1. Decision on Power NPAs Likely by 10 October
Lenders to stressed power assets may decide on debt recasts, sale of assets and one-time settlements by 10 October, failing which they may approach bankruptcy courts, two people aware of the deliberations at a Thursday (20 September) meeting of lenders in Delhi said.
The meeting, which follows deliberations of an empowered committee headed by cabinet secretary P K Sinha on the issue, comes in the backdrop of the Supreme Court granting interim relief to stressed power firms, directing lenders to maintain a status quo on the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) circular to banks directing them to resolve these cases within 180 days.
The court said all pleas filed by RIB related to the February circular should be transferred to it and it will hear the matter on 11 November.
2. PPF, NSC to Fetch More as Small Savings Rates Hiked
Good news for savers. Small saving schemes such as Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificates and Post Office Deposit Scheme will fetch more in the three months period starting 1 October. The Government has raised interest rate on these schemes between 30 and 40 basis points (100 bps is 1 percent).
PPF and NSC will earn interest at 8 percent while Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, which has a tenure of five years, will fetch 8.7 percent.
The country’s largest bank SBI offers 6.85 percent interest on deposit for five years and up to 10 years, while for senior citizens it is 7.35 percent. On savings accounts, most banks offer 3.5 percent interest. Post office savings account earns 4 percent.
3. 9.5 Lakh Jobs Created in July, Show EPFO Data
The new payroll data, prepared by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), show that nearly 10 lakh jobs were created in the formal sector in July. This is the highest accretion in any month since September last year, for which the first monthly payroll data is available.
The new data was placed on the EPFO’s website on Thursday, 20 September.
The data also showed a revision in the monthly numbers. The number for September 2017 has been revised downwards, while for all other months it has seen an upward revision. The total fresh payroll numbers for September 2017-June 2018 have gone up to 52.30 lakh as against 47.14 lakh, according to the estimate released in August.
4. Flipkart Offers Employees Chance to Cash in on ESOPs Worth Rs 57.55 Billion
Walmart-backed Flipkart will offer its employees an opportunity to cash in on part of their stockholding in the company at $126-128 per share, according to an e-mail to staff.
The e-mail, which follows the $16-billion deal of Walmart to buy majority holding in the Indian e-commerce major, said eligible staff members will be allowed to liquidate part of their employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) at $126-128 per unit.
This would translate into a total sum of about $800 million (around Rs 57.55 billion).
5. Yes Bank Gets a Ratings Cut After RBI Order on Rana Kapoor; Stock Falls
Brokerages including Citigroup and IDFC Securities have slashed their ratings on YES Bank, citing weak business outlook. This follows the Reserve Bank of India’s direction to CEO Rana Kapoor to step down after January 31, rejecting the lender’s request to extend his tenure by three years.
Kapoor’s departure might make raising fresh capital, as well as growing deposits and fee income, harder for the Mumbai-based lender, the brokerages said.
6. Competition Commission Approves ArcelorMittal’s Acquisition of Essar Steel
The Competition Commission has approved the acquisition of debt-ridden Essar Steel by a consortium of ArcelorMittal and Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation.
Earlier this month, ArcelorMittal had offered Rs 420 bilion to acquire Essar Steel, upstaging a Rs 370 billion bid by Russia's VTB Group-backed Numetal.
ArcelorMittal and Numetal are in the race to acquire Essar Steel, currently undergoing insolvency proceedings as it owes more than Rs 450 billion to over 30 banks.
7. Petroleum Products May Not Be Brought Under GST Soon
Petroleum products are unlikely to be brought under the goods and services tax (GST) in the near future, despite a few central government ministers batting for their inclusion as states are opposed to the idea at present.
States are of the view that inclusion of petroleum products under GST is unlikely to reduce their prices as states have powers to levy a tax over and above the peak GST rate.
The Union finance ministry is also unlikely to push for its inclusion as it believes that states will not favour such a measure.
8. Emirates Seeks Etihad Takeover to Create World’s Largest Airline
Dubai’s flagship airline Emirates is looking at taking over unprofitable neighbor Etihad, according to four people familiar with the matter, in a move that would create the world’s biggest carrier by passenger traffic.
The talks, which are at a preliminary stage, would see Emirates acquire the main airline business of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad, which would keep its maintenance arm, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is confidential. The negotiations could yet fall through, they said.
Both airlines initially declined to comment, before later denying that any talks were underway. Were a transaction to go ahead the enlarged airline operation would be bigger than that of American Airlines Group Inc., which has a market value of $19.2 billion.
9. S&P, Dow Jones Hit Records as Yields Climb, Dollar Falls
US stock benchmarks touched record highs on Thursday, 20 September as traders awaited the latest twists on global trade and digested Treasury yields that approached their highest level this year. The dollar slid.
The S&P 500 Index jumped at the open to a new peak, led by the technology, health-care and financial sectors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also reached a record, with almost all 30 constituents flashing green. Most European and Asian shares gained after China was said to be planning to cut the average tariff rate it charges on imports from the majority of its trading partners as soon as next month.
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