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Good morning. Here is a list of market-moving macro stories that you may like to read. The same has been prepared from newspaper and wire feeds

Govt mulls package for farmers

The government is considering several measures to support farmers in distress as pressure mounts for a nationwide loan waiver scheme ahead of the general election. These include doubling collateral-free loans under Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) to ₹2 lakh and changes in the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) crop insurance scheme to enhance coverage and ensure faster settlement of claims, said a senior official.

Curbs on royalty may be back
India is considering reinstituting curbs on royalty payments by local arms of foreign firms to their parents on account of technical services or use of trademarks and brand names, reports Kirtika Suneja. Such payouts comprise almost 20% of the annual FDI inflow into the country.

India high on foreign funds radar
India is the second-most preferred equity investment destination among the emerging markets in 2019, next only to Brazil, a Bloomberg survey of global investors and traders showed. A less aggressive Fed Reserve, moderating US corporate growth, earnings expansion in India, and reasonable valuations in emerging markets should prompt investors to look beyond the developed ones in the New Year.

Tweak in IT rules may widen govt-social media firm rift
Proposed amendments to the intermediary guidelines under the Information Technology Act will likely deepen the rift between the government and social media companies over removal of content and traceability of messages, experts said. Its also likely to be challenged in court, they added. The draft amendments to the rules under Section 79 aimed at curbing rumours and fake news over the internet and social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook were released for public consultation on Monday.

No PAN please, foreign investor tell GIFT
Several foreign investors have told GIFT authorities that they would be ready to invest in funds pooled in IFSC as long as they are not required to have Permanent Account Number (or PAN) issued by the Indian Income tax department. In the absence of PAN, managers of alternative investment funds (AIFs) would be willing to pool money and incorporate funds in GIFT-IFSC instead of Mauritius or Singapore.

Happy New Year awaits jobseekers

The New Year promises to be a good one for jobseekers in tech sector as several startups and ecommerce players, including Milkbasket, Cars24, Zomato and Oyo, have chalked out ambitious hiring plans following recent funding rounds, report Prachi Verma Dadhwal & Anjali Venugopalan. Cash-rich startups such as Healthians, Milkbasket, Cars24 and Instamojo are expected to hire 50% more in 2019 than they did this year, while established players like Zomato, Oyo and Swiggy could increase headcount by up to 30%

Rafale bombs plans on defence policy rejig
The defence ministry has been unable to implement groundbreaking changes in policies on production and offsets, despite a budgetary speech promise and detailed inputs by the industry that saw the proposed amendments as key enablers. Hit by the Rafale controversy, the defence ministry has not moved to amend its offsets policy since May this year, when a draft was presented for comments.

Flying to get costlier
Flying is about to get more expensive in India as the government has decided to raise the Passenger Service Fee (PSF) to ₹170 from ₹135 to meet the rising cost of airport security, which is provided by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

IN FINANCIAL NEWS

  • Showing signs of recovery, the real estate sector saw almost 50% surge in housing sales in 2018 across major cities on stable rates and demand for affordable flats, but year-end liquidity crisis dashed hopes of a strong growth while homebuyers remained worried over delayed delivery. Still, the revival has been significant, coming after triple shocks of demonetisation, tighter regulations and the GST rollout.
  • Oil prices were mixed in thin trading on Wednesday as the U.S. benchmark rebounded from steep losses in the previous session, even though concern over the health of the global economy continued to overshadow the market in the longer term. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1, were up 35 cents, or 0.82 percent, at $42.88 per barrel, at 0152 GMT, having at one point risen as high as 2 percent from the last close. They had slumped 6.7 percent in the previous session to $42.53 a barrel – the lowest since June 2017.
  • The rupee, Asias worst performing currency 2018, is expected to redeem itself next year, considering that global factors may be more conducive to a stronger Indian rupee. On Friday, the rupee snapped its four-day rising streak by falling 48 paise to close at 70.18 against the US currency.
  • The dollar fell against the safe-haven yen and Swiss franc on Tuesday as investors cut their exposure to riskier assets amid the partial US government shutdown and signs of confrontation between the White House and the Federal Reserve. The dollar fell 0.39% to 110 yen , its lowest level since late August and is set to fall for an eighth straight session against the Japanese currency, with London and New York shut for Christmas. The yen also hit a 16-month high against the British pound, trading at 139.90 yen and a four-month high against the euro, at 125.60 yen.

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