Rupee gains 20 paise to 69.75 against dollar in opening trade

Rupee gains 20 paise to 69.75 against dollar in opening trade

MumbaiThe rupee appreciated 20 paise to 69.75 against the US currency in opening trade Monday amid weakening of the American unit and positive opening in the domestic equity market. Forex traders said weakening of the US dollar against some currencies overseas aided the local unit.

Meanwhile, the dollar index, which gauges the American currencies strength against a basket of six currencies was trading higher by 0.04 per cent at 96.44. At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened on a strong note at 69.76 against the US dollar, then appreciated further to 69.76 showing a rise of 20 paise over its previous closing.

On Friday, the rupee finished at an over one-week high of 69.95 against the US currency on strong dollar buying by banks and exporters amid the greenback’s weakness overseas. Traders however said that significant foreign fund outflows and rising crude oil prices weighed on the domestic currency and capped the upmove.

Foreign funds sold shares worth Rs 119.60 crore from the capital markets on a net basis Friday, while domestic institutional investors bought shares worth Rs 1,199.40 crore, provisional data showed. The global benchmark Brent crude was trading higher by 1.13 per cent at 53.81 per barrel.

Meanwhile, continuing its winning streak for a fourth straight session Monday, the BSE benchmark Sensex surged over 150 points as investors maintained their bullish stance in early trade on positive cues from other Asian bourses.


Sensex rises over 150 points, Nifty hits 10,900-mark

Sensex rises over 150 points, Nifty hits 10,900-mark

Mumbai: Continuing its winning streak for a fourth straight session Monday, the BSE benchmark Sensex surged over 150 points as investors maintained their bullish stance in early trade on positive cues from other Asian bourses. Strengthening rupee also supported the upward move in the domestic stock market, dealers said.

The domestic unit gained paise 19 to 69.76 against the US dollar in morning trade. The 30-share index rose 160.03 points, or 0.44 per cent, to trade at 36,236.75. In similar movement, the NSE Nifty breached the 10,900 mark, and was trading 50.20 points, or 0.46 per cent, higher at 10,910.10. On Friday, the Sensex had rallied 269.44 points or 0.75 per cent to finish at 36,076.72, while the broader NSE Nifty spurted 80.10 points, or 0.74 per cent, to 10,859.90.

Banking, Pharma, and IT stocks were the biggest gainers on bourses in early session. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was trading 0.94 per cent up at USD 53.71 per barrel. Top gainers include Axis Bank, M&M, Tata Motors, Sun Pharma, HCL Tech, Maruti, HUL, TCS, Bharti Airtel and SBI. While NTPC, HDFC, ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Power Grid and ONGC were among the top losers.

On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 119.60 crore Friday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net buyers to the tune of Rs 1,199.40 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.31 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 1.4 per cent, Kospi gained 0.62 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.44 per cent in early trade. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell 76.42 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 23,062.40 in its previous session.


IndiGo gets its first longer range A321neo plane

IndiGo gets its first longer range A321neo plane

Mumbai: Budget carrier IndiGo has become the first domestic airline to have longer range Airbus A321neo plane in its fleet with the first aircraft arriving Saturday morning in New Delhi from the European aviation major Airbus’ Hamburg facility in Germany, an airline source said.

The maiden A321neo (new engine option), VT-IUA, landed at 9.06 am at Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and was accorded the traditional water canon salute on arrival, the source told PTI.

The new aircraft has joined the fleet after a delay of one month. It was to join the fleet on November 29 as per the earlier schedule, he said. The induction of the first A321neo, of the 150 on order, will help IndiGo spread its wings to medium-haul international destinations.

Flights of up to six hours duration come under medium- long haul category of operations. IndiGo now has 204 planes in its fleet, including one A321neo, 65 A320neos, 126 A320ceos (current engine option), and 12 ATRs, the source said.

The longer range A321neo plane has been delivered to the airline at a time when it is struggling with the frequent glitches in the Pratt & Whitney engines, powering these planes, and taking these aircraft out of operations on a regular basis.

These engine-run aircraft have been facing glitches frequently since their induction in the fleet by IndiGo and GoAir in 2016, with several instances of mid-air engine shut downs.

But the US engine maker has failed to come up with any tangible solution to fix these glitches so far despite frequentgrounding of these planes and passengers’ safety at risk. The airline has already announced its plans to launch services to Istanbul and has also signed a code-share pact with the Turkish Airlines for seamless connectivity to 20 global destinations for its passengers from Istanbul and onwards. In turn, passengers of the Turkish national carrier will have access to all destinations operated by IndiGo within India.

IndiGo at present operates over 1,300 daily flights to 52 domestic and 15 international destinations. The airline had in two tranches placed an order for 430 A320neos (180 in 2011 and 250 in 2015) with Airbus. Later, it converted 150 of these 430 planes to A321neos.


Fuel Price Cut: Fuel price continue to fall, petrol at Rs 81.10 per litre in Mumbai

Fuel Price Cut: Fuel price continue to fall, petrol at Rs 81.10 per litre in Mumbai

New Delhi: Fuel prices in various parts of the country continued to witness a downward trend on Friday, owing to the fall in crude oil prices in the international market. Petrol and diesel prices in all the major cities were slashed down by 40-44 paise. A litre of petrol today costs Rs 75.57 in Delhi, Rs 81.10 in Mumbai, Rs 77.53 in Kolkata and Rs 78.46 in Chennai.

Diesel is being retailed at Rs 70. 56 in per litre Delhi, Rs 73. 91 in Mumbai, Rs 72. 41 in Kolkata and Rs 74. 55 in Chennai. Earlier in October, fuel prices had skyrocketed owing to fluctuations in the international markets. The highest price was recorded on October, however, soon after rates started to nosedive. The dip in prices comes after the United States softened its stand on Iran’s sanctions and allowed eight countries to continue importing oil from Iran temporarily. These countries are India, China, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan.

Government authorises banks to issue lookout for defaulters

Government authorises banks to issue lookout for defaulters

New Delhi: As per a Ministry of Home Affairs circular, the CEOs of public sector banks are now authorised to make a request for issuance of look-out circulars against suspects. The circular has come on the heels of the wake-up call in the banking sector against the backdrop of defaulters like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fleeing the country. The MHA gave the authorisation empowering the CEOs following a recommendation of an inter- ministerial panel under Financial Services Secretary  Rajiv Kumar. When asked about the changes made in the circular, Kumar said it was a continuation of the government’s clean-up drive of the banking sector.

Soon after the PNB fraud hit headlines, the Finance Ministry asked PSBs to collect passport details of all those borrowers, who have borrowed loans of more than Rs 50 crore. However, possession of mere passport detail was not enough but this circular has empowered banks to take decisive action against wilful defaulters and fraudsters by requesting for issuance of LOC by the concerned authority, thereby thwarting any move by them to flee the country, Kumar said.

“It will act as a big deterrent for wilful defaulters and also bring about fundamental change in the creditor-debtor relationship,” he said.The requests for look-out-circulars can also be made against wilful defaulters against whom an FIR is yet to be filed, it said.Mallya had fled the country in March 2016 after defaulting on loans given to Kingfisher Airlines, which was promoted by his group.

Domestic air passenger growth eases to 14-month low in October

Domestic air passenger growth eases to 14-month low in October

Mumbai: Domestic air traffic rose 13.34 per cent to 1.18 crore in October over the same period a year ago, the lowest in the last 14 months, DGCA data, released on Thursday, showed.

The Wadia group-owned budget carrier GoAir maintained its top position in on time performance(OTP) from four key airports at 90.5 per cent while the largest airline by market share IndiGo was relegated to the fourth position, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) data. The January-October cumulative travel demand also surged a healthy 20.11 per cent, at 11.46 crore passengers as per data.

In terms of flying passengers, IndiGo carried 50.75 lakh passengers during the month with a market share of 42.8 per cent, followed by cash-starved Jet Airways along with its subsidiary JetLite, which flew 17.61 lakh passengers with a combined market share of 14.9 per cent. National carrier Air India carried 14.44 lakh passengers with its share in the total domestic traffic pie standing at 12.2 per cent in October. Among others, SpiceJet flew 13.82 lakh passengers while GoAir flew 10.48 lakh passengers during the reporting month.

Third full-service carrier Vistara, unseated SpiceJet from the second position in maintaining flight time punctuality with 88.5 per cent of its aircraft departing and arriving at four airports, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, on scheduled time as against 86.5 per cent of the Ajay Singh-controlled budget carrier.

The two scheduled commuter airlines, Air Deccan and Air Odisha, which are in the process of ownership change, failed to operate even a single flight during the month with the regulator recording a 100 per cent cancellation of their flights. “GoAir continues to top the on-time performance for second consecutive month. Stringent processes and systems along with a committed ground force of staff drives our operations,” said Cornelis Vrieswijk, chief executive officer, GoAir, on the carrier’s best OTP for the second month on a trot. The Gurugram-based SpiceJet reported the highest passenger load factor among all domestic carriers at 90.8 per cent for the 43rd month in a row followed by GoAir at 84.1 per cent and IndiGo at 83.1 per cent.

The passenger load factor in the month of October has shown increasing trend compared to previous month due to the onset of the tourist season, the DGCA said.  According to the data, as many as one lakh passengers were affected by flight cancellations and delays and those who were denied boarding by the airline for one reason or the other, forcing the carrier to pay them a cumulative over Rs 2.76 crore as compensation.

“While October recorded a 13.34 per cent growth as compared to the same month last year and the market continues to remain buoyant with over 118 million (1.18 crore) passengers flying during the month, the monthly growth was tempered due to factors such as the delayed festival season this year and an increase in fares of over 15 per cent compared to September,” said Sharat Dhall, COO(B2C), However, with oil cooling off, prices are likely to be stable ensuring that the growth momentum is maintained, he added.


Gautam Singhania steps down as Raymond chairman

Gautam Singhania steps down as Raymond chairman

New Delhi: Gautam Singhania, on Wednesday, stepped down from the position of the chairman of Raymond Apparel Limited. Singhania will, however, continue to be on the board. The board has appointed Nirvik Singh as the non-executive chairman of Raymond Apparel.

Nirvik, a 27-year marketing and communication industry veteran, is currently the chairman and CEO of Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa of Grey Group Asia Pacific Other new additions to the board include Anshu Sarin, who has joined the team as non-executive director, and Gautam Trivedi, who will be serving as an independent director of the company.

Commenting on the appointments, Singhania said, “I have always believed in setting the highest standard of governance and have always advocated to run the business professionally. I am delighted that Nirvik Singh has been appointed as the non-executive chairman of Raymond Apparel Limited and I am sure that the company will benefit tremendously under his able leadership. I also welcome Anshu Sarin and Gautam Trivedi as new board members of Raymond Apparel Limited.”

IT Department looking into 80,000 cases where returns not filed post demonetisation

IT Department looking into 80,000 cases where returns not filed post demonetisation

New Delhi: The Income Tax Department is “chasing” 80,000 cases where people have not filed their returns, post demonetisation, despite the taxman sending them notices to do so, a senior official said on Wednesday.

CBDT Chairman Sushil Chandra, after inaugurating a stall of the I-T Department at the India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan here, said the department has also identified nearly 80 lakh people who had filed their returns during the past three years but have not done that so far. The top boss of the department said the November 2016 decision to demonetise high-value currency “really helped in increasing the tax base in the country and as well as the net revenue of this country from direct taxes.”

“If you see, last year contribution of direct taxes was 52 per cent and the contribution of indirect taxes was 48 per cent. This has happened after many years that the contribution of direct taxes is more than the indirect taxes. To answer your question as to how demonetisation helped, I would say that the money has now come into bank accounts so it is easy for us to track as to how many persons have deposited the cash without corresponding returns,” Chandra said.

Talking about enforcement by the department post notes ban declaration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CBDT chief said they have sent emails and SMSes to a large number of people who have filed their returns after this communication. “Around 3 lakh notices were sent to persons who did not file returns post the demonetisation. These are statutory notices. About 2.25 lakh people filed their returns thereafter. In 80,000 cases, where the returns were not filed, the department is chasing and the assessment will have to be framed,” he said.

Apart from the post-demonetisation exercise, the department is also pursuing those who have not field their returns on time. “About 30 lakh persons who should have filed their returns have not filed it. We are sending SMSes and then notices will be sent if these messages are not acknowledged. First we will send SMSes and we are making assessees aware that your income is liable for tax and you should pay it. We have also identified around 80 lakh persons who had filed returns in last three years but they have not filed it so far. I am expecting large no of returns (in the coming days). In the total 6.02 crore returns filed this year, there are 86 lakh new taxpayers,” Chandra said.

We have used non-intrusive methods and hence 86 lakh new returns have been brought to the tax net so far this year. Chandra said the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), that frames policy for the I-T Department, was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that targets of revenue collection set for them are met by the end of the financial year in March next year. “We are reviewing each and every region where targets are not being met. I have already written to all the regions and they are taking necessary steps,” he said.

“We are following Tax Deducted at Source payments and asking every deductor to ensure that they deduct these taxes on time and deposit with the department…prosecutions (for not depositing TDS) are also being filed. Similarly, we are also chasing advance tax payers and we are intimating them that please deposit your tax,” he said.

Yes Bank chairman Ashok Chawla resigns with immediate effect

Yes Bank chairman Ashok Chawla resigns with immediate effect

Mumbai: Former bureaucrat Ashok Chawla Wednesday resigned as non-executive chairman of Yes Bank, the private sector bank said. According to sources, Chawla offered to quit as controversy was being generated on his continuance on the Board of Directors following his name appearing in a CBI chargesheet in the Aircel-Maxis case.

“Yes Bank announces that Shri Ashok Chawla, Non-Executive Independent Part-Time Chairman, has tendered his resignation from the Bank’s Board, with immediate effect, mentioning that during the current transition period, the Bank would need a Chairman who could devote more time and attention,” the bank said in a regulatory filing. The bank shall in due course announce the appointment of a Chairman, post RBI’s approval, it added.

As per sources, representations were being made by shareholders and stakeholders to the bank as well as regulators like Sebi questioning his continuance on the Yes Bank’s Board after being named in chargesheet filed in Aircel-Maxis case by the premier investigating agency CBI in July. Former Finance Secretary Chawla had also worked as Chairman of the Competition Commission of India. Following representations, the bank’s Nomination & Remuneration Committee had decided to seek legal opinion on his continuance as a Chairman. It was observed the bank should seek the opinion of the RBI on Chawla’s issue, sources said.

Later, the bank sought RBI’s opinion, though no reply was received from the regulator, sources said adding Chawla himself offered to quit in the interest of the bank. Another independent director Vasant Gujarathi too has tendered his resignation with immediate effect due to personal commitments, said another filing of the bank. However, sources said Gujarathi, who was heading the audit committee, had resigned because of certain observations made by the RBI on issues related to audit and corporate governance in the bank.

The bank’s board has also approved appointment of Uttam Prakash Agarwal as an additional director (Independent) for a period of five years. The Reserve Bank has already asked the private sector bank to find replacement of founder MD and CEO by January 31. Last month, Yes Bank had said the panel looking for a successor to MD and CEO Rana Kapoor had finalised potential candidates. Yes Bank shares closed at Rs 222.5 on BSE, down 1.37 per cent.


Ashok Leyland CEO and MD Vinod Dasari resigns cites personal reasons

Ashok Leyland CEO and MD Vinod Dasari resigns cites personal reasons

Chennai: Hinduja group flagship frim Ashok Leyland Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Vinod K Dasari has quit citing personal reasons and the company board has accepted his resignation, a top official said on Tuesday.

However, the boart at its meeting here Tuesday asked him to continue till the end of March 2019 to facilitate a smooth transition, Ashok Leyland Chairman Dheeraj Hinduja, who was elevated as Executive Chairman in view of the resignation of Dasari, said. The board had reappointed Dasari as Managing Director and CEO for a term of five years from April 1,2016 to March 31, 2021. “This (resignation of Dasari) was something unexpected. The board needs time to discuss this (and find a replacement). Vinod has done an excellent job and the team in Ashok Leyland is very strong,” Hinduja told reporters.

Dasari, who had been associated with the commercial heavy vehicle maker for the past 13 years, said he had been thinking about quitting for some time. “When we came to India 17-18 years ago, it was family decision. To come to Ashok Leyland and not go back to United States was my family decision. So, now my family is set by God’s grace and I’d been thinking about it for quite sometime (about quitting)”, he said. Noting that he was not keen on putting his papers when the company did not perform well about six years ago, Dasari said, “we turned around and our team did a fantastic job. The team is strong now”.

Asked would the resignation of Dasari pose a challenge to the company, Hinduja said, “there are lot of mentorship, guidance from the Board whenever needed. Of course there are challenges, but I think, we are well within meeting the timelines”. He said the company was having a very good board of Directors and of the ten, eight were independent directors and four of them with very rich credentials in the automotive industry. He also said Ashok Leyland had aggressive plans on light commercial vehicles, Defense and  electric vehicle segments.

Talking about Dasari, Hinduja said he was a people’s person. “If he fixes a target, his team will do everything and achieve that. Last five years, he changed the culture in Ashok Leyland”. Noting that the focus was on making a smooth transition to find a successor to him, Dasari said the company had been his family. “I am not running away from something. I just want to learn something else. Right now the focus is on smooth transition,internally,” he said.

Replying to a question, Hinduja said the resignation of Dasari would not lead to a vaccum and it would be business as usual. “Till we find a right person, based on the request of the Board, I will be the Executive Chairman. Vinodh and I have been working closely whether it is strategy, recruitment of senior people. I think it will continue. It will be business as usual,” he added.