January 15, 2022
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INDIA BUSINESS
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Good morning! The wholesale price-based inflation bucked the 4-month rising trend in Dec mainly on account of softening in fuel, power and manufacturing items even though food prices hardened. Check out the other stories in this section.
WPI inflation eases to 13.56% in Dec
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Illustration: Neeharika Balaji

One-liner: The wholesale price-based inflation bucked the 4-month rising trend in Dec 2021 mainly on account of softening in fuel, power and manufacturing items even though food prices hardened.

In double digits: WPI inflation has remained in double digits for the ninth consecutive month beginning April. Inflation in Nov was 14.23%, while in Dec 2020 it was 1.95%.

  • "The high rate of inflation in Dec 2021 is primarily due to rise in prices of mineral oils, basic metals, crude petroleum & natural gas, chemicals and chemical products, food products, textile and paper and paper products etc as compared to the corresponding month of the previous year." - Commerce and Industry Ministry statement

Manufacturing inflation lower: Inflation in manufactured items was lower at 10.62% in Dec, against 11.92% in the previous month.

Fuel prices rise: In fuel and power basket the rate of price rise was 32.30% in Dec, against 39.81% in Nov.

Want to put together mutually beneficial FTA: UK Minister
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One-liner: UK's Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan has said that both India and Britain want to bring together an FTA, aimed at boosting economic ties, which is mutually beneficial for both the countries.

Talks conclusion: She also expressed hope that both sides would conclude the negotiations for the trade pact by end of the year or early 2023.

Forks formally launched: The UK minister andIndia’s  Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Jan 13, formally launched negotiations for the proposed FTA, which is expected to help double bilateral trade to over $100bn by 2030 and boost economic ties between the two countries.

Interim agreement by Easter: The two sides are hoping that the negotiations would conclude by the end of this year. Both sides are looking to conclude an interim agreement by Easter.

  • "We want to bring together an FTA which is mutually beneficial for both the countries... We look forward to bringing together an exciting, vibrant and broad FTA...,"  Trevelyan said
Exports rise 38.91% to $37.81 bn in Dec: Govt data
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Source: Inhouse illustration

One-liner: The country's exports in Dec 2021 surged on an annual basis due to healthy performance by sectors such as engineering, textiles and chemicals.

Trade deficit widens: Trade deficit widens: Trade deficit widened to $21.68bn during the month, govt data showed on Friday. Imports in Dec 2021 too increased 38.55% to $59.48bn.

  • During April-Dec 2021-22, exports rose 49.66% to $301.38bn

Imports surge: Imports during the period surged 68.91% to $443.82bn, leaving a trade deficit of $142.44bn, the data showed.

  • "Merchandise exports in Dec 2021 were $37.81bn, as compared to $27.22bn in Dec 2020, exhibiting a positive growth of 38.91%. As compared to Dec 2019, exports in Decr 2021 exhibited a positive growth of 39.47%," - Commerce ministry statement
India grants $900mn to Lanka to overcome forex crisis
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Source: Pixabay

One-liner: The aid will help Sri Lanka build up its depleted foreign reserves and for food imports, amidst a shortage of almost all essential commodities in the island nation.

S1bn loan negotiated: On Wednesday, the governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the island nation is negotiating a $1bn loan from India to import goods from the country.

Decision conveyed: The Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay met Cabraal on Thursday and “expressed India's strong support to Sri Lanka in the wake of RBI extending over $900mn  facilities over the last week”.

Loan composition: “These comprise deferment of Asian Clearing Union settlement of over $509mn and currency swap of $400mn," the tweet said.

Doubling of reserves: Commenting on India's gesture, analysts on Colombo said the Indian assistance could have contributed to Sri Lanka's doubling of reserves announced at the end of Dec.

ABFRL to acquire 51% stake in Masaba
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Source: Pixabay

One-liner: Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL) on Friday said it will acquire a majority shareholding in popular and contemporary brand 'Masaba' promoted by the leading designer Masaba Gupta for a cash consideration of ₹90Cr.

Agreement signed: The Aditya Birla Group has entered into a 'binding term sheet' agreement to acquire 'House of Masaba Lifestyle Pvt Ltd', a move which will strengthen its play into fashion for young and digitally native consumers.

Advantage to ABFRL: This will also help ABFRL to foray into branded beauty and personal care segment, which offers tremendous opportunities to build distinctive, scalable home-grown brands.

D2C model planned: ABFRL has plans to scale Brand Masaba through direct-to-consumer (D2C) channels in the segment, which is rapidly growing driven by an increase in women shoppers, a rise in disposable incomes and acceleration in digital influence.

  • "Brand Masaba will be scaled predominantly through the digital direct-to-consumer (D2C) channel, leveraging its strong connect with younger and digitally influenced consumers." -Company statement
Adani Wilmar cuts IPO size to ₹3,600Cr: Report
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Source: Pixabay

One-liner: Edible oil major Adani Wilmar Ltd (AWL) has cut the size of its initial share-sale to ₹3,600Cr from the ₹4,500Cr planned earlier, people familiar with the development said on Friday.

IPO planned this month: The company, which sells cooking oils under the Fortune brand, is expected to float its iIPO this month, they added.

50:50 JV firm: AWL is a 50:50 joint venture company between Ahmedabad-based Adani group and Singapore's Wilmar group.

No second offering: Now, the IPO will comprise a fresh issue of equity shares worth ₹3,600Cr. There will not be any secondary offering.

₹4.500Cr issue planned: According to the draft red herring prospectus, it was aiming to raise ₹4,500 crore from the market by issuing fresh shares.

HCL Tech Q3 net falls 13.6% to ₹3,442Cr
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Source: Inhouse illustration

One-liner: IT firm HCL Tech on Friday reported 13.6% decline in net profit at ₹3,442Cr for the quarter ending Dec 31, 2021. It was ₹3,969Cr in the year-ago period.

Revenue up 16%: However, revenue rose 16% to ₹22,331Cr in Q3FY22 as against ₹19,302Cr a year ago.

Dividend announced: The company also announced interim dividend of ₹10 per share. On Friday, the company's scrip on BSE closed 0.3% higher at ₹1,337.55.

  • “We have delivered all round stellar performance this quarter with a revenue growth of 7.6% in constant currency QoQ, the highest recorded in the last 46 quarters. Our Products & Platforms segment led the growth with 24.5% followed by Engineering and R&D Services with 8.3% and IT & Business Services with 4.7%, all in QoQ”. - C Vijayakumar, CEO and MD, HCL Technologies

To buy Hungary firm: HCL Tech will acquire Hungary-based Starschema in a $42.5-mn deal.