1. Small Savings Schemes’ Interest Rates Cut by 20 Bps
The government on Thursday slashed interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF, by 0.2 percentage point for the January-March period from the rates applicable in the previous quarter, a move that will prompt banks to lower deposit rates.
At the same time, investments in the five-year Senior Citizens Savings Scheme has been retained at 8.3 percent. The interest rate on the senior citizens’ scheme is paid quarterly.
2. McDonald’s Outlets Start Reopening as CRPL Finds New Logistics Partner
Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt Ltd (CPRL), the north and east India licencee of American fast food chain McDonald’s Corp, has partnered with a new logistics firm and has started reopening some of the 84 closed restaurants.
CRPL’s original logistics partner Radhakrishna Foodland Pvt Ltd discontinued supply chain services to the company on 20 December, forcing it to look for a new partner.
CPRL is a joint venture between McDonald’s India (MIPL) and its estranged partner Vikram Bakshi. It operates 169 McDonald’s restaurants in north and east India.
3. Online Retail Industry Grows 23% to $17.8 Billion: Report
After nearly 18 months, India’s e-commerce market finally picked up sharply in the second half of the year, driven by strong growth at Flipkart Ltd and Amazon India and new entrant Paytm E-commerce.
Online retail grew by 23% to $17.8 billion in 2017, up from $14.5 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2016, according to RedSeer Management Consulting, a market research and consulting firm.
4. SEBI May Put 10% Cross-Shareholding Cap in Mutual Funds
To avoid potential conflict of interest, markets regulator SEBI is considering imposing a 10 percent cross-shareholding cap in mutual funds, senior officials said.
The new measure may have an impact on the shareholding pattern of UTI Asset Management Company.
State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Life Insurance Corporation are having their own mutual funds, and at the same time they hold 18.24 percent stake each in UTI AMC.
5. Air India’s Non-Core Assets, Working Capital Loans to Be Transferred to Separate Entity
A group of ministers tasked with finding ways to explore state-run Air India’s divestment has decided to create a separate entity to pool in working capital loans and non-core assets of the national carrier.
The Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism decided to create a special purpose vehicle for warehousing accumulated working capital loans not backed by any assets along with its four subsidiaries, non-core assets, paintings and artefacts and other non-operational assets of the airline, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a response to a question in the Rajya Sabha during the ongoing winter session.
The government is yet to take any decision on writing off nearly Rs 50,000-crore debt of the airline, he said in a separate reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
6. In Q4, SBI to Raise Rs 8,000-Cr Capital via AT1 Bonds
State Bank of India plans to raise capital worth Rs 8,000 crore through additional tier-I bonds (AT1 bonds) by March 2018.
The board of directors of the country’s largest lender has given a nod to raise additional tier-I capital (AT1) of Rs 8,000 crore through Basel-III-compliant debt instruments, SBI informed the BSE.
The lender has an option to issue bonds, in domestic and international markets in rupee and US dollar, till 31 March 2018. The bank could also issue masala bonds to international investors for raising AT1 capital.
7. WhatsApp Leaks: Sebi Orders Axis Bank to Probe Results Leak, Beef up Systems
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asked Axis Bank BSE 0.04 %, India’s fourth-biggest private-sector lender by market capitalisation, to strengthen its internal processes and systems after the regulator noticed leakage of price-sensitive information relating to financial results on WhatsApp groups before they were officially announced on stock exchanges.
The regulator on Wednesday asked Axis Bank to conduct an internal inquiry on those involved in the preparation of board notes and presentations, with information access and engaged in the consolidation of figures and dissemination of information relating to financial results in the public domain.
8. Chandrasekaran Asks Tata Employees to Keep It Simple in 2018
That’s the message N Chandrasekaran, chairman at Tata Sons Ltd, has for nearly seven lakh employees at India’s largest business conglomerate. The Tata Group needs to “reduce complexity” across businesses as it’d help them “respond and react faster”, he wrote in a letter outlining his three key focus areas for 2018. That would prompt “faster decision making.”
“We must make our management and organisation structures simpler and impactful,” he said.
Chandra, as he is popularly called, also underscored the need to cut down the number of businesses Tata operates. The group has “a presence in many sectors which have potential to scale”, Chandrasekaran wrote. “Each of them presents significant opportunity of growth.”
9. Toyota to Launch Cars with Mass Segment Focus
Bracing for 2020, when India switches to stricter Bharat Stage VI emission norms, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) plans to launch multiple models in the mass segment of the passenger vehicle market.
This change, from being an entity that has been sharply focused on the premium end of the market to one considering mass models, is prompted by the high taxation structure on premium vehicles, says Shekar Viswanathan, vice-chairman and wholetime director at the company, known for its Fortuner and Innova brands.
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