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Business & Economy

The Indian Hotels Company announces its second hotel in Katra, J&K

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Hospitality major The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has announced the signing of a Vivanta in Katra, Jammu and Kashmir with the Delhi based DMG Group.
 
Suma Venkatesh, executive vice president – real estate and development, Indian Hotels Company, said, “We are pleased to partner with DMG Group in bringing the Vivanta brand to Katra. This announcement is aligned to our strategy of expanding our footprint and driving growth across popular pilgrimage and tourist destinations.”
 
Located in Katra - the base camp for the holy pilgrimage of Vaishno Devi, the hotel is conveniently located 42 kilometres from the Jammu airport. The 80-room hotel, spread over eight acres, offers views of the Holy Shrine and Trikuta Mountains. 
 
The hotel features an all-day restaurant, banqueting and recreation facilities including a gym, swimming pool and badminton court, a press release from the company said
 
Sushen Gupta, managing director, DMG Group, said, “We are delighted to partner with Indian Hotels Company. We look forward to working with them to bring their unique Vivanta brand and legendary experience to visitors to the holy shrine.”
 
Vaishno Devi is one of the holiest religious destinations in India. As many as 8.2 million pilgrims visited Katra in 2017. Katra has the potential to develop as a leisure destination with its close proximity to many local attractions including Patnitop, Nathatop, Mansar Lake, Shivkhori, Nau Devi, Baba Dhansar and Sanasar Lake.
 
The DMG Group hotel at Katra is an existing property. The owners will further invest approximately Rs. 10 crore to bring the hotel to Vivanta brand standards by early 2019.
 
Vivanta Katra will be the third IHCL branded hotel in Jammu and Kashmir, strengthening the company’s presence in the state. The company also manages the Vivanta Dal View in Srinagar and Ginger in Katra, the release added.
 
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Markets open on a higher note on Wednesday

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The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) on Wednesday opened on a positive note during the morning session of the trade.
 
The Sensex of the BSE after opening at 35, 329.61 points and touched a high of 35,417.15 points and a low of 35,329.51 points.
 
On Tuesday, the Sensex closed at 35,286.74 points.
 
The Sensex is trading at 35,408.05 points up by 121.31 points or 0.34 per cent.
 
On the other hand, the broader 51-scrip Nifty at National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 10,734.65 points after closing at 10,710.45 points.
 
The Nifty is trading at 10,749.85 points in the morning.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Global cues, fund outflow subdue equity indices; Sensex falls 200 points

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Weak global markets, coupled with the outflow of foreign funds, suppressed the key Indian equity indices on Tuesday with the benchmark 30-scrip Sensex on the BSE losing over 200 points.
 
Globally, key markets were weighed down by signs of a resurgent trade war after reports said that US President Donald Trump might consider imposing tariffs on additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
 
According to analysts, the depreciation of the Indian rupee also eroded investor sentiment.
 
Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,710.45 points, down 89.40 points or 0.83 per cent from the previous close of 10,799.85 points.
 
Similarly, the BSE Sensex, which had opened at its intra-day high level of 35,552.47 points closed at 35,286.74 points -- down 261.52 points or 0.74 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,548.26 points. The Sensex touched an intra-day low of 35,249.06 points. 
 
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap declined by 0.98 per cent, while the S&P BSE small-cap ended 1.29 per cent lower from its previous close. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,951 declines against 676 advances.
 
"The weakness came on the back of weak global cues as the trade spat between the US and China intensified," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
 
He further said: "Major Asian markets have closed on a negative note. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX are trading in the red." 
 
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According to BNP Paribas Mutual Fund's Senior Fund Manager for Equities, Abhijeet Dey, persistent selling of Indian equities by foreign institutional investors also dampened investor sentiment.
 
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,324.92 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 653.68 crore. 
 
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 40 paise against the US dollar to 68.39, from its previous close of 67.99 per greenback.
 
Sector-wise, all the indices ended the day's trade on the downside with the S&P BSE auto index losing the most, by 264.15 points, followed by the metal index which fell by 222.71 and the banking index ending 190.83 points lower.
 
Stock-wise, the gainers on the Sensex were ITC, up 0.76 per cent at Rs 266.15; ONGC, up 0.30 per cent at Rs 164.85; HDFC Bank, up 0.20 per cent at Rs 2,025.40; and HDFC, up 0.11 per cent at Rs 1,826.70 per share.
 
The top losers were Vedanta, down 3.55 per cent at Rs 224.05; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 2.23 per cent at Rs 892.40; Adani Ports, down 2 per cent at Rs 362.65, Reliance Industries, down 1.91 per cent at Rs 995.65; and IndusInd Bank, down 1.90 per cent at Rs 1,930.25 per share. 
 
IANS
 
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Global cues depress equity indices; Sensex declines over 200 points

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Weak global markets suppressed the key Indian equity indices on Tuesday with the benchmark 30-scrip Sensex on the BSE losing over 200 points.
 
Globally, key markets were weighed down by signs of a resurgent trade war after reports said that US President Donald Trump might consider imposing tariffs on additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
 
According to analysts, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in auto, metal and banking stocks.
 
At 3.30 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,710.45 points, down 89.40 points or 0.83 per cent from the previous close of 10,799.85 points.
 
Similarly, the BSE Sensex, which had opened at 35,552.47 points, closed at 35,286.74 points (3.30 p.m.) -- down 261.52 points or 0.74 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,548.26 points. 
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,552.47 points and a low of 35,249.06 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,918 declines and 710 advances.
 
Stock-wise, on the Sensex, ITC, HDFC Bank and HDFC gained during the day, whereas Vedanta, Sun Pharma, Infosys, Reliance Industries, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) and Tata Motors (DVR) were the major losers.
 
On the NSE, Bajaj Finance, Gail and ITC were the highest gainers while Vedanta, Indian Oil Corp and Hindalco Industries lost the most. 
 
IANS
 
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Blue Dart to set up new aviation hub in Chennai

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Leading Indian logistics services provider Blue Dart, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) Group, has said that it would set up a new state-of-the-art aviation hub in Chennai for faster and more efficient transfer fo shipments, improved transit times and extension of the company's market leading service quality.
 
The hub will measure 4,912 sq. meters upon completion and is strategically located at the Blue Dart Aviation Terminal, Gate 6 Old International Airport at Meenambakkam here, with both air and land side access, a press release from the company said.
 
The new facility will also house the headquarters of Blue Dart Aviation, India’s only commercial cargo airline which provides a dedicated fleet of six B757-200 freighters and a capacity of 500 tonnes every night, operating across 73 flight sectors daily. 
 
The hub boasts BCAS approved security screening with its own X-Ray machines, equipment and dedicated manpower.
 
Charles Brewer, CEO, DHL eCommerce said, “We see immense potential in India across many fast-growing industries such as e-commerce, banking and financial services, automotive, pharmaceuticals and more. These industries demand high quality, fast, seamless logistics to support their growth and we are continually investing in our people, service and infrastructure to ensure we support the growth of our customers.”
 
Malcolm Monteiro, CEO, DHL eCommerce India added, “The new aviation hub will further improve our already market-leading transit times and boost on-time performance, further strengthening our promise of being the nation’s most reliable logistics brand. As part of the world’s leading logistics company, we are committed to supporting India businesses and will continue to be the logistics provider of choice for India.”
 
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Anil Khanna, Managing Director, Blue Dart said, “Blue Dart continues to be the undisputed market leader in the logistics industry in India. We continue to invest heavily in technology and infrastructure to create differentiated delivery capabilities, provide the best quality services and customized solutions for our customers. The new aviation hub in Chennai reaffirms Blue Dart’s commitment to support India’s growth story”.
 
Commenting on the new aviation hub in Chennai, Tulsi Mirchandaney, Managing Director, Blue Dart Aviation added, “The Airport Expansion Programme has facilitated the need to have a modernized, more efficient and productive infrastructure to support demand and growth. Blue Dart supports the critical supply chains of numerous industry segments, and improved infrastructure at the Airports will go a long way in helping us support the PM’s ‘Make in India’ Vision”.
 
The facility also houses training facilities which are approved by BCAS and DGCA with own instructors who will carry out Crew, Engineering, Security and Operations training. Blue Dart is also regulatory approved for and carries out its own airframe heavy maintenance and aircraft modifications at its headquarters, and self-handling at all of its on line stations. 
 
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Domestic equity indices decline, auto stocks fall

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The key Indian equity indices traded in the red during the morning session on Tuesday as heavy selling took place in automobile, IT and banking stocks.
 
At 9.40 a.m., the 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), traded lower by 110.61 points or 0.31 per cent.
 
Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded in the red. It was down 42.85 points or 0.40 per cent lower at 10,757 points.
 
The Sensex of the BSE, which opened at 35,552.47 points, traded at 35,437.65 points (at 9.40 a.m.), lower 110.61 points or 0.31 per cent from the previous day's close at 35,548.26 points.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,552.47 points and a low of 35,397.96 points during the intraday trade so far.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Prabhu releases report on Indian pharma exports to China

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Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu released the report of a study on Indian pharmaceuticals exports to China here on Monday.
 
For India to make a strong pitch for pharma exports to China, the Department of Commerce in coordination with Embassy of India at Beijing had commissioned a study on “Enhancing Indian Exports of Pharmaceutical products to China” under the Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI).
 
It was aimed at developing a proper understanding of Chinese market and to help the pharma industry to evolve an appropriate and focused strategy for entry of the Indian generic drugs.
 
The study examines the healthcare market, pharmaceutical market, the distribution system, procurement and bidding process and the regulatory landscape in China. It also gives recommendations on how to access the Chinese market.
 
China’s healthcare sector continues to grow rapidly with spending projected to grow from $ 357 billion in 2011 to $ 1 trillion in 2020. From pharmaceuticals to medical products to consumer health, China remains among the world’s most attractive markets, and by far the fastest-growing of all the large emerging ones.
 
The study has been done by IMS Health team which worked with Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) and Industry stakeholders.
 
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Global trading system must include services trade: Prabhu

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Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today said services trade was growing faster than merchandise trade and such dynamic changes need to be captured in the global trading system.
 
Delivering the keynote address at the 6th Growth Net Summit, Mr Prabhu pointed out that services trade requires movement of people, unlike merchandise trade. India was aiming at a $5 trillion economy by the year 2026-27 and goods and services exports would form $1 trillion. 
 
Over the last year, goods and services exports grew by over 12%, he noted.
 
The two-day conference is organized by Ananta Center and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with Smadja & Smadja, a strategic advisory firm.
 
The government was working on a comprehensive strategy to boost services exports and $1 billion will be spent to promote 12 champion services sectors. For the first time, a strategy for products in new markets was being developed. Exports were also being promoted in regions like Africa, Latin America and Central Asia, he added.
 
Noting that the World Trade Organisation was created as part of a rules-based, multilateral, democratic and participatory institution for expanding global trade, he said countries have recognized the value of global trade for fostering growth and creating jobs. 
 
India is working with other countries to ensure that WTO remains relevant, he said.
 
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Bakhshi named COO of ICICI Bank, Kochhar to go on leave till completion of enquiry

Chanda Kochhar (File Photo: IANS)
Chanda Kochhar (File Photo: IANS)
The Board of Directors of ICICI Bank Limited, at its meeting today,  decided to appoint Mr. Sandeep Bakhshi as Wholetime Director & Chief Operating Officer designate, ICICI Bank. 
 
The bank said Ms. Chanda Kochhar, who will continue in her role as MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, will go on leave till the completion of the enquiry as announced on May 20.
 
Mr. Bakhshi's appointment as COO will be for a period of five years, subject to regulatory approvals, a press release from the bank said.
 
He will take over as the COO from June 19, 2018, or on the date of regulatory and other approvals, whichever is later, it said.
 
The release said Mr. Bakhshi will be responsible for handling all the businesses and corporate centre functions at the bank. All Executive Directors on the Board of ICICI Bank and the executive management will report to him. Mr. Bakhshi will report to Ms. Kochhar, who will continue in her role as MD & CEO of ICICI Bank, it said.
 
"In line with the highest levels of governance and corporate standards, Ms. Chanda Kochhar has decided to go on leave till the completion of the enquiry as announced on May 30, 2018. The Board has noted and accepted this. During her period of leave, the COO will report to the Board," the release said.
 
Mr. Bakhshi has been the Managing Director & CEO, of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, since August 1, 2010. During his tenure, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Co. has been a leading private life insurance company in the country. Prior to this role, Mr. Bakhshi was the Deputy Managing Director of ICICI Bank. In this role he headed the retail and subsequently the wholesale business at the Bank. Before moving to the bank, Mr. Bakhshi was the MD & CEO of ICICI Lombard General Insurance. Under his leadership, ICICI Lombard grew to be a leading private general insurance company in the country.
 
Mr. Bakhshi has extensive experience of leading both corporate and retail businesses across ICICI Group. He started his career with ICICI Ltd. in 1986. He looked after the corporate clients for the Northern and Eastern regions of ICICI Limited before joining ICICI Lombard in 2002. His work responsibilities included business development, project appraisals, project monitoring and business re-structuring.
 
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Mr. Bakhshi is a Mechanical Engineer from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh and has a post-graduate degree in management from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur.
 
ICICI Bank Board also recommended to the Board of Directors of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company to appoint Mr. N. S. Kannan as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Office (CEO) of the company, subject to regulatory and other approvals, the release added.
 
ICICI Bank's Board of Directors had, on May 30, said that it had decided to institute a "comprehensive enquiry" to look into an anonymous whistle blower's complaint alleging that Kochhar had not adhered to provisions relating to "code of conduct" of the bank.
 
Kochhar has been facing allegations that she had wrongfully granted a loan to Videocon Group and that her husband's company -- NuPower Renewables -- received a loan from the Videocon Group's Chariman Venugopal Dhoot on a quid pro quo basis. 
 
Chanda Kochhar on May 7 had said that the private lender works under and abides by all regulatory norms and that it has been fully cooperating with regulatory and investigative agencies.
 
On March 29, ICICI Bank Chairman M.K. Sharma had said that reports alleging nepotism by Kochhar were "unfounded and malicious" in nature.
 
Saying that ICICI Bank's exposure to the Videocon Group (Videocon Industries and 12 of its subsidiaries or associates as co-obligors) for a debt consolidation programme and for the group's oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating approximately Rs 40,000 crore was less than 10 per cent, Sharma had asserted that no individual bank employee has the ability to influence decisions of the credit committee.
 
He clarified that none of "the investors of NuPower Renewables are borrowers of ICICI Bank" and that Kochhar did not chair the committee that had lent to Videocon.
 
In 2012, a consortium of 20 banks and financial institutions sanctioned credit facilities to the Videocon Group for a debt consolidation programme and for its oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating to approximately Rs 40,000 crore. 
 
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Modi to interact with farmers across country on Wednesday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a direct dialogue on June 20 with farmers across the country in which various initiatives taken by the Government related to the goal of doubling the income of farmers by 2022 will also be discussed.
 
Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said the interaction would be broadcast directly by Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Common Service Centers (CSC), Doordarshan, DD Kissan and Aakashvaani from all over the country.
 
People will also be able to interact with the Prime Minister through the “Narendra Modi App”, an official press release added.
 
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Global cues, trade war concerns depress equity indices

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Weak international markets and concerns of a resurgent global trade war depressed the key Indian equity indices on Monday.
 
Trade on both the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was largely choppy throughout the day.
 
Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the NSE closed at 10,799.85 points, down 17.85 points or 0.17 per cent from the previous close of 10,817.70 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE which opened at 35,698.43 points closed at 35,548.26 points -- down 73.88 points or 0.21 per cent from its previous session's close of 35,622.14 points. 
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,721.55 points and a low of 35,518.73 points during the intra-day trade. 
 
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap ended 0.18 per cent lower while the S&P BSE small-cap fell 0.77 per cent from its previous close. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,737 declines against 901 advances.
 
"Markets ended with marginal losses on Monday after trading in a narrow range for a major part of the day," Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities, told IANS.
 
"The weakness came on the back of negative global cues after US President Donald Trump cranked up trade tensions by going ahead with tariffs on Chinese imports."
 
Jasani said that major Asian markets closed on a negative note and European indices -- FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX -- traded in the red. 
 
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On the currency front, the Indian rupee appreciated by three paise against the US dollar to 67.99, from its previous close of 68.02 per greenback.
 
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 754.43 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 824.10 crore. 
 
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE oil and gas index gained the most, by 179.63 points, followed by the auto index which rose by 81.11 points and the banking index, which ended higher by 36.29 points. 
 
On the other hand, S&P BSE metal index fell by 231.22 points, the consumer durables index was down 139.27 points and the IT index ended lower by 111.57 points.
 
The major gainers on the Sensex were ICICI Bank, up 3.61 per cent at Rs 292.50; Tata Motors (DVR), up 1.97 per cent at Rs 183.60; Tata Motors, up 1.83 per cent at Rs 308.75; Bajaj Auto, up 0.98 per cent at Rs 2,901.90; and Maruti Suzuki, up 0.46 per cent at Rs 8,993.40 per share.
 
The top losers were Vedanta, down 2.70 per cent at Rs 232.30; Kotak Mahindra Bank, down 1.97 per cent at Rs 1,314.05; Bharti Airtel, down 1.67 per cent at Rs 371.25, Coal India, down 1.59 per cent at Rs 274.60; and Tata Steel, down 1.28 per cent at Rs 558.70 per share. 
 
IANS
 
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Equity indices flat on weak global cues

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The key Indian equity indices traded on a flat-to-negative note on Monday afternoon, tracking weakness in the benchmark global markets and resurgent concerns of a global trade war.
 
According to market analysts, heavy selling was witnessed in the metal, consumer durables and capital goods stocks. However, healthy buying activity in the oil and gas, auto and banking counters limited the decline.
 
At 2.21 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,815.95 points, down 1.75 points or 0.02 per cent from the previous close of 10,817.70 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had opened at 35,698.43 points, traded at 35,610.76 points (2.23 p.m.) -- down 11.38 points or 0.03 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,622.14 points. 
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,721.55 points and a low of 35,529.25 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,625 declines and 911 advances so far.
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were ICICI Bank, Tata Motors, Tata Motors -DVR, Bajaj Auto and Maruti Suzuki whereas Vedanta, Tata Steel, Kotak Bank, Infosys and Axis Bank were the major losers.
 
On the NSE, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil Corp and ICICI Bank were the highest gainers while Vedanta, Hindalco Industries and Tata Steel lost the most. 
 
IANS
 
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India will achieve 10% GDP growth by Q4 of fiscal: Goyal

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The government is hopeful of achieving double-digit gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the country by the fourth quarter of the ongoing financial year, Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday.
 
Responding to a query at the Growth Net conclave here on how India proposed to go much faster than the current 7 per cent growth rate, Goyal, who also has temporary charge of the Finance Ministry, said his optimism on the 10 per cent GDP growth was based on the revival of domestic demand and the dynamism of a society that has become "aspirational".
 
"I see double digit growth happening by the fourth quarter of this year. There is a demand optic in the country and this growth will be driven by a society that has become very aspirational," he said.
 
"There is one caveat to this... when this country decides to do business honestly, we will have 10 per cent GDP growth," he added.
 
Noting that the NDA government was committed to being an enabler of growth, Goyal said its focus had been providing on providing political and macroeconomic stability.
 
"Our focus has been on not doing anything that threatens the social fabric of the country. How can we take the entire country along for growth and development... that has been our thrust in these four years," the Minister said.
 
"Fiscal deficit this year will be kept within the target limit of 3.3 per cent. We are monitoring to ensure that the deficit is at 3.3 per cent despite it being an election year."
 
Asked if rising global crude oil prices were threatening India's macroeconomic stability, Goyal said the government was monitoring the situation on a real time basis, including other international factors like the rise in interest rates in the US and Europe.
 
"The government is monitoring the situation on a real time basis. It will ensure the stability of the economy and that we achieve all targets, including the fiscal deficit of 3.3 per cent," he said.
 
IANS
 
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Key Indian equity indices open flat

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The key Indian equity indices opened on a flat note on Monday.
 
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex), was trading 17.56 points or 0.05 per cent lower soon after opening.
 
The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) was also trading 7.60 points or 0.07 per cent lower at 10,810.10 points.
 
The Sensex of the BSE, which opened at 35,698.43 points, was trading at 35,604.58 points (at 9.19 a.m.), lower 17.56 points or 0.05 per cent from the previous day's close at 35,622.14 points.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,721.55 points and a low of 35,585.73 points in the trade so far.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
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Indefinite nationwide truck strike begins

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Truck owners and operators launched an indefinite nationwide strike on Monday against increasing diesel prices and a sharp hike of third party insurance premium.
 
"The indefinite strike against the soaring diesel prices and steep rise in the third party insurance premium begun this morning. About 90 lakh trucks are expected to be off the road and as of now, over 60 per cent trucks were not plying on the roads across India," the All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners' Associations President Channa Reddy told IANS.
 
"The government's argument is that the fuel price increase was due to international prices. However, we think the reason for price increase is not due to international prices but high taxes levied by the governments, Centre and the states," Reddy said.
 
Demanding the inclusion of diesel prices or petroleum products in the ambit Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Federation of West Bengal Truck Operators' Association Joint Secretary Sajal Ghosh said there has been a good response in the state where about 3.5 lakh trucks would not ply on the roads.
 
He said the Federation is also protesting police and Motor Vehicle Department officials' alleged excesses in the state.
 
Moreover, truck owners requested the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India to detariff the third party insurance premium as it has done in the case of comprehensive insurance policy, Reddy said.
 
"Since the trend of annual increase of third party insurance premium has been continuing for last 15 years even after opening of the insurance sector. To stop the increase per year, we have requested the IRDAI to detariff this. But, the authority has not responded to our demand," Reddy added.
 
The strike is likely to cause a hike in prices of perishable goods due to supply constraint.
 
IANS
 
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Andhra, Bihar seek special status, Modi assures on provisions at bifurcation time

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured states like Andhra Pradesh and Bihar, which have been demanding special status category, that the Centre is committed in "letter and spirit" to adhere to statutory provisions in place at the time of the bifurcation of states.
 
Briefing reporters here following the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog, its Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said that the Prime Minister, who addressed the Chief Ministers, clarified the Central government's position on the claims of some states for special status.
 
His assurance came after Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu raised his long-pending demand of special category status which was supported by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
 
"Some states did raise the issue of special status. The discussions were more focused on the statutory provisions that were in place at the time of the bifurcation of states and the Prime Minister said that the central government is committed in letter and spirit to adhere to those provisions," Rajiv Kumar said.
 
Earlier, Naidu raised issues related to bifurcation, agenda and other pressing needs of the state. 
 
"Received overwhelming support from Chief Ministers, officials and dignitaries at the 4th Governing Council meeting at @NITIAayog, where we discussed issues relating to the AP Reorganization Act, 2014," Naidu said in a tweet.
 
During his 20-minute speech, he also demanded the special category status for Andhra Pradesh.
 
Nitish Kumar also raised the demand for special status and supported Naidu's move.
 
On the issue of the minimum support price (MSP) for crops raised in Budget 2018-19 towards doubling farmers' incomes, the Vice Chairman described the MSP issue as "work-in progress".
 
"The details are being worked out and a bouquet of options will be offered to the states for them to meet the Prime Minister's promise of an increase of 1.5 times in the MSP," he said.
 
Rajiv Kumar said that the Prime Minister, who is also the Chairperson of the Niti Aayog -- the think-tank that replaced the erstwhile Planning Commission -- also directed that a committee be formed to look into farmers' issues.
 
It was also suggested at the discussions that states should also set up their own GDP targets which all add up to compose the national gross domestic product (GDP), he added.
 
IANS
 
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Modi says challenge now is to take India's growth rate to double digits

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday the country's economy had grown at a healthy rate of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 and pointed out that the challenge now was to take this growth rate to double digits, for which many more important steps have to be taken.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi, on June 17,2018.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog in New Delhi, on June 17,2018.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday the country's economy had grown at a healthy rate of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 and pointed out that the challenge now was to take this growth rate to double digits, for which many more important steps have to be taken.
 
In his opening remarks at the fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog at Rashtrapati Bhavan here, he said the vision of a vision of a New India by 2022 was now a resolve of the people of the country.
 
In this context, he mentioned the issues on the agenda today, including doubling of farmers income, development of aspirational districts, Ayushman Bharat, Mission Indradhanush, Nutrition Mission and celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
 
The meeting is being attended Chief Ministers of States and several Union Ministers.
 
Mr. Modi said the Governing Council is a platform that can bring about "historic change." He assured the Chief Ministers from flood-affected States that the Union Government would provide all assistance to them to deal with the flood situation currently affecting parts of the country.
 
He said that the Governing Council has approached complex issues of governance as "Team India", in the spirit of cooperative, competitive federalism. He described the smooth roll-out and implementation of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) as a prime example of this.
 
The Prime Minister said that Chief Ministers of States had played a key role in policy formulation, through sub-groups and committees on issues such as Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital Transactions, and Skill Development. The recommendations of these sub-groups have been incorporated by various Ministries of the Union Government, he added.
 
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Mr. Modi said that 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres are being constructed under Ayushman Bharat. He said about 10 crore families will be provided health assurance worth Rs. 5 lakh every year. He said a comprehensive approach is being adopted for education, under the Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan. ?
 
He said that schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Jan Dhan Yojana and Stand Up India are helping in greater financial inclusion. He emphasized the need for tackling economic imbalances on priority.
 
He said that all aspects and parameters of human development need to be addressed and improved upon in the 115 aspirational districts.
 
Mr. Modi said that the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan had emerged as a new model for implementation of schemes. He said that this has so far been extended to 45,000 villages in the Aspirational Districts. He said that the target is universal coverage in seven important welfare schemes: Ujjwala, Saubhagya, Ujala, Jan Dhan, Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Suraksha Bima Yojana, and Mission Indradhanush. He said this target was recently accomplished in about 17,000 villages.
 
He said that India has no shortage of capabilities, capacities and resources. He said that in the current financial year, States are receiving over 11 lakh crore rupees from the Centre, which represents an increase of about 6 lakh crore rupees, from the last year of the previous government.
 
The Prime Minister said that this gathering today represents the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. He said it is also the responsibility of this gathering to make all efforts to fulfil them.
 
Earlier, the Chief  Ministers and other delegates were welcomed to the meeting by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar. The discussions were moderated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
 
NNN
 
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NITI Aayog governing council meeting begins

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The fourth meeting of the NITI Aayog's governing council began here on Sunday to discuss issues including measures taken to double farmers' income and progress of flagship schemes like Ayushman Bharat, National Nutrition Mission and Mission Indradhanush.
 
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. All state Chief Ministers except Delhi's Arvind Kejriwal and Odisha's Naveen Patnaik, were present in the meeting. 
 
Kejriwal was absent from the meet as he, along with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai, is camping at Raj Niwas since last week demanding a direction to the IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to end their undeclared strike.
 
The governing council of NITI Aayog is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states in shaping the development narrative.
 
The council reviews the work done during the previous year and deliberates upon the future developmental priorities.
 
The council will also discuss measures taken for development of aspirational districts and the celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. 
 
IANS
 
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Petrol prices unchanged after 8 paise fall on Friday

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Petrol prices across the four metros were stable on Saturday. In the national capital, the fuel was sold at an unchanged price of Rs 76.35 per litre.
 
In Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai too, prices were stable at Rs 79.02, Rs 84.18 and Rs 79.24 per litre respectively.
 
On Friday, petrol prices fell by eight paise in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai and by nine paise in Chennai.
 
The price of diesel was unchanged for the fourth day in a row. In Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, it was sold at Rs 67.85, Rs 70.40, Rs 72.24 and Rs 71.62 a litre, all unchanged since the last decline in June 12.
 
Fuel price in the country is largely determined by global crude oil prices, which have been on a downslide for nearly a month now. The Brent crude oil is currently priced over $73 per barrel, down from nearly $80 a barrel a month ago.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Prabhu visits US, meets USTR and other officials

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To take forward the robust commercial ties with the United States and to resolve outstanding bilateral trade issues, a delegation led by Union Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu visited the United States from June 10-12 for meetings with his US interlocutors.
 
During the visit, Mr Prabhu held a series of discussions with key officials including US Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
 
The Minister also had a joint meeting with the India Caucus Co-chairs Senator Mark Robert Warner and Senator John Cornyn. 
 
The meetings were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere, with an appreciation for each other's points of view, an official press release said.
 
The discussions centred around bilateral trade and commercial relations and focused on finding the way forward to address concerns of both sides so as to result in a win-win situation. Both the sides agreed for high-level official talks at an early date to discuss various issues of interest to both sides and carry forward the discussions in a positive, constructive and result-oriented manner.
 
During the visit, Mr Prabhu also interacted with the business community and addressed industry leaders in meetings organized by US-India Business Council (USIBC) and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).
 
The Minister informed the industry leaders about the aggressive economic reforms undertaken by India such as GST, Make-in-India, Startup India and Fund of Funds for Startups (FFS), Digital India programme, e-commerce, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and how they have made the business climate much easier in India.
 
Mr Prabhu noted the encouraging growth in trade volumes through purchases of US-made civilian aircraft by Indian companies and enhanced cooperation in the area of energy, including procurement of petroleum and LNG by India from the US.
 
He also pointed out that India’s rapid economic growth will create significant new market opportunities in these and other areas and added that these purchases have already led to a reduction in the bilateral trade deficit in 2017. Future sales will sustain this trend and create a balanced trade relationship between the two countries, he added.
 
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India's exports rise by 20.18% in May, 2018

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Staying in positive territory for the second consecutive month, India's merchandise exports grew by 20.18 percent to $ 28.86 billion in May, 2018 as compared to $ 24.01 billion in the same month of the previous year.
 
In rupee terms, the experts rose by 25.99% to Rs. 194928.45 crore in May, 2018 as compared to Rs. 154713.69 crore during May, 2017, an official press release said.
 
The release said that the major commodity groups of export which showed growth in May, 2018 over the corresponding month of the previous year were engineering goods (14.77%), petroleum products (104.47%), organic and inorganic chemicals (34.21%), drugs and pharmaceuticals (25.67%) and cotton yarn/fabs./made-ups/handloom products, etc. (24.7%).
 
The cumulative value of exports for the period April-May, 2018-19 was $ 54.77 billion (Rs. 364981.41 crore) as against $ 48.65 billion (Rs. 313627.48 crore) registering a positive growth of 12.58 per cent in dollar terms and 16.37 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
 
Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports during May 2018 were valued at $ 19.94 billion as compared to $ 17.51 billion during May, 2017 exhibiting a positive growth of 13.85%. Non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports during April-May, 2018-19 were valued at $ 39.74 billion as compared to $ 35.23 billion for the corresponding period in 2017-18, an increase of 12.78%.
 
The release said imports during May, 2018 were valued at $ 43.48 billion (Rs. 293660.48 crore) which was 14.85% higher in dollar terms and 20.41% higher in rupee terms over the level of imports valued at $ 37.86 billion (Rs. 243888.74 crore) in May, 2017.
 
The cumulative value of imports for the period April-May, 2018-19 was $ 83.11 billion (Rs. 553745.15 crore) as against $ 75.74 billion (Rs. 488269.26 crore), registering a growth of 9.72% in dollar terms and 13.41 per cent in rupee terms over the same period last year.
 
Major items of imports which  showed high growth in May, 2018 over the corresponding period of last year were petroleum, crude oil and products (49.46%), electronic goods (19.93%), machinery, electrical & non-electrical (30.86%), coal, coke & briquettes, etc. (17.88%) and organic & inorganic chemicals (28.26%).
 
Oil imports during May, 2018 were valued at $ 11.50 billion(Rs. 77654.11 crore) which was 49.46% higher in dollar terms and 56.69% higher in rupee terms compared to $ 7.69 billion (Rs. 49560.16 crore) in May,  2017. Oil imports during April-May, 2018-19 were valued at $ 21.91 billion (Rs. 145998.35 crore) which was 45.56% higher in dollar terms and 50.46% higher in rupee terms compared to $ 15.05 billion (Rs. 97032.66 crore) in the corresponding period last year.
 
The release mentioned that the global Brent prices ($/bbl) were 50.68% higher in May, 2018 vis-à-vis May, 2017.
 
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Non-oil imports during May, 2018 were estimated at $ 31.98 billion (Rs. 216006.37 crore) which was 6.03% higher in dollar terms and 11.16%  higher in rupee terms compared to $ 30.16 billion (Rs. 194328.58 crore) in May, 2017. Non-oil imports during April-May, 2018-19 were valued at $ 61.19 billion(Rs. 407746.80 crore) which was 0.83% higher in dollar terms and 4.22% higher in rupee terms compared to $ 60.69 billion (Rs. 391236.60 crore in April-May, 2017-18.
 
Non-oil and non-gold imports in May, 2018 were valued at $ 28.50 billion, up 13.09% as compared to May, 2017. Non-oil and non-gold imports in April-May, 2018, valued at $ 55.14 billion, recorded a positive growth of 6.28 % as compared to April-May, 2017.
 
As far as trade in services were concerned, exports during April, 2018 were valued at $ 17.56 billion (Rs. 115277.03 crore), registering a growth of 4.33% in dollar terms as compared to growth of 7.16% during March,  2018.
 
Imports of services during April, 2018 were valued at $ 10.92 billion (Rs. 71642.02 crore), registering a growth of 6.18% in dollar terms as compared to 1.35% during March, 2018.
 
The merchandise trade deficit for May, 2018 was estimated at $ 14.62 billion as against the deficit of $ 13.84 dillion during May, 2017.
 
The trade balance in services for April, 2018 was estimated at $ 6.65 billion.
 
Taking merchandise and services together, the overall trade deficit for April-May, 2018-19 is estimated at $ 21.69 billion as compared to $ 21.41 billion during April-May, 2017-18, the release added.
 
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Global cues, fund outflows depress investors; equity indices end flat

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Broadly negative global cues on trade and monetary policy issues along with the continuous outflow of foreign funds and a weak rupee led the key Indian equity indices to close on a flat-to-positive note on Friday.
 
Even though the day's trade commenced with a "gap-up opening", heavy selling pressure in metal, banking and capital goods stocks depressed the trajectory of both the NSE Nifty50 and the S&P BSE Sensex.
 
However, a last-hour buying spree in IT and healthcare counters aided the indices to pare their losses and close on a flat-to-positive note. 
 
Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed at 10,817.70 points, up 9.65 points or 0.09 per cent from the previous close of 10,808.05 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had opened at 35,656.26 points, closed at 35,622.14 points -- higher by 22.32 points or 0.06 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,599.82 points.
 
The Sensex touched a high of 35,675.20 points and a low of 35,419.68 points during the intra-day trade.
 
In the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap ended 0.40 per cent lower, while the S&P BSE small cap index fell 0.46 per cent. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,562 declines and 1,083 advances.
 
"After a small range trade in the morning, indices hit fresh intra-day low in afternoon trade as selling pressure intensified. A late recovery resulted in pushing the key equity indices to positive zone," said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities.
 
Jasani added: "Major Asian markets have closed on a mixed note. European indices like FTSE 100 and DAX traded in the red."
 
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On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 39 paise against the US dollar to 68.02, from its previous close of 67.63 per greenback.
 
Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrip worth Rs 1,524.74 crore while the domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs 561.01 crore. 
 
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE IT index gained the most, by 305.77 points, followed by the healthcare index which rose by 263.49 points and the Teck (technology, entertainment and media) index, which ended higher by 128.91 points respectively. 
 
On the other hand, S&P BSE metal index fell by 208.78 points, the banking index was down 193.45 points and the capital goods index ended lower by 191.96 points.
 
The major gainers on the Sensex were Dr Reddy's Labs, up 3.65 per cent at Rs 2,351.10; Infosys, up 3.37 per cent at Rs 1,280.45; Tata Consultancy Services, up 2.75 per cent at Rs 1,841.45; Sun Pharma, up 2.04 per cent at Rs 571.05; and Reliance Industries, up 0.63 per cent at Rs 1,013.85 per share.
 
The top losers were Yes Bank, down 1.91 per cent at Rs 330.55; State Bank of India, down 1.82 per cent at Rs 277.55; ONGC, down 1.81 per cent at Rs 165.45, Coal India, down 1.59 per cent at Rs 279.05; and Tata Motors (DVR), down 1.56 per cent at Rs 180.05 per share. 
 
IANS
 
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India’s forex reserves rise by$ 879.5 million to $ 413.11 billion

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Reversing a seven-week downtrend, India’s foreign exchange reserves rose by $ 879.5 million to $ 413.11 billion during the week ended June 8, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said here today.
 
The country’s forex reserves had dipped by $ 593.7 million to $ 412.230 billion during the previous week.
 
In its weekly statistical supplement issued here today, the central bank said that foreign currency assets, which constitute a major chunk of the forex reserves, had gone up by $ 875.4 million to $ 388.391 billion during the week.
 
According to the bulletin, the country’s gold reserves remained unchanged at $ 21.1897 billion, while its special drawing rights (SDRs) increased by $ 1.8 million to $ 1.4997 billion.
 
India’s reserve position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went up by $ 2.3 million to $ 2.0291 billion, the bulletin added.
 
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Diesel prices unchanged for 3rd straight day; petrol down 8 paise

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Diesel prices in the country's four metro cities remained stable for the third straight day on Friday but petrol prices declined around eight paise.
 
In the national capital, diesel was sold at Rs 67.85 per litre on Friday, unchanged since Wednesday, June 13.
 
Similarly, in the other key cities of Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai, the fuel was sold at Rs 70.40, Rs 72.24 and Rs 71.62 per litre respectively, all at unchanged levels.
 
This stagnation comes after diesel prices fell by just over Re 1 in the metros during May 30-June 12 period.
 
Petrol prices, however, dropped by around eight paise a litre across the metros on Friday, after remaining unchanged for two days.
 
In Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, the key transportation fuel was sold at Rs 76.35, Rs 79.02 and Rs 84.18 per litre, all prices down eight paise from Thursday's level. In Chennai, price fell by nine paise to Rs 79.24 per litre.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
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Equity indices trade flat on mixed Asian cues

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The key Indian equity indices traded on a flat to negative note on Friday afternoon tracking mixed cues from the bechmark Asian indices.
 
Asian indices traded mixed after US President Donald Trump approved the plan to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese exports, reviving concerns of a trade war between the US and China.
 
According to market analysts, heavy selling pressure was witnessed in the capital goods, banking and auto stocks.
 
At 12.46 p.m., the wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded at 10,803.55 points, down 4.50 points or 0.04 per cent from the previous close of 10,808.05 points.
 
Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had opened at 35,656.26 points, traded at 35,556.77 points (12.46 p.m.) -- down 43.05 points or 0.12 per cent -- from its previous session's close of 35,599.82 points.
 
The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,675.20 points and a low of 35,522.63 points. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,338 declines and 1,063 advances so far.
 
The top gainers on the Sensex were Dr Reddy's Lab, Sun Pharma, Reliance Industries, Infosys and Tata Steel whereas NTPC, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, Coal India and ONGC were the major losers.
 
On the NSE, Dr Reddy's Lab, Cipla and UPL were the highest gainers while Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil Corp and NTPC lost the most.
 
IANS
 
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