Fuel Price Hike: No respite for common man from surging fuel prices, petrol at Rs 88.29 per litre in Mumbai

Fuel Price Hike: No respite for common man from surging fuel prices, petrol at Rs 88.29 per litre in Mumbai

New Delhi: Citizens are yet to receive any respite from skyrocketing fuel prices, as the retail rates of petrol and diesel have once again witnessed a hike on Tuesday. In Delhi, petrol is being sold at Rs 82.83 per litre after an increase of 11 paise, while diesel rates have escalated to Rs 75.69 per litre after a hike of 23 paise.

Petrol prices in Mumbai are inching closer to the Rs 90 per litre mark, as petrol is retailing 11 paise higher at Rs. 88.29 per litre. The price of diesel, on the other hand, has been revised by 24 paise to retail at Rs 79.35. Fuel prices have been soaring since the past few months in the country, causing many problems for commuters. While the Opposition has repeatedly blamed the Centre for the steep hike in the fuel price, the latter has maintained that global crude oil prices and other international factors are responsible for the increase in prices of petroleum products.

In a bid to ease the crunch caused by soaring fuel prices, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced a reduction of Rs 2.50 per litre on both petrol and diesel prices after curbing excise duty on the commodity by Rs 1.50 per litre. He had also directed all state governments to slash rates. While the revision in prices was implemented in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam, Jharkhand and Goa, a number of states are yet to implement the decision.

CCI approves founders additional share purchase in Ola

CCI approves founders additional share purchase in Ola

New Delhi: Fair Trade regulator CCI said Monday it has approved additional share purchase by Ola founders, Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, in ANI Technologies, which owns the cab aggregator. The additional acquisition of 6.72 per cent stake is made through Lazarus Holdings, which is incorporated in Singapore, and is a special purpose vehicle which will be used as an investment holding company.

“@CCI_India approves acquisition of 6.72 per cent shares of ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd by Lazarus Holdings Pte. Ltd,” the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said in a tweet.

Last month, the founders of the cab aggregator had sought approval of CCI for the combination pertaining to the indirect acquisition of less than 10 per cent of the share capital of ANI by Ankit Bhati, Bhavish Aggarwal and MacRitchie through Lazarus from certain existing shareholders of ANI. MacRitchie Investments is an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings.

Ola, which competes against US-based Uber, counts among its investors names like Softbank, Tiger Global, Tencent and Sequoia Capital, among others. Merger and acquisitions beyond a certain threshold require the approval of the CCI.

Spicejet to start first Delhi-Shirdi daily direct flight from October

Spicejet to start first Delhi-Shirdi daily direct flight from October

NEW DELHI: Budget carrier SpiceJet will commence flight service on the Shirdi-Delhi-Shirdi sector from October 1, said the airline on Monday.

"Our new flight will offer an immediate boost to religious tourism that the city is best known for," Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet, was quoted in a statement.

Besides, it will also launch a new daily direct flight on the Mumbai-Kanpur route from October 8. The airline will also operate first direct flight on the Mumbai-Jaisalmer route starting October 29 and a third direct flight on Mumbai-Kolkata sector from November 1.


Fuel Price Hike: Petrol price hiked by 6 paise per litre, diesel price remains unchanged

Fuel Price Hike: Petrol price hiked by 6 paise per litre, diesel price remains unchanged

Domestic fuel prices continued to scale new heights, while rates were not changed on Wednesday, a 6 paise per litre hike in petrol price was seen on Thursday, according to ANI. While on the other hand, the diesel price remained unchanged.  Now petrol in Mumbai costs Rs 89.60 per litre and diesel Rs 78.42 in Mumbai.

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View image on Twitter


 Petrol & Diesel prices in #Delhi are Rs.82.22 per litre & Rs.73.87 per litre, respectively. Petrol & Diesel prices in #Mumbai are Rs.89.60 per litre & Rs.78.42 per litre, respectively.

6:31 PM - Sep 19, 2018
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Petrol in Delhi now costs Rs 82.22 per litre and diesel is priced at Rs 73.87 per litre. Delhi has the cheapest fuel rates among all metros and most state capitals because of lower taxes. Mumbai has the highest sales tax or value-added tax (VAT). A combination of a dip in rupee value against the US dollar and rise in crude oil prices has led to a spike in fuel prices since mid-August. Petrol price has since risen by Rs 5.02 per litre and diesel by Rs 5.15 — the most in any one-month period since the daily revision in fuel prices was introduced in June last year.

Curbs on non-essential items’ imports in offing

Curbs on non-essential items’ imports in offing

New Delhi : The government will soon announce import curbs on several non-essential items, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said on Wednesday while terming “the 10 per cent depreciation” in the rupee in the last few weeks as a “temporary phenomenon”.

“There are always implications of the dollar and rupee exchange rates … this 10 per cent depreciation in last few weeks that is a temporary phenomenon,” he said at an event organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce here.

To a question about when the government intends to impose import curb on non-essential goods, he replied, “very soon.”

He, however, did not give any timeframe.

Last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the government’s decision to relax norms for raising overseas borrowing and impose restrictions on the non-essential imports as part of efforts to check rising current account deficit (CAD) and a falling rupee.

India’s current account deficit deteriorated to 1.9 per cent of GDP in 2017-18 from 0.6 per cent in the previous year and is forecast to rise to around 2.8 per cent in the current year. The trade deficit expanded to $80.4 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal year from $67.3 billion in the year-earlier period.

The rupee has logged year-to-date losses of more than 13 per cent against the strengthening US dollar after trade concerns and firming up crude oil prices. It has dropped close to 6 per cent since August. Garg exuded confidence that the fiscal deficit would be maintained as per the Budget announcement despite pressures.

“Come what may, oil situation, rupee or whatever the fiscal deficit will not be allowed to slip from 3.3 per cent, or better as we go along. I think all the pain points, all the issues which were earlier thought of as something unknown, whether it’s the MSP (minimum support price), all these have now been factored into,” he said.

On the price rise, Garg said, 4 per cent inflation for a developing economy is healthy, it is not something unhealthy or detrimental for the economy.

The Economic Affairs Secretary also explained that since the dependence of 50 per cent of India’s populace is on agriculture, it needs a transition and therefore, required policy steps.

The government has announced various schemes including Ujjwala Yojana, health protection and rural electrification with the intention to bring change in rural India, he said.

Besides, he said, the government has drawn up a programme for increasing the export of agri products from $30 billion to $100 billion. “India’s agri exports potential is as high as $100 billion against a current export of $30 billion.

RBI eases ECB norms to prop up rupee

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday eased norms for companies in manufacturing sector to raise overseas funds and allowed Indian banks to market Masala Bonds in line with the government’s measures to prop up the rupee. Following a review of the economy by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, the government announced an array of measures to check the decline of rupee and curb the widening current account deficit (CAD). Liberalisation of the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) norms was among other measures announced by the government. “It has been decided, in consultation with the government, to liberalise some aspects of the ECB policy including policy on rupee denominated bonds (Masala Bonds) …,” the RBI said. As per the revised policy, eligible ECB borrowers who are into manufacturing sector, will be allowed to raise ECB up to $50 million or its equivalent with minimum average maturity period of 1 year. The earlier average minimum maturity period was three years. The central bank has also made changes in norms wherein Indian banks can market Masala Bonds overseas.

At present, Indian banks can act only as arranger/ underwriter for such bonds and in case of underwriting an issue, their holding cannot be more than 5 per cent of the issue size after 6 months of issue.

Now, the banks can “participate as arrangers/ underwriters/ market makers/ traders in RDBs issued overseas subject to applicable prudential norms,” the notification said.

The rupee has been losing value against the US dollar, and had almost touched 73 on Tuesday.

However, the domestic unit Wednesday bounced back by 61 paise to end at 72.37 against the dollar.

Rupee recovers 28 paise against US dollar in early trade

Rupee recovers 28 paise against US dollar in early trade

Mumbai: The rupee Wednesday rebounded from its all-time low by rising 28 paise to 72.70 against the US dollar in early trade at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on fresh selling of the US currency by exporters and banks. Besides, dollar-selling by exporters and banks, easing crude prices in the global market and weakness in the dollar against other currencies overseas, helped the domestic currency rebound, forex dealers said.

A higher opening in the equity market also supported the recovery in the rupee, they said. The rupee Tuesday slid further by 47 paise to settle at a record low of 72.98 after scaling an all-time low of 72.99 (intra-day) against the US currency due to surging crude oil prices and escalating trade war worries. Meanwhile, the BSE benchmark Sensex recovered by 142.26 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 37,432.93 in opening trade Wednesday.

Sensex recovers by 142 points in opening trade, Nifty above 11,300

Sensex recovers by 142 points in opening trade, Nifty above 11,300

Mumbai: The BSE Sensex rebounded over 100 points in opening trade Wednesday on value-buying in recently battered stocks amid strength in the rupee and positive global cues. The 30-share BSE index recovered by 142.26 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 37,432.93 in opening trade. The index had lost almost 800 points in the previous two sessions as rupee woes and trade war worries spooked investors. The NSE Nifty was up 50.55 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 11,329.45.

Sectoral indices, including metal, healthcare, oil and gas, FMCG, auto, capital goods, realty, and banking were trading in the positive terrain by rising up to 1.06 per cent. The rupee recovered from its record low by rising 28 paise to 72.70 against the dollar at the forex market. The domestic unit had closed at a record low of 72.98 Tuesday.

The top gainers were Coal India, Asian Paint, ONGC, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, ITC, Tata Motors, L&T, Bharti Airtel, Bajaj Auto, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Bank rising up to 2.03 per cent. While, PowerGrid, NTPC, SBI, Wipro, HDFC, ICICI Bank and HUL were among the losers, declining up to 0.96 per cent.

Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) made purchases worth a net of Rs 264.66 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) continued their selling and offloaded shares worth a net of Rs 1,143.73 crore Tuesday, provisional data showed. Overseas, most Asian shares were trading higher, tracking higher closing in the US market overnight.

Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.52 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index was up by 0.97 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.28 per cent. The US Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.71 per cent higher Tuesday.

Rupee nears 73-mark

Rupee nears 73-mark

Rising crude oil prices, global trade spat take toll on currency

Mumbai : The rupee on Tuesday slid further 47 paise to settle at a record low of 72.98 against the US greenback due to surging crude oil prices and escalating trade war worries.

Panic dollar demand from importers and speculative traders sent the home currency sinking to a historic low of 72.99 in late afternoon deals with very little chance of RBI intervention.

A sharp spike in international crude oil prices weighed on the trading front towards the tail-end session even as the US dollar fell to seven-week lows after Donald Trump announced fresh 10 per cent tariffs on Chinese imports.

US President Donald Trump on Monday night announced to impose additional 10 per cent duties on Chinese imports worth $200 billion.

Benchmark Brent crude futures were up $1.14 a barrel to $79.19 a barrel, after hitting a high of $79.37 in early Asian trade.

Since Monday, the rupee has plunged by 114 paise or more than 1.5 per cent as trade war concerns resurfaced and crude oil rebounded. The stubbornly high global crude oil prices are opening up a can of worms to heightened inflation risks and likely to disrupt government’s fiscal maths along with deteriorating global financial conditions.

Considering that India is a net importer of crude oil, the impact of this imported inflation is expected to be significant. The benchmark 10-year sovereign yield also spiked to 8.14 per cent.

At the inter-bank foreign exchange (forex) market, the rupee opened weak at 72.51 against Monday’s close of 72.55 on sustained dollar demand. However, overcoming the initial volatility, the local unit rebounded to hit a session high of 72.35 before taking a big reversal.

Foreign investors withdrew Rs 1,143.73 crore on a net basis from capital markets Tuesday, provisional exchange data showed.

‘Real’ depreciation only 6-7%: IMF

MUMBAI: The Indian rupee has ‘effectively’ depreciated only 6-7 per cent this year after adjusting it to inflation, almost half of the actual drop in the value of the currency this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF, however, warned that the rupee depreciation would jack up the prices of imported goods such as oil and petroleum products, potentially putting an upward pressure on inflation. IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said the currencies of many of India’s trading partners, including those in the emerging markets, too have depreciated against the dollar. “As a result, so far this year the real effective depreciation of the Indian rupee compared to December 2017, by our estimates, is between six and seven per cent,” Rice said.

The real effective exchange rate (REER) is the weighted average of a country’s currency in relation to an index or basket of other major currencies, adjusted for the effects of inflation.

The Indian currency has since the beginning of the year lost almost 13 per cent in value vis a vis the US dollar.

Observing that India is a relatively closed economy, he said the contribution of the net exports to growth in April to June quarter was again stronger than expected and the real depreciation of the rupee can be expected to reinforce this trend.

Market rout continues

MUMBAI: The BSE benchmark Sensex extended losses for the second session on Tuesday by plummeting 295 points to close at an over one-month low of 37,291 owing to hectic selling in financial and auto stocks amid escalating US-China trade tariff tensions and worsening rupee woes.

The broader NSE Nifty too fell over 98 points to crack below the 11,300-mark. Besides, rising crude oil prices further dampened investors’ mood. The domestic currency was trading lower by 27 paise at 72.78 (intra-day) against the US dollar in late afternoon deals. The 30-share Sensex opened Tuesday on a somewhat better note at 37,660.19 and advanced to touch a high of 37,745.44 but later turned choppy and hit a low of 37,242.85 as selling pressure gathered momentum towards the fag-end, before settling 294.84 points, or 0.78 per cent, down at 37,290.67. This was the lowest closing since August 2 when it had settled at 37,165.16.

The 30-scrip gauge had lost 505.13 points Monday.

The 50-share NSE Nifty Tuesday plunged 98.65 points, or 0.87 per cent, to end at 11,278.90.

During the session, it moved between 11,411.45 and 11,268.95.

Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth Rs 180.36 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) also offloaded shares to the tune of Rs 106.54 crore Monday, provisional data showed.

“In the near term, we continue to maintain a cautious stance on the markets as volatility and choppiness is likely to remain high led by uncertain global cues, crude oil price movement, depreciating rupee (vs dollar) and muted domestic sentiments. However any further correction at this juncture should be considered as a healthy buying opportunity for investors in quality companies with strong financials and bright outlook,” an analyst commented.

Sensex crashes 505 points on rupee woes, global worries

Sensex crashes 505 points on rupee woes, global worries

Mumbai: After rallying for two sessions, the BSE benchmark Sensex Monday tumbled over 505 points to slip below the 38,000-level as worries about global trade war and prevailing rupee crisis dampened investors mood despite the government announcing steps to stem a steep fall in the Indian currency. The broader Nifty too nosedived over 137 points to end below the 11,400-mark. Subdued Asian and European markets due to escalating trade war between the US and China mainly led to a caution on domestic bourses, brokers said.

The government Friday announced an array of steps, including removal of withholding tax on Masala bonds, relaxation for FPIs and curbs on non-essential imports to contain the widening CAD and check the rupee fall. The Indian currency once again breached the 72-mark to hit a low of 72.69 (intra-day) against the US dollar. The BSE 30-share barometer, after a lower start at 38,027.81, quickly cracked the 38,000-mark to hit a low of 37,548.93 on across-the-board selling in recent gainers and finally settled 505.13 points, or 1.33 per cent, down at 37,585.51. The gauge had gained 677.51 points in the previous two sessions.

The NSE Nifty hit a low of 11,366.90 and finally ended 137.45 points, or 1.19 per cent, down at 11,377.75. Financials, led by HDFC twins HDFC Ltd and HDFC Bank, emerged as the biggest draggers of the session, pulling down the key indices from their key levels. Meanwhile, on a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,090.56 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) made purchases to the tune of Rs 115.14 crore on Friday, provisional data showed.

Vodafone-Idea merger complete, becomes operational

Vodafone-Idea merger complete, becomes operational

New Delhi: The merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular is complete after the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the merger, creating India’s largest telecom operator with over 400 million subscribers, a joint statement by the two companies said on Friday.
The clearance from the tribunal was the last leg of official approvals after the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) cleared the merger last month.

“Idea Cellular (renamed as ‘Vodafone Idea Limited’) — an Aditya Birla Group and Vodafone Group partnership — becomes operational as India’s leading telecom service provider with a subscriber base of over 408 million,” the statement said on Friday.

The new Board of Directors constituted for Vodafone Idea comprises 12 Directors, including six “independent Directors”, with Kumar Mangalam Birla as the Chairman. The Board has appointed Balesh Sharma as the CEO, it said.

The new company will have a market share of 32.2 per cent, as per the statement.

“The merger is expected to generate Rs 140 billion annual synergy, including opex synergies of Rs 84 billion, equivalent to a net present value of approximately Rs 700 billion,” it said.
Vodafone Group owns a 45.2 per cent stake and Aditya Birla Group owns a 26 per cent stake, both on fully diluted basis.