Discrimination faced by Mumbaikars...

If the housing societies in Mumbai (Bombay) are only meant for families (married couples), then the government of Maharashtra should make marriage compulsory in the state/city.
Or else the government should tell its citizens where will Unmarried, Divorcees, Bachelors, Spinsters live in the city of skyscrapers or is Bombay only for those who have families.
This is one of the greatest mental blocks of Mumbaikars, who otherwise want to bask in the FALSE HALO of Cosmopolitanism.
This disease (of not giving apartments to Bachelors, Muslims, etc on rent) is specially prevalent in housing societies where the Gujaratis, Marathis and North Indians (to some extent) abound; while the rest of the population is more or less okay with the concept.
The government of Maharashtra should take this matter seriously and devise laws to eradicate this malice ASAP, so that BOMBAY (and its suburbs) becomes free of discrimination based on Marital Status, Religion, etc. Or else the Honourable Supreme Court of India should step in, and give directions to the state or central governments -- so that the fundamental rights of its citizens enshrined in the constitution of India is not violated.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nifty at 6-1/2-week closing low after a small decline
A small decline pushed the barometer index, BSE Sensex, to 6-week closing low and the 50-unit S&P CNX Nifty to 6-1/2-week closing low. The market edged lower after hawkish comments on inflation from Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subbarao. The market breadth was negative. The Sensex shed 24.20 points or 0.12%, up close to 44 points from the day's low and off about 83 points from the day's high. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) edged higher. Index heavyweight and cigarette maker ITC edged lower. Tata Power Company shrugged off weak Q3 results. ONGC fell ahead of its Q3 results today, 11 February 2013.

The Sensex has lost 544.43 points or 2.72% during the past eight trading sessions from a recent high of 20,005 on 30 January 2013. The Sensex has gained 33.86 points or 0.17% so far in calendar 2013 so far (till 11 February 2013). From a 52-week high of 20,203.66 on 29 January 2013, the Sensex has declined 743.09 points or 3.68%. From a 52-week low of 15,748.98 on 4 June 2012, the Sensex has surged 3,711.59 points or 23.57%.

Coming back to today's trade, capital goods stocks edged lower. Realty and pharma stocks rose on renewed buying. Some PSU shares surged after strong investor response to the divestment of government's 9.5% stake in NTPC last week. Banking and auto shares were mixed.

The market slipped into the red after opening higher amid initial volatility. Intraday volatility continued as key benchmark indices alternately swung between gains and losses in morning trade. Volatility continued as key benchmark indices trimmed losses after hitting fresh intraday low in mid-morning trade. The 50-unit S&P CNX Nifty hit 6-1/2-week low. Key benchmark indices alternately swung between gains and losses near the flat line in early afternoon trade. Key benchmark indices hovered in positive zone in mid-afternoon trade, with index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) extending intraday gains. The market once again slipped into the red in late trade.

The BSE Sensex shed 24.20 points or 0.12% to settle at 19,460.57, its lowest closing level since 31 December 2012. The index fell 67.83 points at the day's low of 19,416.94 in mid-morning trade. The index rose 58.67 points at the day's high of 19,543.44 in early trade.

The S&P CNX Nifty fell 5.65 points or 0.10% to 5,897.85, its lowest closing level since 27 December 2012. The index hit low of 5,879.10 in intraday trade. The index hit a high of 5,924.15 in intraday trade.

The BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.18% and the BSE Small-Cap index fell 0.31%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,607 shares declined and 1,322 shares rose. A total of 127 shares were unchanged.

The total turnover on the BSE amounted to Rs 2138 crore, lower than Rs 2510 crore on Friday, 8 February 2013.

Among the 30-share Sensex pack, 16 stocks fell while the rest of them rose.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) rose 0.78% to Rs 870.90. The stock hit high of Rs 873.90 and low of Rs 861. The stock had hit 52-week high of Rs 954.80 in intraday trade on 21 January 2013. RIL on 29 January 2013 raised $800 million via perpetual bonds carrying interest rate of 5.875%. The company will use the proceeds to fund its ongoing capital expenditure in the infrastructure sector. The transaction was about 4 times over-subscribed with an order book of close to $3 billion from high quality investor accounts, RIL said on 29 January 2013. The transaction witnessed participation from more than 160 accounts from Asia, Europe and the United States, RIL said.

Index heavyweight and cigarette maker ITC fell 0.85% to Rs 299.10. The stock hit high of Rs 303.05 and low of Rs 296.75. The stock had hit record high of Rs 310.75 in intraday trade on 4 February 2013. ITC on 18 January 2013 said its net profit rose 20.62% to Rs 2051.85 crore on 22.41% growth in total income to Rs 8041.90 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in October 2012 notified new pictorial health warnings to be depicted on tobacco product packs which will come into effect from 1 April 2013. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement on 22 October 2012 that three sets of warnings each have been notified for smoking as well as smokeless forms of tobacco product packages. The well-designed health warnings and messages are part of a range of measures to communicate health risks due to tobacco use. Pictorial health warnings communicate health risks in a visible way, provoke a greater emotional response and increase the motivation of tobacco users to quit and to decrease their tobacco consumption, the ministry's statement said. Graphic warning labels have a greater impact than text-only labels and can be recognized by low-literacy audiences and children, the statement added.

ONGC fell 1.77% to Rs 307.90 ahead of its Q3 results today, 11 February 2013.

Oil India rose 0.87% to Rs 537.30. The company today, 11 February 2013, denied media reports that it is likely to acquire Videocon Industries' stake in Mozambique's Rovuma Basin asset.

Shares of Videocon Industries fell 1.12% to Rs 198.50.

Capital goods stocks edged lower. AIA Engineering (down 3.74%), BEML (down 3.49%), ALSTOM India (down 1.66%), Larsen & Toubro (down 1.41%), Bhel (down 0.67%), Siemens (down 0.66%), Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering Company (down 0.64%), Suzlon Energy (down 0.6%), Thermax (down 0.39%), Alstom T&D India (down 0.27%) and Lakshmi Machine Works (down 0.07%), edged lower.

Voltas rose 0.21% to Rs 95.70. The company after market hours today, 11 February 2013, reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 76.81 crore in Q3 December 2012 as against a net loss of Rs 115.41 crore in Q3 December 2011. Total income fell 0.35% to Rs 1176.84 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011.

Some PSU shares surged after strong investor response to the divestment of government's 9.5% stake in NTPC last week. MMTC (up 20%), State Trading Corporation of India (up 20%), Hindustan Copper (up 9.83%), Dredging Corporation of India (up 10.94%), Neyveli Lignite Corporation (up 0.25%), and Engineers India (up 1.06%), edged higher.

Tata Power Company rose 0.46%. The company today, 11 February 2013, reported consolidated net loss of Rs 328.92 crore for Q3 December 2012, as against net profit of Rs 297.95 crore in Q3 December 2011. Total income rose 27.18% at Rs 9050.33 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011. The company announced Q3 results during trading hours today, 11 February 2013.

Tata Power said the bottom line was adversely impacted by an impairment provision of Rs 600 crore in Coastal Gujarat Power (CGPL) which is a 100% subsidiary of the company which is developing the Mundra ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Gujarat. With this impairment, the equity of CGPL has eroded substantially and the company is eagerly awaiting CERC's decision on PPA tariff revision for Mundra UMPP to address long term sustainability, Tata Power said. Tata Power also said that falling coal prices leading to lower rate realization from Indonesian coal companies also adversely impacted the company's bottom line in Q3 December 2012. Tata Power also said that there was a deferred stripping cost of Rs 577.32 crore and reversal of Rs 310 crore of forex losses during the corresponding previous year period i.e. Q3 December 2011.

Tata Power's operating profit jumped 91% at Rs 1267.39 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011, mainly due to higher contribution from Mumbai operations, Mundra, Maithon and Delhi distribution. Tata Power's profit before finance cost, tax and exceptional items rose 14% to Rs 1278.41 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011.

Tata Power attributed growth in revenue to growth to additional revenue generated from Mundra, Maithon and higher fuel cost of Mumbai Operation and power purchase costs of Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDDL).

Subsequent to winning the bid for Distribution Franchisee (DF) of Jamshedpur Circle, a Special Purpose Company (SPC) --TP Power Distribution -- has been formed and executed the Distribution Franchisee Agreement (DFA) with Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), Tata Power said.

With regard to Kalinganagar, Orissa 3x67.5 MW (Gas based) +3x150 MW (Coal + gas based) project, Tata Power said that the civil construction work and engineering has commenced and order for major equipments has been placed for the gas based units. Structural erection for Unit-1 Boiler and preparatory works for lifting Boiler Drum are in progress. Structural erection for Boiler Unit has been commenced.

Coming to international projects, Cennergi has been announced as a preferred bidder for the two wind projects of 234 MW -- Amakhala 139 MW and Tsitsikamma 95 MW projects -- and is working towards achieving financial closure by March 2013, Tata Power said. As regards the 114 MW Dagachhu Project which is being developed in partnership with The Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB), more than 75% concreting at the Intake-Weir and 85% concreting for the Desilting Chamber is completed, Tata Power said. As regards the 240 MW Geothermal Project in Indonesia, Tata Power said that the land acquisition for the project is progressing well. PPA finalization is under process and is taking more time than anticipated, Tata Power said.

Tata Power has signed a long term coal supply agreement with PT Antang Gunung Meratus, Indonesia, a 100% subsidiary of the Indonesian company PT Baramulti Sukses Sarana (BSSR). Tata Power has also acquired 26% stake in BSSR.

Realty stocks gained on renewed buying. Oberoi Realty (up 3.79%), Sobha Developers (up 2.22%), HDIL (up 1.54%), Parsvnath Developers (up 1.52%), Indiabulls Real Estate (up 1.50%), Godrej Properties (up 1.26%) and Phoenix Mills (up 0.92%), edged higher.

Realty major DLF rose 1.23% to Rs 271.45. The stock had hit 52-week high of Rs 279.40 in intraday trade on 31 January 2013. DLF on 31 January 2013 said it has entered into definitive business transfer agreement with BLP Vayu (Project 1), a subsidiary of Bharat Light & Power, for transferring of its undertaking comprising of 150 megawatt capacity wind turbines situated at Kutch, Gujarat by way of slump-sale for a lump sum consideration of Rs 282.30 crore. The transaction is expected to be consummated on receipt of requisite regulatory approvals. The transaction is in line with the DLF's objective of divesting its non core assets.

Pharma stocks rose on renewed buying. Cipla (up 3.47%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 2.45%), Strides Arcolab (up 1.11%), Divi's Laboratories (up 0.49%) and Wockhardt (up 0.06%), edged higher.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries rose 0.53% to Rs 748. Sun Pharma and Taro Pharmaceutical Industries after market hours on Friday, 8 February 2013, announced that they have mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement, announced in August 2012, pursuant to which all shareholders of Taro (other than Sun Pharma and its affiliates) would have received a cash payment of $39.50 per share upon the closing of the merger. Each of Sun Pharma and Taro (at the direction of the Special Committee) agreed that terminating the merger agreement was in the best interest of the respective companies and shareholders, a joint press release from the two companies said.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries' consolidated net profit jumped 31.9% to Rs 881.30 crore on 33% growth in net sales to Rs 2852.01 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011. The company announced the results during trading hours on Friday, 8 February 2013.

Cadila Healthcare slumped 7.12%, with the stock extending Friday's 3.02% losses triggered by weak Q3 results. The company's consolidated net profit declined 31% to Rs 102.91 crore on 15.4% growth in net sales to Rs 1561.02 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011. The company announced Q3 results during market hours Friday, 8 February 2013.

HCL Technologies declined 1.98% to Rs 657.60. The company during market hours today, 11 February 2013, announced that Saint Gobain, worldwide leader in construction markets has expanded its IT infrastructure engagement with the company to include transformational data center services in Europe. The initial phase provided a roadmap to cover the migration servers and other data centre components that are spread across multiple locations. HCL is transforming Saint-Gobain's computing landscape from its current state to a world-class environment using proprietary cutting-edge technologies and frameworks. The engagement leverages HCL's award winning MTaaS platform for Enterprise Service Management and Monitoring to deliver proven operational benefits and business value.

HCL will support several European entities of Saint-Gobain during the course of this engagement. The company has also successfully commissioned new data centers in Paris, which are being used for delivering shared data center services to these entities across Europe, HCL said in a statement.

Most auto stocks declined. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) fell 0.31%, with the stock reversing initial gains. M&M and BAE Systems on Saturday, 9 February 2013, said they have jointly agreed that M&M will acquire BAE Systems' 26% shareholding in Defence Land Systems India (DLSI), a joint venture (JV) between M&M and BAE Systems. Since the establishment of DLSI in 2009 as a 74:26 JV between M&M and BAE Systems, there has been significant evolution in the Indian Land Systems market, a joint press release from M&M and BAE Systems said. Developments in both the industry environment and in customer procurement frameworks and acquisition strategies have led the shareholders to conduct a strategic review of the DLSI business, the statement said.

Following that review, it has been jointly agreed that M&M will acquire BAE Systems' 26% stake in DLSI, the joint statement read. This decision is a reflection of the shareholders' belief that they can best meet emerging customer requirements and address the opportunities in this dynamic market with a flexible, tailored approach that was not easily facilitated by the structure of the existing JV entity, the statement said. This decision will enable both companies to consider each opportunity on a case by case basis, including continuing to explore opportunities for co-operating on specific defence projects, the statement added.

Brigadier (Retd.) Khutub Hai, Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Defence Systems said: In keeping with the Indian defence acquisition scenario and current market considerations, the managements of M&M and BAE Systems have decided that M&M's 100% subsidiary Mahindra Defence Systems will acquire BAE Systems' 26% shareholding in DLSI joint venture. This is a strategic decision and will enable both the companies to approach opportunities individually and to offer customized solutions to meet the needs of the Indian defence land systems domain. We have had a fruitful association with BAE Systems and look forward to working with them in the future on a case by case basis keeping in view the strengths and capabilities that each of us brings to the specific project or opportunity.

Dean McCumiskey, Managing Director and Chief Executive, India, BAE Systems said: India is a key international market for BAE Systems. The country's ambitious plans for modernization and expansion of the armed forces and focus on developing self-reliance in defence present considerable opportunities for us. Building domestic capabilities in partnership with Indian companies will remain a cornerstone of our strategy in India. We look forward to opportunities to collaborate with M&M and others to enhance the role of the private sector in the defence industry.

Both M&M and BAE Systems are committed to continue building indigenous capability in the Indian defence sector and in establishing leadership positions in the industry, the statement said.

India's largest car maker by sales Maruti Suzuki India fell 1.64% to Rs 1562.20 on profit booking. The stock had hit 52-week high of Rs 1,637.60 in intraday trade on 6 February 2013. Maruti Suzuki India on 1 February 2013 its total sales fell 1.1% to 1.14 lakh units in January 2013 over January 2012. Domestic sales rose 2% to 1.03 lakh units in January 2013 over January 2012. Exports declined 22.3% to 11,179 units in January 2013 over January 2012.

India's largest motorcycle maker by sales, Hero MotoCorp, fell 0.53%. The company's total sales rose 7% to 5.57 lakh units in January 2013 over January 2012.

Ashok Leyland (down 1.05%) and Eicher Motors (down 0.51%), edged lower.

India's largest commercial vehicle maker by sales Tata Motors rose 2.08%. The company on 1 February 2013 said its total sales (including exports) of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles in January 2013 were 61,660 vehicles. The company's sales from exports totaled 3,880 vehicles in January 2013. The company's domestic sales of Tata commercial and passenger vehicles for January 2013 were 57,780 units. The company's sales of commercial vehicles in January 2013 in the domestic market were 42,571 units. LCV sales were 33,849 units, while M&HCV sales stood at 8,722 units. Sales of passenger vehicles for January 2013 were at 15,209 units.

Bajaj Auto rose 0.21%. The company's total sales rose 3% to 3.47 lakh units in January 2013 over January 2012. Motorcycle sales rose 2% to 3.01 lakh units in January 2013 over January 2012. Sales of commercial vehicles rose 7% to 46,263 units in January 2013 over January 2012. Total exports rose 10% to 1.28 lakh units in January 2013 over January 2012. The company announced the monthly sales data on 2 February 2013.

Escorts (up 1.13%) and TVS Motor Company (up 1.12%), edged higher.

Metal stocks were mixed. Jindal Steel & Power declined 1.87% ahead of its Q3 results tomorrow, 12 February 2013.

Among other metal stocks, Sail (down 2.29%), Hindustan Zinc (down 0.57%), JSW Steel (down 0.47%), Tata Steel (down 0.39%) and NMDC (down 0.24%), edged lower.

Sterlite Industries (up 2.42%), Sesa Goa (up 1.27%), Nalco (up 0.75%) and Bhushan Steel (up 0.02%), edged higher.

Hindalco Industries rose 2.51% ahead of Q3 results of the company's US unit Novelis Inc. tomorrow, 12 February 2013. Hindalco Industries' net profit declined 3.76% to Rs 434 crore on 3.38% growth in revenue from operations to Rs 6872 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined 18.37% to Rs 582 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q3 December 2011. The company announced Q3 results during trading hours on Friday, 8 February 2013.

The results were strong on sequential basis. Net profit jumped 21% to Rs 434 crore on 11% growth in revenue from operations to Rs 6872 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q2 September 2012. EBITDA rose 13% to Rs 582 crore in Q3 December 2012 over Q2 September 2012

Hindalco attributed sequential revenue growth to higher volumes. Non-operational income surged to Rs 318 crore in Q3 December 2012 from Rs 132 crore in Q2 September 2012 due to enhanced average treasury along with income of non-recurring nature, Hindalco Industries said in a statement. Finance costs galloped 503.57% to Rs 169 crore in Q3 December 2012 from Rs 132 crore in Q2 September 2012 due to higher average borrowings during the quarter, Hindalco Industries said.

The company drew $100 million finance from Export Development Canada for its Mahan Aluminium Project. This is part of the overall financial closure for the project, Hindalco said in a statement.

On the status of its Greenfield projects, Hindalco said that the Mahan Aluminium , Hirakud FRP and Utkal Alumina projects are in the final stages of implementation and are expected to be ready for trail runs very shortly. With regard to future business outlook, Hindalco said that with the expansion projects going on-stream in the near-term, the company is well poised to take its business to the next level.

Apollo Hospitals Enterprise clocked a highest turnover of Rs 531.93 crore on BSE. State Bank of India (Rs 64.28 crore), MMTC (Rs 43.53 crore), ICICI Bank (Rs 38.90 crore) and Axis Bank (Rs 31.85 crore), were the other turnover toppers on BSE in that order.

Birla Cotsyn (India) reported highest volumes of 1.07 crore shares on BSE. Suzlon Energy (91.85 lakh shares), Cals Refineries (68.65 lakh shares), Apollo Hospitals Enterprise (64.08 shares) and NHPC (27.26 lakh shares), were the other volume toppers on BSE in that order.

PSU disinvestment and reduction of promoter stake to meet the Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) mandated minimum public shareholding of 25% for private companies and 10% for state-run firms will result in supply of equity in the market over the next few months. The government has set target of Rs 30000 crore from PSU divestment for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2013. Meanwhile, as per the Sebi mandated minimum public shareholding rule, private-sector companies must cut founders' stake to adhere to the rules by 13 June 2013, while the deadline for state-run firms is 13 August 2013.

The focus on the stock market is currently on Q3 December 2012 results. Jindal Steel & Power unveils Q3 results tomorrow, 12 February 2013. Hindalco Industries' US unit Novelis Inc. will report its Q3 results on the same day. Tata Steel, Coal India and BPCL unveil Q3 results on 13 February 2013. Tata Motors, DLF, State Bank of India, GAIL (India) and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories unveil Q3 results on 14 February 2013. Ranbaxy Laboratories unveils Q4 December 2012 results on 26 February 2013.

Reserve Bank of India Governor D. Subbarao today, 11 February 2013, said that inflation has come off, but is still high at over 7%. India is financing its current-account deficit with volatile foreign fund inflows into the capital markets rather than foreign direct investment, which is a matter of concern, Mr. Subbarao said at an event in Mumbai.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) will unveil data on industrial production for December 2012 tomorrow, 12 February 2013. Industrial production is seen rising 1.3% in December 2012, according to the median estimates of a poll of economists carried out by Capital Market. Industrial production declined 0.1% in November 2012.

The CSO will unveil data on inflation based on the combined consumer price index for urban and rural India for January 2013 on Tuesday, 12 February 2013. Inflation based on the combined consumer price index for urban and rural India edged up to 10.56% in December 2012 from 9.9% in November 2012.

The CSO will unveil data on inflation based on the wholesale price index (WPI) for January 2013 on Thursday, 14 February 2013. The rate of growth of WPI inflation is expected to ease at 7.1% in January 2013 from 7.18% in December 2012, according to the median estimates of a poll of economists carried out by Capital Market.

Once the results season concludes on Thursday, 14 February 2013, investors' focus will shift to expectations from Union Budget 2013-14 to be presented to the Parliament on 28 February 2013. Investors will focus on changes, if any, in excise duty and service tax in the Budget. It remains to be seen if the government announces measures to revive weak investment growth. It also remains to be seen if the government announces more economic reforms. A key figure to watch out is the divestment target for 2013-14. It remains to be seen if the Budget contains a clear roadmap for the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST). There has been some debate over taxing the super-rich. It remains to be seen if the Budget provides a clear roadmap to cap the government's subsidy bill. It also remains to be seen if there are measures to increase agriculture production to rein in food inflation.

The Budget Session of the Parliament will commence on 21 February 2013 and is likely to conclude on 10 May 2013. In order to enable the Standing Committees to consider the Demands for Grants of Ministries/Departments and prepare their Reports, the two Houses will adjourn for recess on 22 March 2013 to meet again on 22 April 2013.

Economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram on Saturday, 9 February 2013, said that the fiscal deficit for the current financial year ending 31 March 2013 will not exceed the projected 5.3% of the country's gross domestic product. He said that the government will stick to its fiscal deficit aim and its borrowing plan. Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram on Saturday, 9 February 2013, said he it confident of a 5.5% growth rate in the economy for this year. In the second half of this fiscal year, there are indications of green shoots in the economy, he said, adding it is imperative for the country to achieve a growth rate of 8%.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Thursday, 7 February 2013, said that the growth in India's GDP during 2012-13 is estimated at 5%, the lowest in a decade and significantly lower than the growth rate of 6.2% in 2011-12. The dimmer forecast is due to continued weakness in manufacturing and farm output growth, data from the ministry of statistics and implementation showed.

The Ministry of Finance on Friday, 8 February 2013, said that since the GDP growth is turning around, it is likely that the CSO's advance estimate of 5% GDP growth for 2012-13 will be revised upwards and the final estimate will be closer to the finance ministry's estimate of a growth rate of 5.5% or slightly more. Early sign of an upturn in the economy are evident in the year on year growth in Union Excise Duty of 16% and of 33% increase in service tax in April-December 2012.

The Purchasing Manager's Index (manufacturing) has started moving up since October 2012. This has been accompanied by a seasonally adjusted stabilization of the index of industrial production since October 2012, the finance ministry said in a statement. The finance ministry also said that lower interest rates will help support growth.

The Ministry of Finance in its initial reaction to the CSO's advance estimate had said on Thursday, 7 February 2018, that the finance ministry is keeping a watch on the situation adding that it has taken and will continue to take appropriate measures to revive growth.

The Ministry of Finance on 14 January 2013 said that the government has decided to defer the implementation of the General Anti Avoidance Rules or GAAR by two years until 1 April 2016 and that it has accepted major recommendations of the Parthasarathi Shome Committee on GAAR with some modifications. The provisions of GAAR will apply to only those foreign institutional investors (FIIs) who seek to take advantage of the double taxation avoidance treaties India has with different countries. The rules won't apply to the non-resident individual investors who put money with the FIIs. Any investments made before 30 August 2010 won't be examined under GAAR. Finance Minister Mr. Chidambaram said that the GAAR provisions strike a balance between the government's need for revenue generation and investors' interests.

Commerce, Industry and Textiles Minister Mr. Anand Sharma on 9 January 2013 said that the Joint Working Group on Indo-Mauritius Double Taxation Avoidance Convention (DTAC), which is scheduled to meet in February 2013, would be able to take the deliberations forward.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 29 January 2013 announced a 25 basis points reduction in its key policy rate viz. the repo rate to 7.75% from 8% after a monetary policy review. The central bank also announced a reduction of 25 basis points in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) to 4% from 4.25% effective the fortnight beginning 9 February 2013. As a result of the reduction in the CRR, around Rs 18000 crore of primary liquidity will be injected into the banking system, RBI said.

Keeping in view the expected moderation in non-food manufactured products inflation, domestic supply-demand balances and global trends in commodity prices, the baseline WPI inflation projection for March 2013 has been revised downwards from 7.5% set out in the SQR Second Quarter Review (SQR) of Monetary Policy in October 2012 to 6.8%, RBI said. The central bank has also lowered the baseline projection of GDP growth for 2012-13 to 5.5% from 5.8% given in the SQR.

With headline inflation likely to have peaked and non-food manufactured products inflation declining steadily over the last few months, there is an increasing likelihood of inflation remaining range-bound around current levels going into 2013-14, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said. This provides space, albeit limited, for monetary policy to give greater emphasis to growth risks, the central bank said in its policy guidance. This policy guidance will, however, be conditioned by the evolving growth-inflation dynamic and the management of risks from twin deficits viz. the current account deficit and fiscal deficit, RBI said. The next mid-quarter review of Monetary Policy for 2012-13 will be announced on 19 March 2013.

The central bank signaled that there is less room for aggressive policy rate cuts amid any negative surprise emanating from inflation and the twin deficits.

The year-on-year inflation measured by monthly consumer price index for industrial (CPI-IW) accelerated to 11.17% in December 2012, from 9.55% in November 2012, data released by the Ministry of Labour & Employment on 31 January 2013 showed. Within CPI-IW, the food inflation surged to 13.53% in December 2012 from 10.85% in November 2012.

Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram on 31 January 2013 reiterated the commitment of the government for observing the path of fiscal consolidation and imposition of fiscal targets and policies that will make necessary fiscal correction needed for the economy and take the economy back to the path of higher growth. Chidambaram highlighted the efforts being made to turn the economy around and create a more investor-friendly climate. Chidambaram said that to encourage foreign flows into India and offer reassurance on the positive investment climate, he had recently held discussions with a cross section of international investors at Singapore, Hongkong, London and Frankfurt last month and hoped to get positive results. He was speaking at the Sixth Meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council.

The finance ministry in October 2012 announced a five-year plan to cut fiscal deficit. The deficit target is 5.3% of gross domestic product for the current fiscal year through March, 4.8% in the next fiscal year, and 3% by the end of the year through March 2017.

The government on 17 January 2013 allowed PSU OMCs to increase diesel prices by a small margin from time to time, a decision aimed at reducing the government's oil subsidy burden and fiscal deficit and improving the government's finances. Oil Minister Veerappa Moily said after a meeting of the Union Cabinet that there was an earlier proposal to deregulate diesel prices, and in pursuance of that, oil companies have been authorised to make price corrections from time to time. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on 17 January 2013 said the government will factor in the reduction in subsidies and its impact on the deficit once the retailers say how much they intend to increase prices by.

The government on 17 January 2013 also said it has increased the limit of subsidized cooking-gas cylinders to nine per year a family from six now. Mr. Moily said that the raising of the cap will cost the government about an additional Rs 10000 crore a year.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati slammed the UPA government for its decision to deregulate diesel prices and said that it would affect prices and hit common man badly. She, however, ruled out the possibility of withdrawing BSP's support to the government, saying she did not want to destabilise it as the general election is not too far. BSP provides outside support to the Congress led UPA government which has already been reduced to a minority government after Trinamool Congress withdrew support to the government in September last year.

European stocks edged higher on Monday, 11 February 2013. Key benchmark indices in France, Germany and UK rose by 0.18% to 0.48%.

In Asia, stock markets in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia were all closed on Monday, 11 February 2013, for the Lunar New Year, while Japan was shut for National Foundation Day. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite was up 0.27%.

Mainland Chinese bourses are closed the whole of this week, and the Hong Kong market from Monday, 11 February 2013 through Wednesday, 13 February 2013, for Lunar New Year holidays. Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. Stock markets in Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia were all closed Monday for the Lunar New Year, while Japan was shut for National Foundation Day.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could gain 29 points at the opening bell on Monday, 11 February 2013. US stocks edged higher on Friday, 8 February 2013, following the release of better-than-expected trade data. Data showing stronger international trade in China and Germany, and a report indicating the US trade deficit had narrowed in December, pointed to improving global growth prospects.

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