Posts Tagged ‘Finance Minister’

Weekly Update 11th – 15th October 2010

Beside Indian market all global markets closed in green in the week gone by on the expectation of policy easing by developed nations. Central banks resorting to purchase of debt and currency intervention in developedeconomies is flooding markets with liquidity and funds are flowing to Asia for higherreturns. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has signaled that Fed may announce thepurchase of more Treasuries as soon as their next policy meeting in November in aneffort to boost growth and reduce an unemployment rate.

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The Bank of Japan said this week it will establish a 5 trillion yen ($61 billion) fund to buy government bondsand other assets. It also cut its benchmark overnight interest rate for the first timesince 2008, dropping it to a range of zero to 0.1 percent. Joining the league European Central Bank President Jean- Claude Trichet too said that ECB policymakers are in the “same mood” as a month ago and for now remain committed tophasing out their unlimited lending program.With the economic activity gaining pace, it is believed that Indian market wouldcontinue to see overseas buying. Moreover Indian government plans to raise $8.9billion in the year ending March 31 selling state assets including Coal India, Steel Authority of India Ltd. and Indian Oil Corp. thereby giving more investment opportunities to investors.

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While many developed nations are intervening in the currency markets in order tostem the appreciation in the currency, Indian Finance minister is of the opinion thatthe situation has not gone to an extent at which there is a need to restrict portfolio or foreign direct investment. As a matter of fact Indian rupee gained 4.5 percent inSeptember. Finance Minister said “We should try to engage the countries innegotiations and build up a consensus through which the matter can be resolved andit cannot be resolved through confrontation.” The International Monetary Fundraised its 2010 economic growth forecast for India to 9.7 percent from 9.4 percent,citing strengthening local consumer demand.

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Since we have already seen a huge run up in the broader indices meaning moreparticipation coming from large cap stocks so now going forward we may expectmore activity in mid and small cap stocks. The result season is starting in the comingweek and corporate would give their guidance for the rest of the year which wouldset the future undertone of the markets. Nifty has support between 5950-5870 and Sensex between 19640-19200 levels.What a stunning rally gold has enjoyed recently on fear of inflation. It has hit many records in fewer days.

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Silver was not behind, it made life time high of `34898 on MCX and breached the mark of `35000 in spot market. Talk of quantitative easing by US and rate cut by BoJ are creating anxiety over currency devaluation and long-terminflation is keeping gold and silver on remarkable run up. After witnessing the bigswings of both side, we can say that trend of crude oil is little bit in indecision mode.However, bias should be on upside. Michigan Confidence, CPI and advance retailsales data of US may further provide the direction to metals and energy. Industrialmetals which have made upper trading range last week, are likely to trade up onweakening dollar index.

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Weekly Update 4th – 8th October 2010

Global markets closed on a mixed note in the week gone by, with Indian markets closing in positive on weekly basis. To send a message to China to raise value of its currency, the U.S. House of Representatives this week approved a bill that would let domestic companies petition for duties on imports from China to compensate for the effect of weak yuan. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said he is confident that tensions over China’s currency, the yuan, won’t lead to escalating trade sanctions or feed into a broader global currency conflict.

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European confidence in the economic outlook unexpectedly improved this month. An index of executive and consumer sentiment in the 16 euro nations rose to 103.2, the highest since January 2008, from a revised 102.3 in August. The European Commission forecasted a more “moderate” expansion in the second half of the year as governments from Ireland to Portugal step up spending cuts to push down deficits. ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet said that there is “continuing uncertainty” about the outlook.

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China’s manufacturing expanded at the fastest pace in four months in September. According to China’s logistics federation and statistics bureau, the purchasing managers’ index rose to 53.8 from 51.7 in August. The data is viewed very positively by the market as it shows that China’s economic momentum may counter weakness in the global recovery. It is believed that growth may be further aided in coming months as government plans to speed the completion of stimulus projects and boost public housing construction.

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In Japan, the jobless rate fell to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent. After intervening few days back in the foreign exchange market in order to stem the yen appreciation, Japan’s Finance Minister reiterated that Japan is ready to keep intervening after selling yen for the first time in six years last month.

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Core infrastructure industry that account for 26.7 percent of industrial output in India slowed to 3.7 per cent in August, as compared to 6.4 per cent in the same month last year. Going forward we expect the markets would remain firm as it is supported by strong portfolio investments. The best strategy to ride the tide would be stay invested. Nifty has support between 5940-5870 and Sensex between 19640-
19200 levels.

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Bullions may continue to lead the charge in the commodities counter as both silver and gold recently tested life time highs in MCX. The latest boon to the metal has been increasing expectations that the Federal Reserve will further ease monetary policy with measures including the purchase of Treasuries. Jitters about European sovereign debt problems have also supported gold higher as a safe-haven investment. Better jobless claims data and a revised upward GDP in US supported the crude counter which can make further gains in next coming week. Base metals will take cues from LME as China markets will remain closed for a week. In agro counter pulses along with oilseeds may trade in range while spices can get some support from upcoming festive season. Mentha oil firm export demand and low crop will assist the prices to make fresh high in MCX.

India World”s 10th Largest Gold-Holding Country :)

The Economic Survey, which was tabled in the Parliament by the Finance Minister today noted that the year 2009-10 witnessed India becoming the world”s 10th largest gold-holding country, from a nation that pledged its bullion two decades ago to pay for imports.

The gold purchase by the government of 200 tonnes from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took its total reserves to 557.7 tonnes, or about 6 per cent of the total foreign exchange reserves.

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India in 1991 had to pledge its gold to the Bank of England in order to pay for its imports.

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The survey said “Post-purchase, India has become the 10th largest official gold-holding country in the world,”.

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in November last year concluded 200 tonnes of gold purchase from IMF as part of the country”s foreign exchange reserve management operation.

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The purchase, which was executed over two weeks during October, was an official-sector off-market transaction.

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Earlier, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that the purchase of gold provided a healing touch to the pride of the nation, which was dented about two decades earlier when the country sold its gold for a few hundred million dollars.

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Meanwhile, the survey sates that IMF”s Executive Board, on September 18, 2009 announced its decision to sell 403.3 metric tonnes of gold as a central element of its New Income Model and in order to increase its resources for lending to low-income countries.

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The IMF also decided that the initial offer of the sale would be directly to official holders, including the central banks. Consequent of this, the RBI concluded the purchase of 200 metric tonnes of gold from IMF, under the IMF”s limited gold sales programme, at the cost of US$ 6.7 billion, in November 2009, as part of its foreign exchange reserves management operation.

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The purchase was an official- sector off-market transaction and was executed over a two-week period during October 19-30, 2009 at market-based prices.

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With this purchase, gold holdings in the country”s foreign exchange reserves have increased to 557.7 tonnes from 357.7 tonnes, which is about 6 per cent of the reserves. Post-purchase, India has become the 10th largest official gold-holding country in the world.

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Stay Tuned for More updates.

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BUDGET PREVIEW 2011 – Final Part :)

Continuing The Final Part Of The Budget Preview 🙂

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We believe that this year Finance Minister will take a gradual move towards fiscal consolidation by increase in Excise duty. Excise duty forms around 40% of Indirect Tax collections. Excise duty collections were down by 13% in April to December period to close to Rs. 70,000 crore comprising around 66% of Budgeted Estimates of Rs. 1,06,477 crore. The factors that contribute to our belief are; 😀

·Though the growth in corporate sales is not astonishing but profitability has improved to due to various cost control efforts which is quite evident by the corporate tax collection that have shown a growth of 44% in December 2009. Cumulatively Net direct tax collections increased by 8.5 per cent during April- December 2009.

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·India being a consumption story has shown healthy growth in sales of consumer durables. For instance Automobile industry’s sales went up by 32 per cent in December over the same month in 2009. It is believed that a gradual hike in duty will get absorbed without affecting medium term prospects of the industry.

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·Partial rollback would also help the finance ministry effect a calibrated integration of excise duty with the services tax by the end of the next financial year, when the proposal for a Goods and Services Tax is likely to be implemented.

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·Finance Minister had indicated that he would like the fiscal deficit for 2010-11 to be around 5.5 per cent of GDP. The proposal to raise excise duty by two hundred basis points is being endorsed also to help the finance ministry raise more revenue and stick to the projected fiscal deficit target.

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Disinvestment would be the key focal point in the Budget. We believe that the Finance Minister would place high targets from the PSU sale proceeds. The factors that contribute to our belief are:

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·In order to bring Fiscal deficit under control that would subsequently ease upward pressure on interest rates.

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·This will help Investment in social sector projects which promote education, health care and employment & will also help in Capital investment.

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On the Corporate Tax front, we believe that the Finance Minster is unlikely to lower tax to 25% from the current 30% as per Industry demands. The rationale behind our belief is:

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·The direct tax code that proposes corporate tax to be 25% will be implemented in fiscal 2011 – 2012 & Industry have to wait till its implementation as it will replace the existing Income Tax act.

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·Already, government is trying to make up more tax revenue & is unlikely to take step in this direction as it may come as an obstacle in order to control fiscal deficit.

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On deregulation of Petroleum sector, we believe that in order to cut down on subsidies government could provide the road map for partial deregulation of the petroleum sector. The road map may provide OMC’s to review the prices of petrol and diesel on a regular basis however, LPG and kerosene could continue to be administered by the government. Factors that complement to our belief:

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·In view of the commitment of the UPA regime to flagship social security programmes that require huge allocations, Mr. Mukherjee has told Mr. Deora that it would not be possible to provide huge subsidies to the OMCs in future.

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·On the External Economy side, we expect that the Finance Minister may continue to provide certain concessions like interest subsidy and extension of other export oriented schemes. The rationale to our belief:

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·In the recent two months i.e. November & December, merchandise exports registered a positive growth of 18.2% & 9.3% respectively. But in the period of April to December 2009, the exports were still negative to the tune of 20% as compared to the corresponding period.

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·The world economic recovery especially in US & Europe is still questionable & the regions constitute approximately 15% & 21% respectively of our merchandise exports, thus directly affecting the trade.

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·Sectors such as engineering goods, jute, carpets, handicrafts and leather goods are continue to be in bad shape, others such as gems & jewelry drugs, plastics and petroleum products are showing improvement.

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·Concluding, the main point is that it may not be a good time to take back the stimulus so soon that may derail the recovery.

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BUDGET PREVIEW 2011 – Part 1 :)

At last the much talked topic “BUDGET” among AAM ADMI, CORPORATES or INVESTORS that comes to INDIA – is approaching. “The million dollar question is that will 2010 budget be another year to cheer the economy by giving some relief in indirect taxes, personal income tax and by implementing various schemes to induce social & infrastructure sector in order to maintain high trajectory growth”.

Generally, it is seen that the incentives which are given in the period of recession or slow down and moreover, when the government in power is about to complete its tenure, are above from expectations. It is seen that budget in two years usually comes good when the Govt. is in the last year of power & in the first year of the rule as a vote of thanks.The mid three years out of the five year term usually remains tight on the policies.

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For the common man, we expect that Finance Minister may raise the exemption limit in personal income tax & investment limit Under Sec.80C. The reason to our belief:

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1. The rocketing prices of food articles like sugar, pulses and vegetables have been cutting the pockets of a middle class.

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2. By coming out with these measures (above mentioned) the government will lower the tax incidence on the common man & will also help it to put the opposition on backfoot.

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By & large everyone is aware of the level of fiscal deficits globally and many of us know that it is essential to minimize deficits & returning to fiscal consolidation is necessary. The main question is why it is so important. Let’s look at the consequences of high fiscal deficit:

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A risk to high government borrowings leads to more debt servicing that cuts expenditure on various social welfare schemes, if TAX revenues do not matchup. In the current financial year, out of the 4 lakh crore borrowing, more than 50% has gone towards interest payments.

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Secondly, the higher government borrowing from market means less availability of funds to private borrowers. In the current Fiscal year, due to dismal credit growth, we haven’t seen pressure on Interest rates. But going forward we foresee normal credit growth in the next financial year. However as the government borrowing is expected to remain at same level in the next fiscal, pressure on interest rate is expected.

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So, this year the theme of Budget would any way be to maintain economic recovery through investment for building infrastructure rather than funding the expenses/consumption. But at the same time focus will be to bring down the fiscal deficit.

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The catch here is bringing down deficit by cutting expenditure means risk to growth & the other alternative is to increase revenues. While the direct tax collections are encouraging, on the indirect taxes front the government is still struggling to get desired revenues. This is because after September 2008, when the global financial system collapsed, the government came out with stimulus packages to keep up the desired growth pace.

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Excise rates since December 2008 had been progressively cut from 16, 12 and 8 per cent to 10, 8 and 4 per cent respectively depending on the product in question. Service tax was also reduced from 12 to 10 per cent.

EQUITY MARKET OVERVIEW JANUARY 2010

EQUITY MARKET OVERVIEW JANUARY 2010

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The year 2009 was an unconventional year with surprises galore.

The sharp recovery in the benchmark Sensex is evident of the same.

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The year came with some shocks and some surprises, be it Satyam opening the Pandora’s Box, government coming to the rescue through fiscal stimulus or gold touching the new highs.


With appreciation of more than 75%, 2009 calendar year emerged as the best year bringing back hope and strengthening the faith and confidence of investors.

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As we welcome the New Year, let’s have a glance at how was the sunset of 2009 with the happenings in the month of December.


The month started with not much action as the indices were little changed as every rise was seen as an opportunity to book profits as fear of rising inflation barred investors from building large positions.

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The India’s industrial output jumped 11.7% in November 2009 from a year earlier, helped by stimulus measures and robust domestic demand.


The momentum in the country’s industrial output is likely to sustain in the coming months.


The facility for Indian companies to buy back their Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs) under the automatic route and approval route would be discontinued from January 2010 due to the improvement in the equity market.

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The central bank said it would allow non-bank financial companies which are focused on financing infrastructure projects to borrow from overseas markets under the approval route.


During the middle of the month, profit taking pulled the key benchmark indices lower.

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The worst monsoon since 1972 and flood in some parts of the country have pushed up food prices nearly to 17.28% annually in beginning of January, while the headline inflation accelerated to 7.31% in December.


The food supplies need to be boosted to stem the price rise as the current acceleration in inflation rate is not only due to loose monetary stance.


The government towards this, has cut the open sale price of wheat, while ministers have pledged to import food items that are in short supply to boost local supplies and stem inflation.

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Dollar also showed strength and sparked fears of unwinding of dollar carry trade.

The Christmas week saw a ‘Santa Claus’ rally that took the market to 19 months’ closing high in a truncated trading week.

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Further, the latest data showed that corporate advance tax payments for the October-December 2009 quarter shot up sharply, suggesting a higher profit growth in corporate sector in the third quarter (October-December) of the current fiscal.

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The corporate advance tax payments for the quarter were up 44% to Rs.48300 crore against a 3.7% decline in April-June quarter and a 14.7% increase in July-September quarter.


The company-wise break-up of advance tax collection suggests a broad-based recovery with automobiles, cement, metals and consumer goods, doing well.

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Amidst all this, we had the Finance Minister‘s statement that containing inflation and cutting fiscal deficit are the major challenges for the government in the short-to-medium term.


Towards this the government can even alter the proposed draft for the direct tax code to sustain the high economic growth.

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Fiscal deficit at $65.7 billon for Apr-Nov: Govt

The fiscal deficit of India for the period between April to November stood at Rs 3.06 trillion ($65.7 billion), or 76.4 percent of the full-year target, the government said in a statement on Thursday. The tax receipts stood at Rs 2.33 trillion and a total expenditure stood at Rs 6.22 trillion for the first eight months of the financial year 2009/10.

In July, the government had forecasted fiscal deficit of Rs 4 trillion, or 6.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), for 2009/10.

The finance minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier this month had said that the fiscal deficit would not cross the target of 6.8 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). With the prevailing trends in the receipts and expenditure, along with better than expected economy performance in the second quarter of the current fiscal, it is expected that the fiscal deficit will remain with the estimate of 6.8 per cent.

However, the direct tax collections by the government increased by a marginal 3.7% to Rs 1.83 lakh in the first 8 months of this fiscal. Further, in the personal income tax segment, the government collected Rs 70,262 crore, up 4.53% while in November, the tax collections were nearly similar to last year as the mop-up was Rs 10,375 crore.

Moreover, the corporate tax collections declined by about 30% to Rs 3,214 crore against Rs 4,561 crore last fiscal while in the April-November period, the collections by way of the Security Transaction Tax stood at Rs 4,349 crore, up 4.44%.

The Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, yesterday stated that the Indian economy cannot sustain a high fiscal deficit for very long and it is, however, still too early to pull out of the fiscal stimulus.

“We shall have to strike a balance between the requirement of the economy and also the capacity of the economy to bear this level of fiscal deficit and borrowing,” the Finance Minister said on the sidelines of a Corporation Bank event.