Weekly Wrap: New Highs, Operation Twist, Tata-Mistry Ruling, CAA Protests Intensify
The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), right, stands on Dalal street in Mumbai (Photographer: Adeel Halim/Bloomberg)

Weekly Wrap: New Highs, Operation Twist, Tata-Mistry Ruling, CAA Protests Intensify

Protests against the citizenship law gathered steam across the country. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal ruled that Cyrus Mistry’s dismissal as chairman of Tata Sons Ltd. And Indian stock market crossed new milestones.

Here’s what happened in the business world and across the globe between Dec. 16 and Dec. 20.

Pan-India Protests

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act continues unabated across the country. Protesters pelted stones, torched vehicles and faced tear-gas shells in Lucknow and some other parts of Uttar Pradesh. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on Thursday closed entry and exit gates of 19 stations, including the busy Rajiv Chowk, for commuters in view of the protests. Two people were killed in police firing in Mangaluru and Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure—that prevents assembly of more than four persons at a location—was imposed in several states.

On Dec. 18, the Supreme Court agreed to examine the legality of the controversial citizenship law after more than 50 petitions were filed by activists, lawyers, student groups, Muslim bodies, and politicians from across the country. A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, issued a notice to the government seeking its response. The court will next hear the case on Jan. 22 and may decide in January if the law should be stayed, Bobde said.

The new law grants citizenship to undocumented migrants using religion as a criteria. It bars undocumented Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan from seeking citizenship, but allows Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who illegally migrated to India from these regions to do so.

Cyrus Mistry Versus Tatas

The NCLAT ruled that Cyrus Mistry’s dismissal as chairman of Tata Sons was illegal. It also restored Mistry to his original position as executive chairman of the Tata Group’s holding company, while setting aside the change of Tata Sons from public to private company.

Read more here:

  • Cyrus Mistry legally entitled to attend Tata Sons’ next board meeting.
  • Chandrasekaran writes to Tata employees; asks them to focus on business, stakeholders’ welfare.
  • Why NCLAT found oppression and mismanagement at Tata Sons.
  • “Victory for good governance and minority shareholder rights,” Mistry says.

Sensex, Nifty, Nifty Bank Cross New Milestones

Indian equity benchmarks gained for the second straight week, crossing new milestones.

The Sensex and the Nifty 50 Index gained 1.64 percent and 1.53 percent, respectively, to close at all-time highs of 41,681.54 and 12,271.80. The broader market, represented by the NSE Nifty 500 Index, rose 1.24 percent.

Also, the NSE Nifty Bank Index, comprising 12 stocks, gained 1.16 percent to hit a record high of 32,384.

The Indian market is witnessing a strong bullish momentum and this is likely to continue, the Nifty is likely to touch 13,000 kinds of level soon and this could happen before the Union Budget, according to Santosh Meena, senior analyst at TradingBells.

“The market is expected to be muted in the last six days of 2019 with some positive bias as foreign fund flow may remain muted amid holiday,” Meena said in an emailed statement. “The broader market may outperform in the last week of 2019.”

Sectoral Performance

Ten of the 11 sectoral gauges compiled by the National Stock Exchange ended higher this week, led by the NSE Nifty IT Index’s 4.2 percent gain. The NSE Nifty FMCG Index was the top loser, down 0.23 percent.

How Rupee Fared

The Indian rupee halted a two-week gaining streak. The domestic currency depreciated 0.43 percent against the dollar to end at 71.12, making it the second-worst performer among Asian peers.

Big Talking Points This Week

  • Trump impeached on two counts by House, setting up Senate trial.
  • RBI announces India’s version of ‘operation twist’.
  • Inflation worries rattle Asia’s most dovish policy makers.
  • Brookfield is considering a $1-billion REIT listing in India.
  • Facebook pursues music video rights in challenge to YouTube.
  • Why India’s asset managers are beating most of their global peers.
  • Fixing India’s financial sector a top priority, says IMF’s Gita Gopinath.
  • Lenders, homebuyers approve NBCC’s bid for Jaypee Infra.
  • Chit Funds: India’s oldest form of banking seeks a new look.
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