Mumbai: Central banks around the world have finally taken some action to stimulate growth. The People’s Bank of China surprised investors by lowering its main one-year lending rate by 0.31 percentage points to 6%. European Central Bank cut its main interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.75%, the lowest on record, and the Bank of England restarted money printing and pumped an extra 50 billion pounds into the UK economy, reports Financial Times.
Markets in Europe and United States ended mostly lower over disappointment of rate cut by People’s Bank of China as it raised fears of hard landing. In the US, the Institute for Supply Management said its services index slowed to the weakest level since January 2010 which further weighed down investor sentiment. Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.4%, S&P 500 declined 0.5% and Nasdaq Composite Index ended flat, reports MarketWatch.
Asian markets were trading lower on Friday morning tracking weak cues from Wall Street. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average shed 0.3%, Shanghai Composite was trading flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.3%, reports MarketWatch.
In India, Grasim Industries will be in focus after the Aditya Birla group said it would buy a 40% stake in Canada’s Terrace Bay Pulp Mill for $44 million or Rs 242 crore and spend a further $250 million to upgrade and expand the plant, reports Mint.
Lanco Infratech will be on the radar following reports that Morgan Stanley is in talks to acquire a stake in debt-laden Lanco’s thermal power business. The move comes at a time when India’s electricity producers are struggling with fuel shortages and cost increases. It will help Lanco reduce debt and fund other businesses. See the Mint report
Kingfisher Airlines is finally willing to sell pledged assets to reduce the mounting pile of debt. The beleaguered airline is willing to sell a plush villa in Goa. But, 17 bankers in a meeting with the airline on Thursday asked the Kingfisher management to pay fees on the guarantees and letter of credit as well which is due for renewal, reports Economic Times.
Coal India plans to take over Indian Oil Corporation’s explosives division and expand its capacity to meet the requirements of mining, reports Economic Times. CIL’s move comes just after Competition Commission of India imposed a penalty of Rs 60 crore on 10 private explosives manufacturers following a CIL complaint that they had formed a cartel.
The government is planning to finally bite the bullet and decontrol diesel prices partially after the Presidential election on July 19, reports Business Standard. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is also considering a slew of measures to trim the huge fiscal and current account deficits.
ONGC has decided to sell around 35% of its stake in four of its coal-bed methane blocks, reports Business Standard. The state-run company will offload its stake to the bidders for a certain financial consideration and production sharing at a later stage.
Lastly, while scientists in European laboratory - CERN in Geneva are cheering the discovery of “God’s particle,” India’s official government Press Information Bureau has released a lengthy statement highlighting what it believes is the forgotten role of Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose in the Higgs boson particle saga, reports Wall Street Journal India.