Episode 449

Business News at 05:30 pm on 21st March 2023

Listen to the latest news on business and finance where we talk about windfall tax cut on crude oil, Adani Group’s clarification on Mundra project, Indian-origin Laxman Narasimhan taking charge of Starbucks, Accenture’s new acquisition and Indigo’s fuel growth. Don’t forget to get your daily dose of the Indian share market.

Today’s Latest Business News at 05:30 pm on 21st March 2023.

[Disclaimer: This transcript is auto-generated]

Let’s begin. Large shareholders in companies are increasingly looking at the block/bulk deal route to sell stake, at a time when share prices are in troubled waters. Promoters and significant shareholders usually pick up stakes during market volatility to strengthen their holdings and shore up confidence among investors. However, market analysts say that large shareholders are now cashing in owing to the prolonged uncertainty. According to data, some big shareholders who have taken the exit route in recent weeks have been Dynasty, which shed its holding in Shriram Finance for over Rs 1000 crore and Hulst, which sold its stake in Coforge for close to Rs 2,500 crore. On to industry. Fare wars between airlines will soon become a thing of the past and travellers should brace for higher ticket prices. Tata Group’s move to merge its four airlines will give the industry a better control on capacity, which will lead to improved yields through higher airfares, Campbell Wilson, MD and CEO, Air India said on Monday. Two players – IndiGo and Air India – will then control about 85% of the domestic market, thereby controlling prices. The two are looking to make timely additions to their fleets, currently at 960 aircraft. Speaking at the CAPA India Aviation Summit 2023, Wilson said that Pricing is a function of many factors, supply and demand, economic and demographic growth. There will be two significantly sized private airlines who have a responsibility to their shareholders to improve the financial returns. Campbell added that there is going to be investments in people, systems and processes and all this will help to professionalise the ecosystem which ultimately leads to a profitable airline which leads to growth. Next up, economy. While the tightening of financial conditions has raised concerns over corporate debt vulnerabilities globally, Indian companies are much less leveraged and have sufficient space to borrow further to invest, the Union finance ministry said on Monday. The ministry in its monthly economic review for February noted that as of end of September 2022, India’s corporate sector credit-GDP ratio is about 12.3 percentage points below its historical trend. The comments come at a time, when the jury is still out on whether a new private capex cycle has indeed started. Non-food credit growth rose to 15.9% in April-February of FY23, nearly double the rate at which it grew in the year-ago period, although the credit flows have seen some fluctuations in recent months. Rise in capital and construction goods imports is another factor that has given some credence to the assumption that at least in some sectors like chemicals, fresh investments are picking up. In some more economy news, Ahead of the end of the current fiscal year, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs has asked field offices to closely monitor tax collections. CBIC chairman Vivek Johri in a recent newsletter urged field offices to ensure maximisation of revenue collection through “every possible legitimate means”. He highlighted areas of focus including expeditious clearances in customs, recovery of arrears from “ripe cases”, disposal of seized and confiscated cargo and ensuring that all taxpayers that are required to file returns actually do so. He said he would urge zonal chiefs to keep a close watch on revenue and to ensure that there are no slippages. The government has pegged the indirect tax target at Rs 13.85 trillion in the revised estimates for 2022-23, which is 4.1% higher than the budget estimate of Rs 13.3 trillion. While customs and excise duty collections were pared down in the revised estimates, the mop up from the goods and services tax was increased to Rs 8.54 trillion from the BE of Rs 7.8 trillion. Lastly, At a time when Reliance Jio is going aggressive to capture market share, Bharti Airtel has also stepped up to take on the competition with lucrative offerings. The telecom operator on Monday lowered the entry-level tariffs for its postpaid family plans. It launched a Rs 599 postpaid family plan and two other plans — Rs 799 and Rs 998 — as part of its all-in-one Airtel Black offering. While all the newly-launched postpaid offers support one add-on connection with OTT plans of Amazon Prime, Disney+Hotstar, and Airtel Xstream, the Rs 799 and Rs 998 plans come with direct-to-home and broadband plans, respectively. Besides the competition, the reason for Airtel to introduce the entry-level tariff of Rs 599 can be attributed to the fact that for a family of two, it is not cost effective to choose the current Rs 999 postpaid plan, which supports four SIM cards. With the new plan, each connection will cost Rs 300 with 105 GB total data.

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Business News at 05:30 pm on 21st March 2023