US markets end flat; Asian markets open mixed

US stocks closed near the flatline on Wednesday, but managed to advance further into record territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed about 0.13% higher at 18,372.1 points, at an all-time high, and notching a four-day winning streak. The S&P 500 closed 0.01% at 2,152.43 points, barely above the flatline. The Nasdaq Composite lagged, closing about 0.34% lower.

Asian markets appeared to have lost some of their momentum on Thursday, trading mixed at the open. In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 0.31%, while the Topix was up 0.3%. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi was down 0.19%.

Excise duty exemption limit for jewellers hiked to 10 crore

The government has announced significant relief for jewellers by increasing excise duty exemption limit to 10 crore from 6 crore, and relaxed procedures. Movement of jewellery for purposes other than sale has been exempted from excise levy, while tax officers’ visit at jewellers’ premises has been permitted only in rare circumstances with prior approval of the commissioner, reports The Indian Express.

HCC gets breather under S4A Scheme as banks approve debt recast

Ajit Gulabchand-led HCC, which currently is in corporate debt restructuring, has got bankers’ approval for restructuring it further under the recent Reserve Bank of India guidelines on ‘scheme for sustainable structuring of stressed assets’ (S4A), which will potentially provide the company relief on cash flows, reports The Economic Times.

I-T dept searches premises of Indiabulls group

The income-tax department has conducted multiple searches on the premises of Indiabulls group in connection with its probe against the firm on charges of alleged tax evasion. Officials said the searches covered multiple premises of the firm in Mumbai and Delhi after the department received “actionable evidence" to mount the action. Read more.

Dividend distribution policy mandatory for top 500 firms

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has directed top 500 listed companies to formulate a “dividend distribution policy" so that investors can get a clearer picture on returns from their investments in such listed firms and also identify stocks matching their investment objectives.

Indian Hotels sells ownership of Taj Boston for $125 million

Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL), which runs the Taj chain of hotels, on Wednesday said it has sold Taj Boston to a consortium of US-based New England Development, Eastern Real Estate, Rockpoint Group, Lubert-Adler and Highgate for $125 million, reports Mint.

Moody’s assigns Baa3 rating to Adani Transmission bonds

Global agency Moody’s has assigned a provisional investment grade credit rating to Adani Transmission proposed US dollar as well as the rupee-denominated senior secured bonds. It has assigned ATL’s bonds (P)Baa3—an investment grade rating subject to moderate credit risk. Read more.

Trai issues paper on public Wi-Fi networks

In a move that could potentially boost the government’s Digital India initiative, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has sought public feedback on a policy to expand broadband access through public Wi-Fi networks. The regulator’s consultation paper seeks suggestions on issues, including growth of public Wi-Fi networks, and regulatory and licensing measures required for expansion of Wi-Fi across cities and rural areas.

Ashok Leyland wins 450 crore bus orders, eyes bigger market share

Buoyed by its success in winning 450 crore bus orders from state transport undertakings in the June quarter, Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland is looking to step up its market share this year. The Chennai-based firm has bagged orders for 3,566 buses from various STUs (state transport undertakings) so far this fiscal and these are to be executed within this year.

Essar to invest up to 1,000 crore by FY18 in West Bengal

West Bengal is set to get 700-1,000 crore investment in ramping up coal-bed methane production from Essar Oil at Ranigunj but it could jump significantly if shale opportunity opens up. Read more.

Cabinet approves stake sale in NBCC India

The Centre has cleared a proposal to sell its stake in state-owned construction company NBCC India with an aim to meet the ambitious 56,500 crore PSU disinvestment target in 2016-17. At present, the government holds 90% in the company, which has a market capitalisation of 14,274 crore.

Crompton suspends operations at Mandideep unit due to rains

Crompton Greaves has halted operations at its manufacturing unit at Mandideep in Madhya Pradesh after it was hit by heavy rains. The management is confident that normalcy will be restored in a short time.

Mahindra seeks shareholders’ nod to raise 5,000 cr

Auto major Mahindra and Mahindra will seek its shareholders’ approval for raising up to 5,000 crore through issuance of securities on private placement basis from domestic and international markets. The company would spend the money “to augment resources for, inter alia, the ongoing capital expenditure, long term working capital/short term working capital and for general corporate purposes". Read more.

Earnings corner

Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), Muthoot Capital Services, Cyient Ltd are among the companies which will announce their June quarter earnings today.

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