Morning Scan: All the big stories to get you started for the day


GST collections rise 11 per cent, manufacturing PMI hits three-month high

India’s goods and services tax collections rose 11 per cent in November from a year ago to Rs 1.46 lakh crore. The S&P Global India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index hit a three-month high in November, inching up to 55.7 from 55.3 in October. Passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market rose nearly a third to a record of 322,861 in November, riding sustained consumer demand and improved component supplies.

Why it’s important: The latest data releases indicate economic resilience in India despite rising headwinds. They also show that domestic demand continues on a positive trajectory.

Central government proposes one license for all insurance business

The finance ministry has proposed granting insurers a composite license to allow them to sell different financial products. It has also suggested increasing the retirement age of the chairman and whole-time members of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.

The department of financial services has suggested allowing insurers to operate in multiple lines of business — general, life and health — without having to seek separate licenses from the regulator for each business, provided they meet the minimum capital requirements. This would require an amendment to the Insurance Act, 1938.

Why it’s important: A single license to operate in multiple classes of insurance will cut red tape to a large extent. It could boost the financial security of policyholders, promote their interests, and improve their returns.

Bullish bets on Nifty futures by foreign investors at near four-year high

Foreign institutional investors have doubled down on Indian shares in November. They are holding the highest quantity of bullish bets on Nifty and Bank Nifty futures in three years and seven months. Overseas investors purchased shares worth Rs 45,152 crore last month and were net purchasers of 102,664 index futures contracts as of November 30, the most net bullish position since April 26, 2019, when they held 126,827 contracts.

The Nifty hit a record of 18,887.6 points, and the benchmark Sensex surged to a lifetime high of 63,583.07 on Thursday before paring some gains.

Why it’s important: Long-term investors need to be wary of following the bullish trend as analysts say the pattern in Nifty futures reflects momentum buying rather than value-based investing.

Government to rejig insolvency and bankruptcy code in upcoming budget session

The central government will overhaul the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code for rescue distressed companies quicker and to fix the weaknesses in bankruptcy proceedings. It is considering a modification to the code to separate the process of resolution of a bankrupt firm from the distribution of funds received from the successful bidder to enable a faster takeover of the distressed company.

Why it’s important: The government seems to seek an improvement in the pace of rescuing companies in distress. If the modifications reduce the time taken to resolve bankruptcies, it will make the code more effective.

Income-tax department makes moves to quickly resolve taxpayer grievances

The income-tax department has issued instructions to ensure taxpayer grievances about adjustment of tax dues against pending refunds are resolved quickly to check avoidable litigation. The tax department has told its top officers, including principal chief commissioners, that it has observed instances of incorrect adjustment of outstanding tax demands against tax refunds that are due to taxpayers. That is due to incorrect classification of tax demands as correct and collectable, or not receiving feedback from tax officers on grievances filed by taxpayers.

Why it’s important: Since the new directions by the income-tax department allow tax officials a maximum of 21 days to respond to taxpayers, it will lead to swift resolution of grievances.

Automobile sales race to new record, Maruti and Hyundai post double-digit growth

November 2022 was the best ever for carmakers, with cumulative dispatches at top 10 passenger vehicle makers jumping 31.7 per cent on an annualized basis to 310,807 units last month as better availability of semiconductors enabled them to produce more vehicles. It was also the sixth straight month when domestic car sales zipped past 300,000 units.

Why it’s important: Car sales are a leading indicator of economic activity. If sales are soaring, it points to demand growth among the middle class, which augurs well for the overall economy.

Independent valuations of bankrupt Reliance Capital 70 per cent higher than bids

The auction of bankrupt Reliance Capital could stumble as independent valuation reports by Duff and Phelps and RBSA Advisors valuing the company at 70 per cent higher than the offers received from potential acquirers. Duff and Phelps estimated Reliance Capital’s valuation at Rs 12,500 crore, and the RBSA has pegged the company’s liquidation value at Rs 13,200 crore. These reports were submitted to the committee of creditors after the bidders submitted their offers.

Why it’s important: The creditors are now likely to ask bidders to sweeten their offers as their current bids are too low. They might have to send the associated companies for liquidation if that does not happen.

Adani Ports and SEZ wins bid to buy distressed Karaikal port in Puducherry

Adani Ports & SEZ has won the bid for Karaikal Port with a Rs 1,200 crore offer that surpassed the one from rival Vedanta. Bidding for the port was conducted under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) guidelines. The lenders to Karaikal Port met last week to approve Adani’s offer, which will now be taken to the National Company Law Tribunal for final approval.

Why it’s important: The Adani Group, which has been in recent times scaling up its ports business, sees the southern port located in Pondicherry as a natural fit to its expansion plans.

FMCG sales decline 15 per cent by value on prior inventory stocking by grocers

The domestic FMCG market fell 15 per cent by value in November compared to October as stores, which stocked up high quantities in the previous two months, bought less provision. Retailers had aggressively restocked shelves in the build-up to the festive season in October and most retailers had leftover inventory, leading to a drop in primary sales by companies in November.

Why it’s important: Despite the fall in value sales, the FMCG sector in India is seeing early signs of a revival in demand as rise in prices has slowed down.

Start of placement season at IITs sees best offer at Rs 4 crore plus

In what is expected to be a muted placement season than last year at Indian Institutes of Technology, global proprietary trading firm Jane Street has set a new benchmark with a Rs 4 crore plus offer for the first time. At least three students from IITs of Delhi, Bombay and Kanpur have bagged this pre-placement offer for an international posting by Jane Street on the first day of the final placement season.

Why it’s important: The high offers come at a time when technology companies have slowed down overall hiring, including from the campuses. Tech companies are expected to make fewer offers this placement season compared to last year when students were flooded with offers for software roles.

(Disclaimer: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.)