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Key Indian equity market indices open higher

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Mumbai, March 16: After the US Federal Reserve hiked its benchmark interest rate a quarter point for the second time in three months, the Indian equity markets reacted positively and the key indices opened higher on Thursday.

The Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which had closed at 29,398.11 points on Wednesday, opened higher at 29, 482.83 points. Minutes into trading, it was quoting at 29,568.03 points, up by 169.12 points, or 0.53 per cent.

At the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the broader 51-scrip Nifty, which had closed at 9,084.80 points, was quoting at 9,138.85 points, up by 54.05 points or 0.59 per cent.

On Wednesday, heavy selling pressure in IT and Teck (technology, media and entertainment) stocks, coupled with disappointing macro-economic data dragged the Indian equity markets lower.

Besides, investors remained cautious ahead of the US Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) meet on whether to raise interest rates, and India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meet on Thursday.

The Sensex was down by 44.52 points or 0.15 per cent at the Wednesday’s closing. In the day’s trade, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index had touched a high of 29,500.08 points and a low of 29,358.91 points. The Nifty, too was down by 2.20 points or 0.02 per cent.

On Thursday, Asian indices were showing a positive trend except Japan’s Nikkei 225 which is trading in red. Hang Seng was up by 1.11 per cent while South Korea’s Kospi was in green, up by 0.51 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite index was quoting in green, up by 0.63 per cent.

On a positive note, Nasdaq closed in green, up by 0.73 per cent while FTSE 100 was also up by 0.15 per cent at the closing on Wednesday.

IANS

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Tata, GE comes together to manufacture jet engine components

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Mumbai, Dec 14: Industrial conglomerates GE and the Tata Group have joined hands to manufacture “CFM International LEAP” engine components in India, for the global supply chain, a company statement said here on Thursday.

As per the statement, the two firms also evinced their intention to jointly pursue military engine and aircraft system opportunities for the Indian market, news agency IANS reported.

“We look forward to working with GE to build more expertise and strengthen India’s defence manufacturing capabilities,” stated N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons.

“Tata group’s partnership with GE will help drive synergies in defence manufacturing and focus on innovation to support our armed forces,” he further added.

The strategic partnership indicates GE Aviation and Tata Sons’ subsidiary, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL), in a bid to join forces for “manufacturing, assembling, integration and testing of aircraft components” IANS reported.

Adding to this, a new Centre of Excellence (COE) will be built to develop a robust ecosystem for aircraft engine manufacturing in India and establish related capabilities.

“Tata Group is a leader in the Indian defence and aerospace sector, and we look forward to working together to meet the growing demand for LEAP engines. Our collaboration in building innovative technologies will support the ‘Make in India’ vision of the Indian government,” said John L. Flannery, Chairman and CEO of GE.

The “LEAP” is one of the world’s leading jet engines known for its technological superiority, efficient fuel consumption and performance for powering single-aisle commercial jets.

Traditionally, GE military engines have had a intense history in India. At present, the company provides jet engines and marine gas turbines for many Indian military applications including the Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas Mk 1, Indian Navy P-8I aircraft and the P-17 Shivalik class frigates.

While on the other hand, TASL is focused on providing integrated solutions for aerospace, defence and security.

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Remove ‘bail-in’ clause in FRDA Bill: Assocham

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Assocham's Secretary General D.S. Rawat
Assocham's Secretary General D.S. Rawat . (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Dec 14 : Assocham on Thursday urged the government to remove a clause in the Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDA) Bill that seeks to treat bank depositors as other creditors and shareholders for “bail-in”.

Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said that in the Indian context, the concept of bail-in — especially by depositors — should be completely done away with and their money in the banks has to be protected at all costs.

“Otherwise, the trust in the banking system runs the risk of being eroded and the savings by the households would find way into unproductive avenues like real estate, gold, jewellery and even in unorganized and informal financial markets run by unscrupulous people,” said Rawat.

According to Assocham, panic has arisen among bank depositors largely due to “bail-in” clause in the Bill which was being tried for the first time in the Indian financial markets.

The industry body also sought the government’s assurance to protect depositors’ interest in case of a bank going down under. This should be clarified in the Bill, it said.

Rawat said middle class families, and especially pensioners and aged people, have no social security and thus bank deposits were the only financial security for their life-time savings.

“In any case, the rising cost of health, which is mostly available in the private sector, is hurting this class. Any move to copy the Western model of ‘bail-in’ must be avoided,” he added.

IANS

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Petroleum products could be taxed above GST: Bihar Deputy CM

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Bihar Finance Minister (File Photo)n

New Delhi, Dec 14: Even if petroleum products are brought under Goods and Service Tax regime, central and state governments will be free to levy taxes over and above the GST slabs, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi said on Thursday.

“… I want to clarify one thing — in whichever country the petroleum products are part of the GST, they are in the highest tax slab, and the states and Centre are free to levy taxes over and above the GST rates. It is the case everywhere in the world,” said Modi, who is the Bihar Finance Minister and a member of the GST Council.

“People feel if petroleum products come under the GST, the highest tax will be 28 per cent. But since 40 per cent of the state and central revenues come from petroleum products, they will have the liberty to levy taxes over and above the GST rate,” Modi said at FICCI Annual General Meeting here.

He said the GST Council was discussing the issue of bringing electricity, real estate, and petroleum under the GST ambit in coming days.

The Bihar Deputy Chief Minister said that whenever the GST Council decided, petroleum products would become a part of the GST without any need for a constitutional amendment.

He said that revenue from petroleum products would not get reduced under the GST but “it would be around the same amount of taxation”.

“Yet, if they come under the GST, it will benefit the industry and the people,” Modi said.

IANS

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