Business & Finance
Business Today

Business Today 18-Nov-2018

A leading business magazine read by the business leaders for staying ahead and managing challenges that comes right away in the ever changing world of business.

Living Media India Limited
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26 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
behind the numbers

OUR ANNUAL BT 500 issue tracks the stock performance of the top-listed companies in India and also their performance in terms of revenue growth and profit growth, apart from other parameters such as assets and debt. The 12-month period for this year’s study was from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. This allowed us to take the updated financial year results of the top 500 listed companies that form our universe. The numbers point to the fact that optimism, rather than fundamental improvement in business, drove the equity markets in the period under study. The market capitalisation of the top 500 companies went up by 23.4 per cent. The Sensex went up 15 per cent while the Nifty went up by 10.9 per cent. (They have since fallen – the…

1 min.
consumer sentiment takes a hit

WHO IS FEELING good about the economy? Not consumers for sure. All recent consumer confidence surveys have largely reiterated that point. The Reserve Bank of India Consumer Confidence Surveys are probably the most methodical in tracking consumer sentiments. The survey is done quarterly and it involves a sample of over 5,000 consumers in over 10 cities. The RBI consumer confidence surveys track both current sentiment as well as expectations of the future (Future Expectations Survey). For some time now, the sentiment about their current conditions have been low. The expectations of how their lives will be a year hence is also not particularly cheerful, though it is better than most people’s current sentiments. A second survey – monthly and with a smaller sample – the Thomson-Reuters/Ipsos Indian Primary Consumer Sentiment survey…

1 min.
barrelling through

AFTER ORDERING nine million barrels from Iranian suppliers, oil companies in India can’t find domestic insurers to back the decision. The US has only offered replacement of cargoes from Saudi Arabia to Indian refiners. Saudi oil, however, is expensive and Iran is geopolitically important for New Delhi. As a result, Indian Oil and MRPL placed orders with Iran while Hindustan Petroleum, Reliance Industries, Bharat Petroleum opted for replacements. This July, HPCL cancelled Iranian oil shipments when insurers refused to cover Iranian oil imports (processed or stored). Tehran has offered to ship oil in Iranian vessels and insure them. But there is no postlanding assurance it can provide. In that scenario, can New Delhi step up and offer a sovereign guarantee to insurers? With the Trump administration squeezing policy space, this looks…

1 min.
in a hurry

FORMER SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya’s joining the RIL board can’t technically be faulted. She’d completed the mandatory one-year ‘cooling off’. Former foreign secretary S Jaishankar’s ‘cooling off’ was waived allowing him to join Tata Sons. Post retirement jobs are mutually beneficial – bureaucrats’ are paid much higher than they're used to, and the corporate world gains from their experience. An ethics flag is a risk these assignments always run for possible conflict of interest, or even quid pro quos. To pre-empt this the government had stipulated a two-year ‘cooling off’ period for such appointments, subsequently slashed by half. Officials retiring from plum posts should remember that with less oversight comes more responsibility.…

1 min.
local funds to the rescue

THE STRENGTH in the US economy and a spate of Fed rate hikes has left emerging markets vulnerable to FPI outflows. India, due to a surge in oil prices and a falling rupee is at the top of FPIs’ selling radar. Rising bond yields and earning yields’ failure to catch up is another worry. At ₹25,000 crore October’s foreign outflows are the highest in 2018. The silver lining is that retail faith in equity mutual funds is intact despite funds paying poor returns in 2018. This reflects the confidence with which domestic institutions have been pumping money in the stock market, which stands at ₹21,019 crore month-to-date, a jump of 68 per cent over the full last month. The BSE Dollex, a benchmark for FPI returns, has slumped 15 per…

1 min.
pipe dream

CLAIMING INDIAN farmers would benefit to the tune of ₹62,635 crore, the Narendra Modi government increased Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for crops to be grown this winter. These would be sold in 2019 – when there is a general election to be faced. The increase in wheat MSP has been ₹105 per quintal, while safflower and lentil (masur) where FPI sell-off intensifies were raised by ₹845 and ₹225 per quintal. If the entire quantity of crops produced this winter is purchased at the government fixed MSP, farmers will indeed benefit; but this is unlikely. Except for wheat and paddy, government, agencies rarely lift other crops (such as pulses or oilseeds) in those quantities. Meanwhile the market price isn’t also on par with MSP. The higher MSP might end up proving a…