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Sensex ends shy of 58K, Nifty holds 17,300 as banks weigh; pharma, realty gain

Stock market today: Indian share markets rebounded Tuesday, with the Sensex jumping 1700 points to reclaim 58K while Nifty closed above 17,300.Premium
Stock market today: Indian share markets rebounded Tuesday, with the Sensex jumping 1700 points to reclaim 58K while Nifty closed above 17,300.

  • Market closing: Indian equities swung between gains and losses in choppy trade on Wednesday, finally ending the session in the red. Asian markets rebounded and Europe stocks made cautious gains on hopes of a de-escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine

Global markets extended Tuesday’s rally even as western officials remained cautious, saying they have yet to verify Moscow’s claims that it started to pull back tens of thousands of soldiers massed along Ukraine’s borders. Investors continued to evaluate escalating costs and the likelihood of tightening monetary policy in places like the U.S. and the U.K., where inflation surged.

16 Feb 2022, 03:51:16 PM IST

Sensex ends shy of 58K, Nifty holds 17,300 as banks weigh; pharma, realty gain

Indian equities had a volatile session on Wednesday as investors continued assess geopolitical risks. Western officials remained cautious, saying they have yet to verify Moscow’s claims that it started to pull back tens of thousands of soldiers massed along Ukraine’s borders.

The Sensex fell 145.37 points or 0.25% to end the day at 57,996.68, while Nifty was down 30.30 points at 17,322.20. About 1958 shares advanced, 1309 declined, and 99 were unchanged.

Power Grid Corporation, UltraTech Cement, NTPC, ICICI Bank and SBI were the worst hit on Nifty, while Divis Labs, Adani Ports, ONGC, IOC and HDFC Life rose.

Banks, financials, auto, metal stocks fell, while pharma and realty shares advanced. BSE MidCap index ended flat while SmallCap index rose 0.42%.

Sensex stocks at close on 16 February.
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Sensex stocks at close on 16 February.
16 Feb 2022, 03:24:51 PM IST

Mahindra Automotive partners Quiklyz to offer SUV leasing options

16 Feb 2022, 03:19:04 PM IST

Income tax authorities search premises of China's Huawei

The Income Tax Department conducted searches at multiple premises of Chinese telecom company Huawei in the country as part of a tax evasion investigation, official sources said on Wednesday.

The raids were launched at the company's premises in Delhi, Gurugram (Haryana) and Bengaluru in Karnataka on Tuesday.

Sources said the officials looked at financial documents, account books and company records as part of a tax evasion investigation against the company, its Indian businesses and overseas transactions.

Some records have been seized too, they said.

The company said its operations in the country were "firmly compliant" with the law.

16 Feb 2022, 03:15:58 PM IST

China says U.S. is exaggerating Russian threat to Ukraine: Reuters 

16 Feb 2022, 03:08:10 PM IST

EU urges Russia to take 'concrete' steps towards de-escalation: AFP

The European Union on Wednesday urged Russia to take "concrete" steps to ease tensions around Ukraine, as Moscow said it was pulling back more forces from the border.

"Russia has signalled that it may be open to diplomacy and we urge Russia to take concrete and tangible steps towards de-escalation because this is the condition for sincere political dialogue," European Council head Charles Michel told EU lawmakers.

"We cannot eternally attempt diplomacy on one side, while the other side is amassing troops."

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said "NATO has not yet seen signs of any Russian troop reduction" despite announcements from the Kremlin that it was withdrawing forces.

"We saw signs of hope yesterday, but now deeds have to follow those words," she said.

She accused Moscow of sending "conflicting signals" by announcing pullbacks the same day the Russian parliament voted to have President Vladimir Putin recognise two separatist regions in Ukraine as independent.

16 Feb 2022, 03:01:15 PM IST

Axis Securities Axis Multi-Asset Strategy: February 2022

Covid-19 Update: India witnesses a decline in the caseload – The Covid-19 cases in India have been declining for the last one week after a pick-up seen in mid-Jan’22, thanks to the large-scale vaccination.High-frequency indicators: Economic activities lose momentum, albeit marginally – COVID 3.0 restricted further expansion of the PMI data for Jan’22 and with moderation in manufacturing activities, the PMI manufacturing hit a 4-month low of 54. The PMI services, too, recorded a six-month low of 51.5 due to re-imposed restrictions and the inflationary pressure..

Equities: Positive structure emerging, Sector rotation is the key! – Jan'22 was a volatile month marked by a weakness in the global market due to rising concerns over inflation, faster tapering, and the new Covid-19 variant. Moreover, the strengthening dollar further dampened the investor’s sentiments.

Fixed Income: The slope of the yield curve has been flattening since Oct’21 against the steepest curve seen in the earlier months led by the policy support. In the Feb’22 MPC, the RBI maintained a status-quo, kept the repo rate unchanged, and has continued with the accommodative stance as long as necessary to revive and sustain growth while continuing to mitigate the adverse impact of the COVID-19 on the economy.

Axis Securities recommend a Quality approach in bonds with some non-AAA exposure based on individual risk appetite.

Gold: Investors’ overall sentiment improved in 2021, which was manifested in higher allocation to riskier assets such as Equity. Optimism, driven by the vaccine drive and faster-than-expected economic recovery, further stoked positive sentiment, keeping the gold prices under pressure. With this backdrop, Gold stood the biggest underperformer in the last one year and declined by 1.5% over the same period. uncertainties over the economic recovery completely fade off and it will continue to attract investments as a proven hedge against other asset classes. Moreover, it will continue to find support from the geopolitical risk and the inflation pressure in a global environment. We continue our Neutral stance on Gold and recommend a ‘Buy-on-Dips’ strategy.

Currency: The Indian currency remained volatile in Jan’22 primarily due to the stronger dollar and higher crude prices for the month. For the first half of the month, some weakness was seen on the USD front as risk conditions improved with the Omicron wave resulting in fewer fatalities. However, the reverse move was seen after the release of Hawkish FOMC minutes.

Key events that would decide the currency market direction moving forward are: 1) Spread of the new Covid-19 variant and its economic impact; 2) Bond yield direction as the FED signals first rate hike as soon as Mar’22; 3) Trend in the US inflation; 4) Direction of the Oil prices, and 5) Direction of Indian long-term bond yields.

16 Feb 2022, 02:58:13 PM IST

Gold firms below 8-month high; investors keep tabs on Ukraine crisis

Gold prices ticked higher as the dollar slid on Wednesday, after safe-haven bullion retreated from an eight-month high in the previous session on easing fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Spot gold gained 0.2% to $1,856.83 per ounce. U.S. gold futures were nearly steady at $1,857.80.

Gold prices touched their highest level since June last year on Tuesday, before reversing course to close almost 1% lower.

Asian shares rallied after Moscow indicated it was returning some troops to base from exercises.

16 Feb 2022, 02:43:01 PM IST

NATO'S Stoltenberg says messages on diplomacy from Moscow provide some ground for cautious optimism: Reuters

16 Feb 2022, 02:34:04 PM IST

Moody's changes Vedanta's outlook to negative; affirms B2 CFR and B3 senior unsecured rating

Moody's Investors Service has affirmed Vedanta Resources Limited's (VRL) B2 corporate family rating (CFR) and the B3 rating on the senior unsecured notes issued by VRL and those issued by its wholly-owned subsidiary Vedanta Resources Finance II Plc, and guaranteed by VRL.

But it has changed the outlook to negative from stable.

"The change in outlook to negative reflects holding company VRL's large near-term refinancing requirements amid tightening liquidity in the capital markets," says Kaustubh Chaubal, a Moody's vice president and senior credit officer. "The continued delay in refinancing its upcoming debt maturities with long-term funding raises concerns over the company's liquidity management, even as supportive commodity prices have improved its key financial metrics."

Moody's considers the holdco's persistently weak liquidity and high refinancing needs as signs of an aggressive risk appetite, with implications for the company's financial strategy and risk management, a key component of the rating agency's governance risk assessment framework. Today's rating action considers the impact of VRL's aggressive liquidity management and refinancing practices on its credit profile, which Moody's regards as credit negative.

The affirmation of the CFR reflects the rating agency's view that VRL's operations are solidly positioned with favorable underlying demand and commodity prices that support continued positive free cash flow generation.

RATINGS RATIONALE

Holdco VRL is about to enter its peak years of long-term debt maturities in fiscal years ending March 2023 (fiscal 2023) and March 2024, when about 60% of its total $9.4 billion debt or $5.7 billion, falls due. Moreover, $4.2 billion -- 45% of the total $9.4 billion debt -- will mature by June 2023. These debt maturities include senior unsecured notes of $1 billion in July 2022, $400 million in April 2023 and another $500 million in May 2023. Further exacerbating liquidity risk at the holdco is an annual interest bill that has climbed to around $800 million, from $500 million in previous years.

"We estimate the holdco's current cash sources -- management fee and dividends from operating subsidiaries -- will fall short of its cash needs over the 18 months until June 2023. While the company is obtaining financing for a part of its upcoming debt maturities, the absence of an executed refinancing plan keeps liquidity risk elevated, especially amid tight liquidity in capital markets and widening yields on its existing USD bonds," adds Chaubal, who is also Moody's Lead Analyst for VRL.

16 Feb 2022, 02:18:38 PM IST

WhiteOak Capital MF files for its first scheme - a global emerging market fund

16 Feb 2022, 02:08:29 PM IST

All sectoral indices in the green

Sectoral indices.
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Sectoral indices.
16 Feb 2022, 02:03:06 PM IST

India Inc will give 9-9.9% hike in 2022; Java,JavaScript, SQL profiles in demand

Salary hikes this year will be an average of 9% as companies trudge back to the pre-pandemic levels and business outlook improves. HR firms like Aon expect a 9.9% increment rolled out by India Inc, the highest since 2016 while Mercer says it will be about 9%, compared to 7.7% in 2020.

Talent assessment firm Mercer|Mettl on Wednesday said that as business landscapes change with more technology penetration, demand for niche skill sets are at an all-time high. Java, JavaScript and SQL developers will be the coveted roles in 2022 and DevOps has become one of the prominent roles to hire across industries because of India Inc's increased emphasis on network security, cloud adoption.

The increments that come in after a pandemic induced two-year lull also reflect the need to retain talent as attention touches an all time high.

16 Feb 2022, 01:50:30 PM IST

Global factors, energy prices to determine India’s inflation trajectory: finance ministry economic report 

Even as the Union government expects the rate of inflation to decline in FY23, global factors such as energy prices would influence the trajectory, the finance ministry suggested in its latest monthly economic review report. 

The report said that the monetary policy committee’s (MPC) decision of keeping interest rates unchanged in its latest policy meet, prioritises growth during uncertain times and reinforces the investment orientation of the budget.

“Global inflation and energy prices are likely to be influential in determining India’s rate of inflation and the government expects it to decline to eventually obtain a GDP deflator of 3.0-3.5 per cent assumed in the Budget 2022-13," the MER said in a report. With that the government has estimated a nominal GDP of 11.1% for FY23 in the Union budget, which translated into a real GDP growth rate ranging between 7.6 and 8.1%. GDP deflator is a measure of inflation and is the difference between nominal GDP and real GDP.

16 Feb 2022, 01:36:39 PM IST

Delhi HC issues notice to ED on Yes Bank promoter Rana Kapoor's bail plea: PTI

16 Feb 2022, 01:33:51 PM IST

Nifty rises above 17,400; broader markets also recover 

Nifty indices.
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Nifty indices.
16 Feb 2022, 01:08:34 PM IST

India's Feb first-half gasoil, gasoline sales pick up as COVID curbs ease: Reuters

India's gasoil and gasoline sales rebounded in the first fortnight of February from the previous month, indicating a recovery in industrial and consumer demand as states lifted most of the COVID-19 induced restrictions.

States in India have opened schools and colleges, and eased night-curfews among other curbs, after a sharp decline in infections.

Gasoil sales by the country's state fuel retailers amounted to 2.65 million tonnes during Feb. 1-15, data compiled by state-owned refiners showed, up 6.7% from the same period last month, the data showed.

Gasoil sales were however down by 6.95% from a year ago and by 14.7% from the same period in 2020.

16 Feb 2022, 01:04:31 PM IST

Mankind Pharma to acquire two brands from Dr Reddy's Laboratories: PTI

Mankind Pharma on Wednesday said it has inked a pact with Dr Reddy's Laboratories to acquire two brands - Combihale and Daffy.

While Combihale is used for the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Daffy is a soap-free moisturising bar for infants.

Mankind Pharma said the market for Combihale is valued at 900 crore, and growing at 14%.

The acquisition of the product is expected to strengthen the company's presence in the inhalation respiratory market segment, Mankind Pharma said in a statement.

The total market for Daffy is valued at 1,000 crore, growing at 18%.

16 Feb 2022, 12:50:53 PM IST

Russia says video shows tanks, military equipment leaving Crimea: Reuters 

Russia's defence ministry published video on Wednesday that it said showed a column of tanks and military vehicles leaving annexed Crimea across a railway bridge after drills, adding that some troops would also return to their permanent bases.

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that more than 150,000 Russian troops were still amassed near Ukraine's borders after Moscow's announcement of a partial pullback was met with scepticism.

Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014.

16 Feb 2022, 12:42:00 PM IST

Mrs. Bectors Food’s Q3 results are not crunchy enough

The December quarter (Q3FY22) results of Mrs. Bectors Food Specialties Ltd had both hits and misses. While price hikes backed the growth in revenue, the decline in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda) margins year-on-year (y-o-y) was a dampener.

Consolidated revenue increased by 17% y-o-y to Rs263 crore aided by growth across its biscuit and bakery segment. The festive season in India also helped sentiments. Despite a high base in Q3FY21, revenue in the biscuit segment grew by 11% y-o-y. The company, through its biscuits brand, Cremica, has a strong footing in North India and aspires to strengthen its presence in other regions. Further, it exports to more than 64 countries and revenue from export markets rose by double-digits y-o-y in Q3. (Read here)

16 Feb 2022, 12:25:56 PM IST

India-focused offshore funds, ETFs see net outflows of $435 million in Q4

India-focused offshore funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) logged net outflows of $435 million in the December quarter, which was significantly higher than $95 million worth of outflows during October-September, according to a report by Morningstar India.

Offshore India funds and ETFs are not domiciled in India but invest primarily in Indian equity markets. The coverage universe is 258 primary funds and ETFs. The category continued to experience outflows during the quarter ended December 2021, which was the 15th consecutive quarter of selling.

Through calendar year 2021, India-focused offshore fund and ETF category experienced outflows to the tune of $2.45 billion, which was sharply lower than net sell-off of $9.26 billion recorded in 2020.

Individually, India-focused offshore fund segment experienced net outflows of $638 million during the December quarter compared with net inflows of $14 million through the quarter ended 30 September 2021. During the full calendar year 2021, the segment had net outflows of $3.47 billion, which was significantly lower than the net outflow of $7.72 billion in 2020.

ETFs, meanwhile, experienced net inflows of $203 million during the December quarter compared to net outflows of $108 million in the previous three-month period. Through 2021, the segment received inflows of $1.01 billion compared to $1.55 billion outflows in 2020.

16 Feb 2022, 12:16:57 PM IST

Oil prices hold steady as Russia-Ukraine tensions cool

Oil prices steadied on Wednesday after retreating more than 3% in the previous session as investors gauged the impact of easing Russia-Ukraine tension against a taut balance between tight global supplies and recovering fuel demand.

Brent traded at $93.19 a barrel, down 10 cents, having slid 3.3% overnight after Russia announced a partial pullback of its troops near Ukraine, yet to be verified by the United States.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude also held steady and last traded at $92.13 at 0247GMT, after the contract ended Tuesday's session down 3.6%.

16 Feb 2022, 11:58:34 AM IST

Aviation ministry in talks with Home & Health Ministries on resuming regular international flights: CNBC TV18

16 Feb 2022, 11:50:02 AM IST

Cyient, IIT Hyderabad sign MoU for research collaboration on 5G technology

16 Feb 2022, 11:37:31 AM IST

Vedant Fashions extends listing gains

Vedant Fashions.
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Vedant Fashions.
16 Feb 2022, 11:35:31 AM IST

NBFCs rise as RBI gives 6 mire months to adhere to NPA norms 

Financial services.
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Financial services.
16 Feb 2022, 11:19:23 AM IST

Sensex slips below 58,000

Sensex check
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Sensex check
16 Feb 2022, 11:12:00 AM IST

HC refuses to suspend 7-yr jail term of Ansal brothers in Uphaar evidence tampering case: PTI

16 Feb 2022, 11:08:33 AM IST

Finance ministry monthly economic report

Going forward, easing vegetable prices on account of fresh winter crop, and better prospects for food grain production are contributing to an optimistic view on inflation. However, given that the categories bearing the brunt of imported inflation are edible oils and crude oil, it will be important to monitor the multi-round effects such imported inflation may have on the value chain, as also the transmission of input cost pressures to final selling prices, which is currently weak as is evident from the large gap between WPI and CPI inflation. The February MPC meeting retains inflation projection for 2021-22 at 5.3 per cent, bringing it slightly down to 4.5 per cent in 2022-23. Combined with the expectation of WPI inflation declining significantly in 2022-23, on the back of lower global inflation and a large base effect, the GDP deflator obtains at 3.0-3.5 per cent, as implicit in nominal GDP projection of 11.1 per cent made in Budget, 2022-23.

16 Feb 2022, 10:48:42 AM IST

Post weak Q3, will Balkrishna Industries stock continue to outperform peers?

Balkrishna Industries' stock has beaten competitors in the last one year by a wide margin. Its shares have risen 31% in the said period, while those of peers Apollo Tyres Ltd, MRF Ltd and Ceat Ltd have declined 8-34%.

By now, the pressure of severe cost inflation that the industry is facing, is well known. In Q3, companies witnessed margin compression on elevated cost of raw material such as natural rubber, synthetic rubber and carbon black, among others. Although companies raised prices, analysts say the quantum was not sufficient to absorb the cost inflation suffered so far.

Little wonder then that on a year-to-date basis, all the aforementioned stocks are under pressure with negative returns.

Even in the case of Balkrishna, operating performance in the December quarter was subdued. It's goss margin shrunk by 620 basis points (bps) year-on-year and 190bps sequentially to 53.5%, despite a 2-3% price increase during the quarter. One basis point is one hundredeth of a percentage point.

Yet, analysts feel, given the robust demand outlook, this stock is better placed than peers.

According to analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd, the company's outperformance to the specialty tyre industry is likely to continue, driven by expansion of its product portfolio and ramp-up in the off-the-road segment.

"Balkrishna Industries ranks highest among domestic peers in terms of cost competitiveness and financial strength. In terms of valuation, it trades at a substantial premium to its mainstream peers, analysts at Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd said in a report on 15 February.

Analysts at ICICI Securities Ltd note that as against 3-4% industry growth, the company is looking to reach 7-8% global market share from present 5% after fresh capacity comes on-stream. "Timely capacity expansion and improving utilisation along with stability in input costs post the recent inflation are likely to drive free cash flow generation of around Rs2,700 crore in FY23E-FY24E," it said in a report on 16 February.

16 Feb 2022, 10:36:56 AM IST

Markets technical outlook: ICICI Securities 

The Nifty managed to hold the key support threshold of 16800 as geopolitical tension eased out and entirely recouped past Monday’s losses. As a result, daily price action formed a sizable bull candle carrying higher high-low that helped index to fill Monday’s negative gap (17303-17076), highlighting inherent strength as buying demand emerged in the vicinity of 200 days SMA

Going forward, follow through strength to Tuesday’s high of 17375 would be required for acceleration of upward momentum towards 17600 in coming weeks. Else prolonged consolidation in the broader range of 17350-16800 with a positive bias. Key point to highlight is that, in spite of elevated volatility the India VIX (which gauge the market sentiment) has failed to surpass key resistance of 24 levels. 

We expect further cool-off in India VIX which would lead to revival in the market. We expect Nifty to resolve higher and head towards 17600 as it is confluence of:

80% retracement of February decline (17794-16809), at 17600

Last week’s high is placed at 17640

16 Feb 2022, 10:19:13 AM IST

Nifty view: Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments

"The markets saw a handsome rally yesterday; however that does not negate the downtrend. For that to happen we need to keep above 17600 on a closing basis. Until then any up move can be used to short the index. If we fall from the current level, we could slide to 16800-16900."

16 Feb 2022, 10:14:31 AM IST

Vedant Fashions lists at 8% premium

Vedant Fashions, known for its Manyavar brand, listed on the stock exchanges today at an 8% premium. 

The stock opened at 936 on the BSE, and the opening price on the NSE was 935. The issue price was 866 apiece.

Vedant Fashions.
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Vedant Fashions.
16 Feb 2022, 09:45:50 AM IST

Infosys BPM to hire 400 skilled workers in Costa Rica by 2022

Infosys BPM, the business process management arm of Infosys Ltd, plans to hire 400 skilled customer services workers in Costa Rica. The new employees will join the existing workforce of 300 employees in the region.

The announcement is part of Infosys BPM’s strategy to enhance its portfolio of international clients and overall business growth. This is in line with its expansion plans in Costa Rica and the overall focus on enhancing communities in which the company operates.

16 Feb 2022, 09:41:23 AM IST

Active COVID-19 cases in country dip to 3,70,240: Health Ministry

16 Feb 2022, 09:30:35 AM IST

Tech Mahindra to acquire 80% stake in Australian firm Geomatic.AI: BSE filing 

Tech Mahindra will acquire 80% stake in Australian artificial intelligence firm Geomatic.AI for 6 million Australian dollars (about 32 crore) through its Singapore-based subsidiary.

Geomatic.ai Pty was incorporated under Australian laws on 7 February 2022 and operates in the field of energy and utilities.

"As part of this deal, Tech M will have 80% shareholding in Geomatic.AI for consideration of Australian dollar 6 million. Ausnet will have 20 per cent shareholding and transfer digital workforce, intellectual property , assets and client contracts to the newly formed entity," the company said in a filing to the exchanges.

The deal has been signed and closed simultaneously, it added.

16 Feb 2022, 09:26:54 AM IST

Most sectoral indices higher 

Nifty indices.
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Nifty indices.
16 Feb 2022, 09:23:02 AM IST

Nifty opens above 17,400

Nifty50
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Nifty50
16 Feb 2022, 09:21:43 AM IST

Sensex opens higher, holds above 58K

Market check 
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Market check 
16 Feb 2022, 09:05:20 AM IST

Nifty above 17,300 in pre-open

Nifty50
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Nifty50
16 Feb 2022, 09:04:49 AM IST

Sensex higher in pre-open 

Market check 
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Market check 
16 Feb 2022, 08:57:30 AM IST

Stocks under F&O ban on Wednesday 

BHEL, Escorts, Indiabulls Housing Finance, and SAIL are under the F&O ban for today. Securities in the ban period under the F&O segment include companies in which the security has crossed 95% of the market-wide position limit.

16 Feb 2022, 08:31:55 AM IST

Fed to raise rates 25 bps in March but calls for 50 bps grow louder

The U.S. Federal Reserve will kick off its tightening cycle in March with a 25-basis-point interest rate rise, a Reuters poll of economists found, but a growing minority say it will opt for a more aggressive half-point move to tamp down inflation.

While inflation is rising across the globe, it is particularly hot in the United States, hitting a 40-year high last month.

That is putting pressure on the Fed to not only raise rates from a record low but also to reduce its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet, drastically inflated by emergency bond purchases as the Fed resuscitated the economy from COVID-19 pandemic damage.

Now that the economy has recovered its pre-pandemic level, all 84 respondents in a Reuters poll taken Feb. 7-15 expected the Fed to raise the federal funds rate by at least 25 basis points at its upcoming March 15-16 meeting.

Almost a quarter of those respondents, 20, forecast a 50-basis-point move to 0.50-0.75% following debate in markets over the past week after Fed officials discussed the merits of such a move. Rate futures are pricing in more than a 50% likelihood of a half-point hike.

16 Feb 2022, 08:22:26 AM IST

Russian invasion of Ukraine distinct possibility, says Biden: PTI

A Russian invasion of Ukraine remains a distinct possibility, said US President Joe Biden as his Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin left for a trip to the region amidst an escalating crisis in Europe.

Stating that any such move by Russian President Vladimir Putin will prove to be a "self-inflicted wound", Biden warned Moscow that the US and its allies will respond "decisively".

Biden said the US is still open for diplomacy to resolve the issue while stressing that more than 150,000 Russian troops remain on the Ukrainian border.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied it has plans to attack Ukraine but demanded that NATO never admit Ukraine and other ex-Soviet nations as members and the military alliance roll back troop deployments in former Soviet bloc nations.

16 Feb 2022, 08:17:55 AM IST

China's factory inflation hits 6-month low on govt curbs

China's factory-gate inflation cooled to its slowest pace in six months in January, official data showed on Wednesday, as government measures to control surging raw material costs weighed on producer prices. The producer price index (PPI) increased 9.1% from a year ago, the data showed, slower than the 9.5% growth tipped by a Reuters poll and a 10.3% gain in December,the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement. It was the weakest pace since July.

16 Feb 2022, 08:17:01 AM IST

Mysterious outstanding loans from Dhani in credit histories trigger panic

Unaccounted outstanding loans from Dhani Loans and Services Ltd have begun mysteriously appearing on the credit history of many people who claim that they have never borrowed from the online lender, which was earlier known as Indiabulls Consumer Finance Ltd.

These loans have seemingly been taken in the past six months using stolen customer details where only the permanent account number ( PAN) was found to be genuine, the complaints lodged by borrowers alleged, indicating large-scale identity theft. Some affected individuals have now approached cybercrime authorities and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) alleging fraud.

Several individuals that Mint spoke to said they had no idea how the loans got linked to their PANs. One person said his problem was resolved a day ago, but others are yet to see resolution. (Read here)

16 Feb 2022, 08:14:24 AM IST

ABFRL planning portfolio of up to 30 internet-first brands

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd (ABFRL), known for men’s and women’s formal wear brands Louis Philippe, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, and Peter England, is making an aggressive push into Indian ethnic wear, including designer labels and internet-first businesses, by incubating or acquiring new-age, digital brands in fashion and beauty.

The company, which clocked 5,181.14 crore in sales in the year ended 31 March 2021, recently acquired a 51% stake in designer Masaba Gupta’s firm, besides investing in Sabyasachi and Tarun Tahiliani earlier. In an interview, Ashish Dikshit, managing director of ABFRL, said the company could invest in and build as many as 30 internet-first brands in the next 3-5 years. (Read here)

16 Feb 2022, 08:09:15 AM IST

SBI MF selects 7 investment banks for $1-billion public listing: report 

India’s largest mutual fund house, SBI Mutual Fund, which clocked a monthly average assets under management (AUM) of 6.2 lakh crore as of December 2021, has picked a syndicate of seven investment banks as it gears up to launch a mega IPO and raise up to $1 billion, as per media reports.

The move comes on the back of healthy inflows of 14,887 crore into equity mutual funds in January with the contribution of monthly systematic investment plans (SIPs) to mutual funds at 11,517 crore for the month.

16 Feb 2022, 08:06:10 AM IST

SGX Nifty marginally higher 

Nifty futures on the Singapore Exchange were 24.5 points higher at 17,372.50 in early deals on Wednesday, signalling a positive start for Indian benchmarks.

16 Feb 2022, 08:02:45 AM IST

Asia stocks rally as fears of Russia invading Ukraine ease

Asian shares rallied on Wednesday as fears of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine this week dissipated after Moscow indicated it was returning some troops to base from exercises, delivering investors a measure of relief.

The tension between world powers over the Ukraine situation, which has developed into one of the deepest crises in East-West relations for decades, has been front-and-centre of investors' minds.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan surged 0.9% in early regional trade on Wednesday, playing catch-up with a rally in U.S. and European stocks on Tuesday.

Japan's Nikkei soared 1.9% to rebound from two days of falls, while Australia's S&P/ASX200 gained half a percent. South Korea’s Kospi rose 1.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6%.

Overnight on the Wall Street, technology companies led a rebound for stocks as investors welcomed signs that tensions might ease over the Russian military buildup on Ukraine's border.

The S&P 500 rose 1.6%, snapping a three-day losing streak and nearly making up for all of its losses last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite climbed 2.5%.

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