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Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) reduces policy repo rate by 25 bps to 6.25%
Oct 04,2016

On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:

n++ reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent with immediate effect.

Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.75 per cent.

The decision of the MPC is consistent with an accommodative stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation at 5 per cent by Q4 of 2016-17 and the medium-term target of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth. The main considerations underlying the decision are set out in the statement below

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Appetite for Bonds to Hold Up; Money Market Spreads to Stay Steady
Oct 04,2016

India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) says that attractive yields encouraged high-rated corporates to borrow directly from bond markets during June-August 2016, bypassing conventional bank financing due to elevated and sticky lending rates. As the issuances of state development loans (SDLs) increase in 2H and states explore funding plans across the yield curve, corporate bonds will be impacted by the trends in and quantum of SDL issuances. Proactive debt management by states will expand investors options and enhance overall competitiveness, given the top-rated bonds are presently trading at a spread of mere 20bp-30bp over comparable SDLs.

Appetite for Bonds to Hold Up: On the investors side, banks and mutual funds emerged as the largest investors - while foreign portfolio investors interest was tepid. Despite the limited room for a fall in rates hereon, appetite for corporate bonds could remain in place because: (1) the Reserve Bank of Indias purchase of G-sec through open market operations would free up appetite for other fixed income instruments (2) the falling term structure of rates in a slow growth environment will encourage investors to seek higher yields, nudging them to gradually explore alternatives down the credit curve.

Masala Bonds Offer Funding Diversification: With marquee issuers testing the masala bond market and RBIs recent proposal allowing banks to access this route for Basel III capital, the initial success of masala bonds is likely to encourage other domestic top-rated issuers to explore this route. Beyond the top issuers, however, the market for masala bonds is unlikely to pick up in a hurry.

Commercial Papers (CPs) Preferred Mode for Working Capital Funding: A faster and smoother transmission of falling rates in market-linked instruments than in loan products catalysed shift to CP market - a trend that is likely to persist in the near term. With the institutionalisation of a predictable liquidity framework, however, money market spreads are unlikely to change in the near term.

Ind-Ra presents its second edition of Indian Corporate Debt Market Tracker - a publication aimed at presenting a complete picture of developments in the domestic primary bond market in terms of sectoral composition, rating mix and commercial paper issuance trends. The study pertains to the June to August 2016 period, unless otherwise specified. The study has been conducted based on the data obtained from Prime Database and pertains to the private placement of corporate bonds. The actual issuance amount may vary.

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First MPC Policy to Set the Tone for Debt and FX
Oct 04,2016

The Reserve Bank of Indias (RBI) policy communique will be more critical than its rate action for the market to ascertain the future path of interest rates, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). The rupee will stay firm and could trade at 66.35/USD-66.85/USD (66.61/USD on 30 September) throughout the week, while the new 10-year G-sec yield trading range could be at 6.72%-6.85% (6.82% on 30 September).

Communication from RBI and MPC to be Supportive: Domestic bond yields appear to have factored in a rate cut of 25bp in the run up to the policy through the past week. Markets will look for clarity over a few issues: (1) the strategy of the newly-appointed RBI Governor and monetary policy committees (MPC) action on interest rates, (2) the stance and strategy of the RBI and MPC on liquidity, (3) the real interest rate trajectory and (4) MPCs take on the system-based rate setting approach.

Fluctuations in System Liquidity to Dominate: The system may exhibit frictional fluctuations in core liquidity. Ind-Ras estimates indicate that cash in circulation will increase by around 0.4% of NDTL, draining the interbank system. With the current surplus in system liquidity and RBIs proactive liquidity management, the agency does not envisage any pressure on overnight rates other than frictional volatilities. At the same time, further softening of money market instruments appears limited.

Rupee Volatility May Resurface: The rupee has remained steady barring weaknesses due to intensified tension at Indias international border. The rupee is likely to remain volatile through October. For this week, the rupee would largely be driven by sentiment in equity market as well as trade flows.

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Government IT Spending in India to Reach US$ 7.2 Billion in 2016: Gartner
Oct 04,2016

The government in India is on pace to spend US$ 7.2 billion on IT products and services in 2016, an increase of 2.4% over 2015, according to Gartner, Inc. This forecast includes spending on internal services, software, IT services, data center, devices and telecom services. Government comprises state and local governments and national government.

IT services (which includes consulting, software support, business process outsourcing, IT outsourcing, implementation, and hardware support) is expected to grow 9.3% in 2016 to reach US$ 1.8 billion - with the business process outsourcing sub-segment growing 21%.

Telecom services will be a US$ 1.6 billion market, with the mobile network services sub-segment recording the fastest growth with 5.2% in 2016 to reach US$ 909 million.

Government spending on software will total US$ 885 million in 2016, a 4.5% increase from 2015, said Moutusi Sau, principal research analyst at Gartner. The software market will be led by growth in applications.

Internal services will growth 5.8% in 2016 to reach US$ 1.5 billion. Internal services refer to salaries and benefits paid to the information services staff of an organization. The information services staff includes all employees that plan, develop, implement and maintain information systems.

The e-governance initiatives to simplify digital channels and data-driven initiatives are driving investments in the government and are anticipated to grow through 2020. The Digital India initiatives are making government processes streamlined and integrating the data repositories, said Ms. Sau.

Further information on government sector IT spending is available for Gartner clients in the report, Forecast: Enterprise IT Spending for the Government and Education Markets, Worldwide, 2014-2020, 2Q16 Update. The forecasts provide total enterprise IT spending, including internal spending and multiple lines of detail for spending on hardware, software, IT services, and telecommunications for vertical industries and 43 countries within seven geographies.

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More than 3740 MT pulses procured from farmers during ongoing Kharif season
Oct 04,2016

The Government agencies have procured 3740.47 MT pulses as on 02 October 2016 during ongoing Kharif Marketing Season (KMS).

The Central Government has directed FCI and NAFED to procure Kharif pulses from the farmers to ensure MSP for their crops. The agencies have set up 417 procurement centres in pulses producing states to ensure their reach to the farm gates for procurement of Moong and Urad. More centres will be set up if required on the arrival of Tur crop.

So far, FCI has procured 1075.34 MT and NAFED 2665.13MT pulses since the arrival of Kharif pulses during ongoing KMS 2016-17.

The Government has set up the procurement target of 50,000 MT Kharif pulses during current KMS for its buffer stock.

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Minister of Railways Modifies Senior Citizens Concession Rules
Oct 04,2016

Ministry of Railways has decided to grant concession only to senior citizens of Indian Nationality, permanently residing in India.

It has been clarified that Senior Citizen concession shall not be admissible to the senior citizen of foreign nationals & NRIs.

The revised rule for concession to Senior Citizen should be as under:

Senior Citizen-

Existing Rule: Male Senior Citizen of the age of 60 years and above and 58 years & above in case for women senior citizen.

A Senior Citizen of Indian Nationality, permanently residing in India of the age of 60 years and above for Men Senior citizen and 58 years and above in case of Women Senior Citizen shall only be eligible for concession in passenger fare.

This has been come into effect from 29th September 2016.

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Government unveils sustainable Urban Development strategy for next 20 years
Oct 04,2016

The Government today made public the Urban Development strategy for the next 20 years intending to give a big push to use growing urbanization for rapid economic development while at the same time committing itself to address issues of sustainable development and climate change. Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu released India Habitat III-National Report ahead of the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador late this month where a global New Urban Agenda for the next 20 years is going to be adopted.

Speaking on the occasion of World Habitat Day, Shri Naidu said n++The challenge is about ensuring sustainable development while taking advantage of economic growth that results from rapid urbanization in the country. For long, urbanization has been looked at from the limited perspective of providing basic services. But our contemporary response shall be wide ranging aiming at serving larger macro-economic transformational goals together with meeting local priorities. We need to go for a big push to harness fully the potential of urbanizationn++.

Stating that cities need to be made efficient, productive, inclusive, safe and sustainable, Shri Naidu said the agenda for the next two decades proposed in the National Report will be ensuring economic growth and productivity, improving quality of life and importantly, addressing issues of inclusivity, sustainability and climate change.

Elaborating on the strategy for transforming urban India, the Minister said it will be achieved through elimination of barriers to the flow of factors of production like capital, land and labour, development of rural and urban areas in a synergetic manner adopting a regional planning approach, promoting inclusivity by ensuring urban services to all, sustainable urban planning, empowering municipalities to improve governance and deal with exclusion issues, housing for all urban poor and ensuring social justice and gender equity.

Shri Naidu said that the outcomes of new urban agenda based on sustainable urban planning would include reducing water and electricity use by 50% from that of normal use, enabling over 60% of urban travel by public transport, generating half of power from renewable sources, promoting walking and cycling for last mile connectivity, compact and cluster urban development, promoting natural drainage patterns, reducing waste generation of all kind, promoting greenery and public places etc.

Referring to India ratifying Paris Agreement on Climate Change yesterday, Shri Naidu said It is an eloquent testimony of Indias commitment to sustainable developmentn++.

Referring to the theme of this years Word Habitat Day of Housing at Centre, Shri Naidu informed that under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) launched in June last year, construction of 10,10,424 houses for urban poor has been approved which is close to 10.30 lakh houses approved during the nine years of JNNURM during 2005-14. An investment of Rs.59,771 cr has been approved with Central Assistance of Rs.14,955 cr, he said.

Shri Naidu further said that new urban missions launched over the last two years marked a paradigm shift in the countrys approach to urban development and were aimed at promotion and development of urban human settlements as inclusive and sustainable entities.

Minister of State for Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Shri Rao Inderjit Singh and Secretary(HUPA) Dr.Nandita Chatterjee also spoke on the occasion.

Differently abled children who have won in the painting competitions organized on the theme of World Habitat Day were felicitated by the Ministers.

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DoNER Ministry proposes revised guidelines for Northeast projects
Oct 04,2016

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 announced in Guwahati today that a new revised guidelines will be prepared by the Ministry of DoNER with the objective of expediting development projects in Northeast by simplifying procedures to avoid delay and at the same time bring in more transparency.

At a joint meeting of Ministry of DoNER and Government of Assam, Dr Jitendra Singh disclosed that judicious time-bound planning and monitoring of projects using Space technology, satellite imaging and IT tools like Portal and App will be put to optimum use to avoid undue delays. At the same time, he said, use of Space technology can bring in more transparency and authenticity in Utilisation Certificates (UCs) submitted for various projects.

Emphasising on the completion of the ongoing projects without resorting to parking of funds, Dr Jitendra Singh made it clear, no fresh sanction for new projects will normally be issued if unspent balance of the State is more than 1.5 times of the normative allocation of the State on account or Utilisation Certificates (UCs) due is more than 5 per cent of the total release. The introduction of online submission of documents should leave no excuse for delay in file work, he added.

Dr Jitendra Singh also advised the State Governments to prepare Department Project Reports (DPRs) and get them vetted techno-economically and recommended from SLEC in order to avoid delay.

Lauding the innovative and fast track approach adopted by the Ministry of DoNER, Dr Jitendra Singh said that there has been a substantial jump in the release of funds and submission of UCs in the last two and a half years in which a total of Rs.252.54 crores has been released. Citing the figures, he said, in 2014-15, when the present Government took over, a total of Rs. 60.46 crores was released for NLCPR projects in whole of the year while in the current financial year of 2016-17, in the first 6 months itself, Rs. 92.67 crore has already been released.

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India Post Payments Bank starts recruitment
Oct 03,2016

India Post Payments Bank, IPPB has started its recruitment drive with the release of the advertisement for the post of the Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), other CXOs who will be heading its Operations, Risk and Compliance, Finance, HR & Administration and Sales and Marketing Departments. It has also advertised for some contractual positions across multiple Departments. Regular recruitment for other positions across scale I-VII will also be announced in the coming weeks. IPPB has also called for deputations from Public Sector Banks for some corporate HQ positions and will shortly be seeking deputations from banks, post office & other Government Departments for its branch locations. IPPB plans to recruit about 3,500 professionals in the coming months. Details are available on the India Post website.

IPPB will be headquartered in New Delhi and plans to launch 650 branches across the country by the next year. The India Post Payments Bank will leverage the widespread reach and the trust that the Post office enjoys in the minds of the citizen to truly drive financial inclusion.

With all 1.54 lakh Post offices, including 1.39 lakh rural post offices as its access points and 650 Payments bank branches in district Headquarter locations, it will be the most accessible bank in the world in terms of reach. It will deploy state of the art technology to make banking both simple and convenient to its customers. IPPB calls upon dedicated and committed professionals who would want to be part of the journey to create a national financial architecture which will connect every citizen with the financial services that they need to access.

It may be recalled that the India Post Payments Bank Limited has received the Certificate of Incorporation from the Registrar of Companies, Ministry of Corporate Affairs on 17th August, 2016 under the Companies Act 2013. This would be the first PSU under the Department of Posts. This has happened in the wake of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modis Independence Day address, raising the expectations of the people from the soon to be set up India Post Payments Bank. With this move the Department of Posts has cleared an important milestone on this journey.

The Department of Posts is expected to complete the roll out of its branches all over the country by September 2017. This could be the fastest roll out for a bank anywhere in the world.

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Ministry of Corporate Affairs launched a Simplified Proforma for Incorporating a Company Electronically (SPICe) e-Form
Oct 03,2016

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs has taken another bold initiative in Government Process Re-engineering (GPR) and launched a Simplified Proforma for Incorporating a Company Electronically (SPICe) e-Form, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi 2016.The main objective of launching this e-Format proforma, SPICe, is to provide speedy incorporation related services within stipulated time frames which are in line with the international best practices.

SPICes USP is as follows: -

1.Simplified and completely Digital form for Company Incorporation

2.Standard format of e-Memorandum of Association as per Companies Act, 2013

3.Standard format of e-Articles of Association as per Companies Act, 2013

4.Memorandum and Articles will now be filed as linked e-forms (except for Section 8 companies)

5.Provision to apply for Company Incorporation with a pre-approved Company Name

6. Mandatory DSCs of Subscribers and Witnesses (max 7+1) in SPICe MOA and SPICe AOA

7.Back Office productivity gains due to faster review of e-MOA and e-AOA by approving authorities.

Existing INC-29 and INC-7 will be phased-out and SPICe will be the Sole, Simplified & Versatile form available for incorporation of a company in India

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Developing and Operating Inland Water Transport Terminal at Kolkata and Patna under PPP Model
Oct 03,2016

Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), Ministry of Shipping, has identified development and operation of Kolkata Terminals GR Jetty -I, GR Jetty-II & BISN and Patna Terminals Gaighat & Kalughat on National Waterways -1 i.e. River Ganga under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. After invitation of bids, nine firms have expressed their interest in taking up the project and the work is expected to be awarded by November, 2016.

This is the first PPP project undertaken by the IWAI. Under the transactional structure worked out by International Finance Corporation (IFC), the operator will undertake the operations and maintenance services at both Kolkata and Patna clusters and invest in equipment handling mechanism, goods, items, container loading and unloading equipment and warehousing. The operator will also provide labour, professionals, supervisory, and managerial personnel for performance of operations and maintenance services.

The operator will have the right to demand and collect user fees from the users. Service charges would be revised from time to time so as to suitably reflect variation in the market conditions. The operator will be responsible for the payment of revenue share to IWAI for the period commencing from the third anniversary of the appointment date until the duration of the concession. The Operator is expected to handle 10,000 TEU or 15,000 tonnes at both the Terminals within five years of signing the contract.

IWAI will finalise the Front End Design (FEED) of the Kalughat Terminal and construct it with the technical assistance of the World Bank under Jal Marg Vikas Project. IWAI will initially invest Rs 80 crore for the estimated cost construction of the Kalughat Terminal and Rs 10 crore as the cost of land acquisition of about 2-3 hectares for the container cargo Terminal. IWAI has taken land on lease for thirty years for GR Jetty I & II, and BISN Terminal in Kolkata.

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No Impact seen on Indias Trade and Economy, PHD Chamber
Oct 03,2016

While applauding the Modi Government for taking desired action of surgical strikes against Pakistan, Dr. Mahesh Gupta, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said there will be no impact on Indias trade and economy.

The volatility in the financial markets will also be short lived.

Our economy is growing from strength to strength and has become the fastest moving economy in the world economic system, said Dr. Gupta.

Our industry and businesses will continue to function as usual, he said.

Pakistans presence in Indian trade and investments is minuscule and insignificant said Dr. Mahesh Gupta.

Indias flow of two way trade with Pakistan is only US $2.5 billion of which India exports to Pakistan for 2 billion dollars and imports worth half a billion dollar which accounts for only 0.4% of Indias overall trade.

We have lot of potential to divert our trade and investment flows towards many peaceful economies in the region, said Dr. Mahesh Gupta.

We salute and wish all the very best to our brave armed forces, said Dr. Gupta.

We believe Indias significant and desired action at border will establish peace in the coming times, he said.

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Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI slows to 52.1 in September from 52.6 in August
Oct 03,2016

Posting above the crucial 50.0 threshold for the ninth consecutive month, the seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), a composite single-figure indicator of operating performance - highlighted a further improvement in the health of the sector. Down from 52.6 in August to 52.1 in September, however, the latest reading indicated that growth lost some momentum.

Indias manufacturing upturn was sustained in September, as a further increase in order books underpinned growth of output and purchasing activity. That said, rates of expansion eased in all cases. One area of strength was external demand, with firms noting the strongest rise in new export orders since July 2015. The latest PMI figures also showed an intensification of inflationary pressures. Both input costs and output charges increased at quicker rates.

One factor contributing to the slowdown in the sector was a softer increase in new business inflows. Whereas improved client demand supported the upswing in order books, growth was reportedly hampered by strong competition for new work. Foreign new orders for Indian-manufactured goods expanded markedly in September, and at the quickest rate in 14 months. Panellists commented on successful price negotiations with clients. Greater workplace activity led companies to scale up their buying levels and hire additional workers in September. That said, quantities of purchases rose at the slowest pace since June, while job creation remained marginal overall. Manufacturing output in India continued to increase in September, marking a nine-month sequence of growth. However, the rate of expansion eased since August and was relatively modest.

Amid reports of orders being fulfilled directly from stocks, post-production inventories fell again in September. Conversely, holdings of raw materials and semi-manufactured goods rose for the tenth successive month. Average purchase costs increased at a faster pace in September, but one that was weak compared to its long-run trend. The main item reported to be up in price was steel. Data implied that manufacturers attempted to protect profit margins as output charges were raised further. Despite ticking higher, the rate of inflation was historically muted. Elsewhere, outstanding business volumes increased, while vendor performance deteriorated. Backlogs rose for the fourth straight month, which panellists associated with delayed payments from clients. Suppliers delivery times, meanwhile, slowed as a result of raw material shortages.

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Indian Telecom Industry ready to share n++ Know hown++ and n++Know why with foreign partners-Manoj Sinha
Oct 03,2016

The Union Minister of Communications Shri Manoj Sinha today assured the World that the Government of India will do everything to ensure that Indian Telecom Products and Services become 1st choice of anyones telecom needs. He said if one is looking for secure ICT products, they should rely on Indian products and our industry is eager to share n++ Know hown++ and n++Know whyn++. He said that Indian manufacturers have already made significant strides in exports of IT and telecom products to several countries and established that Indian IT and telecom products are of world-class quality and globally competitive on technology and price. Shri Sinha added that India has all the ingredients of a globally competitive telecom industry like large domestic market, world class talent, focus on R&D and IPR creation beside a robust framework for electronic manufacturing.

Shri Sinha told the representatives from 28 participating countries from South Asia, South-East Asia, Caribbean, Latin America and Africa that India also holds the distinction of being the fastest growing telecom network especially with advent of increased broadband penetration. This large telecom network requires equipment & technology that is second to none in the world, yet India offers the lowest telephony tariffs in the world. The Minister said, with this background, the foreign delegates can be assured that when they buy telecom products and services from India, they will be buying the best technology at competitive costs.

Shri Sinha informed that Indian Telecom Sector has been growing at a phenomenal pace and is considered as the fastest growing telecom market in the world with the 2nd largest subscriber base with more than 1060 million connectivity, 160 million Broadband connections and 350 million plus internet users. He said the rapid growth of the sector has fuelled the demand for telecom equipment including mobile phones which is about 20 billion US dollars in 2015-16 and is estimated to exceed 30 billion US dollars by 2020.

Referring to the Prime Minister Narendra Modis vision of Digital India to bridge the digital divide, Shri Sinha said with massive thrust on Make in India and Digital India initiatives, a large opportunity for innovative products and services has been created and India is poised for another digital and data revolution.

In his address Secretary Telecom Shri J.S.Deepak said that Indian Telecom sector in the last one month has witnessed some major developments like the major launch of a Telecom Operator, big mergers and Indias largest ever Spectrum auction which is now on. He said Indian companies have exported more than 110 billion US dollars of ICT products mostly to advanced countries, which is likely to witness a big spurt in near future. He said through Digital India we are empowering the common man by giving them Choice to choose best products and services and by giving Voice that is the opportunity to give feedback on government schemes.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, DIPP, Shri Ramesh Abhisek said that this is very good time to do business in India and business with India as the initiatives taken in the last two and half years are transformative in nature, be it Make in India or the Game Changer tax regime called GST. He said laws like Bankruptcy and Insolvency code, where exit mechanism for companies are there are helping toward Ease of Doing Business in India.

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EPFO To Launch Aadhar Linked Services For PF Withdrawal And Pension Fixation, Says Its Chief
Oct 03,2016

The Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) will soon launch a host of Aadhar linked services like PF withdrawals and pension fixation for its four crore subscribers to facilitate such faster transactions for their benefit, according to its Commissioner, Dr. V P Joy.

Inaugurating a Seminar on Employees Provident Fund Organizationss initiatives - Simplification of EPF & MP Act and the Schemes framed there under, organized by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Central Provident Fund Commissioner pointed out saying that at present, 1.5 crore subscribers of EPFO are seeded with Aadhar linked PF accounts and the challenge for the organization is to equip the remaining subscribers with this facilities for which all out efforts are being made so that it becomes effective by forthcoming March 31.

According to him, until 2011, the EPFO was largely manual driven and therefore, delay would be inevitable for both PF and pension subscribers for facilitating their transactions.

However, after 2011 onwards, with the facilitation of technology, the EPFO has begun to computerize most of its operations and now the time has almost come that this exercise is almost complete for PF and pension accounts for all its subscribers and if all goes well, the electronic Aadhar linked transactions for all EPFO subscribers would happen electronically to enable them conclude such transactions without any legwork latest by March 2017.

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