Sonata Software net up 22% in Q3

Feb 7, 2018 0

Bengaluru– IT services and technology solutions firm Sonata Software on Wednesday reported Rs 49 crore consolidated net profit for the third quarter of 2017-18 from Rs 40 crore in the same period year ago, registering 22 per cent annual growth.

“Consolidated revenue for the quarter under review grew 33 per cent annually to Rs 767 crore from Rs 575 crore in the like period a year ago,” said the city-based software firm in a statement here.

Sequentially, net profit, however, grew 9 per cent from Rs 45 crore quarter ago and revenue a whopping 80 per cent from Rs 427 crore.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) grew 10 per cent annually to Rs 72 crore from Rs 65 crore year ago and 8 per cent sequentially from Rs 66 crore quarter ago.

“Strong top-line and bottom- line performance continued in the quarter. We have also acquired new marquee clients during the quarter,” said Sonata Chief Executive Srikar Reddy in the statement.

The company’s proprietary methodology to build digital businesses on its digital platform has gained acceptance by its clients, it said. (IANS)

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RBI holds repo at 6% thrice in succession, flags fiscal slip, inflation

Feb 7, 2018 0

Mumbai– The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept its key interest rate unchanged at 6 per cent for the third time in succession at its final bi-monthly monetary policy review of the fiscal, citing upside risks for inflation from rising global crude oil prices and various domestic factors. India Inc welcomed the decision as being “on expected lines”.

Announcing the first policy review after the Union Budget 2018-19 presented last week, the RBI said its decision to keep its repo, or short term lending rate for commercial banks, unchanged is consistent with the neutral stance of the central bank aimed at achieving its median inflation target of 4 per cent.

“Consequently, the reverse repo rate remains at 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.25 per cent,” an RBI statement said following the meeting of the six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

“We expect headline inflation to be at 5.1 per cent in the fourth quarter (January-March), including the impact of HRA (house rent allowance) to central employees, up from the 4.6 per cent in Q3,” RBI Governor Urjit Patel told reporters here after release of the MPC statement.

The continuing rise in food and fuel prices pushed India’s annual retail inflation rate over the five per cent mark in December 2017 to 5.21 per cent, from 4.88 per cent in November 2017.

Elaborating on the upside risks to inflation, the RBI listed half a dozen factors.

“First, international crude oil prices have firmed up sharply since August 2017, while non-oil industrial raw material prices have also witnessed a global uptick,” the MPC statement said.

“Second, the staggered impact of HRA increases by various state governments may push up headline inflation further in 2018-19, and potentially induce second-round effects.

“Third, the Union Budget 2018-19 has proposed revised guidelines for arriving at the minimum support prices (MSPs) for kharif crops. Fourth, the Budget has also proposed an increase in customs duty on a number of items.”

“Fifth, fiscal slippage as indicated in the Budget could impinge on the inflation outlook. Sixth, the confluence of domestic fiscal developments and normalisation of monetary policy by major advanced economies could further adversely impact financing conditions and undermine the confidence of external investors,” it added.

Five members of the MPC, including the three external ones and the Governor, voted in favour of the decision, while Executive Director Michael Patra voted for an increase in the policy rate by 25 basis points.

Noting the need for “vigilance” on inflation, the RBI also cut its earlier Gross Value Added (GVA), which excludes taxes but includes subsidies, growth forecast for the current fiscal to 6.6 percent, from 6.7 per cent.

In a move to speed up retail transmission by banks of the central bank’s cuts in its lending rate, the RBI said that it will link the Base Rate with the Marginal Cost of Funds-based Lending Rate (MCLR) from the next fiscal.

Since MCLR is more sensitive to policy rate signals, the RBI has decided to harmonise the methodology of determining benchmark rates by linking the Base Rate to the MCLR with effect from April 1, 2018, an RBI release said.

The RBI introduced the MCLR from April 1, 2016, as a system working in tandem with its policy rates, which commercial banks have been slow in accepting, preferring to continue with the Base Rate regime.

Besides, in a move to provide relief to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector which was “badly hit” by the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the RBI on Wednesday gave them an extension of up to 180 days to clear their loans to banks.

In addition, the RBI also removed credit caps on MSME in the services sector under priority sector.

The central bank further announced the scrapping of subsidies given to banks to install ATM machines and cash-recyclers and said that this would give a boost to digital transactions.

India Inc on Wednesday welcomed the RBI decision stating that it was “on expected lines”, while lauding move to extend the time for repayment of loans by MSMEs.

“Apart from the status quo in rates that was widely anticipated, the forbearance allowed to MSME borrowers, broadening the definition of priority sector lending and simplification of repo directions among others are all positive steps towards a stable macro environment,” State Bank of India Chairman Rajnish Kumar said in a statement here.

Industry chamber Assocham President Sandeep Jajodia said: “The RBI decision is a relief for India Inc, as some of the concerns raised by the central bank, including the inflation crossing the 5 per cent threshold and uncertainty over crude prices, are quite justified.

“The RBI has rightly taken note of the difficulties that arose for the MSMEs in the loan repayments following Goods and Services Tax implementation.”

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) President Rashesh Shah said: “Undoubtedly, there has been a missed opportunity of lowering interest rates significantly, which could have provided a major boost to private investment.

“Going forward, we hope that the RBI will give an equal consideration to the growth concerns, especially given the fact that inflationary pressures in India are largely due to supply side factors on the agriculture front.” (IANS)

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TVS Motor’s Q3 net profit up 16.3%

Jan 30, 2018 0

Mumbai/Chennai– Two-and three-wheeler manufacturer TVS Motor Company on Tuesday reported a rise of 16.3 per cent in its net profit for the third quarter of 2017-18.

According to the company, its net profit during the quarter under review increased to Rs 154.35 crore from Rs 132.67 crore reported for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

“During the quarter ended December 2017, the overall two-wheeler sales of the company including exports grew by 13.8 per cent to 7.99 lakh units…,” the company said in a statement.

“Three-wheeler sales of the company registered a growth of 67.7 per cent to 26,968 units in the quarter under review as against 16,081 units in the third quarter of 2016-17.”

Further, the company exported 1.40 lakh units of two and three wheelers in the quarter under review as against 0.99 lakh units in the third quarter of 2016-17 registering a growth of 42.4 per cent. (IANS)


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Piramal Enterprises’ Q3 net profit up 21%

Jan 30, 2018 0

Mumbai– Diversified conglomerate Piramal Enterprises on Tuesday reported an increase of 21 per cent in its consolidated net profit for the third quarter of 2017-18 financial year.

According to the company, its net profit during the quarter under review increased to Rs 490 crore from Rs 404 crore reported for the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

Further, the consolidated revenues grew by 22 per cent to Rs 2,858 crore from Rs 2,342 crore in Q3 2016-17.

“We continue to deliver strong performance since last many quarters. The consistency in our performance is an outcome of the robustness of our business model and sharp focus on quality, compliance, legal and risk mitigation across our businesses,” said Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Enterprises.

“Nearly Rs 7,000 crore of capital, which we are in the process of raising from existing and new top quality global and domestic investors, will play an instrumental role in achieving ambitious growth plans across our businesses operating in Financial Services and Pharmaceutical sectors.”

Piramal added: “Our loan book continued to grow at an impressive pace at 68 per cent to Rs 38,036 crore while maintaining a healthy asset quality with gross NPA (non performing asset) of 0.4 per cent.” (IANS)

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IOC Q3 net at Rs 7,883 cr, nearly doubles on higher sales

Jan 30, 2018 0

New Delhi– State-run India Oil Corp (IOC) on Tuesday declared a near doubling in its net profit at Rs 7,883.22 crore for the third quarter ended in December over the same period last year, mainly on the back of higher sales.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs 3,994.91 crore in the same quarter of the last fiscal.

The rise was even sharper sequentially with the oil marketing company (OMC) posting a profit after tax of Rs 3,696 crore in the previous quarter.

IOC’s revenue for the quarter in consideration increased to Rs 1,30,865 crore as compared to Rs 1,15,630 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2017, the company said in a stock exchange filing following a meeting of its board of directors.

The OMC posted a higher gross refining margin (GRM), on converting each barrel of crude to petroleum products, for the April-December period of the fiscal at $8.28 per barrel as against the GRM of $7.36 for the same nine months of 2017.

The refiner said it has accounted for a lower budgetary support of Rs 2,249.92 crore for the first nine months of the current fiscal (April-December), compared to Rs 3,879.73 crore received in the corresponding period of 2017.

Indian Oil said that during the first quarter it settled its liability for entry tax in Haryana.

“During the quarter April-June 2017, the company has settled its liability for entry tax in Haryana, including interest, and consequently, an amount of Rs 2,808.05 crore, being no more provision required has been written back,” it said.

Following the government’s October 2017 decision on revised pay and allowances of employees, IOC said on Tuesday that it has provided for an estimated liability on the account.

“The pay revision implementation is in process and the company does not anticipate any major change in liability on this account,” the oil marketer said.

The IOC Board on Tuesday also declared an interim dividend for the fiscal as well as to issue bonus shares.

“Board of IndianOil has declared an interim dividend of Rs 19 per share of Rs 10 each (that is, at 190 per cent on the paid up equity share capital) for the financial year 2017-18,” the filing said.

“It is further informed that the Board has recommended issue of bonus shares in the ratio of 1:1,” it added.

The IOC stock was trading at Rs 415.40 a share at 3.16 p.m. on Tuesday, up Rs 16.65, or by 4.18 per cent, on its previous close on the BSE. (IANS)

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RCOM’s loss reduces by over 95% in Q3

Jan 29, 2018 0

New Delhi– Reliance Communications’ (RCOM) loss came down substantially in the third quarter of 2017-18 by over 95 per cent as the company exited from the consumer business, a company statement said here on Monday.

The company posted loss of Rs 130 crore for the third quarter of 2017-18 compared to Rs 2,712 crore posted during the corresponding quarter a year ago.

“RCOM’s planned exit from the consumer business has achieved more than the desired results. RCOM has reduced its net loss by over 95%. RCOM expects to deliver even better financial performance in the coming quarters,” said RCOM Chairman Anil D. Ambani.

RCOM’s new business portfolio comprises business-to-business (B2B) businesses like global and Indian enterprise, internet data centres (IDC), global submarine cable network and international long distance voice with around 40,000 global and Indian customers. (IANS)



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ADB eyes more cooperation with AIIB

Jan 26, 2018 0

Dhaka– The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expects more cooperation with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in future co-financed projects and other related areas to boost development in the Asia-Pacific region, a top ADB official said here.

In an interview with Xinhua news agency here, ADB Vice President Zhang Wencai said: “I’m quite confident that in the future we will explore more projects for co-financing between ADB and AIIB.”

The AIIB is an international financial institution that mainly aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Moody’s Investors Service last year gave the China-initiated institution its highest possible rating, with a stable outlook.

Zhang said that since 2016, ADB and AIIB had co-financed four projects, including the Bangladesh Natural Gas Infrastructure and Efficiency Improvement Project.

“And other three projects are a highway project in Pakistan, a road project in Georgia and a power transmission network project in India.”

In sectors like transport, energy and urban and rural infrastructure, there were many opportunities for the two institutions to work together, Zhang added.

Apart from co-financing more projects, he said: “We can exchange ideas, experiences and knowledge in many fronts.”

“I can say high-level discussions between the two banks have been quite pragmatic,” he said. “Both of us concentrate very much on the development of Asia and the Pacific.” (IANS)

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Small Finance and Payments banks to offer Atal Pension Yojana

Jan 26, 2018 0

New Delhi– The Central government on Friday said “Payments Banks and Small Finance Banks” will offer social security scheme Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to their subscribers.

“To strengthen the existing channels of APY distribution, it is felt that these new Payments Banks and Small Finance Banks will provide a boost to the outreach of subscribers under APY,” the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

According to the Ministry, currently there are 11 Payments Banks and 10 Small Finance Banks that have received license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to start their operations.

“In order to familiarise these Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks in APY, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has conducted an Orientation Meeting on January 15, 2018 in New Delhi for all the Small Finance Banks and Payment Banks and discussed the implementation of Scheme in these banks,” the statement said. (IANS)

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Maruti Suzuki’s Q3 net profit up 3%

Jan 25, 2018 0

Mumbai– Automobile major Maruti Suzuki India on Thursday reported a rise of 3 per cent in its net profit for the third quarter (Q3) of 2017-18.

According to the company, its net profit during the quarter under review increased to Rs 1,799 crore from Rs 1,747.2 crore reported for the corresponding period of last fiscal.

“The operating profit was Rs 23,488 million, a growth of 26.7 per cent over the same period previous year on account of higher sales volume, cost reduction efforts, lower sales promotion expenses and forex benefit, partially offset by adverse commodity prices,” the company said in a statement.

“While the operating profit increased by 26.7 per cent, the net profit increased by 3 per cent due to increase in effective tax rates and lower non-operating income due to mark-to-market impact on the invested surplus, compared to last year.”

Further, the company’s net sales edged-up by 13.9 per cent to Rs 18,940 crore over the same period in the previous year.

“The company sold a total of 431,112 vehicles during the quarter, a growth of 11.3 per cent over the same period of the previous year. Sales in the domestic market stood at 400,586 units, a growth of 12.4 per cent. Exports were at 30,526 units,” the statement said.

The company added that its board has “discussed and approved” a revision in the method of calculating royalty. This would result in the lower royalty payments for new model agreements starting with the Ignis, the statement said.

“This would be implemented after approval by the Board of Suzuki Motor Corp,” it added. (IANS)

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F&O expiry, profit booking drag equity indices lower

Jan 25, 2018 0

Mumbai– Snapping a six-day gaining streak, the key Indian equity indices on Thursday closed in the red on the back of heavy selling pressure in auto, IT and consumer durables stocks.

According to market observers, caution on January futures and options (F&O) expiry, along with rising crude oil prices infused volatility in the equity markets.

On a closing basis, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange fell by 16.35 points or 0.15 per cent to 11,069.65 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 36,050.44 points — down 111.20 points or 0.31 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The BSE market breadth was bearish as 1,735 stocks declined against 1,115 advances.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index closed lower by 0.75 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.68 per cent.

On Wednesday, the benchmark indices had closed at new highs. The Nifty50 closed at 11,086 points and the Sensex at 36,161.64 points.

“Markets ended with marginal losses on Thursday ahead of a long weekend. Thursday was also the derivatives expiry day,” Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“The losses came after six consecutive sessions of gains for the Nifty,” said Jasani.

On the global front, major Asian markets closed on a negative note, barring the Taiwan and Kospi indices, while European indices like FTSE 100 and CAC 40 traded in the green.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 937.31 crore, while domestic institutional investors divested stocks worth Rs 965.67 crore.

The Indian rupee strengthened by 15 paise to close at 63.55 against the US dollar from its previous close at 63.70.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Today, market witnessed broad based selling pressure amidst advancing crude prices which has touched a high of $71/bbl. Volatility heighted due to F&O expiry and long weekend.

“Post announcement of government’s first tranche recapitalisation, a major sell off was seen in PSU banking stocks as market was concerned about higher allocation of capital to weakest banks which has recently seen sharp run-up in stocks prices,” Nair added.

All the sub-indices of the BSE ended with losses, barring the S&P metals index which surged by 131.08 points and the capital goods index up 77.28 points.

Sectorwise, the S&P BSE auto index declined by 305.23 points, consumer durables index by 221.11 points and IT index by 145.45 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: ICICI Bank, up 1.60 per cent at Rs 358.30; Coal India, up 1.56 per cent at Rs 299.65; Kotak Bank, up 0.99 per cent at Rs 1,091.45; Axis Bank, up 0.96 per cent at Rs 613.75; and Larsen and Toubro, up 0.90 per cent at Rs 1,412.95.

Major Sensex losers were: State Bank of India, down 4.96 per cent at Rs 313.15; Adani Ports, down 2.37 per cent at Rs 437.60; Dr Reddy’s Lab, down 2.26 per cent at Rs 2,504; Hero MotoCorp, down 1.95 per cent at Rs 3,569.60; and Tata Consultancy Services, down 1.79 per cent at Rs 3,117.85.

The equity markets will remained closed on January 26 (Friday) for Republic Day. (IANS)

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