BQuick On Sept. 7: Top 10 News Stories In Under 10 Minutes
This is a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.
1. Race For Essar Steel
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal today ruled that Numetal's second bid for Essar Steel Ltd. qualified and that ArcelorMittal can bid for the steelmaker only if it clears the dues of its subsidiaries.
- The NCLAT gave ArcelorMittal till Sept. 11 to clear pending dues for Uttam Galva and KSS Petron, which add up to about Rs 7,000 crore.
- In its second bid submitted on March 29, Numetal had eliminated the shareholding held by a trust in which Rewant Ruia was a beneficiary.
- Instead, JSW Steel Ltd. had joined the consortium.
- Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Group had also participated in the bidding process when lenders called for bids in the second round.
How close is Essar Steel insolvency resolution?
2. 12 Power Assets At Bankruptcy Risk
Indian lenders haven’t yet been able to restructure 12 stressed loan accounts in the power sector, people with knowledge of the discussions told Bloomberg News, underscoring the risk that these may be referred to bankruptcy courts.
- It was thought that a resolution was possible in seven of these assets.
- Discussions on revamping the debt are ongoing and lenders may still reach agreement on some assets, according to the people.
- Under a Reserve Bank directive in February, lenders had until Aug. 27 to recast certain delinquent loans and a further 15 days to refer the cases under the nation’s bankruptcy law.
The 12 accounts referred to include.....
3. Indian Markets Snap Weekly Gain Streak; U.S. Stocks Mixed
Indian equity benchmarks rose for second day in a row led by telecom and auto stocks.
- S&P BSE Sensex Index rose 0.38 percent or 147 points to 38,390.
- NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 0.45 percent or 52 points to 11,589.
- On a weekly basis, the benchmarks snapped their longest stretch of gains since January as the weakening rupee raised concerns over earnings growth outlook.
Follow the day's trading action here.
U.S. stocks pared early losses to trade mixed as chipmakers looked to rebound from a three-day selloff.
- The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent. It’s down 0.9 percent in the truncated week.
- Treasuries tumbled after the latest jobs report brought an unexpected acceleration in wage gains, clearing the way for the Federal Reserve to maintain the pace of rate hikes.
- West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1 percent to $67.08 a barrel.
Get your fix of global markets action here.
4. Inflows Into Equity Mutual Funds Fall... Again
Inflows into equity mutual funds, including equity-linked savings schemes, declined for the fourth straight month in August.
- Total equity inflow fell 11.4 percent month-on-month to Rs 8,375 crore.
- The mutual fund industry, however, witnessed a total inflow of Rs 1.74 lakh crore—the highest since 2011—compared with an outflow of over Rs 32,000 crore in July.
- The liquid/money market category contributed the most to the total inflow into mutual funds.
- “It’s good to see net sales holding on in the positive zone,” said Swarup Mohanty, chief executive officer at Mirae Asset Global Investments (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Here are the details of MF industry's assets under management.
5. India’s Current-Account Deficit Widens
India’s current-account deficit widened in the April-June quarter from a year ago, on account of a larger trade gap.
- The $15.8 billion shortfall may still offer relief to the battered rupee, as it was less than the $17.3 billion median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
- The shortfall represented 2.4 percent of gross domestic product, worse than January-March’s 1.9 percent.
- It was at $15 billion during the same period last year, or 2.5 percent of GDP.
- The widening of the CAD on a year-on-year basis was primarily on account of a higher trade deficit.
Here’s the big picture.
6. Sun Pharma’s Halol Woes
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s Halol plant, which was cleared by the U.S. drug regulator earlier this year, received six observations after an inspection conducted from Aug. 27- Aug. 31.
- The observations point to issues related to test procedures, according to the latest Form 483.
- The observations, however, don’t bar the firm from from seeking fresh drug approvals from the plant.
- Sun Pharma said it will submit its response to the observations within 15 business days.
Here are the six observations.
7. Tesla Erupts In Chaos
The turmoil at Tesla Inc. reached a fever pitch Friday, as news emerged that two senior executives will leave Elon Musk’s electric-car maker a matter of hours after he smoked marijuana during an hours-long interview with a comedian.
- Tesla’s chief accounting officer gave notice he’s resigning one month into the job, citing the level of scrutiny on the electric-car maker.
- Dave Morton, the chief accounting officer, had joined Tesla just a day before Musk said he was considering taking the carmaker private.
- Gabrielle Toledano, the company’s chief people officer, told Bloomberg News that she won’t rejoin the company after taking a leave of absence.
Here’s more on the turmoil at Tesla.
8. Subbarao’s Trial By Fire
It was about a decade ago, on Sept. 5, 2008, that D Subbarao took over as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India. An experienced administrator, Subbarao was new to the world of central banking. He was, as he wrote in his 2016 memoirs ‘Who Moved My Interest Rate’, looking forward to a series of meetings that would help induct him into the world of central banking.
On Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.
- Subbarao’s meetings turned into fire-fighting sessions. The induction turned into a rite-of-passage of sorts for the new governor.
- “It will be dishonest to say I had no fears, concerns or anxiety at the time,” said Subbarao, now a distinguished visiting fellow at the National University of Singapore.
Even veteran and experienced central bankers were bewildered about what was happening in the financial system, about where the next bubble will burst, when the crises would end, what direction it would take, what actions they have to take. So, there was fear in our system too.D Subbarao, Former Governor, RBI
Read how Subbarao and the RBI dealt with the financial turmoil.
9. As Prices Rise, Petrol Demand May Adjust Quicker Than Diesel
Fuel prices in India continue to trend from one record high to the next. Despite this, the demand for petrol and diesel has remained mostly inelastic, even though end-consumers are showing some sensitivity to the frequent changes in the price of petrol.
- Should this trend hold, consumption of petrol could adjust moderately to the change in prices but diesel consumption is likely to continue trending upwards, shows a data analysis by BloombergQuint.
- RS Sharma, former chairman and managing director of Oil and Natural Gas Corp., agreed with the analysis.
Demand for diesel is typically inelastic as most of the rise in price is borne by the end consumer and can be seen to directly impact inflation.RS Sharma, Former CMD, ONGC
Have daily price changes impacted demand?
10. After The 2+2 Dialogue, The Ball Is In Washington’s Court
The deals emerging from the 2+2 Dialogue illustrate how New Delhi is willing to deliver for Washington in order to move the needle on strategic partnership, writes Michael Kugelman. The next steps, he says, must come from the Trump administration.
- Washington can deliver a big-time boost to the relationship by granting waivers to India that allow it to keep doing business with Iran and Russia without penalty.
- President Trump should accept the invitation, extended to him by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July, to serve as chief guest at next year’s Republic Day parade.
There’s both good and bad news for India from the dialogue.