Nirmala Sitharaman-US treasury secretary meet HIGHLIGHTS: Ensuring enough oil supply after Iran sanctions, says US Treasury Secretary

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Updated:Nov 01, 2019 7:01:27 pm

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held talks on Friday over a range of expected issues including the US-China trade deal and Iran sanctions issue.

Other members of the US delegation include under secretary for international affairs Brent McIntosh and assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes Marshall Billingslea.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held talks on Friday over a range of expected issues including the US-China trade deal and Iran sanctions issue. Speaking at the briefing after the event, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman said that a wide range of discussions happened in the meeting. Steven Mnuchin said that the US is working with allies to ensure there is enough oil and Iran sanctions don’t impact other nations. The US is continuing to make progress on the trade deal with China, he also said.  America is seeking support against Iran over its nuclear programme and its ties to militant networks, global news agency Reuters reported. Other members of the US delegation include under secretary for international affairs Brent McIntosh and assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes Marshall Billingslea. Mnuchin, accompanied by Donald Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, began a regional tour from Oct. 25 through Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, India and Qatar. Nirmala Sitharaman in October this year said that the negotiations between India and the United States on a trade deal are going on in “full speed” and expressed hope that it will conclude soon. The ongoing trade deal negotiations briefly came up for discussion during a pull aside between Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the IMF headquarters.

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Highlights

    18:49 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    FM Nirmala Sitharaman in meeting

    18:47 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Ongoing meeting between US-India

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and USTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Co-chair the 7th edition of India-US Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue in NewDelhi.

    18:42 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Trade deal with India will happen soon

    The US in October said that neither Indian nor American government has stated that there will be a trade agreement in ‘five minutes’ but it does not see any structural reason which might stop both the nations to have a trade agreement “pretty quickly”.

    18:12 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Discussion at IMF headquarters

    The ongoing trade deal negotiations briefly came up for discussion during a pull aside between Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the IMF headquarters.

    18:11 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Indi-US trade talks

    Nirmala Sitharaman in October this year said that the negotiations between India and the United States on a trade deal are going on in "full speed" and expressed hope that it will conclude soon.

    18:02 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Sanctions also cut Iranian banks ties

    Aside from throttling Iran's oil exports, the sanctions also cut Iranian banks' ties to the financial world.

    17:52 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Mnuchin to meet Shaktikanta Das on Saturday

    Mnuchin and the U.S. delegation will travel to Mumbai, India's financial capital, on Saturday for talks with Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das and other central bank officials, before meeting later with Indian business leaders, a RBI official said.

    17:43 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Sanctions on Iran by US govt

    Sanctions were reimposed on Tehran by President Donald Trump after he withdrew the United States from Iran's 2015 nuclear pact with world powers.

    17:42 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Mnuchin's regional tour

    Mnuchin, accompanied by Donald Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, began a regional tour from Oct. 25 through Saudi Arabia, Israel, United Arab Emirates, India and Qatar.

    15:39 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    BSE live: Yes Bank shares plunge ahead of Q2 results; Sensex closes 36 points up

    Shares of private sector lender Yes Bank closed 6% lower at Rs 66.10 ahead of its Q2 results scheduled to be reported today. Yesterday, the firm said that it has received a binding offer for $1.2 billion capital infusion. The headline Sensex closed 36 points higher at 40,165, while the Nifty ended the session very close to the 11,900-mark. A look at LIVE Sensex heatmap.

    15:27 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    GST collection stands at Rs 95,380 crore in October; misses target for third consecutive month

    GST collections in October missed the target for the continuous third month. The collections in October stood at Rs 95,380 crore. However, this is higher than the 19-month low collection of Rs 91,916 in the previous month. Out of the total collection, the share of CGST is Rs 17,582 crore; SGST is Rs 23,674 crore; IGST is Rs 46,517 crore;  and Cess is Rs 7,607  crore. The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of September up to 31st October 2019 is 73.83 lakh. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on July 5 pegged the annual GST collection target at Rs 6.63 lakh crore for FY20, up from last year’s revised collections of Rs 6.43 lakh crore. The total collection from the indirect tax was pegged at over Rs 7.61 lakh crore for 2019-20 in the Interim Budget presented in February.

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    15:19 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg upbeat about WhatsApp Pay in India, says lot of people will use it

    Ahead of WhatsApp’s impending launch of its most anticipated service — WhatsApp Pay in India’s digital payments ecosystem, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expects it to see huge adoption even as the country is likely to have the fastest growth in digital payments’ transaction value between 2019 and 2023. “We have our tests going in India. It’s — the test really shows that a lot of people are going to want to use this product,” Zuckerberg said during the company Q3 2019 earnings conference call with analysts. The UPI-based peer-to-peer payment service was announced in February 2018. The beta version of the service was expected to see a complete roll out this year, however, Facebook is yet to announce its formal launch.

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    15:08 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Walmart effect? Flipkart cut losses by 63%, revenue up 42% in FY19 under new management

    Flipkart Private Limited, the Singapore parent of the Indian e-commerce company Flipkart has disclosed its performance for the first time under the new management of Walmart. The company, which was acquired by the American retail giant in August 2018, has been able to cut its losses by 63 per cent to Rs 17,231 crore ($2.42 billion) for FY19 from Rs 46,895 crore ($6.6 billion) in the preceding financial year. Amazon’s arch-rival Flipkart led by Kalyan Krishnamurthy also posted an increase in total revenue by 42 per cent in FY19 to Rs 43,615 crore ($6.14 billion) from Rs 30,644 crore ($4.32 billion) in FY18.

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    14:39 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Government fixes sugar sale quota of 20.5 lakh tonne for November

    Sugar mills can sell 20.5 lakh tonne of sugar in the open market during November, according to a notification by the food ministry. As per the notification, 535 mills have been allocated 20.5 lakh tonne of sugar for sale in the current month. This quota is 1.5 lakh tonne less as compared to the allocation for November 2018. Additional quota of sugar has been given to those mills that have completed more than half of the export quota during the 2018-19 season (October-September). According to experts, the quantity of sugar allocated for the current month is lower because there is no festival demand.

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    14:16 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Foreign investors return to India: FPI at 6-month high in October after govt withdraws super-rich tax

    Foreign Portfolio Investors jolted by the government’s move to impose super-rich tax are now coming back to India in droves after Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman rolled back the decision. The foreign portfolio investments in the month of October substantially surged to Rs 16,069 crore on the back of increasing equity investments in the last two months, according to NSDL data. Portfolio investments in equity were hit after the Finance Minister announced to impose a super-rich tax on FPI investors and a pull out of around Rs 30,000 crore was witnessed in July and August. However, after the FM announced to withdraw this decision, the equity investments started to catch the pace. 

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    14:06 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    India tops list of nations with most favourable environment for financial inclusion; these are 4 key drivers

    Amid improving the environment for financial inclusion globally, India tops the list of nations with the most favourable conditions, a global report said. Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, and Mexico have the most conducive conditions for inclusive finance, according to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Global Microscope on Financial Inclusion report. The report identified — allowing non-banks to issue e-money, presence of financial service agents, proportionate customer due diligence and effective financial consumer protection — as four basic enablers for the overall framework for promoting digital financial inclusion.

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    14:01 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    ITR Filing Alert! Got income tax notice under Section 143(1)? Here is what you need to do

    Income Tax Return 2019: If you have filed your income tax return for FY 2018-19 within the due date (August 31, 2019 for individuals) and verified the same using one of the prescribed modes, you may expect an e-mail from the Income Tax Department (Central Processing Centre (CPC)) with an intimation under Section 143(1) to the email ID, as per the tax department’s records. An intimation under Section 143(1) seeks to correct any mistakes that are apparent from records without the need for the taxpayer to submit additional data.

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    12:58 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Volkswagen Polo, Vento defy downturn to post handsome growth: Here’s how

    Despite a slowdown in automobile sales in the country, Volkswagen has positive news to report. Volkswagen Polo and Vento have both contributed a 19% growth in sales in October this year clocking 3,213 unit sales compared to 3,191 units in October last year. Just last month, VW India launched the facelift versions of the Polo and Vento with prices starting at Rs 5.8 lakh and Rs 8.76 lakh, respectively. The two have been updated in terms of design and features, enhancing their competitiveness in their respective segments. Beginning 1st September 2019, Volkswagen also announced a 5-year warranty for its diesel range across the Polo, Ameo, and Vento models, thereby further improving the ownership experience.

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    12:52 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Bank employees salary negotiation: What has stalled a settlement for over two years

    A wage revision settlement for over 10 lakh bank employees and officers has been stuck for two years due to serious differences between the bank management and unions. According to banking industry sources, though there was a broad agreement over the Indian Banking Association’s offer of a 12% hike in the wage cost but the talks were derailed for over a year as four officers associations wanted the inclusion of bank officers of all seven scales in the proposed settlement. In addition to this, now a majority of unions and associations are not willing to accept less than 15% hike which was the case with the last wage revision settlement that was applicable for a period of five years, from 2012 to 2017. Bank employees are also pressing for the merger of special allowance with the basic salary to enhance the pension benefits of the retired staff, a tricky issue as it will considerably increase the pension cost of the banks.

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    12:50 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Hotel rooms to get costlier even after lower GST

    Even when the central government has brought down the GST rate on hotels, the prices of hotel rooms will see upward mobility owing to various factors including increasing demand. The industry is likely “to register an overall healthy growth in revenue led by lower GST rates and consistently growing middle class along with increasing disposable income,” a CARE Ratings report said on Thursday. The trend will be prominently visible in major markets which will witness a 3.5-4.5% jump in average room rates per annum, the report added. In fact, the room rates in FY19 were also on the rise thanks to higher leisure spending and limited supply additions during the year. The ARR achieved by major markets in FY19 brought it on par with the FY09 prices.

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    12:48 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Unemployment rate soars to 8.5%, highest in over 3 years

    Amid the ongoing slowdown in the economy, the joblessness rate in October rose to the highest since August 2016, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)on Friday showed. The unemployment rate is up from 7.2 per cent in September this year, the data also showed. While the urban unemployment rate was recorded at 8.9 per cent, rural rate came at 8.3 per cent, the CMIE data also showed.  It comes as the output of eight core industries contracts 5.2 per cent in September from the years. Seven of eight sectors witnessed negative growth, according to official data released on Thursday.

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    12:20 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Your savings account balance to earn less as banks cut interest rate: Check 4 alternatives

    Savings Bank Interest Rate: SBI has reduced the interest rate on savings bank account deposits from today. Keeping money lying idle in your savings account will earn you lesser interest than before. Currently, this is true for banks like SBI and Bank of Baroda who have lowered the rate of interest on the savings account balance. Effective today i.e. November 1, SBI has cut the interest rate on savings account on balance up to Rs 1 lakh, from 3.5 per cent to 3.25 per cent. The balance above Rs 1 lakh will, however, continue to earn 3 per cent per annum. With SBI reducing the interest rate on savings account deposits, looking at alternative saving options will become necessary.

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    12:09 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Coal India spends a lot on salaries and wages; land acquisition is getting tougher, says director AK Jha

    While Coal India expects to remain on a growth trajectory till 2030, it foresees coal demand plateauing after that. Chairman and managing director AK Jha speaks to Indronil Roychowdhury on the company’s future course of action. Coal production is witnessing a decline in India. As the main producer, Coal India’s ouput was down 23.5% in September, partly owing to floods. Production has always been the main factor for Coal India’s business. From a level of 490 MT in FY15, the company’s production grew to 607 MT in FY19 and then it targeted a production of 660 MT for the current fiscal, which have been hit due to heavy monsoons.

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    12:01 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Vodafone Idea shares soar after clarification on exiting India market

    Shares of Vodafone Idea on Friday zoomed over 23 per cent in early trade after the company clarified that it is not going to exit the Indian market. Vodofone Idea share price gained more than 24% to hit the day's high at Rs 4.78 on BSE.  Similarly, the stock rose 23.07 per cent to Rs 4.80 on the NSE. The stock exchange had sought clarification from the company over the rumours of the telecom operator exiting the Indian market because of mounting losses and debt recast issue. "There has been reportage in some media alleging that Vodafone Idea has approached its lenders for debt recast. We categorically deny and dismiss this as baseless and factually incorrect. We have not made any request for debt recast to any lender or asked for reworking of payment terms. We continue to pay all our debts as and when these fall due," Vodafone Idea said in a statement to the exchanges. 

    11:51 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    GVK deposits Rs 1,248 crore in escrow account to acquire stake in Mumbai International Airport

    GVK group on Thursday deposited Rs 1,248 crore in an escrow account for buying out Bidvest’s share in Mumbai International Airport (MIAL), people aware about the development said. The arbitration tribunal had directed GVK Airports Holding (GVKAHL) to deposit the money required to purchase 13.5% stake held by South African firm Bidvest. “This would mean that injunction against Bidvest from selling its share in MIAL will continue till the arbitration panel decides on the stake sale dispute,” sources said.

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    11:45 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    GST: Why you should check a supplier’s tax payment history; don’t go by the lowest rates offered by him

    GST: If you are a GST registered business then the lowest rate offered by your supplier may not be the best option for you if your supplier has a history of not depositing the GST tax to the government on time. Under the GST law, a supplier is required to file GST return in GSTR-1 form before the 11th day of the next month, which will have the details of all outward supplies. This information is used by the buyers who will use that to avail input tax credit (ITC). According to tax experts, a GST registered supplier’s tax payment record is more important than the low rate offered by him as under the new rules any default in the payment of GST by the supplier to the government would result in withholding of the input tax credit benefits to the buyers of that supplier.

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    11:38 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Indian Oil Corporation Q2 profit falls 83%to Rs 563 crore

    Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) reported a net profit of Rs 563.4 crore on a standalone basis for the three months ended September 30, recording an 82.6% decrease from the same period a year ago. The largest state-owned oil refining and marketing company in India attributed the fall in profit to inventory losses, stemming from fall in global oil prices. As the retail prices of petroleum products are mapped with international rates, gradual fall of global oil prices in Q2FY20 meant that by the time IOCL sold its products after processing crude, the retail rates had dipped. The inventory loss in the quarter was Rs 1,807 crore against inventory gains of Rs 2,895 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, said IOCL chairman Sanjiv Singh.

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    11:34 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    JSW steel to bid for Odisha, Karnataka mines even as it cuts capex guidance for FY20

    Even as JSW Steel cut its capex guidance for FY20, the company is looking at bidding for a majority of the 20 iron ore mines in Odisha to secure raw material for its greenfield and brownfield projects. The company is also looking to bid for mines in Karnataka, where it has already secured nine iron-ore mines. Jayant Acharya, director, JSW Steel, said the company was bidding for mines given the 20 mtpa greenfield project in Odisha. “The mines in Odisha will primarily help the company secure the future raw material needs of the new plant in Odisha, but it will be taken to other plants as well to meet the requirement,” Acharya said.

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    11:17 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Arbitration Act and IBC conflict: 2 companies move Supreme Court

    Left with no effective remedy to initiate action against the government, PSUs and other statutory bodies for recovery of thousands of crores of rupees, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) and Gammon Engineers & Contractors have approached the Supreme Court seeking to prevent their lenders from pushing them into insolvency. While HCC is seeking to recover Rs 6,070 crore from the Central government and other PSUs including NHAI and NTPC, Gammon wants its dues of over Rs 837 crore that is stuck with the government and other PSUs like NHPC, Gail and DMRC in terms of various arbitration awards.

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    11:13 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Fillip to growth: Budget capex increases 65% in Q2; tax receipts slip

    A growth-hungry government has pressed the accelerator pedal on spending after a lull necessitated by election-related administrative disruptions, the latest data on central government finances released on Thursday showed. The year-on-year growth in the Centre’s total budgetary expenditure rose from (-)11% in June to 34% in September; spending grew 28% in Q2, against just 2% in Q1. Amid rising concerns over a big slippage in tax revenue, the quality of spending also improved in recent months. Budgetary capex surged 65% y-o-y in Q2, while the previous quarter had seen a 28% contraction.

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    10:57 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Digital payments surge to dent banks’ revenues by $9 billion

    Indian banks are at risk of losing over $9 billion in revenues over the next six years because of the changes in the payments landscape, a consultancy firm said on Thursday. Payments will become “more instant, invisible and free” in the next few years, which will put the revenues of the lenders at risk, despite an evident growth in the segment, the survey said. It can be noted that the last few years have seen a massive surge in digital payments, which will be giving a convenient alternative to users has presented banks with an attractive revenue stream.

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    10:56 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    LPG cylinder prices spike in November across 4 metros; check new rates

    Non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) prices shot up on Friday after a price hike was incorporated by IOC. The new prices are effective from 1 November 2019 and have gone up in all four metro cities by at least Rs 76 for non-subsidized cylinders and Rs 119 for cylinders, according to Indian Oil Corporation. This is the third month in a row when prices have gone up. The last price reduction was made in August 2019 and the LPG rates have gone up since then.  In Delhi, non-subsidized cylinders will now be sold at Rs 681.5, a Rs 76.5 jump from the previous price. Since August, the cylinder rates in Delhi have hiked thrice from Rs 574 to current Rs 681.5. Last month, non-subsidized cylinders sold for Rs 605 in Delhi. 

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    10:36 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Employment falls first time in 6 years; about 90 lakh less jobs since 2011

    A NEW academic paper — written by Santosh Mehrotra and Jajati K Parida and published by the Centre of Sustainable Employment at the Azim Premji University on Thursday — has formally concluded that the total employment in India declined between 2011-12 and 2017-18. This is the first time such a decline has been recorded in independent India’s history. While this point has been made by the same authors as well as some others, such as Himanshu of Jawaharlal Nehru University, this is the first formal paper to this effect. According to Mehrotra and Parida, the “total employment during 2011-12 and 2017-18 declined by 9 million. This happened for the first time in India’s history”. Mehrotra is Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University while Parida teaches at the Central University of Punjab.

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    10:18 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Dhanlaxmi Bank profit jumps 82% in Q2; MD & CEO quits

    Kerala-based Dhanlaxmi Bank on Thursday reported a year-on-year increase of 81.6 % in its net profit at Rs 22.07 crore for the July-September quarter of the current fiscal with improvement in asset quality. In a major development a day before, the bank’s MD & CEO T Latha submitted her resignation due to personal reasons. The same has been accepted by the board and intimated to RBI, the bank said in a a regulatory filing. The lender had posted a net profit of Rs 12.15 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

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    10:16 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    IndusInd Bank finalises Sobti’s successor, awaits approval from RBI

    Private-sector lender IndusInd Bank on Thursday said the board of directors of the bank has finalised a candidate to succeed the current managing director and CEO Romesh Sobti, and has sought the approval of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the appointment. The bank has not named the candidate yet. Once the RBI approval is received, the bank said it would make the requisite disclosures to stock exchanges. According to RBI norms, the upper age limit of managing directors and CEOs of banks is capped at 70, which was raised from the earlier prescribed limit of 65 in 2014.

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    09:59 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    WhatsApp Pay to be in India soon, announces Mark Zuckerberg

    WhatsApp Pay will soon be launched in India, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told investors over a post-results conference call on Wednesday. The internet giant has been running a test version of Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments on its messaging app with one million users in India since February 2018. "We have our test going in India. It’s the test (that) really shows that a lot of people are going to want to use this product,” Zuckerberg said, adding, “We’re very optimistic that we’re going to be able to launch to everyone in India soon, but of course we’ll share more news when we have that.”

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    09:56 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Paytm Mall cuts FY19 losses by 34.46%

    Paytm E-commerce’s net losses narrowed by 34.46% to `1,171.44 crore in the year to March 2019 compared to the year-ago period, according to the company’s RoC filings sourced from business intelligence platform Tofler. Total expenses of the firm stood at Rs 2,139.6 crore in FY19, a marginal decline from expenses of `2,581.38 crore reported in FY18. Revenue from operations increased by 19.97% year-on-year to Rs 892.77 crore in FY19, the data showed.

    09:50 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Fresh shares: Global investor to put in $1.2 billion, says Yes Bank

    Yes Bank said on Thursday said a global investor had agreed to invest $1.2 billion in the lender, via fresh shares, an announcement that saw the stock zoom 35% to Rs 76.65. The identity of the prospective investor is unknown with the names of Hong-Kong based SPGP Holdings, Carlyle, Farallon Capital and two family offices doing the rounds. In August, the private sector lender had sold 23.1 crore new shares to institutions at Rs 83.55 apiece, raising Rs 1,930 crore. At the current market capitalisation of around Rs 18,000 crore, an investment of Rs 8,500 crore implies a fairly big dilution but the lender badly needs capital. Its bad assets have been rising; the net NPA ratio went up from 1.18% in Q3FY19 to 1.86% in Q4FY19 and to 2.91% in Q1FY20.

    09:31 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    BSE live: Yes Bank shares down ahead of Q2 results

    Shares of private sector lender Yes Bank were trading lower on Friday morning, ahead of its Q2 results. Yes Bank shares were down abut 3% to Rs 68.93 on BSE. Yesterday, the firm said that it has received a binding offer for $1.2 billion capital infusion. Global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley said that it has maintained an underweight rating on Yes Bank shares, despite the billion dollar investment, as the lender has a very high exposure to stressed sector. A look at LIVE Sensex heatmap.

    09:10 (IST)01 Nov 2019
    Global markets: Asian shares slip on trade deal worry, dollar defensive

    Asian shares fell on Friday in a weak start to the month and off three-month highs struck this week on fresh concerns over Sino-U.S. trade prospects and ahead of U.S. economic data, while the dollar eased against major rivals. Chinese officials doubt that a comprehensive long-term trade deal with Washington and U.S. President Donald Trump is possible, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources. The latest blow to hopes that the world’s two largest economies will reach a deal to end their bruising nearly 16-month trade war comes despite comments from Trump on Thursday that the countries would soon announce a new site for the signing of a “Phase One” trade deal after Chile cancelled a planned summit set for mid-November. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.09% on the day, and about 0.5% lower than three-month highs touched Thursday.

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