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QBiz: GDP Growth Slips to 5.8% in Q4, Stands at 5-Year Low & More

Catch all the top business news stories of the day here.

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Business
5 min read
The rate of GDP growth in the January-March quarter of 2018-19 slipped to 5.8 percent
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1. GDP Growth Slips to 5.8% in Q4, Stands at 5-Year Low of 6.8% in Full FY19

The rate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the January-March quarter of 2018-19 slipped to 5.8 percent, mainly due to a slowdown seen in the country’s key sectors like agriculture, industry and manufacturing in the past nine months.

The economic growth rate for the full 2018-19 financial year stood at a 5-year low of 6.8 percent, showed data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday. The numbers were way below the forecast of 6.5 percent for the March quarter and 7.1 percent for FY19.

The country’s fiscal deficit in full 2018-19 stood at 3.4 percent of GDP, roughly in line with the Interim Budget estimate. Spending during the financial year was Rs 23.1 trillion, against the revised target of Rs 24.1 trillion.

(Source: Business Standard)

2. Govt Meets Its Interim Budget Fiscal Deficit Target of 3.4% for 2018-19

The fiscal deficit for 2018-19 came in at 3.39 percent of GDP, marginally lower than 3.4 percent estimated in the revised estimates of the Budget, mainly due to increase in non-tax revenue and lower expenditure.

In absolute terms, fiscal deficit at the end of March 31, 2019, stood at Rs 6.45 trillion as against Rs 6.34 trillion in the revised estimates of Budget.

The fiscal deficit data was released by Controller General of Accounts (CGA).

Although in absolute terms the fiscal deficit has gone up, but as a percentage of GDP the deficit figure has come down marginally, mainly on account of GDP expansion in 2018-19 – data of which will be released later in the day.

(Source: Business Standard)

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3. Debt Mutual Funds Cut Exposure to NBFC Sector

Debt mutual funds’ exposure to non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) has come down by Rs 58,000 crore since the liquidity crises began in July last year, and it currently stands at Rs 2.06 lakh crore. A report by CARE Ratings on mutual funds says that the percentage share of funds deployed by mutual funds in commercial papers (CPs) of NBFCs in April 2019 was at 7.26 percent and the amount held was Rs 1.01 lakh crore.

“While the amount has reduced, the percentage share also dropped from 19.04 percent in July 2018 to 14.81 percent in April 2019. After the liquidity crisis triggered in the NBFC space, MFs withdrew almost 36 percent of their investments from CPs of NBFCs,” said the report. The data from Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) shows that, mutual fund had invested Rs 1.57 lakh crore in CPs of NBFC in July last year.

(Source: Financial Express)

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4. Crude Impact: Bond Yields Fall to Lowest Level in 18 Months

Indian bond yields on Friday fell to their lowest level in the past 18 months on falling crude oil prices and with the markets factoring in a rate cut in the June monetary policy meet.

The benchmark sovereign bond —7.26 percent yielding paper maturing in 2029 — fell by 10 bps to close at 7.03 percent. Bond yields have fallen over 35 basis points (bps) since 1 May due to a combination of global and domestic factors.

Dealers believe positive global sentiments like falling crude oil prices and a falling US-treasury yield coupled with domestic factors like the BJP government coming to power and a hope of easier liquidity has led the yields to fall.

(Source: Financial Express)

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5. PepsiCo to Build Food Plant in UP at $70 Mn

PepsiCo India will invest 70 million dollars to build a food manufacturing plant in Uttar Pradesh, the company said on Friday. PepsiCo, the makers of Lay’s chips and Kurkure snacks, said it is part of its efforts to expand capacity in India’s growing packaged foods market. The local arm of the American company also said that it is true to its commitment to invest 2.1 billion dollars in India by 2022, which is part of the 5.5 billion dollars it had promised in November 2013.

The announcement comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath of office. PepsiCo’s global chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta was among a host of senior executives of large businesses to congratulate Modi.

(Source: Livemint)

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6. Arun Kumar Given Additional Charge of DGCA

Arun Kumar, a member of the prestigious Indian Administrative Services (IAS) cadre, has been given the additional charge of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a body under the ministry of civil aviation that governs aviation regulations in the country, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

Kumar, who currently holds the position of an additional secretary at the aviation ministry, will succeed BS Bhullar, who has been at the helm of the agency since 2016. Kumar will however continue to hold his position at the aviation ministry.

(Source: Livemint)

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7. SFIO Files Criminal Conspiracy Charges Against IL&FS Directors & 2 Auditors

The Serious Fraud and Investigation Office (SFIO) on Thursday filed its first chargesheet in the lapses at Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (Il&FS). The charges of cheating and alleged criminal conspiracy have been filed against 30 individuals including former directors and two auditors BSR and Co and Deloitte Haskin and Sells. The IL&FS crisis started when in September 2018 the group of companies had defaulted on its debt obligations forcing the government to takeover and replace its board with its own nominees. Here is a low down on what are the charges.

Directors of IL&FS and ILFS Financial Services Ltd (IFIN) namely Hari Sankaran and Ramesh Bawa have been charged for violations of Companies Act and under Indian Penal Code (IPC) for cheating and conspiracy. SFIO alleged that the directors were aware that the crisis was building and they did an 'alleged' cover up job. A lot of the borrowers of IFIN were not serving their debt obligations.

(Source: Livemint)

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8. Bank Nifty Crash Triggers Deluge of Stop-Loss Orders

A near 1,000 points — or around 3 percent — crash in the Bank Nifty index, the most widely-traded derivative contract after the Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange (NSE), from the high point of the day on Friday led to a panic-like situation in markets, triggering a large number of stop-loss orders.

The Bank Nifty index witnessed a sharp crash between 11.30 am and noon on Friday only to recover in the next 15 minutes. Friday’s high of the Bank Nifty index was 31,783, which was hit during morning trade, and the low point of the index was 30,623. Stop losses were triggered between 11.30 am and noon, brokers told BusinessLine.

(Source: BusinessLine)

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9. India INC Seeks Steps to Check Slowdown, Liquidity Crunch

With unemployment levels at a 45-year high and GDP growth at a five-year low, Corporate India is hoping the new Finance Minister will immediately start addressing core issues troubling the economy. A consumption slowdown, liquidity crunch and high debt levels have hit the corporate sector hard, and it is banking on Nirmala Sitharaman for measures to overcome these.

“The major challenge for her would be to kickstart the economy. This would require a multi-pronged approach, but ensuring liquidity to NBFCs, a focus on MSME to create more jobs and tax reforms, which in turn will revive demand, will be key,” said Arindam Chanda, CEO, IIFL Securities Ltd. “Quick changes in the IBC processes and faster divestment can release capital. The government needs to bring in innovative schemes to revive investment. With a favourable image of the central leader, FDI flow should be the low-hanging fruit,” he added.

(Source: BusinessLine )

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