BQuick On Nov. 12: Top 10 News Stories In Under 10 Minutes
This is a roundup of the top stories of the day.
1. CPI Inflation Hits 13-Month Low; IIP Improves
From vegetable to sugar and pulses, prices of key food items in India continue to run well below last year, keeping retail inflation below the central bank’s target for the third straight month.
- Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index stood at 3.31 percent in October compared to 3.70 percent in September, showed government data released on Monday.
- At current levels, inflation remains below the mid-point of the 4 (+/-2) percent inflation target given to India’s Monetary Policy Committee.
- The committee kept the benchmark repo rates unchanged in October, after raising it by 50 basis points in two tranches in the first half of the current financial year.
India’s factory output rose more than expected in September despite a depreciating rupee and higher fuel prices increasing costs.
- The Index of Industrial Production rose 4.5 percent year-on-year in September, compared with a 4.1 percent growth in the same month last year.
- Mining output grew 0.2 percent year-on-year compared with 7.6 percent in the same month last year.
- Manufacturing output rose 4.6 percent compared with last year’s growth of 3.8 percent.
- Electricity generation growth stood at 8.2 percent compared with a 3.4 percent rise last year.
2. Q2 Earnings: Coal India, Eicher Motors, Jet Airways
Coal India Ltd.’s profit met estimates for the second quarter driven by its operating margin and higher volume.
- Net profit rose over eight-fold year-on-year to Rs 3,084.7 crore, the world’s largest coal miner said in an exchange filing.
- Revenue in the July-September period rose 22.3 percent to Rs 22,198.1 crore compared with the same period last year.
- The company also saw an 8.1-percent increase in its volumes to 290.8 million tonnes, year-on-year.
Eicher Motors Ltd.’s profit in the September-ended quarter missed analyst expectations as costlier raw materials and rising employee benefits weighed on the maker of Royal Enfield motorcycles.
- Net profit rose 5.9 percent over last year to Rs 549 crore, according to its stock exchange filing. That compares with Rs 580 crore consensus estimate of analysts tracked by Bloomberg.
- Revenue rose 11.1 percent to Rs 2,408.2 crore.
- Operating profit increased 6.9 percent to Rs 729.4 crore.
- Operating margin, however, narrowed to 30.3 percent from 31.5 percent a year ago.
Jet Airways India Ltd. posted its third consecutive quarterly loss, as intense competition kept fares low amid rising oil prices.
- The net loss in the three months through September was Rs 1,300 crore, compared with a profit of Rs 49.6 crore rupees a year ago, the nation’s biggest full-service carrier said in a statement.
- Jet Airways’s fuel costs rose 58 percent to Rs 2,420 crore.
- The carrier, which hasn’t made a profit in nine of the past 11 fiscal years, has been seeking to raise funds to ease a crunch.
3. The Big Q2 Hits And Misses
More than two-thirds of the Nifty 50 companies either met or beat the average estimate in the quarter ended September, aided by higher profit of Bharti Airtel Ltd., GAIL (India) Ltd., Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Larsen and Toubro Ltd.
- Of the 44 companies that have reported results as on Nov. 9, nearly 45 percent met the consensus earnings per share estimate, according to BloombergQuint’s calculations.
- But the ratio of strong-to-weak earnings during the period reversed from last year. So far, a total of 10 companies beat estimates in the three months ended September.
- That’s lower than 15 a year ago. Also, 14 firms missed estimates, higher than eight in the year-ago period.
4. Sensex, Nifty Log Their Worst Decline In Over Two Weeks
Indian equity benchmarks erased their opening gains and declined the most in over two weeks.
- The S&P BSE Sensex Index closed 0.98 percent or 346 points lower at 34,812.
- The NSE Nifty 50 Index closed at 10,482.20, down 0.97 percent or 103 points.
- The market breadth was tilted in favour of sellers. Ten out of 11 sectoral gauges compiled by NSE declined, led by the NSE Nifty Auto Index's 2.4 percent fall.
- On the flipside, NSE Nifty IT Index was the only sectoral gainer, up 0.7 percent.
- The rupee dropped by 39 paise to settle at 72.89 against the U.S. currency as oil prices rebounded and the dollar strengthened in global markets.
U.S. stocks opened lower after shares dropped in Europe and most of Asia on Monday as investors struggled to drum up any optimism following a roller-coaster few weeks.
- The S&P 500 Index declined in early trading, led by utilities and technology shares, and the Nasdaq 100 resumed its descent.
- The dollar rallied versus most of its major peers.
- The pound declined for a third day as pressure built on Theresa May to ditch her Brexit plan.
- Crude oil advanced as OPEC and its allies started laying the groundwork to cut supply in 2019.
5. Top Three Mutual Funds’ October Shopping List
Inflows into equity mutual funds hit an eight-month high in October even as the benchmark NSE Nifty 50 Index fell for the first time in six years in what has been a historically strong month.
- India’s largest asset manager ICICI Prudential has equity assets worth more than Rs 1.2 lakh crore invested in 620 stocks. It allocated 25.6 percent of the portfolio to financials and 10.5 percent to materials.
- HDFC Mutual Fund manages assets over Rs 1.3 lakh crore across 394 securities. By industry, it has the highest exposure towards financials at 30.8 percent, followed by industrials at 13.9 percent.
- Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund has equity assets worth more than Rs 78,791 crore invested in 510 securities. Its highest exposure is towards financials at 30.2 percent, followed by materials at 13.8 percent.
6. Avenue Capital Bets On India's Bad Loans
India’s oldest asset reconstruction company is set to see a change in its ownership pattern, which may allow the firm to become more aggressive in the bad loan market in the country.
- U.S. based Avenue Capital is set to pick up 27 percent stake in a Asset Reconstruction Company of India Ltd. from a clutch of existing investors, the management said in an announcement on Monday.
- As part of the deal, five existing shareholders will sell their holdings. This includes IDFC, Barclays, Karur Vysya Bank, First Rand Bank and Ashmore Capital.
- Avenue Capital will become the largest shareholder in ARCIL after the transaction.
- The RBI’s approval for the deal is awaited.
7. Chhattisgarh Elections: Phase 1 Voting Ends
Polling for all 18 constituencies in the first phase of Chhattisgarh assembly elections concluded with 70 percent voter turnout. These 18 constituencies are in the eight Naxal-dominated districts in south Chhattisgarh.
- Chhattisgarh is also one of India's fastest growing states, averaging 9.88 percent growth annually over the last six years.
- Despite its meteoric rise, Chhattisgarh has major issues ranging from left-wing extremism, low enrollment in higher education, unemployment and lack of human development to the poor output of its agriculture sector.
- Chhattisgarh is the most affected state by left-wing extremism and is the hub of India's red corridor—the belt of states that witness the most Naxalite or Maoist insurgency.
8. Rafale Deal: Centre Reveals Decision Making Process
The Centre on Monday complied with a Supreme Court order and handed over to petitioners, who sought a court-monitored Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, the document detailing the decisions taken to procure the aircraft.
- The document stated that the process laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 was followed in the procurement of the Rafale aircraft.
- It said the procurement process laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure has been completely followed and approval of Defence Acquisition Council was taken for the same.
- The document was supplied to the petitioners as per the apex court's Oct. 31 order.
9. CBI Vs CBI: Preliminary Probe Report Submitted
The Central Vigilance Commission filed its preliminary probe report relating to CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma in a sealed cover in the Supreme Court.
- A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul took the report on record and fixed the matter for next hearing on Nov. 16.
- Interim CBI Director M Nageswar Rao also filed a report during the hearing on decisions taken by him between Oct. 23 to 26, when the apex court had ordered for the CBI probe.
- Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Commission, told court that former apex court judge AK Patnaik supervised the inquiry that was completed on Nov. 10.
10. No One Fix For Fake News, Says Twitter Chief
Twitter Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Jack Dorsey on Monday vowed to check spread of fake news, but said there was no "one fix" solution for the "multi-variable" problem.
- "In a number of conversations, it's become more important that we scope the problem as tightly as possible because fake news or misinformation as a category is way too big," he said addressing students at IIT-Delhi in his maiden India visit.
- He added that if certain content is found to be misleading, it is the company's job to ensure that such information is picked out and prevented from spreading.
If the intent (of the content) is to mislead, we need to understand and pick out this information and then it’s our job to ensure it doesn’t spread and our job is to ensure it doesn’t gain the impressions beyond its given reach.Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter