The government on Thursday doubled the limit of foreign direct investment proposals from Rs600 crores to Rs1,200 crores. This means proposals with total foreign equity inflow of Rs1,200 crores and below will be considered by the finance minister for approval. Earlier, foreign investment of up to Rs600 crores was approved by the finance minister and anything more than that was sent to the cabinet committee of economic affairs.
One of the world’s leading steel makers ArcelorMittal said 2010 would continue to be a challenging year for the company. It said that, although its shipments were expect to be higher in the first quarter of this year than at the end of 2009, it would face lower selling prices and increased costs. ArcelorMittal, which has approximately 8% of the global market, expects Ebitda, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, to be between $1.8 and $2.2 billion in the first quarter, versus $2.1 billion in Q4 of 2009.
India’s auto industry soared to historic heights in January, recording its highest ever sales in a single month. According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, total sales in the domestic market were over 1,114,000 units, against about 768,000 units in the same period last year, a jump of almost 45%.The earlier highest sales by the industry was in October 2006, at over a million units. Analysts say the increase was due in part to last year’s low base and reduced commodity prices.
Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee forecasted economic growth for 2009-2010 at around 7.75%, higher than the government’s prediction. While Mukherjee’s economic growth predictions are in line with the RBI’s, the Central Statistical Organization, predicts a growth of 7.2%. C. Rangarajan of the prime minister’s economic advisory council, said stronger economic growth could mean that a roadmap for exiting the stimulus measures put in place in 2008, could be announced during the budget.
There was a spike in food inflation for the third consecutive week.
Wholesale price-based food inflation rose to almost 18% for the week ending 30 January compared to 17.56% in the previous week. Potato prices jumped to 40.57% from last year while pulses increased to 41.24%.
Trade minister Anand Sharma announced an increase in India’s exports and foreign direct investment this week. Exports rose 11.5% to $14.3 billion in January versus $12.9 billion a year ago. Foreign direct investment advanced an annual 13% to $1.5 billion in December.
Shares of Jubilant Foodworks, which is the exclusive franchisee for Domino’s Pizza chain in India and listed on the BSE on Monday saw a premium almost 58% over the IPO price of Rs145 per share. Shares ended the day at Rs229.
The price of Indian spot sugar fell more than 3% on Wednesday, due to weak demand from bulk buyers and aggressive selling by millers to complete the weekly quota.
The price has fallen 15% since reaching its peak on 7 January.