QBiz: HDFC Records First Dip in 8 Years; Patanjali Climbs up FMCG

Here’s a look at the important business stories from the previous day. 

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1. Banking Regulation Act: President Likely to Promulgate Ordinance on Friday

President Pranab Mukherjee is likely to promulgate on Friday an ordinance giving greater powers to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to tackle mounting bad loans, according to a person in the finance ministry aware of the development.

It is expected that the presidential assent to the ordinance will come by Friday, this person said.

The Union Cabinet had on Wednesday approved promulgation of an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act for resolution of the non-performing asset (NPA) crisis.

The amendments to the Act will help in effectively resolving the bad loans problem, finance secretary Ashok Lavasa said on Thursday.

(Source: Livemint)


2. HDFC Posts First Quarterly Decline in Profit in Eight Years

Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd (HDFC) reported a 21.6 percent decline in net profit in the January-March quarter of the financial year 2016-17. This is the first profit decline in eight years.

Net profit on a standalone basis fell to Rs 2,044.2 crore, according to its stock exchange filing. The Rs 2,607 crore profit in the corresponding quarter last year included a one-time gain of Rs 1,513.4 crore from the sale of its stake in HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company. HDFC was expected to report a Rs 2,023 crore profit, according to the consensus estimate of analysts tracked by Bloomberg.

Income from operations rose 9.9 percent to Rs 8453.4 crore.

(Source: BloombergQuint)


3. SBI Says Bad Loan Mess Will Be Resolved in 3 Years

State Bank of India, the country’s largest, sees a "positive turnaround" in the nation’s bad loan mess after the government implements a new rule aimed at resolving the problem, chairman of the lender said.

"The non-performing asset cycle is different this time," Arundhati Bhattacharya, State Bank’s top executive, said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Yokohama, Japan. "Many assets are good quality and required by the economy – when growth turns up, they will perform again."

India’s cabinet has approved a plan to give the Reserve Bank of India more power to order lenders to deal with bad loans, according to a government official with knowledge of the matter.


4. Ramdev's Patanjali Shakes up FMCG Order

Growing at a rapid pace, Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali group has become the third-largest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) player in the country, surpassing firms like Nestlé, Godrej Consumer, Britannia, and Dabur.

The ayurveda major posted Rs 10,216 crore in FMCG and ayurveda sales during 2016-17, a jump of over 100 percent from Rs 5,000 crore the previous year, the group announced on Thursday. While most of FMCG companies, including ITC and Hindustan Unilever, are yet to announce their results for the January-March 2017 quarter, Patanjali is behind ITC and Hindustan Unilever’s trailing 12-month revenue in the January-December 2016 period of Rs 38,293 crore and Rs 30,783 crore, respectively.

Patanjali is ahead of Nestlé India (Rs 9,159 crore) and Godrej Consumer (Rs 9,134 crore), when compared to their January-December 2016 revenue. Analysts expect Nestlé and Godrej to post 10-15 percent growth in Q4, which will keep Patanjali at third place based on its 2016-17 revenue. Patanjali is now aiming at a two-fold increase in sales to Rs 20,000 crore and doubling its retail network to 12,000 outlets by March 2018.


5. Reliance Becomes First Customer for Its Own Coal-Bed Methane

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Ltd has become the first buyer of coal-bed methane produced from its own block in central India after agreeing to pay the highest price for the fuel, according to the company’s website.

The company bid $4.23 per million British thermal units, outbidding others such as urea maker Deepak Fertilisers & Petrochemicals Corp and state-run utility GAIL India Ltd, according to a document on the website. Reliance will use the entire initial daily volume of 4,00,000 cubic meters of gas from coal seams at the Sohagpur block in Madhya Pradesh state at three of its petrochemical plants.

(Source: BloombergQuint)


6. Modi Govt Targets 300 Mn Tonnes Steel Production Capacity by 2030

The government plans to set up new steel plants on surplus land available with PSUs by forging partnership with private sector to help more than double steel production capacity to 300 million tonnes by 2030. The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the New Steel Policy that aims to achieve 300 million tonnes of capacity by 2030 with an additional investment of Rs 10 lakh crore. At present, the steel production capacity is 126 million tonnes.

“After 12 years, a new policy for steel sector has been approved, which will provide a great boost to the industry and make it globally competitive,” Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh told reporters.

Stating that land acquisition is an issue under the new law, he said the government plans to utilise the surplus land of steel PSUs to set up new plant in joint venture with private companies. “If we have to create steel-making capacity of 300 million tonnes, we cannot wait for long time.”


7. Demand for Gold Plunges After Donald Trump Win: Data

Global gold demand fell 18 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as US investors abandoned the precious metal after Donald Trump’s election win, industry figures showed on Thursday. After a “really good” first quarter of 2016 for gold demand, the first three months of this year was “not a strong quarter”, World Gold Council director John Mulligan told AFP.

“In 2016 demand was concentrated on one source, which was professional investors, especially in the US” where activity was focussed on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – investment funds backed by physical stocks of gold, the WGC director added.


8. Kolkata Port Trust Proposes Rs 3,000 Crore Haldia Port Rescue Plan

The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has proposed a Rs 3,000 crore rescue plan for West Bengal’s Haldia port amid concerns it may become redundant when the proposed Subarnarekha port in neighbouring Odisha, majority owned by Tata Steel Ltd, becomes operational.

But the Union shipping ministry, already in disagreement with the state government over the development of a new port at Tajpur, may not readily agree to infuse cash to revive Haldia, said a state cabinet minister who asked not to be named.

He pointed to “escalating” political differences between West Bengal and the Centre as the reason.

While the state wants to build the port at Tajpur near Haldia with private ownership, the Centre wants majority control in it.

(Source: Livemint)


9. Gujarat Tops in Discom Rankings Again

The four power distribution companies (discoms) of Gujarat have topped an annual ranking by the Union power ministry for the fifth year in a row.

Uttar Pradesh, on the other hand, has not budged from its position at the bottom, the ministry noted in a report.

These rankings mean more now as financially beleaguered power utilities undergo restructuring under the Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme.

Uttarakhand Power Corporation, which has made continuous improvements in curbing transmission losses and has a collection efficiency of 107.8 percent with no subsidy from the state government, has moved to the top slot alongside the Gujarat utilities.

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