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Reliance Capital gains after board approves independent listing of home finance business

Reliance Capital gains after board approves independent listing of home finance business

Sep 14,2016

The announcement was made yesterday, 13 September 2016, when stock market remained closed on account of Bakri Id.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 46.19 points or 0.16% at 28,307.35.

On BSE, so far 6.75 lakh shares were traded in the counter as against average daily volume of 5.01 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock hit a high of Rs 561.50 and a low of Rs 546.65 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 574 on 9 September 2016. The stock had hit a 52-week low of Rs 303.60 on 12 February 2016. The stock had outperformed the market over the past one month till 12 September 2016, rising 21.96% compared with 0.71% rise in the Sensex. The scrip had also outperformed the market in past one quarter, rising 32.06% as against Sensexs 6.45% rise.

The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 252.63 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

Reliance Capital said the independent listing of Reliance Home Finance (RHF) is expected to unlock substantial value for existing shareholders of Reliance Capital. The listing of Reliance Home Finance will also lead to increased management focus and accelerated growth in the home finance business. As per the proposal, 49% stake in Reliance Home Finance Limited will be allotted to all shareholders of Reliance Capital, in the ratio of one share free of cost in Reliance Home Finance for every one share held in Reliance Capital.

Reliance Capital will hold a 51% stake in Reliance Home Finance, and the company will be adequately capitalised to grow the lending book to over Rs 20000 crore in the next 18 months. The proposal is subject to necessary shareholders and other approvals. Reliance Home Finance, a 100% subsidiary of Reliance Capital, provides a wide range of loan solutions like home loan, LAP, construction finance and affordable housing loans. The company reported an AUM of Rs 8259 crore ($1.2 billion) during the quarter ended 30 June 2016.

Mr. Anmol A. Ambani, Director, Reliance Capital said Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has set a goal of affordable housing for all by 2022. There is presently an estimated shortage of 10 crore residential units in India. To address the needs of this sector, Reliance Home Finance has charted an aggressive growth plan in this space, and aims to increase its book size to over Rs 50000 crore in the next few years.

On a consolidated basis, Reliance Capitals net profit rose 3% to Rs 207 crore on 48.3% growth in total income to Rs 3663 crore in Q1 June 2016 over Q1 June 2015.

Reliance Capital, a part of the Reliance Group, is one of Indias leading private sector financial services companies.

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Intellect Design Arena to hold board meeting
Apr 19,2017

Intellect Design Arena will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 3 May 2017.

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IL&FS Investment Managers to hold board meeting
Apr 19,2017

IL&FS Investment Managers will hold a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company on 29 May 2017, for adoption of the Audited Financial Results of the Company for the quarter and year ended 31 March 2017.

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Allahabad Bank to hold EGM
Apr 19,2017

Allahabad Bank announced that an Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Company will be held on 17 May 2017 .

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Permission to avail external assistance by State Government entities from bilateral agencies for implementation of vital infrastructure projects
Apr 19,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the policy guidelines to allow financially sound State Government entities to borrow directly from bilateral ODA (Official development Assistance) partners for implementation of vital infrastructure projects. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), a State Government entity, has also been allowed to borrow directly from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan for implementation of Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project. The estimated project cost for Mumbai Trans-Harbour Link (MTHL) is Rs.17,854 crore, out of which JICA loan portion is expected to be Rs.15,109 crore.

The guidelines will facilitate the State Government entities to directly borrow from the external bilateral funding agencies subject to fulfilment of certain conditions and all repayments of loans and interests to the funding agencies will be directly remitted by the concerned borrower. The concerned State Government will furnish guarantee for the Loan. The Government of India will provide counter guarantee for the loan.

External assistance today plays a supportive role in financing major infrastructure projects, social sector projects and in building up institutional capacity. The role of external assistance has gained further significance in view of the large gap in funding requirements for major infrastructure projects implemented by the State Governments in order to acquire competitive strength under the globalized economic framework. Presently, external development assistance from bilateral and multilateral sources is received by the Government of India (i) for projects/programmes in the Central sector; (ii) for projects executed by Central Public Sector Undertakings; and (ii) on behalf of the State Governments for State sector projects/programmes to be implemented by the State Governments and/or local bodies and public sector undertakings. The existing guidelines do not allow direct borrowings by the State Government entities from external agencies.

Several State agencies are implementing major infrastructure projects of national importance. These projects, even if viable and sound, have huge funding requirements and borrowing by the State Governments for such projects may exhaust their respective borrowing limits. Therefore, in order to accelerate the pace of investment in major infrastructure projects in the country without compromising the need for external assistance for other sectors, an enabling provision in the existing guidelines was considered necessary to facilitate direct borrowing by the State Government entities from bilateral external agencies. This dispensation will allow the financially sound State entities to directly borrow and repay the loan required for major infrastructure projects without burdening the State exchequer. The approval of these guidelines reiterates Governments commitment to promote inclusive growth and strengthen the economy.

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Board of Tayo Rolls approves allotment of 1.25 crore preference shares to Tata Steel
Apr 19,2017

Tayo Rolls announced that the Board of Directors of the company at its meeting held on 19 April 2017 has approved the following -

To increase authorised capital from Rs 350 crore dividend into 1.50 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each and 3.35 crore redeemable preference shares of Rs 100 each to Rs 455 crore dividend into 1.50 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each and 4.40 redeemable preference shares of Rs 100 each by creation of Rs 1.05 crore redeemable preference shares of Rs 100 each.

To alter the MoA and AoA of the company.

To allot 1.25 crore non cumulative redeemable preference shares of Rs 100 each to Tata Steel on preferential basis.

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Cabinet approves procurement of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Units for use in the General Elections, 2019
Apr 19,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for procurement of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Units for use in the General Elections, 2019 for

a) purchase of 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Units at a tentative unit cost of Rs.19,650, and at a total estimated cost of Rs. 3173.47 crore (excluding taxes and freight as applicable) during the years 2017-18 and 2018-19 from M/s Bharat Electronics Ltd., Bangalore and M/s Electronics Corporation of India Ltd., Hyderabad;

b) directing the Price Negotiation Committee to negotiate with M/s Bharat Electronics Ltd and M/s Electronics Corporation of India Ltd to rationalise the final unit price expeditiously;

c) allocation of additional funds to the tune of Rs. 1600 crore in the current financial year in the supplementaries/Revised Estimates for meeting the cash outgo envisaged for purchase of EVMs (Control Units & Ballot Units) and VVPAT Units during the year 2017-18, payment of 40% of the said amount as advance to the manufacturers and for provision of balance amount as may be required in the BE 2018-19; and

d) placement of Order by the Election Commission to the two manufacturers depending upon their production capacity so that all the VVPAT Units can be procured by September, 2018.

The decision of the Government would enable the Election Commission of India to deploy VVPAT Units in all pooling booths in the General Elections, 2019, which will act as an additional layer of transparency for the satisfaction of voters, allaying any apprehension in the minds of the voters as to the fidelity and integrity of the EVMs. This would also result in compliance of the directions of the Honble Supreme Court vide its Order dated 8thOctober, 2013.

Background:

The idea of an additional layer of transparency for the satisfaction of voters in the form of a voter verifiable paper trail was suggested by the political parties in a meeting taken by the ECI on 4th October, 2010. Accordingly, introduction of the VVPAT was facilitated by amending the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 vide Notification dated 14th August, 2013. Thereafter, 20,300 VVPAT Units were purchased by the ECI in 2013. Since then, these units are being deployed in elections in select Assembly and Parliamentary Constituencies. Subsequently, order for 67,000 additional Units was placed in 2015, out of which 33,500 Units have been supplied by the manufacturers. Requisite funds for purchase of the aforesaid number of VVPAT Units were provided by the Government as and when requested by the Election Commission.

VVPAT device functions like a printer to be attached to the ballot unit and kept inside the voting compartment. When the voter presses the button against the name of the candidate of his choice on the Ballot Unit, the VVPAT unit generates a paper slip, called Ballot Slip. This paper slip contains the name, serial number and symbol of the chosen candidate. The voter can see this slip through a screened window where it stays for seven seconds, and then it automatically gets cut and falls down into a sealed drop box. In this process, the slip will not go into the hands of the voter nor will others be able to see it.

Civil Appeal No.9093/2013 was filed by Dr. Subramanian Swamy pleading for directions to the Election Commission to use VVPAT Units in all polling booths. It was alleged in the said Petition, that the Electronic Voting Machines are not reliable and that there should be some device by which the voter should get a confirmation that the vote cast by him has been recorded in favour of the candidate of his choice. In deference to the plea of the petitioner in the aforesaid CA, the Election Commission submitted that it has no objection to the introduction of VVPAT Units for conduct of free, fair and transparent elections. The Supreme Court in its Order dated 8th October, 2013 directed that for implementation of such a system of VVPAT in phased manner Government of India may provide required financial assistance for procurement of requisite number of VVPAT Units.

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Manaksia Inds extends post-result slide
Apr 19,2017

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 21.53 points or 0.07% at 29,340.63. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 114.29 points or 0.77% at 14,958.40.

On the BSE, 2.33 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 20,938 shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 36.90 and a low of Rs 33.45 so far during the day.

The stock had hit a record high of Rs 40.95 on 17 April 2017 and a 52-week low of Rs 3.20 on 9 May 2016. It had outperformed the market over the past one month till 18 April 2017, advancing 26.62% compared with the Sensexs 1.11% fall. The scrip had also outperformed the market over the past one quarter, gaining 60.07% as against the Sensexs 7.56% rise.

The small-cap company has equity capital of Rs 6.55 crore. Face value per share is Rs 1.

Shares of Manaksia Industries have fallen 14.23% in three trading sessions from its closing of Rs 39 on 13 April 2017, after the company reported weak Q4 March 2017 results on Saturday, 15 April 2017.

Manaksia Industries consolidated net profit declined 55.8% to Rs 6.30 crore on 80.9% rise in net sales to Rs 60.81 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016.

Manaksia Industries is engaged in the business of metal packaging products and aluminum semi rigid containers.

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Approval granted for retention of posts and office premises for the proposed new National Commission for Backward Classes
Apr 19,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given (I) Ex-post facto approval for introduction of (i) Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-third Amendment) Bill 2017 and (ii) National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament; and (II) Approval for retention of posts/incumbents and office premises held by the existing National Commission for Backward Classes by the proposed new National Commission for Backward Classes

The approval is for the proposal to bring about a Constitutional Amendment namely the Constitution (One Hundred Twenty-third Amendment) Bill, 2017 by:

1. a. Constitution of a Commission under Article 338B for socially and educationally backward classes by name of National Commission for Backward Classes; and

b. (b) insertion of Clause (26C) under Article 366 with modified definition viz. n++socially and educationally backward classesn++ means such backward classes as are so deemed under Article 342A for the purpose, this Constitution and

2. Introduce a Bill for:

a. Repeal of the National Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993 along with Savings Clause for namely the National Commission for Backward Classes (Repeal) Bill, 2017; and

b. Dissolution of the National Commission for Backward Classes with effect from such date as the Central Government may appoint in this behalf and the National Commission for Backward Classes constituted under sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the said Act shall stand dissolved.

3. (a) Appropriation of the sanctioned 52 posts, along with incumbents wherever filled of the existing National Commission for Backward Classes in the proposed National Commission for Backward Classes to be constituted under Article 338B; and (b) Retention of the office premises of the existing National Commission for Backward Classes at Trikut-1, Bhikaiji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066, by the National Commission for Backward Classes to be constituted under Article 338B.

The above decisions will lead to overall welfare of socially and educationally backward classes.

The proposed Act of repeal is necessary in view of setting up of the National Commission for Backward Classes by insertion of Article 338B of the Constitution.

The decision will also enable effecting continuity in the functioning of the National Commission for Backward Classes under Article 338B.

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IndusInd Bank turns volatile after Q4 results
Apr 19,2017

The result was announced during trading hours today, 19 April 2017.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 30.44 points, or 0.10% to 29,288.66.

On the BSE, 3.31 lakh shares were traded in the counter so far, compared with average daily volumes of 1.40 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

Trading in the counter turned volatile after result announcement. The stock rose 0.79% at the days high of Rs 1,443 in intraday trade. The stock fell 1.23% at the days high of Rs 1414.10 in intraday trade. The stock hit a record high of Rs 1,444.55 on 13 April 2017. The stock hit a 52-week low of Rs 965.65 on 21 April 2016.

The stock had outperformed the market over the past one month till 18 April 2017, rising 3.63% compared with 0.68% decline in the Sensex. The scrip had also outperformed the market in past one quarter, rising 16.64% as against Sensexs 7.56% rise.

The large-cap private sector bank has equity capital of Rs 598.20 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

IndusInd Banks net profit rose 25.43% to Rs 2867.89 crore on 22.47% increase in total income to Rs 18577.16 crore in the year ended March 2017 over the year ended March 2016.

The banks gross non-performing assets (NPAs) stood at Rs 1054.87 crore as on 31 March 2017 as against Rs 971.62 crore as on 30 December 2016 and Rs 776.82 crore as on 31 March 2016.

The ratio of gross NPAs to gross advances stood at 0.93% as on 31 March 2017 as against 0.94% as on 31 December 2016 and 0.87% as on 31 March 2016.

The ratio of net NPAs to net advances stood at 0.39% as on 31 March 2017 as against 0.39% as on 31 December 2016 and 0.36% as on 31 March 2016.

The banks provisions and contingencies (excluding tax provisions) rose 101.32% to Rs 430.13 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016.

Induslnd Bank caters to the needs of both consumer and corporate customers. As on 31 March 2017, Induslnd Bank has 1200 branches, and 2036 ATMs spread across 683 geographical locations of the country.

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Cabinet approves extension of the validity of Central Order in respect of sugar for six months
Apr 19,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for extending the validity of the existing Central Order dated 27.10.2016 in respect of sugar for a further period of six months from 29.04.2017 to 28.10.2017.

The main objective of the decision is to enable the State Governments to issue control order with the prior concurrence of Central Government, for fixing stock limits/licensing requirements in respect of sugar, whenever need is felt by them. This is expected to help in the efforts being taken to improve the availability of these commodities to general public at reasonable rates, and control the tendencies of hoarding and profiteering.

The current decision will be notified by the Government and communicated to all the States/UTs for further action at their end.

Background

The Cabinet in its meeting held on 27.10.2016, decided to enable the States to regulate supply, distribution, sale, production, stock, storage, purchase and movement etc, in respect of sugar for a period up to six months. Accordingly, S.O. 3341(E) dated 27.10.2016 was issued, for enabling administrative department, States & UTs to decide stock limits etc. on sugar upto 28.04.2017, by amending the Removal of Licensing Requirements, Stock limits and Movement restrictions on Specified Foodstuffs Order, 2016 dated 29.09.2016 notified as G.S.R. 929(E).

The prices of sugar are being monitored by the Department of Food & Public Distribution regularly at factory gate as well as in the domestic market. In September, 2016 it was noticed that the retail prices had shown a sudden spurt. The price rise appeared to be more on sentiment than actual shortage. In order to regulate supply of sugar and address issue of speculative prices, fixing of appropriate stock limit on need basis was essential. In addition, despite adequate availability of stocks for consumption in the current season, hoarding and consequent profiteering is anticipated due to drop in production over previous year and hence further extension of stock limit would be needed.

To support the sugar sector, the Government had recently extended soft loan assistance of Rs.4305 crore to the industry which has been directly credited to farmers account on behalf of sugar mills through banks benefitting about 32 lakh farmers. Also a performance based production subsidy has been extended @Rs.4.50 per quintal of cane crushed which was directly credited to the farmers account on behalf of sugar mills.

In order to maintain domestic prices at reasonable levels, the Government has allowed import of a restricted quantity of 5 lakh MT of raw sugar at zero duty by millers/refiners having their own refining capacity. This restricted quantity will help the sugar industry to augment their liquidity and enable them to pay cane dues of farmers.

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Cabinet approves encashment of accumulated leave to certain Defence Services Personnel
Apr 19,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved leave encashment up to 180 days in respect of those Defence personnel who died or were invalidated out of service between 30.12.1991 to 29.11.1999 with less than 15 years of service.

The decision will benefit the families of 9777 Officers and other personnel of Defence Services who died or were invalidated out of service during this period. This period is very significant as a large number of casualities took place during the Kargil conflict (n++Operation Vijayn++) and in counter insurgency operation in J&K and North East during the period.

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Cabinet approves signing of the Protocol amending the Convention between India and Portugal for avoidance of Double Taxation
Apr 19,2017

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Protocol amending the Convention between India and Portugal for avoidance of double taxation. The Protocol will also ensure prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

Once the Protocol enters into force, both India and Portugal would be able to exchange tax related information, which will help tax authorities of both countries to curb tax evasion.

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Orchid Pharma rallies 7.21% in two sessions
Apr 19,2017

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 10.01 points, or 0.03% at 29,329.11. The S&P BSE Small-cap index was up 63.91 points, 0.43% at 14,908.02.

On the BSE, 3.43 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 1.99 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 37.90 and a low of Rs 36.75 so far during the day.

The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 45.90 on 22 April 2016 and a 52-week low of Rs 23.70 on 22 November 2016. The stock had outperformed the market over the past one month till 18 April 2017, advancing 30.07% compared with the Sensexs 1.11% decline. The scrip had also outperformed the market over the past one quarter advancing 28.02% as against the Sensexs 7.56% rise.

The small-cap company has equity capital of Rs 88.96 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

Shares of Orchid Pharma have rallied 7.21% in two trading sessions from its close of Rs 34.70 on 17 April 2017, after the company announced during market hours yesterday, 18 April 2017, that it received the Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) based on the successful inspection of the formulation manufacturing facility located in Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu. The facility was inspected by USFDA in December 2016. The stock had rallied 5.33% to settle at Rs 36.55 yesterday, 18 April 2017.

Separately, Orchid Pharma said that Credit Analysis & Research (CARE) has revised the ratings on the long-term bank facilities of the company to CARE D from CARE B-. It has revised the ratings on the short-term bank facilities of the company to CARE D from CARE A4.

The revision in ratings assigned to the bank facilities of Orchid Pharma takes into account instances of delay in debt servicing. The announcement was made after market hours on Monday, 17 April 2017.

Orchid Pharma reported net loss of Rs 60.98 crore in Q3 December 2016, compared with net loss of Rs 94.02 crore in Q3 December 2015. Net sales declined 13.1% to Rs 177.27 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Orchid Pharma is a globally recognized, integrated pharmaceutical company with core competencies in the development and manufacture of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and Finished Dosage Forms as well as in drug discovery.

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Coal India moves north on reports of brokerage upgrade
Apr 19,2017

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 0.54 point at 29,318.56.

On the BSE, 2.21 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far as against the average daily volumes of 4.61 lakh shares in the past one quarter. The stock had hit a high of Rs 283.35 and a low of Rs 276.05 so far during the day.

The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 349.85 on 17 August 2016 and a 52-week low of Rs 272.65 on 4 May 2016. It had underperformed the market over the past one month till 18 April 2017, sliding 3.68% compared with the Sensexs 1.11% fall. The scrip had also underperformed the market over the past one quarter, declining 9.57% as against the Sensexs 7.56% rise.

The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 6207.41 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

The potential upside in Coal India stock price is in addition to around 6% dividend yield and is very attractive compared to its cost of equity, the broker reportedly said.

Coal India deserves a premium over other metal and mining stocks due to its dominant position in the Indian markets and its current coal pricing being very competitive, which has virtually no downside risk, the brokerage added.

Meanwhile, Coal India after market hours yesterday, 18 April 2017, issued clarification to the stock exchanges with respect to news appeared in media on 17 April 2017 titled 177 mines of Coal India downgraded on quality concernsn++. The company said that coal is a heterogeneous mineral, susceptible to qualitative variation particularly in Indian context because of its origin and formation. As per earlier practice, annual declaration of grade proposed by coal companies on the basis of own sample collection and analysis at government accredited laboratories, which was being approved by Coal Controller in due course.

As per statutory provisions, subject of maintenance of grades requires monitoring which is vested with Coal Controller Organization (CCO). Annual declaration of grades is a routine exercise, being carried out by coal companies as per directives and methodology prescribed by CCO, Coal India said. During FY16-17, 52 mines/seams were regarded. Again, during reassessment another 22 mines were regarded, the company said.

During FY17-18, as per directives of government, Coal Controller announced new methodology for declaration of grade. Under revised methodology, sampling and analysis of different seams/loading points was carried out through academic institutions and based on their results, CCO finalized the grades, Coal India said.

Independent certification of coal grade through CC0 and analysis through CIMFR will help Coal India to achieve consumers confidence and satisfaction besides less slippages in future, the company said. Re-calibration of entire grading methodology is also going to help government in its mission to make cheap power available to common person, it added.

Coal Indias consolidated net profit fell 20.3% to Rs 2884.47 crore on 3.9% rise in net sales to Rs 19704.45 crore in Q3 December 2016 over Q3 December 2015.

Coal India (CIL) as an organized state owned coal mining corporate. The government of India held 78.86% stake in the company as per shareholding pattern as on 31 March 2017.

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Fitch: US Tightening, Trade Risks Weigh on APAC Growth Outlook
Apr 19,2017

Most APAC economies have started 2017 with good momentum, and regional growth is likely to remain relatively healthy by global standards during the rest of the year, says Fitch Ratings. APAC sovereign rating trends are mostly stable. However, several rising challenges are likely to weigh on growth as the year wears on. Tighter global financial conditions and another round of US dollar appreciation could create strains. Chinas economy is likely to ease, which would dampen external demand around the rest of the region. A potential increase in global protectionism might also undermine export performance, while geopolitical risks - such as those centering on North Korea - could dampen business sentiment.

Asian exports and business surveys have fared better than we had expected, reflecting surprisingly strong growth in the US and Europe as well as policy-driven stabilisation of growth in China. Expansionary fiscal policy and infrastructure spending have supported domestic demand around much of the region, and some economies are making progress on reforms, most notably India and Indonesia.

However, tighter global financial conditions could see growth decelerate over the next few quarters. We forecast two more US rate hikes in 2017, and another four in 2018. Eventually, we expect the Fed Funds rate to normalise at 3.5%-4.0% by 2020, far higher than current market expectations. Higher US rates are likely to drive renewed appreciation of the US dollar.

Higher debt-servicing costs in Asia might create pressures in countries where debt has built up rapidly during the period of very low interest rates. Some sovereigns are made vulnerable in this respect by high private foreign-currency debt, such as in Malaysia, or a dependence on foreign inflows - such as in Indonesia. Asset prices could also suffer.

A stronger dollar could have benefits for Asian exporters, but this is offset by the prospect of a slowdown in China and the risk of increased protectionism. The Chinese authorities have recently started to shift their focus toward curbing leverage and containing financial risks. Macro-prudential controls on banks shadow-funding activities have been tightened in recent months, and the Peoples Bank of China has increased key money-market interest rates. These measures are likely to slow growth in 2H17 and into 2018.

The main protectionism threat stems from the US. A recent meeting between US President Trump and Chinese President Xi appears to have lowered the risk of an imminent trade war between their countries, but a lot could still change. The Trump administration has already withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and has consistently used tough rhetoric on trade, with the emphasis on unfair competition from countries that run large bilateral trade surpluses with the US, including China. The US vice-president has also said this week that the trade pact with South Korea will be reformed.

Overall, we expect APAC aggregate GDP growth to remain relatively flat in 2017. Slowdowns are likely in some of the most trade-dependent economies with significant exposure to China, such as Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore. However, we expect marked pick-ups in the next few years in the domestically driven economies of India and Indonesia, which should continue to benefit from recent reforms.

Most APAC sovereigns are on Stable Outlook, with some exceptions. Indonesia and the Philippines are on Positive Outlook, reflecting strong GDP growth and - in Indonesias case - positive reforms and growing resilience to external pressures. Japans A rating was placed on Negative Outlook last June on deteriorating public finances, although recent indicators point to a brighter growth outlook than we had previously expected.

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