Need2know sizzling oil prices, red carpet for steel mncs and other macro triggers for the day – the economic times

Petrol price last Friday hit Rs 74.40 a litre – the highest level under the BJP-led government, while diesel rates touched a record high of Rs 65.65, renewing calls for cut in excise duty to ease burden on consumers. Oil prices settled with a modest gain Friday, shaking off earlier weakness sparked by a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump, to finish higher for the week. Oil traders will continue to weigh ongoing efforts by major global crude producers to reduce a supply glut against a steady increase in US production levels in the week ahead. Oil prices edged down in early trade today but were not far from their highest since late 2014.

The government will roll out a red carpet to big foreign players who want to set up greenfield steel projects and the country’s steel manufacturing capacity is expected to rise to 150 million tonnes by 2020.


Steel Secretary Aruna Sharma said the sector provides huge growth potential against the backdrop of the country becoming the world’s second largest alloy producer with increasing consumption. Foreign players like Posco, ArcelorMittal and Thyssenkrupp have presence in the country.

About 15 profitable airports, including the facilities at Chennai and Ahmedabad, could be put under private management in the first such privatisation initiative by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) as part of the broader government move to enhance India’s aviation infrastructure. Among the profitable airports still under the management of the AAI, are Ahmedabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Kolkata, and Lucknow.

Gold prices rose by Rs 60 to Rs 32,450 per ten gram at the bullion market last week on scattered buying by local jewellers amid weak global cues. Silver also gained Rs 200 to Rs 41,500 per kg due to increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers. Buying by local jewellers to meet wedding season demand at domestic spot markets led to the rise in gold prices but a subdued trend overseas capped the gains.

Foreign investors have pulled out nearly Rs 8,000 crore from the Indian capital markets so far in April due to ‘considerable’ volatility in global markets on account of the ongoing trade negotiations and firming up of bond yields. This comes following an inflow of Rs 11,654 crore in equities last month and an outflow of over Rs 9,000 crore from the debt markets. Prior to that, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) had pulled out over Rs 11,674 crore from the country’s in February.

The labour ministry proposal on universal social security cover for 500 million workers jasw got PMO nod. The proposal covers farm workers as well, seeking to start the process of putting in place a more secure welfare net a year before the general election. The finance and labour ministries will work out the details of the scheme that will require Rs 2 lakh crore when fully rolled out for the lower 40% of the country’s total workforce. The remaining 60% of the workforce is expected to make contributions out of their own pocket, either fully or partially. The scheme will be rolled out gradually, with poorest being the first beneficiaries.

West Bengal recorded a surplus revenue collection in March 2018. In a congratulatory note to West Bengal government, Hasmukh Adhia, union finance secretary stated that the revenue gap for the state has come down from 33.4% in August to -3% in March, 2018. According to the note, revenue deficit across the country has come down from over 28% in July 2017 to 17.9% in March. While Bengal achieved a surplus of 3% in March, 2018, the country as a whole registered a revenue deficit of 17.9% in March, 2018.

A pain medication developed by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has been dragged into controversy following allegations that several persons were deceived into participating in an ongoing clinical trial for the drug at a hospital in Rajasthan. The issue has escalated to a point where even the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, India’s apex drug regulatory body, has sent inspectors to probe the matter.

Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has proposed biometric authentication for traders and investors when they access mobile applications to buy and sell stocks. Aimed at improving cyber security, this is part of a long list of recommended dos and don’ts compiled by the markets regulator in a note recently shared with stock exchanges and brokers.

A consortium of Kedaara Capital and Partners Group is in advanced negotiations to buy Vishal Mega Mart from current owners TPG and Shriram Group for ?5,000-5,300 crore, fashioning a classic private equity-led turnaround of a high-profile casualty in the retail sector.

ICICI Bank chairman MK Sharma conducted a secret, internal inquiry two years ago that found no wrongdoing on the part of CEO Chanda Kochhar over loans to the Videocon group after a shareholder complaint. The findings were endorsed by leading law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (CAM).

President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to promulgation of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018, giving authorities powers to attach and confiscate the proceeds of crime and properties of economic offenders like bank fraudsters or loan defaulters fleeing the country. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance, 2018 is aimed at deterring economic offenders from evading the process of law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts, an official statement said.