QBiz: Retail Inflation at 4-Month High; Bitcoin Continues to Sink
1. Rise in Inflation, Industrial Production Likely to Spur More RBI Rate Hikes
India’s retail inflation in May rose to a four-month high of 4.87 percent — courtesy costly petrol and diesel, and a weak rupee — while industrial production recovered marginally to grow at 4.9 percent in April, data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed on Tuesday. This, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 6 June raised repo rate by 25 basis points to 6.25 percent—the first rate hike in over four years. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.
While manufacturing grew at a robust 5.2 percent, slow electricity generation (2.1 percent) dragged down overall growth in the index of industrial production (IIP), CSO data showed.
2. Bitcoin Sinks to Two-Month Low as Downtrend Persists
Bitcoin fell to a two-month low on Tuesday, 12 June, sliding in three of the last four sessions on nagging regulatory and security concerns after the weekend hacking of South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail.
The original virtual currency is nearing its lowest level of the year of just under $6,000 on the Bitstamp platform. It fell to a low of below $6,500 and last traded down 4.7 percent at $6,551.48.
So far in 2018, bitcoin is down nearly 53 percent, after soaring more than 1,300 percent last year.
3. Govt Back to Drawing Board on Air India Sale
India will soon revive the sale of its money-losing flag carrier Air India with new guidelines after a recent attempt ended in a debacle last month, as the proposed terms deterred potential investors.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration is ready to “re-examine” its privatisation process, including a clause requiring a minority state stake in Air India Ltd, said Subhash Chandra Garg, a senior official in the Ministry of Finance. The government is considering various options and doesn’t intend to insist on keeping 24 percent of the company, he said.
4. US Inflation Accelerates to Six-Year High, Eroding Wages
US inflation accelerated in May to the fastest pace in more than six years, reinforcing the Federal Reserve’s outlook for gradual interest-rate hikes while eroding wage gains that remain relatively tepid despite an 18-year low in unemployment.
The consumer price index rose 0.2 percent from the previous month and 2.8 percent from a year earlier, matching estimates, a Labor Department report showed Tuesday. The annual gain was the biggest since February 2012 and follows a 2.5 percent increase in April. Excluding food and energy, the core gauge was up 0.2 percent from the prior month and 2.2 percent from May 2017, also matching the median estimates of economists.
5. Paytm Mall Raises Rs 1,500 Crore from Softbank, Alibaba
Online retailer Paytm Mall has raised about Rs 1,500 crore from Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp and existing investor Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, as part of the Rs 3,000 crore funding commitment that was initially announced in April, Paytm Mall said in a filing with the Registrar of Companies.
The third tranche also saw SoftBank’s Kabir Misra joining the Paytm Mall board, according to documents sourced from business intelligence platform paper.vc.
6. Edelweiss to Raise Rs 2,000 Crore for Distressed Assets Fund
Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors Ltd, the alternative asset management arm of Edelweiss Group, on Tuesday, 12 June, said it plans to raise Rs 2,000 crore for a fund called EISAF II Onshore Fund that would invest in distressed assets.
This includes a minimum amount of Rs 1,000 crore and a greenshoe option to keep another Rs 1,000 crore of inflows. “The fund’s investment mandate is centred around acquisition of non-performing debt from banks or financial institutions, funding companies for debt settlements, working capital financing and acquisition of stressed companies (debt & equity) under insolvency proceedings under the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT),” Nitin Jain, CEO, Global Wealth and Asset Management, Edelweiss Group said in a statement.
7. Adani Group Firm Offers Rs 6,000 Crore for Ruchi Soya
Billionaire Gautam Adani’s group company on Tuesday, 12 June, offered about Rs 6,000 crore to emerge as the highest bidder for acquisition of bankruptcy-hit edible oil firm Ruchi Soya, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved, the only other qualified player in the race, has bid around Rs 5,700 crore, they added. However, Patanjali will have a right to match the offer under an auction being done under so called Swiss challenge method.
8. Tesla Short Sellers $2 Billion in the Red for June as Shares Soar
The surging share price for automaker Tesla Inc this month has slammed short-sellers of the stock with more than $2 billion in losses on paper so far in June, according to financial analytics firm S3 Partners.
Tesla shares are up 20.5 percent in June, on pace for their biggest monthly gain month since August 2014, boosted by optimism the company can meet production targets for its Model 3 sedans.
The sharp gains have caught short-sellers in a tough spot, putting their mark-to-market losses for June to $2.09 billion, S3 data showed.
9. India to Witness Growth Despite Challenges: CII President
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) President Rakesh Bharti Mittal on Tuesday, 12 June, predicted a 7.3-7.7 percent growth in 2018-19 in spite of challenges in the global economy.
He said, “CII predicts 7.3-7.7 percent growth in 2018-19 and expects it to strengthen further in the few years to come. This in spite of some challenges in the global economy, including hardening of interest rate regimes, volatility in oil prices, etc.”
Mittal highlighted the reforms over the past four years and further stated that Goods and Services Tax (GST), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code were the most relevant reforms that would change the way business was done in the country.