The Reserve Bank of India’s latest steps to boost the sagging rupee will only have limited impact. The latest measures could provide short term relief but not address the underlying problem of high current account deficit and declining capital flows, reports Mint.
Asian markets were trading mostly lower on Friday morning although US markets snapped six session of losing streak and ended in the green. China’s consumer inflation slowed slightly to 3.4%, down from March’s 3.6%, roughly in line with forecasts. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was down 0.1%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.9% and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.4%, reports MarketWatch.
US markets ended marginally higher following a dip in jobless claims and signs of stabilization in Europe. Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, S&P 500 Index gained 0.3% and Nasdaq Composite ended flat, reports MarketWatch. The US Labor Department reported weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell by 1,000 to 367,000 last week. Euro zone officials said that euro zone countries would continue to finance Greece until a new government was formed.
In India, SKS Microfinance will be in focus after it on said on Thursday that it will cut 1200 jobs and shut 78 branches in Andhra Pradesh in order to tide over the financial situation, reports Mint. The announcement came after the company decided to shift its registered office to Mumbai from Hyderabad.
Flying is becoming increasingly painful in India as Kingfisher Airlines Ltd’s pilots are expected to abstain from duty from Thursday midnight, even as 300 pilots of Air India reported sick forcing airlines to cancel 17 flights, reports Mint. Kingfisher Airline’s employees are protesting a delay in the payment of their salaries while Air India pilots are fighting for parity in salaries and career progression.
DLF has set up a core team to focus on the process of sale of non-core assets to reduce its debt, reports Business Standard. DLF is targeting to raise Rs 5,000-6,000 crore this financial year from the sale of non-core assets after it raised Rs 1,620 crore in FY12. As of December 2011, it had debt of Rs 22,758 crore.
Gail India could be in focus after the management said they are looking at pick up a stake in Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure (RGTL) for an undisclosed amount, reports Economic Times. RGTIL currently operates the $3.75-billion East-West gas pipeline that can take gas from the land-fall point of Reliance Industries’ D6 block in the Krishna Godavri basin.
The cabinet has decided against the politically sensitive move of raising the foreign direct investment limit in domestic insurance companies to 49% from 26%, reports Mint. This decision could leave foreign investors more skeptical about the ability of the government to push through crucial economic reforms to accelerate growth.
Lastly, India’s antitrust regulator is flexing its muscles with new investigations and a request for greater powers which will make it challenging for companies to do business in India, reports Wall Street Journal India. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has begun an investigation of Apple Inc. for marketing the iPhone 4 in India through select mobile-phone operators. CCI is also targeting cement and tyre manufacturers, for alleged price fixing.