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Moodys: Asian corporate high-yield default rate will remain moderate in 2016, despite rise in 1Q2016
Apr 29,2016

Moodys Investors Service says that the default rate for Asian high-yield corporates will stay at a moderate level for 2016, despite Moodys slightly upward revision of the forecast default rate for the year to 4.2% from an earlier estimate of 3.2%.

The change in the forecast reflects the slight weakening in the credit quality of Moodys speculative grade portfolio during 1Q2016, and the 4.2% translates to six potential defaulters for the year.

Companies in the metals & mining sector face a higher risk of default, says Clara Lau, a Moodys Group Credit Officer. The protracted weakness of commodities prices globally has eroded the profitability of the mining companies and weakened their credit profiles.

We believe that the oversupply in the commodities sector reflects a structural shift in the industry rather than a cyclical downturn; the credit profiles of mining corporates will therefore continue to come under stress, adds Lau.

Moodys report points out that the trailing 12-month Asian high-yield corporate default rate ended 1Q 2016 at 7.0%, a slight increase from the 6.5% seen at end-2015. The increase reflected one additional default in 1Q 2016, resulting in a total of 10 defaulters for the period.

Six of the 10 defaulters were metal and mining and related issuers. Metals and mining companies and related service providers continued to come under tremendous pressure in 1Q 2016, due to oversupply issues and weak demand in the commodities sector.

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No shortage of sugar stock in India, sufficient to meet the domestic consumption
Apr 29,2016

During the current Sugar Season 2015-16, India had started with a carryover stock of 9 million MT of sugar. The production of sugar has been estimated at about 25.3 million MT in the current sugar season. While the domestic consumption is estimated at about 25.5 million MT and exports being low at about 1.5 million MT, the stock position at the close of the current sugar season (Sept. 2016) will stand at 7.3 million MT which will be carried forward for the next sugar season 2016-17. As such, notwithstanding any shortfall in sugar production during 2016-17 sugar season (estimated 23 - 24 million MT), the total availability in India (30 - 31 million MT) would be sufficient to meet the domestic consumption. There is therefore likely to be no shortage of domestically produced sugar in India.

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Rs. 94 Crore released under Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme
Apr 28,2016

The overall objective of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme is to improve declining Child Sex Ratio in the country and create an enabling environment for the education of girl child and this requires long-term attitudinal change. The Scheme has completed its one year and is at the nascent stage of implementation. In the last one year, several local innovative interventions have been demonstrated by the districts with support from Department of WCD, Health and Education. This has resulted in increased awareness, sensitization and conscious building around the issue of declining CSR in the public domain.

As per Census 2011 data, Child Sex Ratio (CSR) stands at 918 girls per 1000 boys in the age group of 0-6 years, against 927 in 2001 Census. The reasons behind the declining Child Sex Ratio in the country are primarily the socio- cultural mindset having preference for son, considering girls as burden and preference for small family. Further, easy availability of technology for sex determination tests and abortion services act as a catalyst in the declining Child Sex Ratio.

The BBBP scheme is being implemented through the State Govt./UT Administration. The Village Convergence & Facilitation Service (VCFS) is being implemented in BBBP districts at Gram Panchayat (GP) level to generate awareness regarding various schemes/programmes of the Central/State Government and mobilize the community to create demand and access/avail such services at grass root level. The States/UTs have undertaken various activities under the BBBP.

Funds to the tune of Rs.93.90 Crore have been released for the implementation of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme.

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Lowest Ever Energy Deficit of 2.1% in 2015-16
Apr 28,2016

During 2015-16, the energy shortage was 2.1% which is the lowest ever in a single year.  

As reported by the States / UTs, the details of energy shortage in terms of electricity in the country during the last two decades are given below:- 

YearRequirementAvailabilityShortage (MU)(MU)(MU)(%)1991-922,88,9742,66,43222,5427.81992-933,05,2662,79,82425,4428.31993-943,23,2522,99,49423,7587.31994-953,52,2603,27,28124,9797.11995-963,89,7213,54,04535,6769.21996-974,13,4903,65,90047,59011.51997-984,24,5053,90,33034,1758.11998-994,46,5844,20,23526,3495.91999-004,80,4304,50,59429,8366.22000-015,07,2164,67,40039,8167.82001-025,22,5374,83,35039,1877.52002-03 5,45,9834,97,89048,0938.82003-045,59,2645,19,39839,8667.12004-055,91,3735,48,11543,2587.32005-066,31,5545,78,81952,7358.42006-076,90,5876,24,49566,0929.62007-087,39,3436,66,00773,3369.92008-09777,039691,03886,00111.12009-10830,594746,64483,95010.12010-11861,591788,35573,2368.52011-12937,199857,88679,3138.52012-13995,557908,65286,9058.72013-1410,02,0459,59,61442,4314.22014-1510,68,9231,030,78538,1383.62015-1611,14,23510,90,71323,5222.1

At present, India is importing power only from Bhutan.  The imported power is mainly Bhutans surplus power from hydro stations commissioned in Bhutan with the assistance from the Government of India. During 2015-16, energy imported from Bhutan was about 5 Billion units (BU).

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CILs Target for production of Coal is 598.60 million tonnes during 2016-17
Apr 28,2016

Target fixed by Coal India (CIL) for coal production during 2016-17 is 598.60 million tonnes.

The coal availability of CIL is in tune with the quantity committed for Thermal Power Plants having Fuel Supply Agreement. Supply of coal to Power Utilities from CIL sources has grown from 353.83 MT in 2013-14 to 385.40 MT in 2014-15 and further to 409.14 MT (Provisional) in 2015-16. For the year 2016-17, the target of Off-take of CIL is 598.61 Mt. Out of this, 450 Mt will be supplied to Power Sector Utilities.

During 2015-16, coal Stock of CIL has increased by 4.205 MT from 53.469 MT as on 01.04.2015 to 57.674 MT as on 01.04.2016 mainly on account of regulated lifting by power utility sector in view of their comfortable coal stock position of 38.87 MT as on 31.03.2016, which is equivalent to 27 days requirement.

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MOU with France on Jaitapur nuclear reactor
Apr 28,2016

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and Electricite De France (EDF), France for Implementation of six Evolutionary Pressurised Water Reactors (EPR) at Jaitapur, Maharashtra together with associated fuel, fuel services and other services.

The scope of work under the MoU is also to define technical configuration to meet the Indian statutory and regulatory requirements for certification and design.

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Fitch: Rising Sovereign Risk from Foreign-Currency Debt in EMs
Apr 28,2016

Fitch Ratings says in a new report that the rapid rise in private-sector debt in emerging-market (EM) countries, particularly that denominated in foreign currency, in conjunction with extensive depreciation of EM currencies, has increased downside risks to their economies, financial systems and sovereign creditworthiness at a time of heightened global uncertainty.

The report presents new estimates for non-financial private-sector foreign-currency debt in eight of the largest EMs: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. The data updates and augments the data set Fitch compiled in late 2015 for wide private sector debt. This broad definition of private-sector debt includes domestic bank credit to households and corporates, securities issued in the domestic and international markets, and other external debt of the corporate sector.

Fitch estimates median foreign-currency debt of the eight countries private sector was 20% of GDP at 2Q15, out of total (local- and foreign-currency) private sector debt of 90% of GDP. This implies foreign-currency debt accounted for 22% of total debt. Foreign-currency debt was highest as a share of GDP in Turkey, at 41% (including indexed debt), and Russia, at 37%, and lowest in China, at 10% of GDP, and India, at 17%. It was highest as a share of total private debt in Turkey, at 46%, and Russia, at 41%.

The agency estimates that currency deprecation between June 2015 and March 2016 will have raised the private-sector foreign-currency debt burden by around a further 8% of GDP in Russia, 4% in Brazil and South Africa, and 2% in Turkey and Mexico.

Debt denominated in foreign currency is more risky than local-currency debt as exchange rate depreciation raises debt and debt-service ratios of sovereigns, households or corporates that lack foreign exchange incomes or assets. Foreign-currency debt, which is usually sourced from abroad, is typically more vulnerable to liquidity risk. Currency risk can materialise at - and exacerbate - times of economic stress as this is when depreciation pressure often emerges. Private-sector debt, particularly for state-owned enterprises, can migrate to the sovereign balance sheet.

Corporate borrowing in foreign currency partly reflects the need to finance international trade and investment. However, it can also reflect an underestimation of exchange rate risks and the effects of original sin: EMs limited ability to borrow in their own currency at long maturities, or a high cost of doing so, owing to a record of high inflation and weak monetary policy credibility, or a low level of domestic savings and shallow domestic capital markets.

High foreign-currency debt is a weakness for sovereign ratings. The share of EM government debt denominated in foreign currency (median for 76 Fitch-rated EMs) rose to 58% at end-2015, from 50% at end-2013, after falling from 64% at end-2001. In contrast, EM foreign exchange reserves in US dollars have fallen since 2013. High foreign-currency debt may also constrain policy flexibility. Foreign-currency debt risks help explain the strong correlation between a stronger dollar and weaker EM sovereign ratings.

Total (foreign- and local-currency) private-sector debt increased to 78% of GDP in June 2015 from 71% at end-2014 (average of the eight EMs excluding China, which skews the numbers), partly reflecting falls in the US dollar value of GDP.

Total sovereign and private sector debt (foreign and local currency) at 2Q15 was highest in China at 243% of GDP, followed by Brazil at 162%, and lowest in Indonesia, at 79%. Total sovereign and private-sector foreign-currency debt was highest in Turkey at 53% of GDP.

Fitchs estimates on foreign-currency debt should be used with caution. They are compiled from a variety of data sources and, where no data are available, rely on plausible assumptions on the currency breakdown of corporate external debt. Therefore they should be regarded as estimates rather than hard data. However, they provide a far more comprehensive picture than readily available data on international debt securities alone - which are often the focus of market commentary. Fitch estimates these account for only 6% of non-financial private-sector total debt and 22% of non-financial private-sector foreign-currency debt (on average for the eight large EMs in this study).

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India Business Confidence Lowest Since January
Apr 28,2016

The MNI India Business Sentiment Survey for April showed that business confidence fell for the second consecutive month, albeit marginally, as firms financial position deteriorated.

The MNI India Business Sentiment Indicator, a gauge of current sentiment among BSE-listed companies, fell to 62.4 in April from 62.7 in March. The decrease in sentiment this month was led by construction and service sector firms while sentiment among manufacturing companies increased.

Confidence was down 2.3% compared with the same month a year ago and now stands at the same level as the series average. More positively, sentiment is up from the recent trough seen in December which had left it at the lowest for more than a year and a half.

The Reserve Bank of India cut the key policy rate by 25 basis points during the survey period. While it hasnt impacted business sentiment yet, we expect to see some of its effect in next months survey. Note though that monetary easing has tended to provide only a short-term boost to business confidence, and has failed to cause a sustained increase.

In line with Aprils rate cut, firms reported that they faced lower debt service costs and found credit more readily available. However, company balance sheets worsened as firms continued to feel the pressure of the high debt and low sales environment which has persisted for more than a year now.

The decline in overall business confidence between March and April came against a set of mixed results in the survey. Production was down, employment remained unchanged, while orders increased slightly on the month. The pace of inventory building picked up and firms expected stock levels to expand over the next three months given expectations of strong demand. Sentiment towards the rupee held steady, while companies faced lower inflationary pressures.

Commenting on the latest survey, Chief Economist of MNI Indicators Philip Uglow said, n++A second consecutive decline in the MNI India Business Sentiment Indicator is a reminder that all is not well for Indias largest companies. While sentiment is up from the recent low in December, it is only running at the series average. Meanwhile other measures such as production and orders are running below average, while firms financial position deteriorated further in April.n++

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Ind-Ra: FY17 GDP Growth Revised Downwards to 7.7%
Apr 28,2016

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) has revised its gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for FY17 downwards to 7.7% from its earlier forecast of 7.9%. Despite favourable prospects for agriculture due to an above normal monsoon, industrial recovery is proving to be a drag on the FY17 growth prospect.

The resilience of Indian agriculture on monsoon has increased over the years. As a result, agriculture no longer witnesses a sharp decline in output and gross value added (GVA) in the years of a sub-par monsoon. As the downside to agriculture has reduced due to a subpar monsoon so has the upside to agriculture with a favourable monsoon.

The industrial recovery continues to be weak and fragile and this is getting reflected in the monthly Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data. IIP in FY16 till February has grown by just 2.6%. While the governments initiatives such as Make in India, Digital India, Start Up India, Stand Up India and Ease of Doing Business have created buzz and projected India as an important destination for manufacturing activity, it will take a while before they translate on the ground. Private investment is still down and out due to lack of demand, suboptimal capacity utilisation and cheap imports in select cases.

FY16 witnessed some traction in urban demand. With a favourable monsoon Ind-Ra believes even rural demand will gradually pick up. A sustained decline in inflation and monetary easing would help consumption demand to revive further in FY17. Ind-Ra expects Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation to turn positive in early FY17. This will be positive for both government and corporates. Continuous WPI deflation since November 2014 has not only reduced nominal GDP growth but also affected the top line growth of corporates. Both WPI and Consumer Price Index based inflation are likely to remain moderate and within the Reserve Bank of Indias (RBI) comfort zone.

Low inflation, weak industrial growth and normal monsoon are likely to result in further loosening of policy rates. Ind-Ra expects at least one more (25bp) policy rate cut by RBI in FY17 and a faster monetary transmission due to the cut in small savings rates and as banks adopt the marginal cost based lending rate. Although FY17 fiscal arithmetic looks a bit sketchy, Ind-Ra believes the government will be able to achieve its fiscal deficit target 3.5% of GDP.

Given the global/domestic economic conditions, Ind-Ra expects the current account deficit in FY17 to remain benign at 1.2% of GDP. Accretion to forex reserves is expected to be about USD28bn and average INR/USD to be 67.79 in FY17. However, Ind-Ra sees pressure emerging on the services export and remittances front in FY17. In FY16, the growth of services exports was negative in seven out of 11 months for which data is available. In fact during April-February FY16, services exports showed a contraction of 5.6%. A sustained weakness in oil prices has affected the remittance income as India receives more than half of its remittances from the Middle East. Remittances (private transfers) at USD15.305bn in 3QFY16 are the lowest since 1QFY12 (USD14.779bn).

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Production of cost-effective sports equipment
Apr 28,2016

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has said that the Sports Goods Export Promotion Council (SGEPC) has informed that most of the manufacturers of sports equipment are in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector and operate with minimum technology. There are no big factories in India for manufacturing of sports equipment. Most of manufacturing process depends on the manual labour. Major sports equipment made in India are inflatable balls, cricket equipment, boxing equipment, track and field equipment, table tennis, badminton, carom board etc. Most of sports equipment, which require technology like composite rackets, golf clubs, hiking equipment, water sports equipment etc. are not made in India. The demand in India for these equipments is met through imports. There is definitely a need to introduce technology to produce cost effective sports equipment especially for above mentioned items.

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B and C category B-schools producing un-employable pass-outs: ASSOCHAM
Apr 28,2016

Barring a handful of top Business schools like the government run IIMs and other few, most of 5,500 B schools in the country are producing sub-par graduates who are largely un-employable resulting in these pass-outs earning less than Rs 10,000 a month, if at all they find placements, an ASSOCHAM study has pointed out.

Expressing concern over the decay in the standards of these B-schools, many of which are not properly regulated, the study by the ASSOCHAM Education Committee (AEC) noted that only 7% of the pass-outs are actually employable in India excepting graduates from IIMs.

India has at least 5,500 B-schools in operation now, but including unapproved institutes could take that number much higher. The ASSOCHAM report says that only 7 per cent of the MBA graduates are actually employable. Around 220 B-schools had shut down in the last two year in cities such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Dehradun etc. And at least 120 more are expected to wind up in 2016. Low education quality coupled with the economic slowdown, from 2014 to 2016, campus recruitments have gone down by a whopping 45 per cent.

n++There are more seats than the takers in the B-schools. This is not surprising in the wake of poor placement records of the pass-outs, n++ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said.

In the last five years, the number of B-school seats has tripled. In 2015-16, these schools offered a total of 5,20,000 seats in MBA courses, compared to 3,60,000 in 2011-12.

Lack of quality control and infrastructure, low-paying jobs through campus placement and poor faculty are the major reasons for Indias unfolding B-school disaster. n++The need to update and re-train faculty in emerging global business perspectives is practically absent in many B-schools, often making the course content redundant.

Only 7 per cent of MBA graduates from Indian business schools, excluding those from the top 20 schools, get a job straight after completing their course, adds the findings of the report.

While on an average each student spent nearly Rs 3 to Rs 5 lakh on a two-year MBA programme, their current monthly salary is a measly Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. Even the quality of IIM/IIT students coming out now compared to the last 15 years has come down due to the quality of school education. The faculty is also another problem as few people enter the teaching profession due to low salaries and the entire eco-system needs to be revamped.

ASSOCHAM said that the mismatch between aspirations of students and their level of preparation are crucial as most of the fresh graduates are afraid of getting their hands dirty. The flaw lies with the negligible hands-on training provided at Tier 2 and 3 colleges.

Mr. Rawat further said that the quality of higher education in India across disciplines is poor and does not meet the needs of the corporate world.

Of the 15 lakh engineering graduates India produces every year, 20-30% of them do not find jobs and many other get jobs well below their technical qualification.

There is clearly a rush towards engineering, that which is engineered largely by parents and the society. Indian economy is not growing at the same rate as the number of engineers. It is only the IT sector that absorbs engineers in large numbers, between 50-75%. There is a large mismatch in the aspirations of graduating engineers and their job readiness. 97% engineers aspire for a job in IT and core engineering. However, only 18.43% employable in IT & 7.49% in core engineering, adds the paper.

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Approval for Enhancement of Investment by Bharat Petroleum Corporation in Bharat Oman Refineries
Apr 28,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to enhance investment by Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) in Bharat Oman Refineries (BORL). The investment amount could be enhanced upto a maximum of Rs.3000 crore by way of subscription of convertible warrants / other instruments giving right to convert it into equity shares to be issued by BORL, beyond DPE guidelines dated 05.08.2005.

The infusion of funds by the BPCLs will enable BORL to overcome the implications on account of the erosion of the net worth. Besides it will enhance the availability of petroleum products in the Northern and Central parts of the country, industrial development of Madhya Pradesh and substantial increase in employment and tax earnings in the State.


Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. It has promoted a joint venture company with Oman Oil Company Limited (OOCL) named Bharat Oman Refineries Limited (BORL). The BORL has commissioned the 6 MMTPA (120 Thousand Barrels Per Day) Refinery at Bina in Madhya Pradesh, in June, 2011 at a project cost of about Rs. 12,754 crore. Currently the refinery is operating at 100% of its installed capacity.

The company now proposes to undertake a debottlenecking project at the refinery to further increase the refining capacity from 6 MMTPA to 7.8 MMTPA. The estimated project cost is Rs.3,072 crore, with an overall implementation schedule of 36 months from date of receipt of environmental clearances (Zero Date). The highlights of the proposal for debottlenecking project include certain modifications to produce products in accordance to the new Auto Fuel Policy.

Hence, there is a need for immediate infusion of funds in BORL by the shareholders. OOCL while expressing their support for the project, had indicated that they are not prepared to commit further funds for the project at this stage. Therefore, BPCL Board has decided to infuse funds to the tune of Rs 3,000 Crore for funding the debottlenecking project and for meeting the extraordinary losses suffered on account of the sharp fall in the prices of crude oil and finished products.

Government has, accordingly, decided to grant approval to the proposal of BPCL to enhance its investment in BORL by an additional amount of up to Rs. 3,000 crore for completion of the de-bottlenecking project.

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Memorandum of Understanding between IRDAI and the Insurance Authority, United Arab Emirates
Apr 28,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) and the Insurance Authority of United Arab Emirates. The MoU was signed in February 2016.

The MoU provides for enhanced cooperation between the two authorities in the field of insurance supervision by providing a framework for co-operation such as channels of communication. It will also result in increasing mutual understanding through the exchange of regulatory and relevant supervisory information including confidential information to enforce or ensure compliance with their respective laws and regulations.

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Government decides to allow States to impose and enforce stock limits to check the price rise in sugar
Apr 28,2016

Government decides to allow States to impose and enforce stock limits to check the price rise in sugar

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to bring n++sugarn++ under the purview of imposing stock holding limits on dealers of sugar, keeping in view the recent upward trend in sugar prices. The Government has noticed that in spite of sufficient availability of sugar stocks with the Sugar Mills, the wholesale and retail prices have shown a spurt.

The Government has taken stock of the availability of sugar and different factors contributing to rise in market prices of sugar across the country. In order to check the inflationary tendencies in sugar and to reduce hoarding by wholesalers and retailers, Government felt an immediate need to bring sugar within the purview of stock limits. The decision will empower State and Central agencies to impose stock limits and regulate supply, distribution, storage and trade of sugar to bring down sugar prices at reasonable level by curbing unscrupulous trading.

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Cabinet approves MoU between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of health area and medical science
Apr 28,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Papua New Guinea on cooperation in the field of Healthcare and Medical Science.

The bilateral MoU will encourage cooperation between the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of India and the Ministry of Health and HIV/AIDS of the Papua New Guinea through joint initiatives in the health sector. It will strengthen bilateral ties between India and Papua New Guinea.

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