Companies and Markets

Companies & Markets

Interest rate on PPF may be slashed to 8.50% for this year

Millions of EPFO subscribers may have to take a hit on their earnings from provident fund deposits as the fund manager has decided to seek a cut in interest rate to 8.5 per cent.

The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will meet on November 23 to consider a reduction in interest rate for fiscal 2017-18. The EPFO paid 8.65 per cent interest last year.

The decision to cut the rate has come at a time when returns of other deposit schemes are also low. A steady rise in food inflation is eroding their savings as well.

Vodafone-Idea will have to get DoT, NCLT nod for tower deal

Vodafone India and Idea Cellular will have to get no-objection nod from the telecom department and the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for selling stake in their respective tower businesses as the deal involves cash inflows into their balance sheets, official sources said.

Both Vodafone and Idea are already in the midst of a merger agreement and their decision to undertake third party sale of their respective tower businesses will need vetting by DoT and NCLT.

Funds growing at more than 30-35%

N S Venkatesh, who took over as the chief executive officer at the Association of Mutual Funds in India, or Amfi, late last month spoke to Payal Shah of TickerNews Service on varied topics ranging from outlook for the mutaul fund industry to the bonds market. Venkatesh, a career banker with over two decades of experience in treasury and international banking was also a member of RBI technical advisory panel on money markets, securities market & forex in 2011-16 when he also chaired the Fixed Income, Money Markets & Derivatives Association.

Banks seen driving earnings recovery in 2018

The country’s largest mutual fund manager ICICI Prudential is betting on banks to drive a much-awaited recovery in corporate earnings in 2018, as additions to their record pile of sour loans slow after surging in the past two years.

Banks will also benefit from an expected revival in economic activity likely to drive capital expenditure by companies and hasten lending growth that has hit multi-decade lows, chief investment officer Sankaran Naren said at the Reuters Global Investment 2018 Outlook Summit.

Rationalisation helps Medimix grow revenues, profits

Can rationalisation of distribution network increase revenues along with profits? Chennai-based Cholayil saw Medimix, its ayurvedic bath soap brand, becoming profitable and its revenues growing faster after it brought down its presence in non-south markets to less than one-fifth. 

The company took a decision to rationalise its presence in 500 districts in north, east and west markets last year.

The presence of Medimix was withdrawn from those districts, which did not qualify as per the benchmarked sales target.

Debit card usage spurts

Over a year after demonetisation digital transactions are on the rise though under the cloak of digital transaction it is cash withdrawals, which is pushing up usage of debit cards at automated teller machines instead of bank branches, as they slap fees on such transactions.

Debit card usages that accounts for 90 per cent of the total card related payment and settlement systems, continues to hold dominant position, according to the data released by Reserve Bank of India for September 2017.

‘We have not been defaulting on loans for last four quarters’

The progressive recovery of the steel market and the recent imposition of the countervailing duty (CVD) on flat stainless steel products have given a fresh lease of life to stressed steel maker Jindal Stainless (Hisar), with its scrip soaring over six times in the last one year. The share peaked in late September, days after the government imposed the 18.9 per cent CVD on import of flat stainless steel products from China.

Refrain from fresh purchases

The week gone by was a topsy-turvy one and the market gained n three of the five days, yet ended with weekly losses. It was sheer fatigue which saw selling and profit booking at higher levels. Further the liquidity in the system was absorbed to a large extent by the spate of large insurance company IPOs. The Sensex ended with losses of 371 points, or 1.11 per cent, while the Nifty lost 130.75 points, or 1.27 per cent.

Sebi move on record keeping impractical

A grouping of stock brokers has termed Sebi’s directive of compulsorily keeping records of telephonic communications with clients as “not practical” since that would be difficult in terms of identification and retrieval.