Thursday, 23 February 2017

India, Uganda to expand cooperation in energy sector

India and resource-rich Uganda has agreed to expand cooperation in the energy sector and training of personnel for space programme and peaceful use of atomic energy. Vice President Hamid Ansari, on the second day of his visit to Uganda, held talks with President Yoweri Museveni at the State House and reviewed the "entire gamut" of bilateral cooperation. "We reviewed the entire gamut of our bilateral ties. We remain committed to working together in trade, investment, development cooperation, agriculture, IT, defence cooperation domains," Ansari said during a joint press conference with President Museveni.

"We also agreed to expand cooperation in the energy sector and training of personnel for space programme and peaceful use of atomic energy," he said after his "very fruitful" meeting with Museveni. "One area where emphasis was put was on vocational training for skill development," Ansari said. As Ansari held a tete-a-tete with Museveni, senior government officials held bilateral talks with their counterparts.

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Himachal Pradesh to issue Rs 2890.50 cr bonds under UDAY scheme

Himachal Pradesh government will issue on Monday bonds worth Rs 2890.50 crore under UDAY, a bailout plan chalked out for the loss-making power distribution companies. "Himachal Pradesh Government proposes to issue Special Securities of a notified amount of Rs 2890.50 crore, under the Ujjwal Discom Assurance Yojna Scheme (UDAY)," the Reserve Bank said in a notification.

Eligible participants can subscribe to these special bonds between 10.30 AM to 12 Noon on February 27, 2017. The Power Ministry had made UDAY scheme operational in November 2015 for financial turnaround of power distribution companies (discoms). "Allotment of securities and settlement will take place on February 28, 2017," the RBI said.

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Bharti Airtel stock surge, global cues lift equities

Positive global cues, coupled with healthy buying following a major announcement by a telecom major, lifted the Indian equities markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday. The key indices traded with substantial gains of around half a percent each, as healthy buying was witnessed in IT, capital goods and consumer durables stocks.

Following the announcement of India's largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel that it has inked a definitive agreement to acquire Telenor India, the company's scrip on the BSE gained 2.99 per cent or Rs 10.80 to Rs 371.95 per equity share (at 1.40 p.m.) during the mid-afternoon trade session from its previous close of Rs 361.15. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 41.00 points or 0.46 per cent to 8,967.90 points.

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SBI Mutual Fund announces 87% div under Magnum Multiplier Fund

SBI Mutual Fund has announced 87 per cent dividend under dividend payout option of scheme named as “SBI Magnum Multiplier Fund - Direct Plan” on the face value of Rs 10 per unit. The record date for the dividend is February 23. The latest NAV of the scheme is Rs 114.66. The investment objective of the open-ended scheme is to provide investors long term capital appreciation along with the liquidity of an open-ended scheme. The scheme will invest in a diversified portfolio of equities of high growth companies. The performance of the scheme is benchmarked against S&P BSE 200. Saurabh Pant is the fund manager of the scheme.

Snapdeal to cut 600 staff, founders forego salary

Indian online marketplace Snapdeal is to lay off 600 employees and its founders will forego their salaries as the company struggles to turn a profit in a market increasingly dominated by rivals Flipkart and Amazon. The CEO of Snapdeal, backed by Japan's SoftBank Group, said the company had made some errors in the past and tough decisions were needed to bring it back on track to profitability.

"We are combining teams, reducing layers, eliminating non-core projects and strengthening the focus on profitable growth," Chief Executive Kunal Bahl said in an email to staff. "Sadly, we will also be saying really painful goodbyes to some of our colleagues in this process."

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Jio`s offer to compel rivals to bundle more data: Analysts

Reliance Jio's move to end its freebies will come as a "mild" not an "absolute" relief to rivals, who will be forced to match the newcomer's offer and pack more data to stop customer churn. Actions from competition would bring down overall pricing levels in the industry or compel a lot more data content in lower Average Revenue Per User or ARPU bundles, said a note by JP Morgan.

"RJio's new pricing plan represents a compelling enough proposition for the post-paid subscribers/high-end pre-paid subscribers of competitors (of ARPU less than Rs 300), who can enjoy a lower ARPU from RJio for incomparably more content. Bharti packs in 4GB and unlimited voice in its monthly Rs 345 plan through calendar year 2017 - it will now have to offer markedly more data to look comparable with RJio and prevent consumer defection.

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Rs 2400 cr to be invested in next 5yrs to promote tourism in J&K

The Centre along with the Jammu and Kashmir government will be investing Rs 2400 crore over the next five years to give a boost to tourism in the picturesque state with a focus on unexplored and new regions like Kargil. "We are putting a major thrust on the tourism industry and will invest Rs 2,400 crore in the next five years," Secretary, Tourism (J&K) Farooq Shah said here speaking on the sidelines of an event last night to promote tourism in his state.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dr Reddy`s Miryalaguda facility gets 3 USFDA observations

Dr Reddy's Laboratories said the US health regulator has made three observations after completing inspection of its Miryalaguda facility. "The audit of the company's Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) manufacturing plant at Miryalaguda, by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), has been completed on February 21, 2017," Dr Reddy's Laboratories said in a filing to BSE.

HDFC Bank allots 1793900 equity shares

HDFC Bank Ltd said that it has allotted 1793900 equity shares to the employees of the Bank pursuant to exercise of options under its Employees Stock Options Schemes (ESOS). “The Bank on February 22, 2017 has allotted 1793900 equity shares to the employees of the Bank pursuant to exercise of options under its Employees Stock Options Schemes (ESOS),” the Bank said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. 

The paid up share capital of the Bank will accordingly increase from Rs. 5116565834 equity shares of Rs. 2/- each to Rs. 5120153634 equity shares of Rs. 2/- each. Meanwhile, shares of the Bank were trading at Rs 1409.55 apiece, down 0.19 percent from the previous close at 11:27 hours on BSE.

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Rise in demand buoys cardamom futures

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Cardamom futures were trading higher during morning trade in the domestic market on Wednesday as investors and speculators built up fresh bets in the agri-commodity amid increase in physical demand for cardamom in the domestic spot market.

Further, insufficient supplies on restricted physical arrivals from the major cardamom producing regions, supported the upward trend in the domestic cardamom prices.

At the MCX, cardamom futures for March 2017 contract is trading at Rs 1448.30 per kg, up by 0.99 %, after opening at Rs 1440, against a previous close of Rs 1434.10. It touched the intra-day high of Rs 1452.50.

Gold steady as investors look for rate hike clues from Fed

Gold held firm on Wednesday after falling as much as 1 percent the session before, with investors waiting for minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting for clues on the timing of interest rate hikes.

Spot gold was steady at $1,236 per ounce at 0336 GMT, while U.S. gold futures eased 0.2 percent to $1,237. Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,233-$1,240 per ounce, and an escape could suggest direction, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

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Gold has only risen since the beginning of this year, the market has some hesitation in moving up further but still (prices) have some way to go up.""Gold held up rather impressively on Tuesday despite a rising dollar (particularly against the euro) and soaring U.S. equity markets," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

Gold is highly-sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while also boosting the dollar.

China Benxi Iron and Steel To Keep Prices Unchanged for March 2017

China's Benxi Iron & Steel Group announced to hold its prices unchanged on certain products for March, but the company will hike the price of silicon steel by RMB300/ton.

Accordingly, its prices for Q235 hot rolled coils with thickness of 5.5mm will be at RMB3,840/ton; those for DC01 cold rolled coils with thickness of 1mm are at RMB5,150/ton.

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Besides, the company's price of DC51D galvanized steel coil will be at RMB5,600/ton, holding unchanged from the previous price. The above prices do not include taxes and will become effective for March shipments.

Wheat Futures Scale New Two Week Lows

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Wheat futures have scaled two week's lows on the account of steady supplies in local mandies. As per latest data compiled by agriculture ministry , India's wheat area has been increased to 31.8 million hectares in 2016-17, against the previous record of 31.5 million hectares planted in 2013-14.

The government agencies have also planned to procure 33 million tonnes of wheat this rabi season. This is almost 10% more than the procurement made in last season. The agencies has raised the targets in the wake of bumper production estimates in the current year. The NCDEX April futures declined by 1.33% today to close at Rs 1705 per quintal.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Uber's partnership with Jio Money means more competition for Paytm

India’s largest digital wallet, Paytm, will face competition from Reliance Jio Infocomm for making payments on ride-hailing platform Uber, its largest merchant partner in the country. Uber and Reliance Jio announced the signing of a strategic partnership on Monday that would allow users of the San Francisco-based company’s services to pay for rides using Jio Money. In addition, users of Jio Money will have the option of booking a ride on Uber from within the app.

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Karnataka Bank gains after tie-up with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles

The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 20 February 2017.
Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was up 19.01 points, or 0.07%, to 28,680.59. On the BSE, so far 1.81 lakh shares were traded in the counter, compared with average daily volumes of 2.76 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 124.45 and a low of Rs 122.35 so far during the day. The stock hit a 52-week high of Rs 134.15 on 24 October 2016. 

The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 69.07 on 29 February 2016. The mid-cap private sector bank has equity capital of Rs 282.70 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10. Karnataka Bank has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) for extending finance facilities to customers to purchase commercial vehicles manufactured by the company.

Ambuja Cements drops in early trade

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 14.56 points or 0.05% at 28,676.14. On the BSE, 70,000 shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 1.12 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 238.50 and a low of Rs 232.25 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 282 on 31 August 2016 and a 52-week low of Rs 185 on 29 February 2016.

The stock had outperformed the market over the past one month till 20 February 2017, surging 10.07% compared with the Sensex's 6.02% rise. The scrip had also outperformed the market over the past one quarter, gaining 20.33% as against the Sensex's 9.6% rise. The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 397.13 crore. Face value per share is Rs 2. Ambuja Cements' consolidated net profit surged 85.24% to Rs 205.70 crore on 102.41% growth in total income to Rs 4993.30 crore in Q4 December 2016 over Q4 December 2015.

Niti Aayog wants Railways to link all districts

Government think-tank Niti Aayog has said that it wants the Railways to prepare a plan similar to Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) to link districts which are not on rail map. Commenting on the issue, a senior Government Official told the media, "We need schemes like NHDP, PMGSY in Railways also.

Even today, some parts of North East and Odisha are not connected by rail network." "Niti Aayog will be suggesting to Railways to come up with a project report on the lines of PMGSY and NHDP. We would like to make this a national priority.

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Sebi eases norms for MF investments in derivatives

Existing mutual fund schemes will not require approval of a majority of unitholders to invest in derivatives segment provided the investors are given the exit option. Among other conditions, the relaxation, effective immediately, would be in place only if the mutual fund scheme concerned provides the investors 30 days time to exit the scheme without any charges. It would be applicable for existing mutual funds, whose Scheme Information Documents (SIDs) do not envisage investments in derivatives.

The latest decision has been taken in view of the challenges involved in seeking the consent of a majority of unitholders due to their vast geographical spread. Prudent investment norms are in place for investment in derivatives by mutual funds, Sebi said.

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Banks may be history unless they evolve into new-age digital bank: Ripples Advisory Private Limited

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday said the traditional banks needed to evolve into new-age digital banks to remain operational as financial technology (FinTech) lending companies were emerging fast as alternative source for the micro-small medium enterprises (MSMEs). "The age of FinTech is here and for the incumbent banks there is no time to lose.

The banks that do not quickly convert into a new-age digital bank run the risk of becoming history," RBI Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra said. He was addressing the inaugural NAMCABS (National Mission for Capacity Building of Bankers for financing MSME Sector) seminar organised by College of Agricultural Banking here.

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Maruti Suzuki's hybrid vehicles' sales soar

Automobile major Maruti Suzuki India on Monday said its smart hybrid vehicles (SHVs) have crossed cumulative sales of 100,000 units this month. The company offers the smart hybrid options in its sedan Ciaz and MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) Ertiga. "Both Ciaz SHVS and Ertiga SHVS are high on fuel efficiency, come with reduced running costs and lower levels of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission, thus making these popular among customers," R.S. Kalsi, Executive Director, Marketing and Sales, said in a statement.

Tata Sons boss Chandrasekaran is TCS Chairman too

Global software major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd on Monday announced that Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran will also be its non-executive Chairman from Tuesday. "Tata Sons Ltd has nominated N. Chandrasekaran as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company in place of Ishaat Hussain from February 21," said TCS in a regulatory filing to the BSE.

Chandrasekaran will also assume charge as Tata Sons Chairman on Tuesday. Prior to his appointment as Tata Sons Chairman, Chandrasekaran, 54, was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the IT bellwether since 2009.


State Bank of India website goes generic

The State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday announced rebranding of its website as According SBI, the new domain name is the highest domain protocol known as generic top level domain (gTLD), an official statement. "The SBI group has several businesses. For those wanting to do banking or want to know about the bank it is easier to type out" M.K. Rekhi, General Manager -Social Media. The SBI group having presence in insurance, mutual fund and card may also go for such Generic top-level domain (gTLD).

Payment service licenses should be given after proper scrutiny

RBI's Deputy Governor R Gandhi has said that granting licences to payment service providers cannot be a 'tickbox exercise' as entities will be entrusted with money, and so fit and proper criterion is important. Commenting on the issue, RBI's Deputy Governor R Gandhi told the media, “There is an implied suggestion that this (payment) sector needs to be freed of licensing mechanism and once a set of criteria are followed to function. We differ from this idea."

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Jindal Steel loss Narrows to Rs 407.44 cr in December

Naveen Jindal-led firm Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) has reported that its consolidated net loss shrank to Rs 407.44 crore in the October-December quarter of FY17. “The consolidated net loss of the company stood at Rs 869.73 crore during the same period a year ago,” Jindal Steel & Power Ltd said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. 

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Further, the consolidated total income of the company grew by 24.6 per cent to Rs 5,408.18 crore during Q3 2016-17, as compared to Rs 4,341.02 crore during the same period last year. JSPL said its consolidated steel production stood at 1.15 million tonnes, up 7 per cent from the corresponding quarter last fiscal while sales were up 18 per cent at 1.16 MT. 

It said the company’s consolidated net debt as on December 31, 2016 was maintained at similar levels as in the previous quarter. Its consolidated debt is about Rs 45,000 crore. Meanwhile, shares of the company were trading at Rs 88.80 apiece, up 0.85 per cent, from previous close on BSE at 13:09 hours.

Finance Minister Reels off Statistics, says Data call for Rating Upgrade

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Citing sound macroeconomic parameters, finance ministry officials on Tuesday pitched for a rating upgrade in their meeting with global rating agency Fitch, reported PTI. The officials also sought to understand how it rates sovereigns as rating agencies have been denying an upgrade citing stress on balance sheets of both banks and corporates. The ministry also explained the representatives strict fiscal discipline that the government intends to follow, besides various steps taken by the government in the recent Budget to prop up growth. 

The Fitch officials told the government that it focuses more on structural reforms with medium- to long-term impact to change its ratings view, a finance ministry official said. Fitch has investment-grade BBB- sovereign credit rating with stable outlook for India. 

It also explained the weightage given to different economic parameters and enquired about the status of India's labour reforms and the bad loan situation, the official added. Not satisfied with the rating rationale, the finance ministry has often questioned the methodology adopted by global rating agencies, saying they have overlooked some recent reforms. Earlier this month, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das had said the rating agencies are several steps behind from reality and are missing out on "something which only they can best explain". 

"Last October, when we went for the annual meeting of World Bank and IMF along with the finance minister, there also in our interaction with several investors, they were surprised how the rating agencies have not upgraded India," he had said.

DLF Q3 net Falls 46% to Rs 98 cr on Demonetisation Impact

Real estate major DLF on Tuesday reported a 46 per cent fall in its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended December at Rs 98.14 crore on lower sales and higher finance costs. The company had posted a net profit of Rs 182.11 crore in the same quarter a year ago. "The performance in the last quarter was subdued as markets adjusted itself to new paradigm initiated by demonetisation move," DLF said in a stock exchange filing. 

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"While demonetisation is extremely positive for the company and the industry, it has had a short-term negative impact on secondary sales, which in turn has impacted primary off-take. The company expects this period of adjustment may continue for next few quarters till the time secondary market stabilises and customers start to purchase new products," it added.

 DLF's income from operations fell 30 per cent to Rs 2,057.92 crore in the quarter in consideration, from Rs 2,949.54 crore in the corresponding period of the last fiscal. Finance costs rose to Rs 758.64 crore during the period in question, from Rs 670.6 crore in the third quarter of last year. Instead, tax expenses in the December quarter fell sharply to Rs 51.58 crore from Rs 238.88 crore.

GST likely to Halt Economy

Even as the economy is getting itself together post-note ban shock, the implementation of goods and services tax (GST) is also likely to cause serious disruptions, Avendus Capital Alternate chief executive Andrew Holland said according to the PTI report. 

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"Valuations are challenging. We are seeing early signs of pick-up from demonetisation but its not a V-shape pick-up and will not be a V-shaped recovery" Holland told reporters. In a V-shaped decline, the economy suffers a sharp but brief period of decline with a clearly defined trough, followed by a strong recovery. 

"GST implementation has the real risk of again halting or having shock effects on the economy... These are the short-term challenges to the economy," he added. "Large companies may understand how to implement GST but we are not so sure about small and medium enterprises," he added. Further, he noted that while various financial experts have pegged earnings growth at 20 per cent for fiscal 2018, it is likely to be lower at 10 per cent considering the many downside risks.

The Nifty Support is Placed Around 8,750 and then at 8,700 levels

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*On Tuesday, NSE-NIFTY witnessed sharp decline post a stable opening and later spent entire session oscillating in narrow range. Finally, after registering high of 8,820 and low of 8,773 levels during the day, NIFTY shut the shop at 8,792 mark, with loss of 13 points.

* NSE Cash segment has reported turnover of Rs19,943 crore as compared to Rs19,893 crore earlier.

*Overall market breadth remained negative, where 552 stocks advanced against 1078 declined stocks.

* Mixed trend was witnessed amongst sectoral indices during the day, where none of the sectoral indices reported gain of more than even 0.5%, however on the other hand Auto index reported the highest loss (i.e. 1.5%).


* NSE-NIFTY ended on neutral to negative note amidst lack of fresh market participation. As mentioned earlier, we believe that index is in strong up trend, as it hasn’t even breached 8,760 level-23.6% Fibonacci Retracement level of recent up-move (8,538-8,827) so far. 

However sideways movement or some profit booking cannot be ruled out in market before index resumes the up-trend and climbs higher levels of 8,900-8,950. On the lower side, 8,700 mark will continue to work as key reversal point, as any close below that mark, will trigger fresh selling pressure in market.

Vedanta Q3 net up 356% to Rs 1,866 cr Buoyed by Metals Business

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Natural resources major Vedanta Ltd on Tuesday recorded an over 350 per cent jump in consolidated net profit for the third quarter ended December at Rs 1,866 crore, as compared to the same period of the last fiscal, mainly on the back of operational performance. The Anil Aggarwal-led mining company had posted a profit after tax of Rs 409 crore in the corresponding period of 2015-16. 

Revenue during the quarter in question increased 29.6 per cent to Rs 20,393 crore on strong operational performance, as compared with Rs 15,731 crore in corresponding quarter of the last fiscal. "Revenues in Q3 were driven by higher volumes at iron ore due to recommencement of operations, ramp-up of volumes at the aluminium and power businesses and higher volumes at Copper India and Zinc India," Vedanta said in a stock exchange filing. 

"This was partially offset by lower volumes from oil and gas, and Zinc International due to closure of the Lisheen mine, in Q3 FY2016," it added. Among the metals businesses, while the zinc, lead and silver segment grew by 45 per cent year-on-year to Rs 5,915.7 crore, the iron ore segment revenue at Rs 1,449.1 crore grew 153.2 per cent, copper rose by 13 per cent to Rs 5,440 crore, and aluminium increased 27.4 per cent to Rs 3,857.9 crore. Vedanta's power segment revenue jumped 26 per cent to Rs 1,532.3 crore.

Pharma Pricing Regulator cuts stent Prices by up to 85%

In a major measure of relief to cardiac patients in India, the government on Tuesday fixed the ceiling price of coronary stents which are used to open up blocked arteries. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, in a notification, put a ceiling price on drug eluting stents (DES) and bioresorbable stents at Rs 29,600, and that of bare metal stents at Rs 7,260, effective from Tuesday. The ceiling price excludes local taxes. 

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The cost of a drug eluting stent currently ranges between Rs 24,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh, and that of a bioresorbable stent is between Rs 1.7 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. A bare metal stent costs between Rs 7,000 and Rs 20,000. NPPA said it had consulted with various stakeholders on the matter. 

"During deliberations, it was found that huge unethical markups are charged at each stage in the supply chain of coronary stents resulting in irrational, restrictive and exorbitant prices in a failed market system driven by information asymmetry between the patient and doctors pushing patients to financial misery," an NPPA notification said. 

The NPPA also said that a stent could cost the patient over ten times more by the time it moved from the manufacturer to the patient.

Bank of Baroda sees Growth in Bad loans slowing

Bank of Baroda Ltd, India's second-biggest state-controlled lender by assets, expects the rate of growth in bad loans to slow in the coming financial year, a senior banker said on Tuesday. Ashok Garg, an executive director, said the Bank of Baroda expects gross non-performing loans to total about 450 billion rupees ($6.7 billion) in the current year ending in March. 

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That would put the bank within the 50 billion rupees rise in bad loans that it had forecast for the current year, Garg said, adding that incremental bad loans in the next fiscal year would fall below these levels. 

"We are hopeful next year should be a bit better," Garg told Reuters, referring to slippages or additional bad loans. He said the bank had strengthened its credit monitoring and recovery processes and had a "strong" team on the ground chasing errant borrowers. 

Altogether, Indian banks had a record $133 billion of restructured debt and bad loans as of last September, according to the Reserve Bank of India. The amount of soured loans surged last year after a clean-up order by the regulator brought more bad debt to light.

Infosys Seeks to Reassure Investors over Governance

IT services group Infosys on Tuesday reassured investors and analysts it was not being distracted by a dispute with its founders over how it was being managed. India's second-biggest IT services company behind Tata Consultancy Services has been locked in a public war of words with founders and former executives, who, led by N.R. Narayana Murthy, have raised concerns over various decisions taken by the board. 

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"There is a very strong focus on execution by our management team, our leadership team is absolutely heads down on closing of the year and for the next year ahead," Chief Executive Vishal Sikka said on a call with analysts and investors. "There are no questions from clients," Sikka said, in response to a question. 

"In fact, several clients have written notes of support." The company's founders, who still own 12.75 percent of the group, have questioned a pay rise granted to Sikka and the size of severance payouts given to others, including former finance head Rajiv Bansal, among other issues. 

In a news conference on Monday evening, Infosys board members including Chairman R. Seshasayee had defended Sikka's salary and said they had improved rules around severance payments since the agreement with Bansal. The board was engaging with the founders, Seshasayee said.


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Indian benchmark index Nifty traded in a narrow range of 48 points yesterday by making a high of 8820 and low 8772. From last seven trading sessions, Nifty remained in a small range of 100 points. The immediate major support of the index is at 8715 below which the next level would be 8537 and the immediate resistance is 8827.

Bank Nifty also remained in a range of 156 points yesterday by making a high of 20314 and a low of 20158. The next major support of Bank nifty is at 20000 and resistance is at 20407.

Profit booking has been observed in cash stocks as the benchmark index Small cap yesterday closed 30 points down from its previous day closing of 6564. The next major support of Small cap is at 6403.

Nifty Future opening at 8841 as per SGX Nifty at 8:30 am IST, 37 point above its previous close of 8804.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Over 1.62 cr Refunds issued till February 10

Over 4.19 crore income tax returns (ITRs) have been processed and over 1.62 crore refunds issued during the current financial year up to February 10, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said on Monday. "The Centralised Processing Centre (CPC) of the income tax department at Bengluru has already processed over 4.19 crore ITRs and issued over 1.62 crore refunds during the current financial year up to February 10," CBDT said in a statement here. 

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"The amount of refunds issued at Rs 1.42 lakh crore is 41.5 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year," the statement said. As a result of emphasis on expeditious issue of refunds, 92 per cent of all income tax returns were processed within 60 days, demonstrating CBDT's commitment to faster and more efficient taxpayer service, it said. 

"Of the refunds issued, 92 per cent are below Rs 50,000 due to the high priority given to expeditious issue of refunds to small taxpayers. Only 2 per cent of refunds less than Rs 50,000 are remaining to be issued," it added. Majority of these cases relate to recently filed ITRs or where the taxpayer's response to the department is awaited, CBDT said. 

"Taxpayers electronically filed a whopping 4.01 crore ITRs till February 10 representing an increase of 20 per cent over the previous year. Also, more than 60 lakh other online forms were filed with an increase of nearly 41 per cent compared to the previous year," it said. Taxpayers are advised to verify and update their email address and mobile number on the e-filing website to receive electronic communication, it added.

Gold Prices Firm Ahead of Testimony by Fed`s Yellen

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Gold prices firmed on Tuesday as investors turned their attention to testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the day for hints on the central bank's interest rate strategy. Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,225.84 per ounce at 0230 GMT, while U.S. gold futures inched up 0.1 percent to $1,226.8. 

Investors are focusing on testimony by Yellen before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday in the wake of hints from other policymakers that could suggest they are leaning towards more hikes in interest rates this year than the two currently priced in by markets. 

"The commentary will be keenly followed. Any guide to whether (a rate hike in) March is on the table will be key to moving gold," said ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes. "I would not expect to see much volatility, don't think anyone is really confident enough to put on any sort of directional trades at the moment until they hear from Yellen." 

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Monday said the U.S. central bank should act soon to raise rates, or risk having to abandon its plan to do so slowly. Gold is highly-sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

Spot gold may test resistance at $1,230 per ounce, a break above which could lead to a gain to $1,235, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Meanwhile, the dollar, which was trading near a three-week high against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, was seen limiting any uptick in bullion.

Apple Shares hit Record close on Optimism for next iPhone

Apple Inc. shares hit a record on optimism the next iPhone will drive a resurgence in sales and help the company’s services businesses grow.

The stock climbed less than 1% to $133.29 at the close in New York, the highest on record. The increase valued Apple at about $699 billion, making it the world’s most highly capitalized company. Google parent Alphabet Inc. is next at $573 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Analysts are predicting a further gain in Apple shares in the next year, based on the average 12-month target price of $142.58, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The intraday peak for the shares is $134.54, set in April 2015. The previous closing record was $133 in February of that year. The stock then dropped for more than a year on concern about waning smartphone industry growth and Apple’s prospects beyond the iPhone. However, the company recently reported stronger-than-expected iPhone sales during the key holiday quarter, helping the stock reach a new high.

While the iPhone 7, introduced in September, failed to convince as many existing customers to upgrade as its predecessor did, it succeeded in attracting new smartphone buyers to the Cupertino, California-based company. That bodes well for the next iPhone later this year, which is expected to be a more substantial upgrade, according to analysts.

Opening bell: Asia opens Mixed; Tata Motors, Sun Pharma Q3 Results Today

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US stocks hit record highs, Asia markets open mixed
US stocks rose on Monday, notching fresh record highs, as investors remained bullish on President Donald Trump’s economic agenda.

Asian markets traded sideways on Tuesday, following the new record highs over at Wall Street and firmer dollar.
Infosys chairman R. Seshasayee defends CEO Vishal Sikka’s salarySeshasayee defended Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s salary, saying compensation tied to very high levels of target achievements and backed independent directors D.N. Prahlad, a relative of co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy, and Punita Kumar Sinha.

Retail inflation falls to 3.17% in January
Prices of vegetables and pulses fell 15.62% and 6.62%. Rural inflation remained above urban inflation at 3.36% and 2.9%, respectively.

Cairn India to invest $1 billion in five projects to ramp up production These projects constitute about 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent to 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent at peak production. 

GVK wins bid to develop Navi Mumbai airport
The new airport, first proposed in 1997 and approved by the government in 2007 is expected to be operational in 2019.

L&T forms JV with France’s MBDA for development of missile systems The government of India has decided not to buy missile systems from overseas but source them domestically.