The Mint report for 26 October 2009

The Mint report for 26 October 2009

The RBI outlined both the good and the bad in India’s economic outlook on Monday. The good include the impact of growth encouraging fiscal policy, the recovery in industrial production and core infrastructure, the upturn in business confidence, and the surge in the stock market. The bad signs include the large deceleration in private consumption demand, some decline in corporate sales, the poor monsoons, deceleration in credit growth, and the fall in exports.

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NTPC may be fighting a legal battle over gas supplies with RIL, but its ready to buy RIL’s gas for some of its other plants. It has applied to the government to allocate 35 million standard cubic metres of gas a day for its plants in the Delhi area. It has even agreed to the government price of $4.20 for every unit. The new application has been made to the newly created empowered group of ministers, who are expected to meet on Tuesday.

Tata Motors beat all expectations when it reported its second quarter results on Monday. Net profits shot up 110% to Rs729 crore compared to the same period last year. The company’s revenues rose 13% to Rs7,979 crore helped by festive season sales. Monday’s figures include the earnings of Tata Motors two British units Jaguar and Land Rover.

Labour unions are planning a massive nationwide protest on Wednesday against job losses and rising prices. They are also demanding a ban on futures trading in commodities and want government aid to companies to be conditional on them not firing workers. Unions affiliated with both the opposition communist parties and the ruling Congress party will be part of the protest.

Unhappiness with India’s banks could be rising. The number of customers complaining against banks shot up 44% for the year 2008-09 according to a report from the RBI. Most of the complaints related to credit card services and a failure to meet commitments. State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and the Indian unit of HSBC registered the largest number of complaints. Public sector banks recorded more than 33,000 complaints, while private banks received nearly 22,000 complaints. Foreign banks also received about 12,000 complaints.

Markets lost ground on Monday, with investors booking profits in some stocks. The Sensex fell 70 points to close at 16,741 and the Nifty went down 26 points, ending the day 4,971.