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Adani Group cos say FPI accounts not frozen

New Delhi: Denying freezing of accounts of three foreign portfolio investors (FPI) holding shares in Adani Group companies by the NSDL, group companies have said that such reports are “erroneous” and “misleading”.

In separate communications to the BSE and the National Stock Exchange (NSE), all the listed Adani Group companies said that it has confirmation from the Registrar and Transfer Agent that the accounts have not been frozen.

“Given the seriousness of the article and its consequential adverse impact on minority investors, we requested Registrar and Transfer Agent, with respect to the status of the Demat Account of the aforesaid funds and have their written confirmation vide its e-mail dated 14th June, 2021, clarifying that the Demat Account in which the aforesaid funds hold the shares of the Company are not frozen,” said the letter.

“We regret to mention that these reports are blatantly erroneous and is done to deliberately mislead the investing community. This is causing irreparable loss of economic value to the investors at large and reputation of the group.”

Adani Power, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, Adani Enterprises, Adani Total Gas, Adani Green Energy and Adani Transmission have written separate but similar letters to the exchanges.

The companies said that they are issuing these letters in the larger public interest and for the protection of minority investors’ interest.

Shares of Adani Group companies tumbled to their lower circuits on Monday after the reports of National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) freezing the three FPI accounts.

As per the NSDL website, the depository has frozen the accounts of Albula Investment Fund Ltd, Cresta Fund Ltd and APMS Investment Fund Ltd as of May 31, 2021.

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Amid Covid, Diwali brings back gold demand

New Delhi: The auspicious occasion of ‘Dhanteras’ and Diwali in India brought some relief to the jewelry market, which has largely been subdued amid the pandemic with poor demand.

Although demand witnessed a spike on Thursday and Friday post the recent subdued trend, the sales trend across the country varied with some places witnessing year-on-year rise and some others witnessing fall in sales compared to last year.

The India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) said that the sale of gold this year on the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras has been 30 per cent more than the previous year. People bought gold worth a staggering Rs 20,000 crore during the festival in 2020, it said.

Pankaj Arora, Chairman of the Gold and Jewelry Committee of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), noted that the prices of gold and silver have increased significantly this year and those who invested in gold and silver last year have gained 30 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively.

He was of the view that gold and silver sales this Dhanteras are estimated to be higher compared to last year.

Bachhraj Bamalwa, a Kolkata-based jeweller and Chairman of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, however, said that the sales were “good but due to Covid they were slower than expected.”

Dhanteras and Diwali customers have been more interested in wearable jewelry.

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Hit by US elections uncertainty, rupee plunges to 2-month low

Mumbai: The uncertainty regarding the US election outcome impacted the Indian rupee which plunged to a two month low mark during Wednesday’s trade session.

The rupee hit an intra-day low of 74.88 as there were indications that the US presidential results might be contested in courts.

“Markets would not like a delayed result, which can lead to prevalence of more risk-off sentiment,” Sajal Gupta, Head, Forex and Rates, Edelweiss Securities.

“No matter who wins. Stimulus shall be coming. So expect the US dollar to weaken in two weeks’ time after a clear win.”

At the end of the day’s trade, the rupee stood at 74.7462 from its previous close of 74.4063 to a greenback.

“A lack of clarity on the outcome of the US Presidential Election has created a lot of uncertainties,” said Nish Bhatt, Founder and CEO, Millwood Kane International.

“Global equity and currency markets have reacted according to it. With the US Dollar gaining strength, the Indian rupee saw a decline, as it slipped towards the crucial 75 per US dollar mark.”

Rahul Gupta, Head of Research, Currency, at Emkay Global Financial Services, said: “The USDINR spot is respecting the immediate resistance of 75, but the caution and volatility will keep the appreciation intact.”

“For the coming sessions, we expect USD-INR spot to trade in between 74-75.50.”

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India’s GDP in unprecedented freefall, contracts by 23.9%

New Delhi: The Covid-19 pandemic-induced economic turbulence, along with measures to curb its outbreak, heavily dented India’s economy and plunged the country’s GDP by (-) 23.9 per cent during the first quarter (Q1) ended June 2020-21 on a year-on-year basis.

According to the National Statistical Office (NSO), the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Q1 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 26.90 lakh crore, as against Rs 35.35 lakh crore in Q1 of 2019-20, showing a decline of 23.9 per cent.

In financial parlance, a GDP contraction not only indicates the economy’s movement towards a recession, but also underlines the reduction in purchasing power along with lower taxes for the government, higher defaults on debt and falling capex spends.

Though not comparable, the GDP had grown by 5.2 per cent in the corresponding quarter of FY2019-20.

In the quarter just preceding Q1FY21, the economic growth was at 3.1 per cent.

“As the world economic outlook has highlighted, the fraction of countries, where GDP per capita would decrease, is the highest since 1870, so once in a one and a half century event is what we are going through,” said Chief Economic Adviser to the government, Krishnamurthy Subramanian, commenting on the Q1FY21 GDP data.

“India was also in a ‘lockdown’ all through the April-June quarter with the majority of economic activities being restricted, so this trend is along the expected lines.”

Meanwhile, with economic disruptions set for a long haul due to Covid-19 pandemic, India could see its fiscal deficit this year balloon to over 8 percent of GDP, brokerages analyzing the deficit numbers post release of August GST collection data have said.

The Controller General of Accounts said that the country’s fiscal deficit has expanded to 103.1 per cent of Budget Estimate in the April-July period primarily due to lower tax collection and higher expenditure for Covid-19 relief.

According to a report on Indian economy by Kotak Institutional Equities, low economic activity and lower tax collections coupled with expanded Covid-19 related expenditure have created a scenario where the deficit would widen.

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Proposed class-action lawsuit in US frivolous: HDFC Bank

Mumbai: As HDFC Bank faces a likely class action lawsuit by the US-based Rosen Law Firm, the bank said that the proposed lawsuit looks frivolous as the bank has been transparent with its disclosures.

The global investor rights law firm earlier announced an investigation of potential securities claims on behalf of the shareholders of HDFC Bank following allegations that the bank may have issued materially misleading business information to the investors.

An HDFC Bank spokesperson said: “We were unaware of any such development (class action lawsuit) till we heard about it from the media a little earlier today. We are getting details of it. We’ll examine it and respond to it appropriately. Prima facie it does look frivolous as we believe we have been transparent in our disclosures.”

The firm’s announcement of going ahead with a lawsuit came after reports in July said that HDFC Bank had conducted an investigation into the “improper lending practices and conflicts of interests” in its vehicle-financing arm.

The law firm’s statement said that post the media reports, HDFC Bank’s American depositary receipt price fell $1.37 per share, or 2.83 per cent, to close at $47.02 per share on July 13, 2020.

On July 19, 2020, the NYSE-listed HDFC Bank had reported its financial results for the first quarter of the Bank’s 2021 fiscal year, missing analysts’ estimates with respect to net profit and reporting a deterioration in its asset quality, the statement noted.

“Rosen Law Firm is preparing a securities lawsuit on behalf of HDFC Bank shareholders. If you purchased securities of HDFC Bank, please visit the firm’s website at to join the securities action,” the law firm said.

The firm said that it represents investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.

Last year the law firm had filed a class action lawsuit against Infosys after an anonymous whistleblower group accused the software giant’s management of “unethical” steps to boost short-term revenue and profits.

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IMF may further slash global economic outlook

New Delhi: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to further revise economic growth forecasts downwards in its upcoming outlook update due to the severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdowns across the world.

In a blog post, the Chief Economist of IMF, Gita Gopinath, said that although many countries begin to ease containment policies and gradually permit the resumption of economic activity, there remains “profound uncertainty” about the path of the recovery.

“For the first time since the Great Depression, both advanced and emerging market economies will be in recession in 2020. The forthcoming June World Economic Outlook Update is likely to show negative growth rates even worse than previously estimated. This crisis will have devastating consequences for the world’s poor,” she said.

Gopinath said that the “Great Lockdown” is expected to play out in three phases, first as countries enter the lockdown, then as they exit, and finally as they escape the lockdown when there is a medical solution to the pandemic.

Many countries are now in the second phase, as they reopen, with early signs of recovery, but with risks of second wave of infections and re-imposition of lockdowns.

Surveying the economic landscape, the sheer scale and severity of the global lockdown are striking, she added.

“Most tragically, this pandemic has already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide. The resulting economic crisis is unlike anything the world has seen before,” the IMF Chief Economist said.

She said that it is possible that with pent-up consumer demand, there will be a quicker rebound, unlike after previous crises. However, this is not guaranteed in a health crisis as consumers may change spending behavior to minimise social interaction, and uncertainty can lead households to save more, the blog post added.

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Key trade bodies calls for boycott of Chinese goods

New Delhi: Condemning China’s military aggression along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has called for a boycott of Chinese goods, listing 450 imported items.

The development comes as the India-China faceoff in Galwan Valley in Ladakh turned violent on Monday, leading to multiple casualties on both sides.

The CAIT said that the objective is to reduce import of Chinese finished goods by $13 billion or about Rs 1 lakh crore by December 2021.

At present, India imports about Rs 5.25 lakh crore, i.e. $70 billion, worth of goods annually from China.

“In the first phase, CAIT has selected more than 500 broad categories of items which include more than 3,000 items which are made indigenously in India also, but succumbing to the temptation of cheap items, these were being imported from China until now,” CAIT said in a statement.

“Manufacturing of these items does not require any sophisticated technology and even if they do, India is well equipped and therefore the goods manufactured in India can be used very easily in place of the Chinese goods which will reduce India’s dependence on China for these goods,” it added.

Meanwhile, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch on Wednesday demanded that Chinese companies be banned from participation in the tendering process in the country.

The Manch — an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh that deals with economic issues — also demanded the cancellation of the lowest bid made by China’s Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co Ltd for the construction of an underground stretch of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System project.

Appealing to the Indians to boycott Chinese products, the Manch demanded a ban on the import of Chinese goods and levy of cess on China-made products sold in India.

Manch co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said he is appealing to the Indian actors, sportspersons and other celebrities not to promote Chinese products which, he said, would be a true tribute to the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mahajan also demanded that an agreement inked recently between the Maharashtra government and a Chinese auto company be cancelled.

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Mallya to be flown, lodged in Mumbai on extradition

New Delhi: On extradition to India, Vijay Mallya would be flown to Mumbai as the case against him was registered there, sources in the investigative agencies said on Wednesday.

The fugitive businessman will be accompanied by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials. At the Mumbai Airport, a medical team will do his health check-up.

If Mallya lands in Mumbai at night, he will have to spend some time at the CBI office in the city. He will be produced in a court later in the day.

If he lands during the day, he will directly be produced in a court, where the CBI will seek his custody. Later, the ED would also seek his custody, sources said.

Hearing Mallya’s plea in August 2018, a UK court had asked the Indian investigative agencies to share details of the prison where he would be kept after extradition. The agencies had then shared a video of the cell at the Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai, where they planned to keep Mallya after extradition.

The agencies had also informed the UK court that post-extradition Mallya would be lodged in one of the high security barracks located in a two-storey building at the Arthur Road Jail complex.

The Arthur Road jail has housed some notorious names from the underworld and the terror outfits. Ajmal Kasab, the sole terrorist arrested for the 26/11 Mumbai attack, was kept in this high security cell. Abu Salem, Chota Rajan, Mustafa Dossa, Peter Mukherjea and the Rs 13,500 crore PNB fraud accused Vipul Ambani are or were housed there.

Mallya is wanted in India in the Rs 9,000 crore loan default case involving 17 banks. He lost his appeal in the UK top court on May 14 against extradition to India.

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Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘The Big Bull’ shoot may resume in July

The Maharashtra government has permitted resumption of shootings for films, teleserials, advertisements, OTT, etc with immediate effect. The makers of Abhishek Bachchan-starrer “The Big Bull” plan to resume shooting next month.

“We are looking at July because a lot needs to be worked out. All precautions and arrangements need to be in place, as well as dates of the actors,” said Anand Pandit, one of the producers of the film.

A 16-page official directive comprising guiding principles was issued recently by the Maharashtra state government, for the restart of the media and entertainment industry.

“The Big Bull” is directed by Kookie Gulati, and is reportedly based on India’s biggest securities scam of 1992.

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