QBiz: GDP To Grow At 7.3% In FY19; RBI Breaks Silence on PNB Fraud
Top business news of the day.
1. World Bank Forecasts India GDP Growth Rate at 7.3% in 2018-19
The World Bank on Wednesday said while India’s GDP growth rate will return to 7.5 percent in two years’ time, to sustain an 8 percent GDP growth rate, India requires a decisive structural reform momentum that succeeds in stimulating investment and export growth while maintaining macroeconomic stability.
The Indian economy regained its momentum in the December quarter, recovering from disruptions caused by demonetisation and implementation of the goods and services tax (GST), to expand at 7.2 percent, the fastest in five quarters. Based on the fiscal third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, the full year’s growth has been raised to 6.6 percent. The World Bank has projected economic growth to accelerate to 7.3 percent in 2018-19 and 7.5 percent in 2019-20.
2. Why Investors Are Betting On MNCs Over Homegrown Drugmakers
Investors have shown a healthy appetite for shares of multinational pharmaceutical companies, even as stocks of homegrown drugmakers continue to struggle.
Stocks such as Sanofi India Ltd are trading at fresh record highs, while Lupin Ltd is trading near fresh 52-week lows. Year-to-date returns show that MNC stocks such as Sanofi India, Pfizer Ltd and Abbott India Ltd have given positive returns, while the Nifty Pharma Index is down close to 10 percent.
Stocks such as Dr Reddys Laboratories Ltd, Cadila Healthcare Ltd, Lupin and Aurobindo Pharma Ltd have dropped in double digits so far this year.
3. Beverage, Appliance Makers Pad Up to Meet an Expected Growing Demand
Consumer goods companies are padding up to meet high demand this summer, following the Met department forecast that the season will be hotter and drier than usual this year.
Makers of beverages (colas, juices, packaged water) as well as producers of soaps, deodorants, cooling oils and talcum powder depend on summer to boost sales.
So do makers of appliances such as air-conditioners, coolers, refrigerators and fans. Consumer durables makers are grappling with a number of issues this year, such as a hike in customs duty, rising commodity prices, and a falling rupee. They, however, claim they have prepared a strong line-up of products for the season ahead.
(Source: Business Standard)
4. Wipro to Sell Hosted Data Centre Business to Ensono Holdings for $405 Million
IT firm Wipro Ltd on Wednesday said that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its hosted data centre services business to US-based hybrid IT services provider Ensono Holdings for $405 million, the company said in a stock exchange filing.
As part of the deal, Wipro will be transferring eight data centres and over 900 employees of the hosted data centre services business to Ensono.
“The acquisition significantly expands Ensono’s geographic footprint and global service capabilities, taking the company one step closer to achieving its vision of helping clients harness the power of hybrid IT to transform their businesses on a global scale,” said the statement.
5. IMF Deputy Managing Director Calls on Jaitley; Discusses Economic Issue
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang on Wednesday called on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and discussed various economic issues and structural reforms undertaken by the government.
"Minister Jaitley and I discussed economic policies, recent developments, and the outlook for the country. India has become one of the engines of global growth," the IMF official said in a statement.
Thanks to important gains in strengthening macroeconomic policies, structural reforms, and the hard work of the Indian population, many millions of Indians have been lifted out of poverty in the past two decades, it said.
6. ICICI Securities' Rs 40-bn IPO Opens 22 Mar, Fixes Price Band at Rs 519-520
The price band for ICICI Securities' initial public offer (IPO) has been fixed at Rs 519 to Rs 520 per equity share, ICICI Bank said on Wednesday. The IPO will open for subscription on 22 March to raise an estimated Rs 40 billion.
ICICI Securities is a subsidiary of private sector lender ICICI Bank. The offer will be open for subscription to public on 22 March 2018 and would close on 26 March 2018, ICICI Bank said.
(Source: Business Standard)
7. RBI Governor Urjit Patel Lists All The (Other) Reasons for PNB Fraud
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Urjit Patel broke his silence on Wednesday on the PNB fraud, putting up a blistering defence for the regulator and sought to put the onus on the finance ministry instead.
In a speech laced with melodramatic phrases delivered at the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) in Gandhinagar, Patel claimed, “RBI’s regulatory powers over public sector banks are weaker than those over the private sector banks.”
Effectively, the governor has blamed the diluted regulatory structure for the lapses in oversight and thereby put the ball back in the court of the Union government. In the process, Patel has revived the blame game on the over $2 billion PNB fraud.
8. Bandhan Bank Raises Rs 1,342 Crore From Anchor Investors
Bandhan Bank on Wednesday raised Rs 1,342 crore by selling shares to 65 anchor investors ahead of its initial public offering that opens Thursday.
The lender finalised allocating over 3.5 crore shares to anchor investors at Rs 375 apiece, according to an exchange filing. Its three-day IPO will open on 15 March.
Amansa Holdings, ICICI Prudential, Neuberger Berman, Nomura Fund were the biggest anchor investors, each getting 3 percent of the anchor portion. Other marquee investors included HDFC Standard Life, Birla Sun Life, Citigroup, Aberdeen, SBI Life and Kotak Mahindra.
9. Railways Gets 15 Mn Job Applications for 89,000 Group C and D Vacancies
Around 15 million people have registered for over 89,000 jobs advertised by the railways last month, officials said on Wednesday.
The officials said that primary registration of around 15 million candidates have been received by the Railway Recruitment Board online for recruitment to various Group C and Group D posts.
The last date for submission of applications is 31 March and applications have been invited for over 89,000 posts 26,502 vacancies for Group C and 62,907 for Group D.
(Source: Business Standard)
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