India’s manufacturing PMI records fastest pace of growth in over 8 years

Factory activity in India expanded at its fastest pace in 8.5 years (in September), as relaxations of lockdown restrictions led to a surge in demand and output. The IHS Markit India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has recorded an increase from 52.0 in August to 56.8 in September. PMI is a month-on-month calculation, and a value of more than 50 represents an expansion when compared to the previous month.

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PNB reports Rs 1,203 crore loan fraud by Sintex Industries

Punjab National Bank on Wednesday declared its Rs 1,203.26 crore loan to textile and yarn manufacturer Sintex Industries as fraud. The state-run bank has set aside Rs 215.21 crore as provisions, which is required by law. Sintex’s total debt stood at Rs 7,358.88 crore at the end of June 2020. Shares of PNB fell 1.93% to Rs 28, in a bullish market. Shares of Sintex have fallen 98% since the year 2017 to Rs 2.

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Six PSBs excluded from Second Schedule of RBI Act

RBI has excluded six Public Sector Banks from the Second Schedule of the RBI Act, following their merger with other banks. The six banks are Syndicate Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, United Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank and Allahabad Bank.

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India’s external debt declines to $554.5 billion: RBI

RBI has announced that India’s external debt stood at $554.5 billion (~Rs 40,640 crore) at the end of June, recording a decrease of $3.9 billion (~Rs 258 crore) over its level in March 2020. The external debt to GDP ratio increased to 21.8 percent in June-end. Commercial borrowings remained the largest component of external debt with a share of 38.1 percent.

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Natural Gas price cut by 25% to $1.79/mmBtu; lowest ever recorded

The Government of India has slashed the price of locally produced natural gas by 25% for October 2020-March 2021 to a multi-year low of $1.79/mmBtu (~Rs 130.92). The cut in prices would lead to more losses for India’s top oil and gas producer- ONGC.

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Auto manufacturers’ growth almost at pre-Covid levels

Auto sales data of September shows Maruti Suzuki registering a 30.8% year-on-year growth in overall sales. Bajaj Auto recorded its highest ever exports, and sales of Tata Motors in Sept 2020 is the highest in 8 years. Honda Cars India reported a 9.7% growth. However, MG, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Toyota recorded a decline in sales growth in September, as compared to that of previous years’. The sector is now seeing a turnaround from the slowdown due to Covid-19, as normal demand is improving and supply chains are going through a gradual resumption.

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Silver Lake’s co-investors to buy additional stakes in Reliance Retail worth Rs 1,875 crore.

US-based private equity firm Silver Lake’s co-investors will introduce an additional investment of Rs 1,875 crore into Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL). This would translate into a total of 2.13% equity stake in the subsidiary of RIL. The pre-equity value of RRVL now stands at Rs 4,285 lakh crore.

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Govt set to borrow Rs 4.34 lakh crore in the second half of FY21

The Government’s gross borrowing target for FY21 has been set at Rs 12 lakh crore, in order to support the economy amidst the pandemic. As per plans, the Centre is all set to borrow Rs 4.34 lakh crore in the second half of the fiscal year. It takes into account revenue pick-up and lower spending. As per reports, new stimulus packages involving additional expenditure may not be introduced.

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Jio Platforms receives Rs 2,624.50 crores from Intel Capital, Qualcomm

The digital arm of Reliance Jio received subscription amounts from Intel Capital and Qualcomm Asia Pacific for 0.39% and 0.15% equity respectively. Intel has invested Rs 1,894.50 crore, and Qualcomm has put in Rs 730 crore. Earlier this year, the subsidiary of Jio had also received investments from tech giants Facebook and Google. 

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From today, 5% TCS to apply on funds above Rs. 7 lakh sent abroad

According to the Finance Act 2020, 5% Tax Collection at Source (TCS) would apply on funds exceeding Rs 7 lakh for foreign payments under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of the RBI. Also, Restricted TCS would apply in case of any remittances towards loans for pursuing education. 

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