffs on 106 US products

Apr 4, 2018 0

By Gaurav Sharma

Beijing–  China in no time hit back by slapping tariffs of worth $50 billion on 106 US products on Wednesday, hours after Washington decided to impose import taxes on 1,300 Chinese products.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose an additional tariff of 25 per cent on 106 items of products under 14 categories, Xinhua quoted the Chinese Finance Ministry as saying.

The Ministry said the move was in response to Washington’s proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs, which covered Chinese exports worth $50 billion with a suggested tariff rate of 25 per cent.

The date of implementation will depend on when the US government impose the tariffs on Chinese products, the Ministry said.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said the US move was “an evident violation of rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO)”.

Washington’s action “severely infringed on the legitimate rights and interests that China enjoys in accordance with the WTO rules, and threatened China’s economic interests and security”, said the Commerce Ministry.

New tariffs China decided to impose on US products were a reaction to “the emergency caused by the US violation of international obligations”, it added.

Affected products will include a wide variety of agricultural products such as soybeans, corn, beef, orange juice and tobacco. A range of chemicals and automobiles as well as aircraft with unladen weight between 15 and 45 tonnes, will also be subject to the tariffs, Xinhua said.

The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has escalated. The US says it is taxing Chinese products as punitive measures against Beijing’s arm-twisting American companies to transfer their technology in return of letting them do business in China.

Beijing says although doors for talks are always open for Washington, it will give befitting reply if it faces the heat. (IANS)

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Indian equities tumble on global trade war tension

Apr 4, 2018 0

Mumbai– After two consecutive sessions of gains, the key indices of the Indian equity markets — the BSE Sensex and the NSE Nifty50 — tumbled on Wednesday after further trade protectionist measures imposed by two major global economies on each other spooked investors.

Besides, investors remained cautious ahead of the outcome of the central bank’s first bi-monthly monetary policy of 2018-19 on Thursday.

On a closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) declined by 116.60 points or 1.14 per cent to 10,128.40 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 33,019.07 points — down 351.56 points or 1.05 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The Sensex shed almost 500 points from its day’s high at 33,505.53 points on closing.

The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,483 declines and 1,157 advances.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index edged lower by 0.92 per cent and the small-cap index by 1.01 per cent.

“Markets corrected sharply on Wednesday after two sessions of gains. The Nifty50 in the process broke the previous session’s low of 10,171 points,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“The weakness came on the back of weak global cues due to escalating trade war between China and the US. Indian indices tracked the European indices and Dow Futures — both of which kept weakening,” he added.

According to market observers, the domestic equity markets reacted to intensifying trade war fears after China on Wednesday unveiled a list of products worth $50 billion imported from the US that will be subject to higher tariffs, including soybeans, cars and chemical goods.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council decided to impose additional tariff of 25 per cent on 106 items of products under 14 categories as a countermeasure after the US administration published a list of about 1,300 Chinese products it plans to hit with a 25 per cent tariff.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Market slid approximately two per cent from day’s high due to looming trade war tensions and caution ahead of Reserve Bank of India policy meet.

“Global market volatility continued to give a ripple effect to the market despite gradual recovery in domestic economy and moderation in inflation. RBI’s policy is likely to support near term sentiment while clarity on earnings growth and monsoon will give more transparency in direction,” said Nair.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 13 paise to close at 65.15 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.02.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrips worth Rs 335.18 crore, while the domestic institutional investors divested in stocks worth Rs 152.55 crore.

All the sectoral indices slumped, barring the S&P BSE auto index which rose by 103.16 points.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index plunged by 567.49 points, followed by banking index by 447.47 points, metal index by 370.48 points and capital goods index by 368.13 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Tata Motors, up 3.60 per cent at Rs 355.70; Tata Motors (DVR), up 2.84 per cent at Rs 198.90; Hero MotoCorp, up 0.81 per cent at Rs 3,669.95; Hindustan Unilever, up 0.59 per cent at Rs 1,356.35; and Adani Ports, up 0.15 per cent at Rs 367.35.

The Sensex losers were: Tata Steel, down 3.29 per cent at Rs 560.45; Axis Bank, down 2.61 per cent at Rs 490.15; Larsen and Toubro, down 2.52 per cent at Rs 1,296.35; Kotak Bank, down 2.25 per cent at Rs 1,078.20; and Yes Bank, down 2.24 per cent at Rs 305.65. (IANS)

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Government launches 3 portals for ease of agri-exports

Apr 3, 2018 0

New Delhi– In a digital initiative to promote ease of exports, particularly for Indian agricultural products, the Commerce Ministry on Tuesday launched three portals – for Safe Food Export Traceability, Single Laboratory for Accreditation and Approvals, and the third for Monitoring Export Alerts from importing regulators.

While the Safe Food Export portal offers comprehensive linkages to primary producers, suppliers, establishments, laboratories and export certification, the “One Lab One Assessment” portal simplifies procedures by eliminating multiple asessments by multiple authorities for testing, which is an essential for food exports

The portal dedicated to monitoring export alerts is designed to improve efficiency of the system of corrective action on non-compliance alerts in food exports given by importing regulators, officials said here.

Lauding the Export Inspection Council’s digital initiative, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said at the launch that India’s vast potential for food and agri-exports is “truly underestimated”. To realise this potential requires putting in place certain processes like these digital ones for easing exports and quality control, he said.

“Food is a regulated item and so it is important to ensure that what consumers eat is what is promised to them. There is the need in India to process according to world is a quality issue,” he said.

Noting that India has 7,600 km of coastline along 13 states, Prabhu said the country has enormous potential in marine and fish exports.

“We have 35 agro-climatic zones in the country and can produce everything the world eats,” he added.

He also said that substantial vegetable produce is lost due to lack of proper storage , while India has the unenviable tag of being the “second largest waster in the world” in this regard.

“Almost 30 per cent of our vegetable produce is wasted,” he said.

The Minister also said that that the government has drafted an Agricultural Export Policy that has been put in the public domain inviting suggestions and comments. (IANS)

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Amazon launches B2B global selling for Indian exporters

Apr 3, 2018 0

New Delhi– Global e-commerce giant Amazon on Tuesday said it has launched B2B (business-to-business) selling for Indian exporters under its “Global Selling programme” to reach business customers across its international marketplaces.

“Amazon Business today announced the expansion of its Global Selling programme by launching B2B selling for Indian exporters,” the company said in a statement.

“Through this launch, B2B sellers, manufacturers and exporters will be able to reach thousands of business customers across Amazon’s international marketplaces,” it said.

The company said the programme — which started as a pilot late last year — has received a positive response with over 2,000 exporters registered for B2B global selling at present.

The company’s B2B Global Selling program is present in the US, Britain, Germany, France, Japan and India.

According to the e-commerce giant, once the sellers register for the individual marketplaces, they will then be able to export to these Amazon global marketplaces.

“Ranging from sole proprietors to the largest of Fortune 500 enterprises, Indian exporters registered with Amazon Business Global Selling program are able to directly reach out to Amazon’s global business customer base and thus get an opportunity to venture into newer market segments,” it said.

The company said the program enables features such as business-only pricing and back-end integration that helps exporters manage competitive pricing internationally and assists in managing and fulfilling bulk orders from business customers.

“Amazon Business’s Global Selling program will get the sellers in front of decisions makers of Fortune 500 companies as well as medium and small corporations across the world,” said Peeyush Nahar, Vice President B2B Marketplace Business, Amazon.

“To support tapping this excellent market of business customers for Indian goods globally, the program offers benefits to the Indian sellers such as discounted referral fees for bulk orders, business price and quantity discounts targeted for business customers, single selling account etc,” he added. (IANS)

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Muthoot Finance plans to raise Rs 3,000 cr through public issue of NCDs

Apr 3, 2018 0

Mumbai– Gold financing firm Muthoot Finance on Tuesday said that it plans to raise Rs 3,000 cr through the public issue of non-convertible redeemable debentures (NCDs).

“Company has filed a shelf prospectus for issue of secured redeemable non-Convertible debentures (Secured NCDs) of face value of Rs 1,000 each aggregating upto Rs 3,000 crore (Shelf Limit),” Muthoot Finance said in a statement.

“The tranche issue is with a base issue size of Rs 500 crore with an option to retain oversubscription up to shelf limit of Rs 3,000 crore (tranche I issue).”

According to the company, the issue opens on April 9, 2018 and closes on May 8, 2018 with an “option to close earlier and or extend up to a period as may be determined by a duly authorised committee of the board”. (IANS)

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India to be partner country for Ambiente 2019

Apr 3, 2018 0

New Delhi– India will be the partner country for International Frankfurt Trade Fair, Ambiente 2019 to be held during February 8-12, 2019, a statement said.

“India will take over the partner country globe from the Netherlands. This was announced by Messe Frankfurt at a festive ceremony on the penultimate day of Ambiente (2018),” said the organisers in the statement.

“The country that receives the globe can then present itself at a special show at the next Ambiente,” it added.

Union Minister of State for Textiles Ajay Tamta, said: “India is looking forward to this collaboration that will help to develop long-term sustainable partnerships of Indian industry with the value chain in Germany and other countries.” (IANS)

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India’s manufacturing sector expansion slows in March: PMI

Apr 3, 2018 0

Mumbai–India’s manufacturing sector grew at a slower pace in March 2018, the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed on Tuesday.

The composite indicator of manufacturing performance increased to 51 in March 2018 from 52.1 reported for February. An index reading of above 50 indicates an overall increase in economic activity and below 50 an overall decrease.

According to the key macro-economic data point, Indian goods manufacturers raised “their output for the eighth successive month during March” and that higher production was mainly linked to new order growth and favourable demand conditions.

As per the PMI report, amid “reports of spare operating capacity”, firms reduced their payroll numbers for the first time in eight months, “albeit at a fractional pace”.

Commenting on the PMI data, Aashna Dodhia, Economist at IHS Markit and the author of the report, said: “India’s manufacturing sector continued to grow, albeit at the weakest pace since October, reflecting weaker gains in new business and a decline in employment for the first time in eight months.”

“New export orders rose during March, thereby marking a five-month period of growth. The impact of US tariffs on steel and aluminium on India is expected to be limited, as India’s exports in both metals to the US accounted for less than 0.4 per cent of total merchandise exports. On a negative note, further advances in trade disputes could potentially weigh on sales to international clients.” (IANS)

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Petrol at Rs 73.95 a litre in Delhi, highest since September 2013

Apr 3, 2018 0

New Delhi– Petrol prices continued to spiral on Tuesday, touching a nearly five year high of Rs 73.95 per litre in Delhi.

The previous high in the capital was Rs 74.10 a litre in September 2013.

In Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai too, prices climbed to new multi-year highs at Rs 81.80, Rs 76.66 and Rs 76.72 a litre, the Indian Oil website said.

The previous high in these cities was Rs 82.07 (Mumbai, March 2014), Rs 77.88 (Kolkata, May 2012) and Rs 77.53 (Chennai, May 2012).

Diesel prices also touched new record levels.

On Tuesday, diesel prices in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai were Rs 64.82, Rs 69.02, Rs 67.51 and Rs 68.38 a litre respectively.

Prices of petrol and diesel have been on the rise off late after global crude oil prices increased due to trade tensions between the US and China.

On Tuesday, Brent crude oil was priced around $68.01 per barrel, whereas in 2013 it was priced at over $100 a barrel.

Prices of transport fuels are now changed on a daily basis to cope with volatility in global crude oil prices, unlike the previous fortnightly revision of prices. (IANS)

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