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Budget Impact: LTCG tax reintroduction leads to equities’ steepest fall since Nov 2016

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Mumbai, Feb 3 : The Indian key equity markets witnessed the steepest downfall since November 2016 — when demonetisation exercise was put into effect — after the long-term capital gains (LTCG) tax was re-introduced in the Union Budget 2018-19, resulting the Sensex to shed over 800 points and the Nifty50 over 200 points in a single day.

Breaking an eight-week green streak, the equity indices gave way to the bears following a massive sell-off in the markets on Friday.

On a weekly front, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) tanked 983.60 points or 2.73 per cent to close trade at 35,066.75 points.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the week’s trade at 10,760.60 points — shedding 309.05 points or 2.79 per cent from its previous week’s close.

Market observers said disappointing announcements in the Budget like on the LTCG tax and a higher-than-expected fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 dampened the risk-taking appetite of investors.

“Domestic markets closed lower as investors were disappointed after the government proposed 10 per cent LTCG tax on equity gains above Rs 1 lakh in the Union Budget. The sentiments also got spooked after the finance minister revised upward its fiscal deficit target,” D.K. Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director of SMC Investments and Advisors, told IANS.

“Also, market mood got badly suffered after Fitch Ratings on Friday said high debt burden of the government constrains India’s rating upgrade. Meanwhile, the divestment target for 2018-19 has been set at Rs 80,000 crore,” he added.

In the Budget announced on Thursday, Finance Minster Arun Jaitley proposed to tax LTCG on equities exceeding Rs 1 lakh at 10 per cent, which is expected to bring in revenue of Rs 20,000 crore.

The government also revised upwards its fiscal deficit target for 2017-18 to 3.5 per cent of the gross domestic product, or the equivalent of Rs 5.9 lakh crore, which was higher than the earlier target of 3.2 per cent for the current fiscal.

“The week gone by saw the Nifty correcting sharply. This week’s losses came after eight consecutive weeks of gains,” Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Sectorally, there were no gainers. The top losers were the realty, pharma, PSU banks and energy indices,” he added.

On the currency front, the rupee weakened by 51 paise to close at 64.06 against the US dollar from its last week’s close at 63.55.

Provisional figures from the stock exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 2,099.45 crore, while domestic institutional investors worth Rs 145.73 crore during the week.

Figures from the National Securities Depository (NSDL) revealed that foreign portfolio investors bought equities worth Rs 2,923.18 crore, or $460.08 million, during January 29 and February 2.

Arpit Jain, AVP at Arihant Capital Markets, said: “This week, the Indian equity benchmarks fell 2.75 per cent the most since demonetisation week.”

“Both the indices fell by 2.4 per cent a day after government announced to tax equity investments held for more than a year to boost its revenue,” Jain told IANS.

The top weekly Sensex gainers were: Mahindra and Mahindra (up 1.73 per cent at Rs 768.50); Indusind Bank (up 1.54 per cent at Rs 1,755.60); Hero MotoCorp (up 1.51 per cent at Rs 3,623.65); Tata Consultancy Services (up 1 per cent at Rs 3,149.15); and Hindustan Unilever (up 0.11 per cent at Rs 1,372.70).

The losers were: Dr. Reddys Lab (down 15.25 per cent at Rs 2,122.10); Tata Steel (down 8.60 per cent at Rs 669.70); Axis Bank (down 7.95 per cent at Rs 564.95); ONGC (down 7.59 per cent at Rs 192.45); and Bharti Airtel (down 6.81 per cent at Rs 421.80).

With IANS inputs 

Business

Home loan borrowers can expect fall in rates

Earlier this month, the RBI cut the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent. But PSU and private banks are yet to pass on the resultant benefits to customers.

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Home auto loan

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Taking note that benefits of lower interest rates were not reaching consumers, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das will meet the public and the private sector banks on February 21 to persuade them to pass on the benefits.

“I will meet the private and public sector banks Chief Executive Officers and managing directors on February 21 over this because transmission of monetary policy decisions is important. We will see what needs to be done,” he said after a customary post-budget meeting of the RBI Board with the Finance Minister.

Earlier this month, the RBI cut the benchmark interest rate by 0.25 per cent to 6.25 per cent. But PSU and private banks are yet to pass on the resultant benefits to customers.

The RBI is mandated to see whether banks are cutting lending rates in line with repo rates. For this, the RBI will start linking interest rates to external benchmarks replacing MCLR.

The home loan borrowers have often complained about the opacity of interest rate fixing mechanism, which allows banks to not pass on the rate cut benefits to customers.

As and when the external benchmark rate changes, it will reflect in the change in interest rate of the loan as well.

The RBI had earlier proposed that from April 1, 2019, banks would have to use external benchmarks instead of the present system of internal benchmarks — Prime Lending Rate (PLR), base rate based on PLR, and Marginal Cost of Lending Rate (MCLR) to ascertain the lending rates.

He said the RBI has received several comments on external benchmarks and is examining them.

On the government’s expectation to receive Rs 28,000 crore interim dividend from the RBI, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “the RBI decides independently on the quantum of interim dividend to be paid to the Centre and a central bank committee is examining the issue.”

He said it was the prerogative of the central bank to decide the quantum of RBI’s interim dividend to be paid to the government.

Das said a decision on the issue was yet to be taken and a committee was going into the issue. “Once the matter is decided, it will be communicated. I cannot pre-judge it,” he said.

The RBI’s audit board recently took up the matter. The RBI that follows the July-June fiscal year has transferred Rs 40,000 crore in the current fiscal as interim dividend. The Finance Ministry wants a formal commitment on Rs 28,000 crore interim dividend. If the RBI agrees to pay Rs 28,000 crore as interim dividend, the total surplus transfer to the government in the current fiscal would total Rs 68,000 crore.

Das declined to comment on the RBI scrutiny of two private lenders — Yes Bank and Kotak Bank. He said the Kotak Bank case is sub judice with the Bombay High Court and the issue of Yes Bank is between it and the regulator. It’s RBI’s endeavour to constructively engage with all the regulated enitites for compliance of rules and regulations, he added.

On loans to small businesses, he said the RBI has come out with the restructuring package for SMEs. Now it was up to banks to restructure loans of the eligible MSMEs as per the guidelines, he added.

The Governor said there is some credit growth visible and the aggregate flow of credit to the commercial sector has shown improvement. However, it was not broad based and was not flowing into various sectors the way it should, he added.

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Delhi traders demand boycott of Pakistani, Chinese goods

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General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) Infuriated at the Pulwama blast, retailers from across the national capital on Monday called for boycott of Pakistani and Chinese goods from being sold in the markets and observed a general “bandh” as a mark of respect to the martyrs.

According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) secretary general Praveen Khandelwal, the bandh was observed in prominent Delhi markets including Chandani Chowk, Bhagirath Place, Khari Baoli, Naya Bazar, Chawri Bazar, Kashmiri Gate, Sadar Bazar and Karol Bagh.

“In the current scenario, the government should impose absolute ban on trade with Pakistan. Goods worth about Rs 3,500 crore are being imported from Pakistan annually.

“The CAIT has also demanded of the government to levy at least 300 per cent customs duty on goods being imported from China, so that import from China is discouraged,” Khandelwal told IANS.

The traders also burnt the effigy of “Pakistani Terrorism”.

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Rising crude prices, Indo-Pakistan tension drag Sensex 310 pts lower

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Sensex equity Nifty

Mumbai, Feb 18: Rising global crude oil prices, along with heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, dragged the Indian equity market on Monday, with the key equity indices closing lower for the 8th consecutive session despite optimism following the US-China trade talks.

The rising Brent crude prices weakened the Indian currency by 12 paise on Monday. Rupee closed at Rs 71.34 per dollar from its previous close of 71.22.

Besides, the equity market also reacted negatively to the outflow of foreign funds seen in the last few trading sessions.

The S&P BSE Sensex closed 310.51 points or 0.87 per cent lower at 35,498.44 from its previous close of 35,808.95, while the Nifty ended 83.45 points lower at 10,640.95.

“Domestic markets are seeing a decoupling from global markets that further indicates the fact that we are moving towards a macroeconomic event such as the general elections, one of the reasons why this decoupling is seen in the last 2-3 months,” said Mustafa Nadeem, CEO, Epic Research.

“Crude oil prices (WTI) may further have an impact on the Indian equity market since it has been on the rise and taking well support over $50-mark for the last couple of weeks.”

Lately, investors have also grown cautious due to the Indo-Pak tensions following the Pulwama terrorist attack. Indian withdrew the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status accorded to Pakistan and imposed 200 per cent customs duty on imports from there.

Analysts said that worsening relation0s between India and Pakistan have a bearing on the captital inflow. This was one of the reasons for the acceleration of outflows of foreign funds.

“Market remained on a selling spree as reducing foreign inflows due to fear of escalation of tensions at the border impacted the sentiment,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

“Volatility in the market may continue due to lack of domestic triggers as investors are likely to remain cautious.”

Top gainers on the BSE were ONGC, up 1.70 per cent at 137.40, followed by Tata Motors, Axis Bank, Vedanta and NTPC, which gained up to 1.15 per cent.

Among the top laggards were TCS, down over 3 pet cent, followed by Yes Bank, ITC, Sun Pharma, Reliance Industries and Coal India.

On Friday, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares to the tune of Rs 966.43 crore, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought Rs 853.25 crore worth of scrips.

IANS

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