BQuick On Feb. 5: Top 10 Stories In Under 5 Minutes
Here’s a roundup of the day’s top stories in brief.
1. Nifty Hits 15,000
The NSE Nifty 50 index hit 15,000 for the first time, albeit briefly. The S&P BSE Sensex added nearly 4,500 points or 9.6% this week, the most since the five-day period ended April 10.
2. Interest Rates Unchanged; CRR To Be Normalized In Two Phases
India’s rate-setting panel kept benchmark interest rates unchanged at 4% for the fourth straight meeting since May last year. However, the Reserve Bank announced a two-step process to normalise the 100-basis-point cut in the cash reserve ratio announced when the Covid crisis hit.
Still, measures were not enough to impress bond traders.
3. Key RBI Decisions
While rates were kept unchanged, the Reserve Bank unveiled a slew of liquidity and regulatory measures.
Retail investors can now buy and sell government bonds directly via accounts held with the central bank.
Banks will now be allowed to extend credit to non-banking financial companies under the targeted long-term repo operations.
Rules for foreign investors looking to put their money in defaulted corporate bonds have been relaxed.
4. Brent Crude Within Sight Of $60
Oil rose toward $60 a barrel in London as supplies continue to tighten while the demand outlook improves with the roll-out of coronavirus vaccines.
5. M&M’s Demand Recovery Masked By Other Issues
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. reported a profit in the December-ended quarter even as its sales recovery was dampened by supply chain issues and uncertainty over the sale of SsangYong. Profit rose 40% to Rs 530.9 crore but was lower than the estimated Rs 1,410 crore.
6. India’s Duty Pinch To Delay Luxury Car Market Revival
India’s localisation push threatens to delay revival of one of the worst-hit segments of the nation’s auto market. Import duty was raised in the budget by 5-7.5 percentage points on almost a dozen components.
7. The Challenges In Regulating Loan Apps
The Reserve Bank of India’s task to weed out fly-by-night digital lending apps will be a regulatory whack-a-mole. Swat one, another pops up elsewhere.
8. Chidambaram Says Budget Was For The Rich, By The Rich
The former finance minister has criticised Budget 2021 for failing to address the needs of India’s vulnerable who were the most impacted by an economic slowdown and the pandemic. “The budget is addressed to 1% of India,” Chidambaram said in an interview.
9. Farmers Demand Centre To Restore Phone, Internet Services
India’s protesting farmers have demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to lift its blackout on phone and internet services ahead of Saturday’s push to block roads across the country. India has been the worst country for internet crackdown since the start of 2020.
10. Pfizer's India Vaccine U-Turn
Pfizer Inc. said it has decided to withdraw its application for emergency use authorisation of its Covid-19 vaccine in India.
Meanwhile, India is set to receive the most number of Covid-19 vaccine doses in the first tranche of distribution from the Covax initiative, despite the fact that supply in the country appears to outstrip demand currently.