Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

Bank recapitalization, Gujarat elections and Xi Jinping’s elevated status

Govt announces Rs2.11 trillion plan to recapitalize PSBs; Dates for Gujarat assembly elections declared; Xi Jinping gets another term as party chief even as his 'thoughts' make it to the Chinese Constitution

1. Government announces bank recapitalization plan

On Tuesday, the government announced a Rs2.11 trillion plan to recapitalize public sector banks that are weighed down by non-performing loans. The bulk of the funds (Rs1.35 trillion) will come from the sale of recapitalization bonds. The capital infusion is expected to boost lending. Markets reacted positively to the news.

2. Voting dates announced for Gujarat polls

Voting in the Gujarat assembly elections will take place on 9 and 14 December. Voting for 89 seats will happen in the first phase, while the second phase will see voting for 93 assembly constituencies. Results will be declared on 18 December, alongside those of Himachal Pradesh election. The BJP hopes to secure a fifth term in office in Gujarat.

3. HUL posts positive Q2 results

Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s (HUL’s) September quarter results suggest that the company is on the road to recovery after the disruption caused by the goods and services tax (GST) and demonetization. HUL’s domestic sales rose 4% by volume and net profit rose 16%. The value of sales declined marginally to Rs8,199 crore. The decline has been attributed to a change in accounting methods after GST.

4. Number of billionaires on the rise

On Thursday, UBS Group AG and PwC released their joint annual billionaires insight report, for the third consecutive year. After falling in 2015, the total wealth of billionaires grew last year, rising 17% to $6 trillion. The report analysed a total of 1,542 billionaires who employ over 27.7 million people globally.

5. RIL stock hits new high

On Thursday, Reliance Industries Ltd’s (RIL’s) stock created a record by becoming the first Indian stock whose market capitalization crossed the Rs6 trillion mark. The company’s shares have surged over 75% so far this year. The stock rallied owing to the news of a tariff hike by Reliance Jio. The hike is expected to boost the company’s profitability.

6. Xi Jinping wins second term as head of Communist Party

On Tuesday, Xi Jinping further consolidated power when China’s ruling Communist Party put his political thoughts into the country’s Constitution. The party passed an amendment to include “Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era" as a guiding principle in the charter. Xi also won a second term as the Communist Party president.

7. VC firms receive record funding

In the first nine months ended September, venture capital-backed firms received fresh capital infusion of $9.6 billion—double the amount raised last year. This is close to levels of the $10.5 billion recorded in 2015, when funding had peaked. China, India and southeast Asia accounted for 42% of the funding, globally.

8. Sensex touches new highs

Towards the end of Friday, the Sensex recorded weekly gains of 767.26 points, or 2.37%. This is the BSE Sensex’s best gain since 27 January. The rise came on the back of the several announcements by the union government to boost the economy, including a Rs2.11 trillion plan to recapitalize public sector banks.

9. Maruti sales rise

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, India’s highest-selling car maker, reported a profit of Rs2,484 crore (3% rise in quarterly profits) for the September quarter, beating analysts’ expectations. Vehicle sales for the quarter rose almost 18% to 492,118 units, of which 34,717 units were exported. For the period of April-September 2017-18, Maruti’s net sales stood at Rs385,705 million, a growth of 19.5% year-on-year.

10. ITC profits rise on lower costs

On Friday, ITC Ltd, India’s largest cigarette maker, reported an almost 6% rise in profits for the September quarter on the back of lower costs. Expenses for the second quarter fell almost 39% to Rs6,314 crore. The company recorded a profit of Rs2,640 crore, from Rs2,500 crore a year ago.

Graphics by Prajakta Patil

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