GDP Growth Rate for FY2017-18 Revised Upwards, Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady, Alibaba and Facebook Beat Estimates, Samsung Falls et al.

India’s unemployment rate hit 45-year high at 6.1% in 2017-18. GDP growth rate for FY2017-18 revised upwards to 7.2% from 6.7%. Alibaba and Facebook beat estimates. Samsung falls. 

GDP Growth Rate for FY2017-18 Revised Upwards, Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady, Alibaba and Facebook Beat Estimates, Samsung Falls et al. 

 

Now to Today's Top Business News Stories in Our End Of Day Wrap Up:

 

JOBS

India’s unemployment rate hit 45-year high at 6.1% in 2017-18.


No Vacancy: As per an NSSO survey which has not been made public yet, India's unemployment rate stood at a 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18. Joblessness was higher in urban areas (7.8%) than in the rural areas (5.3%).

Read this insightful piece to understand why the report has been the centre of controversy following allegations of the government refusing to release it, leading to the resignation of the last two remaining independent members of the National Statistical Commission.

 

ECONOMY

GDP growth rate for FY2017-18 revised upwards to 7.2% from 6.7%. 
 

The Revision: The government on Thursday revised the economic growth rate for FY2017-18 upwards to 7.2% from earlier estimated 6.7%. (Tweet This)

Factbox: Ahead of the Interim Budget tomorrow, here are the major expectations across sectors. 
 

Agri: Farm relief package in the tune of INR1tr, INR1.8tr for food subsidies

Health: 5% y-o-y increase in budgetary allocation
 

Tax: Higher tax exemptions for the middle class and for small businesses
 

Startups: Abolition of the angel tax, to boost start-ups
 

Brownie Points: Haseeb Drabu, former Finance Minister of Jammu and Kashmir outlines five ingredients for a recipe for a budget for new India.

 

DEALS

Airtel Africa raises $200m from Qatar Investment Authority. Zomato deliberates selling UAE business to Berlin-based Delivery Hero.

 
Airtel Africa raises $200m in a primary equity issuance from Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). The proceeds will be used to reduce Airtel Africa's existing debt.

As per an Economic Times report, Zomato is in advanced talks with Berlin-based food delivery major Delivery Hero to sell its UAE business in a $200-250m deal. 
 

The news comes as Zomato plans to raise cash through divestment to take on rival Swiggy, and is in talks to raise $500m-$1bn from existing backer Ant Financial and fresh capital from Chinese private equity player Primavera Capital.

 

TECHEARNINGS

Alibaba and Facebook beat estimates. Samsung falls.
 

Alibaba Calms China’s Fears: Alibaba reported 37% rise in Q3 net profit at 33.05bn yuan ($4.92bn) vs last year. Revenue jumped 41% to 117.28bn yuan.

Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) grew at a robust 29%. Revenue from its cloud business rose c. 85% to 6.6bn yuan, while sales from its digital entertainment and media business rose 20% to 6.5bn yuan.

Facebook Rallies Despite Year of Scandal: The social media giant posted a record profit of $6.88bn in Q4 vs. $4.27bn last year. Revenue rose 30% y-o-y to $16.64bn.

Oh No...: Samsung posted 29% drop in Q4 operating profit on back of a slowdown in demand for memory chips.

 

US

Fed holds interest rates steady, indicates dovish stance for future.
 

Hawks, Doves and Owls: Following a two-day policy meeting, the Federal Reserve voted unanimously to hold its policy rate in a range between 2.25% and 2.5% on back of rising economic activity and increased spending by households.
 

Chairman Jerome Powell dismissed the possibility that President Trump's criticism of the Fed consistently raising rates last year adversely affecting the US economy had any role to play in Fed’s decision to hold rates steady. Read Powell's retort here.

 

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