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National Bamboo Mission renamed as National Agro-Forestry & Bamboo Mission (NABM)
Jul 19,2017

National Bamboo Mission renamed as National Agro-Forestry & Bamboo Mission (NABM) is being implemented as per the set objectives and targets of the Mission. As per available reports 3,61,791 ha. area have been covered in forest & non-forest land, 91,715 ha. area taken up for improvement of existing stock for higher productivity (forest & non-forest areas) under the Mission against targets of 3,62,848 ha., 69,410 ha. respectively.

Under the Mission, 108 nos. of markets (Bamboo wholesale & retail markets near villages, etc.) have been established for providing marketing avenues to bamboo farmers for their raw bamboo as well as finished products. Besides, efforts are being made to popularize bamboo products through participation in domestic/national/international trade fairs.

Under the Mission, Steps have already been taken & are being taken to provide assistance to farmers/bamboo growers for nursery establishment, plantations in non-forest area, imparting training for preparation of nurseries & bamboo plantations, establishing of bamboo markets for farmer products, etc.

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45.93 lakh tons of foodgrains per month being allocated to States/UTs under NFSA
Jul 19,2017

Under the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), the eligible households, which comprises of households covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and priority households, are entitled to receive foodgrains (rice, wheat or coarsegrains or any combination thereof) at highly subsidized prices. There is no BPL category under NFSA.

Currently 45.93 lakh tons of foodgrains per month are being allocated to the States/UTs under NFSA. The highly subsidized prices of foodgrains under NFSA i.e. Rs.1/2/3 per kg for coarse grains/wheat/rice have been continued upto June, 2018. Distribution of subsidized foodgrains under Targeted Public Distribution System is now governed by the provisions of NFSA.

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So far 455 markets from 13 States have been integrated to e-NAM
Jul 18,2017

585 markets across the country are targeted for integration to e-NAM by March, 2018, out of which 455 markets from 13 States have been integrated so far. The details are given below. For this purpose, financial assistance of Rs. 30 lakh per market is given. This has been increased to Rs.75 lakhs per mandi in Union Budget for 2017-18. In addition the software and a mandi analyst for a year is also provided to each mandi.

1. Andhra Pradesh: 22 (Total number of markets integrated)

2. Chhattisgarh: 14

3. Gujarat: 40

4. Haryana: 54

5. Himachal Pradesh: 19

6. Jharkhand: 19

7. Madhya Pradesh: 58

8. Maharashtra: 45

9. Odisha: 10

10. Rajasthan: 25

11. Telangana: 44

12. Uttar Pradesh: 100

13. Uttarakhand: 05

Total: 455

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Ordinance has been promulgated authorising RBI to issue directions to any banking co. to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of default
Jul 18,2017

An Ordinance {Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017} has been promulgated on 4th May 2017 authorising RBI to issue directions to any banking company to initiate insolvency resolution process in respect of a default, under the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC). It also enables the Reserve Bank to issue directions with respect to stressed assets and specify one or more authorities or committees with such members as the Bank may appoint or approve for appointment to advise banking companies on resolution of stressed assets.

The Overseeing Committee (OC) has been brought under the aegis of the Reserve Bank and the membership of the same has been enlarged to five. The reconstituted OC has been mandated to review resolution of cases where the aggregate exposure of the banking sector to the borrowing entity is greater than Rs.500 crore.

An Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) was constituted by Reserve Bank of India, which arrived at an objective, non-discretionary criterion for referring accounts for resolution under IBC. In particular, the IAC recommended for IBC reference of all accounts with fund and non-fund based outstanding amount greater than Rs.5000 crore, with 60% or more classified as non-performing by banks as of March 31, 2016. Accordingly, Reserve Bank of India has issued directions to certain banks for referring 12 accounts, qualifying under the aforesaid criteria, to initiate insolvency process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. As regards the other non-performing accounts which do not qualify under the above criteria, the IAC recommended that banks should finalize a resolution plan within six months. In cases where a viable resolution plan is not agreed upon within six months, banks should be required to file for insolvency proceedings under the IBC.

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A total of 25 Gÿ50-beddedG hospitals with an outlay of Rs. 145 cr. approved in the year 2016-17
Jul 18,2017

Under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National AYUSH Mission (NAM), there is a provision for setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital in the  States/UTs and they may avail eligible financial assistance by projecting the proposal through State Annual Action Plan (SAAP) as per NAM guidelines.

The details of last three years of Grant-in-aid provided to the State/UT Governments along with location for setting up of upto 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital underNational AYUSH Mission (NAM) are furnished below:

Status of 50 bedded integrated AYUSH Hospital approved under National AYUSH Mission (NAM) during 2014-15, 2015-16 & 2016-17

  (Rs. In lakhs)

 

Units Approved during 2014-15

Amount Approved during 2014-15

Units Approved during 2015-16

Amount Approved during 2015-16

Units Approved during 2016-17

Amount Approved during 2016-17

Total

2

330.00

14

2014.57

25

14556.30

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Availability of Fertilizers far exceeds the requirement in the country: Shri Mansukh Lal Mandaviya
Jul 18,2017

Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, said that the availability of fertilizers far exceeds their requirementin the country. Nowadays, scarcity of fertilizers has become a thing of the past in the country which has been possible due to the visionary policies of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Minister added. 

While giving detailed information about the demand and supply of various chemicals fertilizers, Shri Mandaviya gave the figures of cumulative requirement/ sales and availabilityof Urea, DAP and NPK fertilizersfor April -June 2017, which are as given below: 

(all figures in LMT)

FertilizersRequirement/ salesAvailabilityUrea63.640080.2800DAP18.356325.3385NPK13.848324.3049TOTAL95.8446129.9234

Further, Shri Mandaviya also informed the House that the supply of Urea has been more than the requirement in the last 3 years, including the current year. The figures of cumulative requirement and availability of Urea for the last 3 years are given below:

(all figures in LMT)

YearRequirementAvailability2014-15306.71310.422015-16313.35329.002016-17289.09309.082017-18 (up to June17)63.6480.28

Describing the steps taken by the Government to prevent black marketing of fertilizers and transfer maximum benefit to the farmer, Shri Mandaviya said that Government has declared Fertilizer as an essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and notified Fertilizer Control Order, 1985 and Fertilizer (Movement Control) Order, 1973.

Further, State Governments, under the extant provisions of the Fertilizer Control Order (FCO), 1985 have been adequately empowered to take preventive/ punitive actions against offenders who indulge in black marketing of fertilizers. Department of Fertilizers has also advised/ sensitized the State Governments for gearing up enforcements agencies under their jurisdiction for taking appropriate action against the offenders, if any. The experiment of Neem coating of Urea has played a significant role to stop diversion of Urea for industrial use which, in turn, has put a check on its black marketing to a great extent and huge amount of subsidy has been saved, the Minister informed.

Shri Mandaviya said thatas a result of sustainable and long term policy initiatives and its effective implementation by the Government,the days are over now when farmers had to be in long queues for fertilizers in the country.

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Rs. 834.71 crores has been allocated for NFSM-Pulses
Jul 18,2017

For the year 2017-18, an amount of Rs.1720.00 crores (Government of India Share) has been earmarked for National Food Security Mission (NFSM), out of which an amount of Rs.834.71 crores has been allocated, so far, for NFSM-Pulses to States for increasing the production of pulses in the country. An amount of Rs.169.28 crores has been released so far to States for implementation of the pulses programme.

In order to create awareness among the farming community with regard to cultivation of pulses, Government of India has been taking steps like organization of cluster/cropping system based demonstrations on latest crop production technology, cropping system based training, etc. through State Governments and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Besides, seed production of pulses through seed-hubs has also been taken up by ICAR Institutes/Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs)/State Agricultural Universities (SAUs).

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ICAR set target for achieving the goal of doubling farmers income
Jul 18,2017

DARE/ICAR has developed 596 high yielding climate resilient crop varieties/ hybrids of field crops for cultivation in different agro-ecologies of the country during past 3 years. During 2016-17 alone record 313 field crop varieties, 51 horticultural crop varieties, 51 new farm implements, 3 vaccines, 15 diagnostic kits and breeding technology for two new fish species developed. Nutrient rich (zinc, iron, protein) varieties viz., DRR Dhan 45 (18.18 ppm Zinc) and CRR Dhan 310 (10.3% protein) of rice; WB-2 (42 PPM Zinc and 40 PPM Fe) and HPBW-01 (40.6 PPM Zinc and 40.6 Fe) of wheat, Pusa Mustard 30 (zero erucic acid) and Pusa Mustard 31 (Double zero) of Indian mustard have been developed. Rice variety IR-64 Drt-1 (DRR Dhan 42) resistant to drought and Samba Sub-1 tolerant to submergence has been developed. IPM 205-7 (Virat), an extra-early (52-55 days) maturing summer mungbean variety, first-of-its-kind globally, developed. Being short duration variety, it will help in increasing the cropping intensity and diversify the rice-wheat cropping system. Pusa Basmati 1609, Pusa Basmati 1509, Pusa Basmati 1637 and Pusa Basmati 1728 have been developed by using new biotechnological tools. Developed 51 new equipment/technologies/products and processes; 219 new prototypes for farm machinery/new farm implements; established 51 agro processing centres; and supplied 16500 units of multiplied prototypes, in the frontier areas of agricultural engineering with great potential to increase productivity, reduce cost of cultivation, reduce drudgery, improve value addition, conserve resources, provide alternate means for energy generation. Demonstrated production potential of new technologies of pulses, oilseed and other crops through 3.21 lakh frontline demonstrations in farmers field. Skill development of 40.9 lakh farmers and rural youth. Produced and provided 8.79 lakh quintal seed, 12.52 crore planting material and 9.09 crore livestock strains and fingerlings to farmers. Provided agro mobile advisory to 3.95 crore farmers for improved decision-making. Established 150 pulses seed hubs to produce quality seeds of important pulse crops and production of additional quantity of breeder seed of different pulses was undertaken to attain self-sufficiency in pulses. Established 38 on-station Integrated Farming System (IFS) models and refined 63 existing IFS in 14 agro-climatic regions. All these efforts complement the Governments efforts to double the farmers income by 2022.

DARE/ ICAR has set targets, both for short and long term for complementing the efforts of the Govt. by providing technology back up for achieving the goal of doubling farmers income. Targets for next 2 years include, evaluation of 20000 germplasm and breeding lines and conservation of 4000 Germplasm for long term storage, conservation of 200 microbial genetic resources, to identify 30 genotypes and register for unique traits, clone and characterize 10 genes, testing 2000 entries in AICRP multi-location trials, identification of 40 varieties including pulses and oilseeds by AICRP varietal identification committees, production of 56000 quintal Breeder seed, developing and testing 25 new technologies, conducting 10000 front line demonstrations and organizing 220 farmers trainings.

In horticulture sciences targets for next 2 years include, collection of 400 germplasms and characterization of 500 germplasms, development of 100 pre-breeding lines, Identification of 60 promising/elite breeding lines, release of 30 varieties/hybrids, standardization of 50 production technologies, organization of 155 frontline demonstrations, developing 167 modules for capacity building of farmers and other stakeholders, production of 2261 kg breeders/truthfully levelled seed, production of 2250 tonne breeders seed of tuber crops and production of 12.5 lakh quality planting materials and 5 lakh rooted cuttings.

Targets have also been set for soil inventory and characterization (1:10,000 scale), designing and developing of organic farming package of practices, designing, developing and demonstration of climate resilient technologies, designing and developing technologies for managing soil health and designing, developing and testing of 3 technologies for Irrigation water Management. Separate targets have been set for animal sciences, fisheries sciences, agricultural engineering, agricultural education and agricultural extension also.

All these targeted activities are likely to increase the production and productivity of agricultural crops and other enterprises, add value to the produce, reduce cost of production and increase profit margins for the farmers.

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FM: Organized traders and unorganized sellers in Textile Sector have not been affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Jul 18,2017

In a written reply to a Starred Question in Rajya Sabha today, the Union Minister for Finance, Defence and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley said that the organized traders and unorganized sellers in Textile Sector have not been affected by the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Shri Jaitley said that the GST rate structure for the textile sector was discussed in detail in the GST Council Meeting held on 3rd June, 2017, wherein the Council recommended the detailed rate structure for the textile sector. Accordingly, the GST rates for the textile sector have been notified as under: 

S. No.

Type of fibre/filament

GST rate

Fibre

Yarn

Fabrics*

Garments and made ups**

1.

Silk

Nil

5%

5%

5% / 12%

2.

Wool

Nil

5%

5%

5% / 12%

3.

Cotton

Nil

5%

5%

5% / 12%

4.

Other vegetable fibres

Nil / 5%

5%

5%

5% / 12%

5.

Manmade fibres / filaments

18%

18%

5%

5% / 12%

* - 5% GST rate with no refund of unutilized input tax credit.

** - (i) 5% GST rate for garments / made ups of sale value not exceeding Rs.1000 per piece.

       (ii) 12% GST rate for garments / made ups of sale value exceeding Rs.1000 per piece.

 Thus, the GST rate structure for the Textiles Sector enables ease of classification and determination of rate.

 The main demand of the textile traders is not to put any tax on fabrics. However, the same cannot be accepted because of the following reasons:

 -+         Nil GST on fabrics will break the input tax credit chain and then the garments / made ups manufacturers will not be able to get the credit of tax on previous stages

-+         Nil GST on fabrics will result in zero rating of imported fabrics, while domestic fabrics will continue to bear the burden of input taxes.

-+         Generally, the GST rates are equal or lower than the pre-GST tax incidence. And therefore, the price of fabrics is not likely to go up. 

It is not correct to say that textiles sector was never taxed in independent India. In fact, during 2003-04, the entire textiles sector was subjected to central excise duty. Necessary steps have been taken to facilitate taxpayers to take GST registration. GST Sewa Kendras have been set-up in various centres to handhold the taxpayers and to provide all necessary guidance regarding GST compliance.

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Commercial Transport Scheme in Ganga River
Jul 18,2017

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented with the technical and investment support of the World Bank to strengthen the navigation capacity and promote transportation of cargo and passengers on National Waterway-1, on the Haldia-Varanasi stretch of Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System,.

The project has been appraised by the Public Investment Board, at an estimated cost of Rs. 5,369.18 crore, and is scheduled to be completed by 2021-22. The project includes construction of multimodal terminals at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, Sahibganj in Jharkhand and Haldia in West Bengal, and a new navigational lock at Farakka in West Bengal.

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Increase in the Compensation Cess rate on cigarettes to make the total tax incidence on cigarettes in GST regime at par with pre-GST regime
Jul 18,2017

In pursuance of the recommendations of the GST Council in its 14th Meeting held on 18.05.2017 and 19.05.2017, the Compensation Cess rates under Section 8 (2) of the Goods and Services Tax (Compensation to States) Act, 2017, was notified vide notification No.1/2017-Compensation Cess (Rate), dated 28.06.2017 on Intra-State or Inter-State supply of the specified goods, including cigarettes.

            In respect of cigarettes, the Fitment Committee had recommended that in line with the weighted average VAT rate [28.7%], the GST rate on cigarettes may be kept at 28%. In addition, Compensation Cess may be levied on cigarettes at rates equal to 1.05 times the Specific Excise Duty Rates [net of NCCD]. However, this method of calibrating the Compensation Cess did not take into consideration the cascading of taxes [that is in earlier regime VAT being charged on value inclusive of the excise duty]. As a result, the total tax incidence on cigarettes in GST regime has come down, as compared to the total tax in pre-GST regime.

            While any reduction in tax incidence on items of mass consumption would be welcome, the same would be unacceptable in case of demerit goods like cigarettes.

            The GST Council in its 19thMeeting  held today i.e. on 17.07.2017 reviewed the Compensation Cess rates on cigarettes and recommended the following increase in the same with effect from 00 hours on 18th July, 2017 i.e. the midnight of 17th and 18th July, 2017:

Compensation Cess Rates

Tariff Item

 

Present rate

Proposed Increase

New rates

 

Non- filter

 

 

 

2402 20 10

Not exceeding 65 mm

5% + Rs.1591 per thousand

Rs.485 per thousand

5% + Rs.2076 per thousand

2402 20 20

Exceeding 65 mm but not 70 mm

5% + Rs.2876 per thousand

Rs.792 per thousand

5% + Rs.3668 per thousand

 

Filter

 

 

 

2402 20 30

Not exceeding 65 mm

5% + Rs.1591 per thousand

Rs.485 per thousand

5% + Rs.2076 per thousand

2402 20 40

Exceeding 65 mm but not 70 mm

5% + Rs.2126 per thousand

Rs.621 per thousand

5% + Rs.2747 per thousand

2402 20 50

Exceeding 70 mm but not 75 mm

5% + Rs.2876 per thousand

Rs.792 per thousand

5% + Rs.3668 per thousand

2402 20 90

Others

5% + Rs.4170 per thousand

31%

36% + Rs.4170 per thousand

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Star rating of hotels is irrelevant for determining the applicable rate of GST
Jul 18,2017

Reports have been received expressing doubts whether 5-star Hotels are liable to pay GST @ 28% irrespective of the declared tariff of a unit of accommodation.

In this context, it is hereby clarified that accommodation in any hotel, including 5-star hotels, having a declared tariff of a unit of accommodation of less than INR 7500 per unit per day, will attract GST @ 18%. Star rating of hotels is, therefore, irrelevant for determining the applicable rate of GST.

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Consumers across India have unanimously hailed GST: Dr Jitendra Singh
Jul 18,2017

The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that even though there are some initial reservations among certain sections of trading community during the transition phase following GST rollout, the consumers across India have, by and large, unanimously hailed the One Nation, One Tax GST reform introduced by the Central Government.

Dr Jitendra Singh made these observations when the National President of Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI), Shri Manas Kumar Thakur met Dr Jitendra Singh and informed that the ICAI had opened a website (http://www.icmai.in) which contained a helpdesk page that could be accessed by anybody from anywhere. He disclosed that, on an average, there are at least 50 to 60 important queries being received online, the response to which was being provided in a time-bound manner within 24 hours, with the help of 60 experts spread all over the country.

Dr Jitendra Singh appreciated the services rendered by ICAI and other similar organizations which had a stake in the GST implementation. He also suggested that like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the Institute of Cost Accountants of India could also introduce specialized courses for its members to deal with the new nuances related to the GST.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, by and large, the GST has been welcomed by all sections of society, particularly the middle and lower classes. He said that there are certain initial issues, which are more of transitory nature and would be overcome in course of time through the mass awareness exercise launched by the Government and other agencies.

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Negative growth have come down to 17% from 27% : FICCIs latest Manufacturing Survey
Jul 18,2017

FICCIs latest Quarterly Survey on Manufacturing suggests slight improvement in the manufacturing sector outlook in the first quarter (April - June 2017-18) of the fiscal as the percentage of respondents reporting higher production in first quarter have increased vis-n++-vis previous quarter. More importantly, FICCI Survey suggests that the percentage of respondents reporting lower production has reduced considerably over the previous quarter thereby indicating a more positive outlook in months to come. The proportion of respondents reporting higher output growth during the April - June 2017-18 quarter has risen slightly from 47% January - March 2016-17 to 49%. Respondents reporting negative growth have come down to 17% in April - June 2017-18 from 27% as reported in the previous quarter, noted FICCI Survey.

FICCIs latest quarterly survey assessed the expectations of manufacturers for Q-1 (April - June 2017-18) for eleven major sectors namely auto, capital goods, cement and ceramics, chemicals and fertilizers, electronics & electricals, leather and footwear, machine tools, metal and metal products, paper products, textiles and technical textiles, and textiles machinery. Responses have been drawn from over 300 manufacturing units from both large and SME segments with a combined annual turnover of over ₹3.5 lac crore.

However, the cause for worry was the rising cost of production (for a little over two-thirds of the respondents), the Survey noted. The cost of production as a percentage of sales for product for manufacturers in the survey has risen significantly as 69% respondents in Q-1 2017-18, against 60% respondents reported cost escalation in last quarter. This is primarily due to rise in minimum wages and raw material cost.

In terms of order books, about 47% respondents in April - June 2017-18 quarter reported higher order numbers which is almost the same as that recorded in the previous quarter.

Capacity Addition & Utilization

The average capacity utilization as reported in the survey for the manufacturing sector is about 75% for Q-4 2016-17 which is similar to that of Q-3 2016-17. The future investment outlook remains less optimistic. Even now, 74% respondents in Q-1 2017-18 as against 75% respondents in Q-4 2016-17 reported that they dont have any plans for capacity additions for the next six months. Although, the bleak investment outlook seems to be waning if Q-3 2016-17 is taken into consideration (when 77% respondents had no plans for capacity addition). High percentage implies slack in the private sector investments in manufacturing is here to continue for some more months. Large volumes of imports, under-utilised capacities and lower domestic demand from industrial sectors and OEMs are some of the major constraints which are affecting the expansion plans of the respondents.

On a broader perspective, in some sectors (like chemicals, capital goods, textiles machinery, cement, metals and paper) average capacity utilization has either remained same or declined in Q-4 of 2016-17. On the other side, some sectors including auto, textiles and electronics and electricals reported a rise in the average capacity utilization over the same period.

Inventories

As for the inventory levels, 87% of the participants in Q-4 (January - March 2016-17), as against an overwhelming 97% in Q-3 (October-December 2016), have maintained either more or same levels of inventory as their average inventory levels.

Exports

Export outlook of manufacturing sector for the first quarter of this fiscal also seems to be marginally improving as percentage of respondents expecting fall in Q-1 (2017-18) has come down from 22.8% in Q-4 (2016-17) to 18.5%.

Hiring

Hiring outlook for the sector remains subdued in near future as 73% of the sample participants in Q-1 2017-18 said that they are unlikely to hire additional workforce in next three months. However, when compared on a sequential basis, this proportion reflects a mild improvement over the previous quarter when 77% of the respondents were reportedly averse to hire additional workforce.

Interest Rate

Average interest rate paid by the manufacturers still remain high though have shown some sign of moderation with average rate of 11% but highest rates continue to be upwards of 14.5%.

Sectoral Growth

Based on expectations in different sectors, the Survey suggests that moderate growth is expected in metals, leather and footwear, machine tools and capital goods sector in Q-1 2017-18. Low growth is expected in sectors like chemicals, automotive, textiles and cement. Only in case of electronics and electricals high growth is expected for Q-1 2017-18.

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Moodys: Asian high-yield issuance remains robust in Q2 2017; YTD issuance above annual average
Jul 18,2017

Moodys Investors Service says that investor tolerance for lower credit quality and the refinancing needs of issuers continue to drive bond issuance in 2017, with Q2 2017 seeing the highest quarterly amount issued since Q1 2013.

A total of 25 deals totaling USD11.6 billion closed in Q2 2017 -- compared with 26 totaling USD10 billion in Q1 2017 -- the highest quarterly amount since Q1 2013, with year-to-date issuance of USD21.6 billion approaching the full-year record of USD23.3 billion set in 2013, says Annalisa DiChiara, a Moodys Vice President and Senior Credit Officer.

Furthermore, year-to-date issuance is already well above annual average issuance of USD14 billion since 2010, and we also believe that refinancing risks remain manageable and, in the absence of exogenous shocks, the market should be able to absorb upcoming maturities, adds DiChiara.

In addition downgrades moderated considerably in Q2 2017 to 2.79x, approaching the long-term average of 2.41x, adds DiChiara. Although credit quality showed signs of improvement, around 47% of corporate family ratings were in the single-B category and 13% in the Caa-C range says DiChiara. And B3 and below remained elevated at 23 companies or 17.8% of the total.

During Q2 2017, B3-rated bonds accounted for a significant portion of issuance or USD4.6 billion, while China Evergrande Groups (B2 stable) USD3.8 billion accounted for the bulk of that amount.

Furthermore, China-based corporates dominated issuance at 70% of the total, with Indonesia at 13%, India at 12% and Macau at 5%.

Moodys further notes that the number of B3 and below companies have generally been on the rise since 2012, and stood at a 5-year high of 17.8% of our Asian high yield portfolio at 30 June 2017. Such issuers accounted for USD9.8 billion of rated debt, with around US2.3 billion maturing by 30 June 2018.

In total, USD128.6 billion of rated and unrated maturities are scheduled through to 2021, and USD6.7 billion of rated bonds will mature by 30 June 2018.

Meanwhile, Moodys Asian Liquidity Stress Index (Asian LSI) weakened in June, rising to 25.6% from 25.2% in May 2017.

The Asian LSI measures the percentage of high-yield companies with SGL-4 scores as a proportion of high-yield corporate family ratings (CFRs) and decreases when speculative-grade liquidity improves.

The June figure ended six months of continuous improvement, and the reading now remains just above the long-term average of 22.9%, highlighting that weak liquidity is still a concern for many companies in Asia.

Although Moodys has assigned SGL scores to all 129 high-yield rated companies, only 102 of these companies have rated debt outstanding totaling $72.6 billion at 30 June 2017. In addition, the amount of rated debt in June 2017 was at its highest level since December 2010. At end-June, SGL-1 and SGL-2 companies together accounted for 48.5% of the rated debt outstanding.

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