Financial News – Current News on Top

Economic Times:

1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) okayed a revamp of initial public offering (IPO) norms and a governance framework for stock exchanges and depositories. It84 also signalled moves to bring chartered accountants and company secretaries under its ambit.

2. OPEC edged closer on Thursday toward raising oil output, with Iran softening its opposition to an increase and Saudi Arabia warning of supply shortages and price rallies if production remained stable.A production rise of about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) or around 1% of global supply was emerging as a consensus for the group and its allies, OPEC sources told Reuters, adding that Iran could agree under certain conditions.

3.It certainly appears dovish that the European Central Bank expects to reinvest even more of its maturing holdings next year, as Bloomberg News reported Wednesday. It’s even more so if, as President Mario Draghi has suggested, officials relax the rules on how much time they can take to make reinvestments more flexibility here gives them room to smooth ructions in the bond market.But there’s something for the hawks as well. The net result could be to drive short-end yields for core European country bonds further into negative territory, and in the process steepen the yield curve. The reinvestments could range from 160 billion euros ($184.6 billion) to 200 billion euros next year – that’s up from the bank’s previous expectation for about 150 billion euros.

4. Microfinance lenders including private banks such as Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and RBL Bank have raised their cumulative microloan cap per borrower by 33% in a sign of strong demand in rural India and rise in self-employment amid poor industrial demand.

5. Bank of Baroda has complained to the country's premier federal probe agency that bankrupt pipes maker PSL siphoned off about ₹700 crore from a dedicated account linked to Gail projects, the payments from which were due to the lender and not the insolvent company.

6. In an industry where size matters more than any other attribute, cement majors in the country have been acquiring large distressed rivals. But those with regional ambitions are also getting bigger, leading the capexcycle revival in the world’s second-largest concrete market.

7. India’s biggest steelmaker JSW Steel is expected to make a bid for Arcelor-Mittal’s Galati plant in Romania potentially competing against Ukraine’s Metinvest and Italy’s Marcegaglia. ArcelorMittal,has had to put six European assets up for sale to get approval from European competition authorities for its purchase of Italy’s giant Ilva plant.

8. India will raise duties on 29 products from the US, striking back against Washington’s move to impose higher tariffs on Indian steel and aluminium exports amid a global trade war that’s broken out as President Donald Trump seeks to combat what he perceives as unfair terms. The duties, which take effect August 4, will mean $240 million additional revenue.

Financial Express:

1. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday held its ground and refused to give any special relief to the power sector from its February circular that mandates early detection and time-bound resolution of stressed assets.

2. Responding to requests from solar plant developers, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended the commissioning period for projects hurt by the disruption caused by the introduction of the GST from July 2017.

3. Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) continue to sell Indian bonds with sales already crossing $1 billion in June so far. With interest rates in the US market firm and the US Fed hinting at two more rate hikes this year, foreign investors appear to be apprehensive the rupee could weaken further.

4. Over the last week, Bank of Baroda (BoB) has put on sale non-performing assets (NPAs) worth Rs 7,655 crore, including its exposures to some accounts named in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) two lists of bankruptcy cases, such as Essar Steel, Bhushan Power & Steel, Soma Enterprise and Visa Steel. BoB’s aggregate exposure to these accounts is Rs 3,004 crore.

5. The Maharashtra government is planning to auction around 2,000 MW of solar capacity by August 15.The state’s 1,000 MW solar auction in May initially faced troubles, but was eventually completed.The lowest bid at the last auction was Rs 2.71/kWh. The initial four auctions by MSEDCL failed; IPPs did not bid since they wanted higher ceiling on tariffs of Rs 4/unit from Rs 3/unit. The ceiling on tariffs was earlier reduced to below Rs 2.60/kWh after aggressive bidding last year.

Business Line

1. Four-and-a-half years after a whistle-blower first highlighted that unfair access was given to stock brokers for high-frequency trading at the National Stock Exchange (NSE), markets regulator SEBI on Thursday declared it had initiated enforcement action against entities involved in the scam.

2.The Centre has begun to sharpen its focus on improving ease of doing business at the districts level, having achieved some improvement at both the Central and State levels.As a pilot, six districts in five States have been selected for development schemes that will increase district GDP by 3 per cent. Once the pilot is successful, it will be replicated pan India, said Suresh Prabhu.

3. After its merger with DHFL Vysya Housing Finance, Aadhar Housing Finance is expecting a 55 per cent growth in loan disbursement and 50 per cent growth in its loan book.Deo Shankar Tripathi, Managing Director and CEO, Aadhar Housing Finance, said that as a merged entity on a comparable basis, the company has reported a 103 per cent increase in its net profit in fiscal 2017-18, compared to the previous year.

4. The Gujarat government on Wednesday announced the Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy 2018, that aims to make optimum use of the land and grid.The policy, which will have a coverage period of five years, provides incentives to renewable power producers supplying to the grid as well as those having captive use.

5. The Kerala cabinet has waived plantation tax and declared a moratorium on agriculture income tax, meeting a long-pending demand of the plantation sector. The Chief Minister is expected to make an announcement on the floor of the State Assembly during its ongoing session.

Business Standard

1. People spend 13 hours to access direct benefit transfers in Ranchi.As a matter of fact, the study found that people are so unsatisfied with the DBT system being piloted by the government that they want to return to the previous system of grains distribution.

2. Turkey hits back at Trump, imposes tariffs on US goods worth $1.8 bn.Total goods and services trade between US and Turkey was $22.4 billion in 2016.

3. IndiaFirst Life Insurance ties up with Oxigen to widen reach.The partnership will begin as a pilot project for three to six months, first in Bihar and Odisha, and then in Uttar Pradesh, to understand ground challenges.

4. ICICI Bank may ask independent directors to chair board meetings.The bank has government nominee Lok Ranjan on the board, who has not attended a single meeting since his appointment in April.

5. US-India Apache copter deal worth $ 930 mn in trouble? Misconduct alleged.Business Standard has investigated these allegations around the Apache purchase and found that the uproar stems from a lack of understanding of the way America processes foreign arms sales.

LiveMint:

1. Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group on Thursday announced the final close of its fifth Asia buyout fund Carlyle Asia Partners V (CAP V) at $6.55 billion.The CAP V fund exceeded its initial target of $5 billion and is more than 65% larger than its predecessor fund Carlyle Asia Partners IV, Carlyle said.

2. The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has reserved its order on both the plan placed before it by the resolution professional of Jyoti Structures Ltd and DBS Bank’s plea seeking that the resolution plan be rejected.On Thursday, Prateek Seksaria, the advocate representing DBS Bank, argued that the eight-day extension after the admission of the case by NCLT and the resolution professional taking over the affairs of the company should not be considered under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

3.Sadbhav Engineering Ltd, a Gujarat-based infrastructure company, is looking to raise Rs.1,500 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) in the current quarter.

4.Taking a serious note of slow progress by banks in addressing security issues, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday gave them strict timelines to upgrade their ATMs or else face action.As per the timeline, banks have to implement a host of security measures by August and upgrade all ATMs with supported version of operating in a phased manner by June next year.

5.Govt plans Rs10,000 crore tender to set up more rural Wi-Fi hotspots.The telecom dept will soon issue a revised to set up five public Wi-Fi hotspots in every gram panchayat, to ensure higher proliferation of high-speed rural broadband across 25,000 gram panchayats.

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