QBiz: Trade Deficit Widens, WPI Inflation Down to 0.9% and More

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1. Trade Deficit Widens as Gold Imports Double in June

India’s trade gap continued to widen in June as higher gold and oil imports dwarfed the tenth straight month of export growth.

The trade deficit, the difference between imports and exports, increased to $12.9 billion in June from $8.1 billion in the same month last year, data from the Ministry of Commerce showed. The deficit, however, narrowed from a 30-month high of $13.8 billion in May.

Imports in June went up 19 percent over last year to $36.5 billion as inbound gold shipments doubled from last year to $2.4 billion. Gold imports have been on the rise since February after a slowdown during demonetisation.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

2. Fall in Food Prices Pulls WPI Inflation Down to 0.9% in June

In what will increase the clamour for a rate cut, wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation eased sharply to its lowest level this year to 0.9 percent in June from 2.17 per cent in May.

WPI inflation had contracted by 0.9 per cent in June last year. Prices of potatoes, pulses, wheat and vegetables contracted sharply in June.

Inflation in fuel and power and manufactured groups also eased during the month. The fuel and power segment saw some cooling of inflation at 5.28 per cent, from 11.69 per cent in May. Manufactured products inflation read 2.27 per cent.

Official data released on Friday showed that the WPI Food Index dipped by 1.25 per cent in June from 0.15 per cent in May.

3. BSE to Add 48 Companies to Group A from 17 July

Leading stock exchange BSE will shift securities of 48 companies including IDFC Bank and InterGlobe Aviation to Group 'A' category, the most tracked segment on the bourse's platform, from 17 July.

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail, Crompton Greaves Consumer, Dr. Lal Pathlabs, Future Retail, GHCL, L&T Technology Services, Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Mahanagar Gas, RBL Bank, Tata Motors Ltd (DVR) and Welspun India are also listed for addition to Group 'A'.

4. Infosys Beats Expectations in Q1, Maintains Growth Outlook

Infosys turned in better-than-expected performance in the first quarter, and maintained its full-year growth guidance, a positive signal at a time when the software services sector is facing slowing growth and the impact of protectionist rules in major markets.

For the quarter ended 30 June, revenue grew 2.7 percent sequentially to $2.65 billion in constant currency terms while net profit fell 0.4 percent to $541 million. Constant currency is a measure that strips out the volatility from fluctuating currencies.

(Source: Economic Times)

5. Patanjali, Reliance Jio Among 10 Most Influential Brands

Yoga guru Ramdev promoted Patanjali Ayurveda has been featured among the 10 most influential brands in India along with electronics major Samsung and new entrant Reliance Jio, according to a study by global research firm Ipsos.

Google was ranked at top of the list, followed by Microsoft and Facebook.

Home grown Patanjali and Mukesh Ambani's controlled Reliance Jio bagged the fourth and ninth position, respectively, Ipsos said in its report of most influential brands. Both companies did not figure in the previous edition of the study.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

6. Internet-Based Apps Contributed Rs 1.4 Lakh Cr to GDP in 2015-16: Study

Internet-based applications have contributed Rs 1.4 lakh crore to the country's GDP in 2015-16, a report by the think-tank organisation, ICRIER. along with the Broadband India Forum said.

As per the study, a 10 percent increase in India's total Internet traffic, delivers an average increase of 3.3 percent to India's GDP. Whereas a 10 percent increase in mobile Internet traffic delivers an average increase of 1.3 percent to the country's GDP.

7. Chinese Apps, Like UC Browser, SHAREit, Tap India's Small Town Demand

Chinese utility and content apps such as UC Browser, Xender, SHAREit, Cleanmaster and UC News have become among the most popular apps in India, overtaking many of their Indian and American rivals with ease.

UC Browser, owned by Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, is the most popular browser in India. Another Alibaba-owned app, UC News, which aggregates entertainment, cricket and other content, is among the most popular news apps while NewsDog, owned by Hacker Interstellar Inc., is spending heavily to catch up with local rivals such as Dailyhunt, according to data from KalaGato, a research firm.

(Source: Livemint)

8. ICICI Lombard Files DRHP With Sebi for IPO; Promoters to Sell 19% Stake

ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company has filed draft prospectus with Sebi to dilute around 19 per cent stake through an initial public offering, promoter ICICI Bank said on Friday.

ICICI Lombard, a joint venture between ICICI Bank and Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, will be the first private general insurer to go public with an IPO.

The IPO involves dilution of up to 86,247,187 equity shares of face value of Rs 10 each of ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

ICICI Bank will sell up to 31,761,478 equity shares and Fairfax Holdings up to 54,485,709 equity shares.

(Source: PTI)

9. Britannia Looks to Go Beyond Biscuits

Biscuit maker Britannia Industries Ltd will focus heavily on product innovation in the current fiscal year (FY18) – a journey the company began in earnest when current managing director Varun Berry took the reins in April 2014.

In its latest annual report, the Bengaluru-based company also said consumer-facing businesses have been inching back to normalcy from the impact of the 8 November invalidation of high-value banknotes, but still have some way to go.

(Source: Livemint)

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