SBI introduces OTP-based cash withdrawal system for its ATMs. Tata Sons will move SC for urgent relief in Cyrus Mistry case. Maruti Suzuki records rise in domestic sales by 2.4% in December. Government unveils ?102trn national infrastructure funding plan.
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GDP Under Construction: Yesterday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), unveiling projects worth ?102trn across 23 sectors and 18 states and Union Territories. These will be funded over the next five years by the central and state governments as well as private players.
39% of each project would be implemented by the centre, 39% by the states, and the remaining 22% by the private sector.
The projects identified by the NIP would included brownfield and greenfield undertakings. As per data, 43% (?42.7trn worth) of projects are under implementation, 19% are under development and 33% are at a conceptualisation stage . BS
Up and Down: The country's fiscal deficit through November stood at ?8.08trn ($113.2bn), which is 114.8% of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year. Net tax receipts in the April-November period was ?7.51trn, while total expenditure was ?18.20trn, government data showed.
At the same time, RBI data showed that the current account deficit (CAD) narrowed in the September quarter as the trade deficit shrank. CAD fell to 0.9% of GDP in Q2 from 2.9% in the same period a year ago and 2% of GDP.
"The contraction...Was primarily on account of a lower trade deficit at $38.1bn as compared with $50.0bn a year ago," the RBI said in a press release. Livemint
No Escape: The output of eight core infrastructure industries in India contracted for the fourth consecutive month in November by 1.5%, as per official data released on Tuesday. The eight core industries have been recording negative growth since August.
The output of coal, crude oil, natural gas, steel, and electricity declined by 2.5%, 6%, 6.4%, 3.7% and 5.7% respectively, according to the data. Meanwhile, cement production bounced back to 4.1% growth, recovering from monsoon-related disruptions, while the output of refinery products and fertilizers increased by 3.1% and 13.6% respectively during the period. The Hindu
Stepping Stones: India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki on Wednesday reported a rise of 2.4% in domestic sales in the month of December.
In a regulatory filing, Maruti said it sold 124,375 vehicles in the domestic market in December as compared to 121,479 vehicles sold in 2018 during the same month.
After including exports and sales to other original equipment manufacturers (OEM), the carmaker clocked a 3.9% rise in sales to 133,296 vehicles. ET Auto
Banks in Distress: The State Bank of India (SBI) is mulling the possibility of the creation of a distressed asset fund worth $2bn, formed along the lines of the government’s alternative investment fund (AIF), noted SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar.
“We are expanding our fund management business. At present, SBICAP Ventures - the fund management arm of the group - is managing a realty fund. It is looking at a distressed asset fund too,” he said. SBICAP Ventures is also looking to raise money from an international partner. Moneycontrol
Fraud, No More: In an attempt to curb the increasing number of ATM-related frauds, SBI has introduced a one-time password (OTP)-based cash withdrawal system for its ATMs, beginning today.
The bank said that this facility will be available for transactions above ?10,000 between 8 pm and 8 am, only at SBI ATMs. Livemint
Dire Straits: Digital payments companies face an existential crisis, according to the Chairman of the Payments Council of India, Vishwas Patel.
The government's decision to ask banks handling payments through RuPay cards and Unified Payments Interface (UPI) not to charge merchant discount rates (MDR) will apply to companies with a turnover of ?50cr or more. This could stop innovation and investment in the field, Patel says. "The government’s decision will have a negative impact on the payment ecosystem. Many of these companies may cut down on their manpower, thereby resulting in job losses." The News Minute
Interjection: Tata Sons will reportedly move the Supreme Court to seek early interim relief from the tribunal order reinstating Cyrus Mistry. More details here.
Extra: Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries...Here’s a look at the companies that have seen the largest increase in market cap in the past year.
It's A New Year, A New Dawn: Donald Trump has tweeted that "phase one" of the long-awaited trade deal between the US and China will be signed in Washington on 15 January. Further talks on phase two will reportedly begin in Beijing, where Trump will be travelling to himself "at a later date".
A phase one deal could contribute greatly in pacifying relations between the world's two largest economies, which have been engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war for the last two years.
The text of the deal has not been shared with the public yet. In recent weeks, both sides have tried to roll back tensions - China had promised to buy more American agricultural products while the US rolled back some tariffs. Trump had earlier expressed interest in signing a wide-ranging comprehensive trade deal with the Middle Kingdom. BBC
The Bulls Have It: One year ago, there were widespread fears that sagging global growth and the US-China trade war would drag markets down. In hindsight, these fears have proved to be wrong as 2019 has been one of the best years over the past decade for stocks. From the US and Brazil to Germany and India, stock markets reached record highs and maintained a bullish run for most of the year. WSJ
Ghosn With the Wind: Former Nissan Chairman Ghosn recently pulled off the seemingly impossible. He somehow evaded round-the-clock manned and video surveillance and heavy restrictions on his freedom of movement to flee Japan for Lebanon. False identities, fake passports, private jets, a Christmas band, a music box...how did Ghosn do it?
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