Nifty, Sensex continue to head higher – Weekly closing report

Nifty is putting in a pre-budget rally. Likely to target 8,950 next week

The S&P BSE Sensex closed the week that ended on 13th February at 29,095 (up 377 points or 1.31%), while the NSE’s CNX Nifty closed at 8,806 (up 145 points or 1.67%). In the previous week, we had mentioned that further move on the Nifty will be determined by the outcome of the Delhi assembly election on Tuesday.
Exit polls released by several media had showed that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will get a majority and will be able to form the next government in Delhi. After a range bound session on Monday, the Nifty closed at 8,526 (down 135 points or 1.56%).
The Ministry of Finance, on last Saturday, said that the government has decided to infuse Rs6,990 crore in nine public sector banks during the current fiscal year based on efficiency parameters for individual banks.
On Tuesday, Nifty broke the trend of consecutive losses for seven days and closed at 8,566 (up 39 points or 0.46%), after a volatile session. Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP got a sweeping majority in the Delhi Assembly elections.
According to Indian government’s advance estimates for GDP based on the new calculation methodology, the economy is likely to grow at a faster pace of 7.4% in the current fiscal as against 6.9% in 2013-14.
As anticipated, on Wednesday, Nifty continued to book gains. Nifty closed at 8,627 (up 62 points or 0.72%). Rating agency Moody's Investors Service said the lower oil prices are expected to alleviate India's high inflation and spur economic growth.
On Thursday, Nifty closed at 8,712 (up 84 points or 0.98%). It closed near to the day’s high. After market hours, the Indian government announced CPI data for January 2015 and industrial production data for December 2014. Indian inflation rose marginally to 5.11% in January, according to the new base year for calculating prices. December inflation now stands revised to 4.28% as per the new series. Industrial output grew 1.7% in December, slower than November's 3.9%.
Further support of $2 million provided by World Bank after International Monetary Fund (IMG) agreed to bail Ukraine out of economic crisis, and Germany logging better-than-expected fourth-quarter growth, helped sentiments in Indian markets. State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s biggest lender, too posted improved December 2014 quarter result, which added momentum to the past three days of positive up move. On Friday, Nifty closed at 8,806 (up 94 points or 1.08%) in what looked like a strong pre-budget rally. The market mood was lifted by quarterly results of State Bank of India.
Out of the 27 main sectors tracked by Moneylife, top five and the bottom five sectors for this week were:


Iran projects and trade need push from Indian government

India needs to move ahead with the Urea Project to be set up in Iran as well work out the logistics of container traffic movements from Chabahar port to other Iranian cities


The Iranian New year, Nav Roz falls on 21st March and there are signs that export of basmati rice, which had stopped a couple of months ago, will start once again. It may be noted that, in 2013-14, India exported 1.4 million tonnes of basmati but this is likely to be about 800,000 tonnes by March this year, though the exporters were hoping to at least reach a million tonnes.  This has not been possible due to excess stocks imported earlier.
Due to the US and European Union sanctions, Iran's export of oil has been restricted to 1.1 million barrels a day and India has been able to absorb as much as 42% of Iranian supplies last year. It may be remembered that the Special Rupee payment mechanism set up and operated through UCO Bank in Kolkata has been used for payment for imports from India, and part payment for oil imports has been paid into this account. This arrangement has helped both the countries.
Only a few weeks ago, due to the efforts taken by both the Governments, particularly the Indian Fertiliser industry, India has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by which a 1.3 million tonnes (mt), a joint venture, to produce Urea using the gas as  feeder stock. This 1.3 mt urea plant will be established in Chabahar port development area and the Indian companies that would take part are the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers, GNFC and GSFC.
Additionally, the memorandum includes the development of a container piers though a $100 million investment and permits the formation of joint ventures between Indian and Iranian companies, in various approved areas.  With this MoU, India will gain maritime and land access to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries.
In fact, it is reported, in the Pakistani press, that India recently shipped two container consignments to Astara in Gilan province in Iran, on land route, and it was found to be both "economical" and "fruitful" for Indian investors.
By taking advantage of this MoU, India has plans to make further investments in Iran, especially, under what is to be called as "reverse' Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Indian officials claim that these reverse SEZs can produce various types of goods that can be exported to other world markets, and that India intends to establish such zones in friendly countries that have lots of raw materials that can be “finished” for export, not only to India but to other areas as well.  
The Pakistani press has pointed out that Gwader Port is still not operating vigorously as Chabahar because supporting "structures" are not yet ready! It says that several projects, such as the 950 Kms railway line or the 900 Kms motor way to link with the railways/ highways of the country with the Gwadar port have so far remained only on "file"; whereas, the developments in Chabahar has been better.  Thus they expect that with the Indian involvement, Gwadar port may face stiff competition from Chabahar!
In the meanwhile, while speaking at an event in Moradabad, Mehdi Mahdavipour, a representative of Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei, is reported to have said that Tehran is very much interested in "developing" ties with New Delhi.  He said further that the Hassan Rouhani administration would try its best to bring back the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project back on track in the near future!
It may be remembered that the project has been stalled due to security concerns over the pipeline traversing through Pakistan and the sanctions imposed on Iran by US/ European Union over its nuclear programme. 
But of immediate importance are the urgent steps that Ananth Kumar, the Fertiliser Minister, has to take. These steps include moving forward with the Urea Project plan that has to be set up in Chabahar. A high powered business-oriented delegation must visit Iran to work out the logistics of container traffic movements from Chabahar port to other Iranian cities as well as for studying the prospects of connections to Central Asian republics.  This they must do, just after the holidays, celebrating the Nav Roz!
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)




2 years ago

like Russia our trade relations with Iran is bound to benefit Indians in future. Proper political analysis is necessary on the Indian side. There are hurdles because of the sanctions imposed on Iran by U.S. With improving U.S relation India should not over look the advantage we have in supporting Iran.

Centre asks States to replace affidavits with self-attestation

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government has been emphasising on replacing gazetted or notarised affidavits with self-attestations


Terming gazetted-officer signed affidavits as a colonial era practice; Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Friday asked all states to replace them with self-attestation in majority of government works.
“The decision to implement self-attestation is most historic and landmark decisions since independence. A circular has gone to all states. Some of the states have approved it. Some of the states are complacent. But we are pushing the practice of adopting self-attestation in place of affidavits,” Singh said at a seminar here.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has been emphasising on replacing gazetted or notarised affidavits with self-attestations.
In this regard, all central government ministries have already been asked to review the existing requirements of affidavits and attested copy by gazetted officers in various forms in a phased-manner and wherever possible, make provision for self-certification of documents and abolition of affidavits.
Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, said the government was committed to end corruption and bring in anti-graft legislations.
“We have to plan and target a situation or at least endeavour to proceed in a direction where we have a society which is incorruptible by virtue,” he said.
He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Fighting Bribery in Business Transactions’ organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Addressing the gathering, Secretary, Personnel, Sanjay Kothari talked about the twin weapons of transparency and accountability to end corruption.
“Corruption is bane for governance. It is anti-ethical, anti-Constitution, anti-conscience and anti-common good,” Kothari said.
In his opening remark, Patrick Moulette, head of anti-corruption division in OECD, said bribery is bad for business and there is huge negative effect of it in the society.


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