Top biz headlines: RBI on economic slowdown, Essel Infra-Adani deal & more

Slowdown cyclical, but deep reforms needed, says RBI

The slowdown in the Indian economy could be cyclical, with deep structural problems requiring urgent reforms, according to the Annual Report of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), released on Thursday.

The macroeconomic environment remains “unsettled and financial markets are experiencing considerable flux” as the financial year 2019-20 progresses, the report said. Read more

A first in 10 years: Aditya Birla group slips into red as Voda Idea bleeds

For the first time in at least a decade, Aditya Birla group companies reported losses at the group level in FY19, thanks to Vodafone Idea. The group firms reported combined losses of Rs 6,134 crore in FY19 against a net profit of Rs 5,414 crore a year ago. Excluding Vodafone Idea, the group reported a net profit of Rs 8,470 crore, down from a profit of Rs 9,582 crore a year ago. Read more

Q1 GDP growth likely to be weaker at 5.5%, says RBI

An internal assessment of the RBI presented in its Annual Report broadly indicates that real growth in GDP in the first quarter of 2019-20 would be lower than that achieved in the previous quarter (Q4 FY19). The estimate for real GDP growth for Q1 FY20 is near 5.5 per cent, people with direct knowledge of the matter told Business Standard. 

The National Statistics Office (NSO) will present the government’s official estimate of GDP growth for Q1 FY20 on Friday. Read more

Govt's surcharge rollback fails to curb FPI selling spree

The rollback of the tax surcharge on foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) has failed to curb their selling spree, and they have offloaded equities worth more than Rs 4,000 crore since Monday.

Experts say concerns about a slowdown in the domestic economy, combined with fears of a global recession, have eclipsed the move to withdraw the surcharge. Read more

Govt plans mega meet to fast-track Make in India

Soon after announcing 100 per cent FDI under automatic route for contract manufacturing, the government is rushing to explain the policy vision to the industry for fast-tracking the Make in India plan. 

Telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has invited all stakeholders in the handset industry for a meeting next month to clear any doubt on the contract manufacturing policy, people in the know said. Read more

Adani plan hits air pocket in Kerala govt vs Centre row

An impasse between the Kerala government and the Centre is threatening the privatisation plan of Trivandrum airport. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has opposed a joint ownership structure between the state government and Adani Enterprises, asking instead that the airport remain in its domain.

However, the group will be handed over the other five airports, which it won in the bidding process, by April 2020. Read more

Essel Infra to sell solar assets to Adani Green Energy for Rs 1,300 crore

Essel Infra has inked a pact with Adani Green Energy (AGEL) to sell 205 megawatt (Mw) of solar assets for Rs 1,300 crore, the company said on Thursday.

The assets are located in Punjab, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. All these assets have long-term power purchase agreements with various state electricity distribution companies, the company said. Read more

Softbank, Naspers in talks for Dream11 stake

Top technology investors have held discussions with sports fantasy company Dream11 to pick up a stake in the company, according to a Times of India report. The investors include SoftBank Vision Fund, Naspers Ventures and Tiger Global Management.

The deal size may go up to $500 million and the transaction is expected to value the company at $2-2.5 billion, sources told the newspaper.

Air India unit to pay Rs 22,000 crore dues in Sept

In relief for lenders, Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) is expected to repay ₹22,000 crore of its ₹29,464 crore working capital debt next month, according to Livemint.

AIAHL will raise the money through a government-guaranteed bond issue, sources told the business daily.

Currency in circulation increases 17% in FY19 to Rs 21.1 trillion: RBI

Bank notes in circulation in the economy increased 17% in FY19 to Rs 21.1 trillion from Rs 18.03 trillion in FY18, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its Annual Report of 2018-19, which was released on Thursday. Read more

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