Exports rise 24% to $ 38 billion in April, trade deficit widens
India’s goods exports in April grew 24.2 percent year-on-year to $ 38.2 billion, the commerce ministry said. The preceding month had witnessed record outbound shipments of $ 42.2 billion. However, imports surged 26.6 percent to $ 58.3 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $ 20.1 billion.
Why it’s important: The consistent rise in the value of outbound shipments indicates economic activity has resumed. However, the sharp rise in crude oil prices that inflated the import bill offset the gains by widening the trade deficit.
Proposed crypto tax to exclude reward points, e-vouchers
India will provide a specific exclusion for e-vouchers, points earned on cards on shopping and payments, and other such digital reward assets from the proposed tax on virtual digital assets. The government is working on a set of rules that would be notified soon, officials said.
Why it’s important: Since the definition of virtual digital assets is quite wide, there are concerns that these assets acquired through regular transactions could be subject to crypto tax. Online gaming firms, payment systems, credit and debit cards, and ecommerce apps give incentives in the form of reward points on purchases made through them.
Ten companies plan to launch initial public offering in May
About 10 firms are planning to hit the primary market in the month of May to raise around Rs 12,000 crore, investment bankers said. Delhivery and Prudent Corporate Advisory Services are planning to launch their IPOs next week. Paradeep Phosphate, Syrma SGS Technologies, Aether Industries, JK Files, Ethos, Hexagon Nutrition, E-Mudhra and Venus Pipes & Tubes are expected to hit the market over the next four weeks.
Why it’s important: Most companies readying IPO plans have been waiting for the LIC issue, India’s biggest to date, to get over.
India to expand coal-fired power capacity on higher demand
State-run NTPC, the country’s largest power producer, has invited bids to build a coal-fired power plant to meet growing electricity demand, the first such initiative since 2016. Several state generation utilities, including those in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, are also considering setting up new coal-fired generation capacities.
Why it’s important: The plans to grow thermal power plant capacity come after a spike in demand caused by scorching summer. This would be a setback for India’s green energy aspirations
Centre may partly subsume cess on sin goods in GST regime
The cess levied on aerated drinks, cigarettes and cars could become a bargaining chip in Centre-state talks on GST compensation, with the central government offering to subsume a part of the levy into the GST rate after March 2026 to placate the states.
Why it’s important: States are demanding that the central government continue to compensate them for their revenue loss even after 2026. It isn’t clear whether states will agree to the proposal of subsuming part of the sin cess.
Market regulator says Invesco violated rules on trades for offshore funds
The Securities and Exchange Board of India has found prima facie evidence that Invesco Asset Management India executed trades on behalf of offshore funds, violating norms governing mutual funds in India.
Why it’s important: Rules set by the market regulator bar mutual funds from doing business with offshore funds other than offering advisory services. Further, the domestic and offshore businesses also need to maintain separate accounts and operations.
LIC initial public offering to see record applications
Life Insurance Corporation of India is likely to garner record applications for its initial public offering when the country’s largest public issue opens for subscription for individuals on Wednesday. The IPO may shatter the 10 million applications mark, beating the record of 4.8 million applications received by the Reliance Power IPO in January 2008.
Why it’s important: LIC has already raised Rs 5,600 crore through anchor investors. The IPO is likely to see heavy retail demand. The discounts offered to employees and policyholders will also attract investors.
Consumer durables impacted by supply chain disruption in Shanghai port
India’s consumer durables market has been affected because the supply of components used in manufacturing goods ranging from television panels to refrigerators and washing machines from Shanghai is stuck owing to a lockdown. White goods see 25-75 percent of their components coming from China.
Why it’s important: Consumer durable makers have stocked up on parts, but the inventory could dry up from mid-May. Demand for summer products has improved after two years, which could be wiped away due to the supply chain disruption.
Bankruptcy regulator says Rs 2.2 trillion worth of deals flagged
Insolvency resolution professionals hired by lenders to administer bankrupt companies have flagged dubious transactions worth over Rs 2.2 trillion by suspended managements, according to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India.
Why it’s important: The government is amending the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code to extend the oversight of resolution professionals to a longer period of pre-bankruptcy financial stress by the corporate defaulter.
Adani Wilmar acquires Kohinoor brand from McCormick Switzerland
Adani Wilmar has purchased several brands including Kohinoor from McCormick Switzerland GMBH for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition would give Adani Wilmar exclusive rights to Kohinoor basmati rice along with Ready to Cook, Ready to Eat curries and meals portfolio under the Kohinoor brand umbrella in India.
Why it’s important: The acquisition strengthens Adani Wilmar’s market share in basmati rice to 12 percent. After the purchase, it will be the third largest after market leader India Gate with 33 percent share, and Daawat with 23 percent market share.
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