Smartphone shipments in July-September

Source: Financial Express, Nov 12, 2019

New Delhi: The domestic smartphone market registered one of its best performances 20191113-6during third quarter of calendar year 2019, carrying a shipment size of almost 47 million units with handsets in the Rs. 21,000-35,500 range emerging as the fastest growing segment.

Attractive schemes and discounts aided the mid-range segment (Rs. 14,000-35,000) during the quarter to increase its share at the expense of the low-end price category.

As per the latest numbers by IDC, the smartphone market shipped a record 46.6 million units in the Q3 2019, with 26.5% quarter-on-quarter growth and 9.3% year-on-year, driven by multiple online sales festivals, new model launches, and price corrections on a few key models by various brands.

“While the low-end price segment of $200 (Rs. 14,000) still accounted for 80% of overall India smartphone market in Q3 2019, its share dropped 5 percentage points year-on-year at the cost of the mid-range segment of $200-500, gaining 5 percentage points to 18.9%,” IDC said.

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Paytm to invest Rs 500 cr in tech startups to drive innovation, create jobs

Source: Business Standard, Nov 11, 2019

New Delhi: Digital payments firm Paytm on Monday said it plans to invest Rs 500 crore in 20191113-5early stage startups that build complementary technologies augmenting the digital ecosystem.

The company will focus on artificial intelligence-based technology and big data solutions for new innovations that can generate large scale employment.

“The company has set aside Rs 500 crore to invest in early-stage companies that build complementary technologies augmenting the digital ecosystem,” Paytm said in a statement.

The company said it expects to employ technology across the growing internet to become the dominant player in AI.

“We are well aligned with our country’s mission to ensure the benefits of the digital revolution reach the last mile. We partner with startups who have capabilities that augment the digital ecosystem for the next wave of growth.

“These investments are also an indication that Paytm believes India’s entrepreneur ecosystem is innovative and is growing well,” Paytm Deputy Chief Financial Officer Vikas Garg said.

The company typically invests Rs 200-250 crore every year in intellectual properties or companies building complementary technologies such as Insider, Nearbuy, Loginext, Ticket New, Hungerbox, Nightstay, QRQL, and RecruiterGrid, the statement said.

Govt in process of approving Rs 20,000-crore lifeline to fund-starved NBFCs

Source: Business Standard, Nov 11, 2019

Mumbai: Finance Secretary Rajiv Kumar on Monday said that the government is in the process of sanctioning Rs 20,000 crore to the fund-starved NBFCs under the partial credit guarantee scheme announced in the budget. 20191113-4

“We have supporting sanctions of over Rs 20,000 crore and the guarantee is being extended,” Kumar told reporters on the sidelines of the 101st foundation day of state-run Union Bank of India here. He said some of the formalities are being worked now post which the scheme will get rolling.

Kumar said banks have been buying pooled assets since August last year after defaults by IL&FS began. He said since the past five years, the government has been cleaning up the balancesheets of all financial sector players, such as public and private sector banks, all India financial institutions, NBFCs, cooperative banks, auditors and rating agencies. “There is no way that the system can be gamed now,” he warned.

The budget had proposed a partial credit guarantee scheme worth Rs 1 trillion under which public sector banks would buy high-rated pooled assets of financially sound NBFCs, including housing finance companies, amounting to Rs 1 trillion this year under which government will provide a one-time six months partial credit guarantee to public sector banks for first loss of up to 10 percent”. The measure was announced to help ease the tight liquidity condition that shadow banks have been facing since the fall of segment major IL&FS in September 2018.

Factory output shrinks 4.3%; Lowest in almost 8 years

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 12, 2019

NEW DELHI: India’s industrial production shrank for the second consecutive month in September, its worst performance in the series that began April 2012, highlighting the persistent structural slowdown in the economy and firming up expectations of further monetary easing next month with scant signs of a turnaround.

As per the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), factory output contracted 4.3% in September, the lowest in almost eight years in this series, which began April 2012 (with 2011-12 as the base year) and the lowest since October 2011when compared with the earlier series with base year 2004-05. IIP had contracted 5% in October 2011.

The decline was steeper than the 1.4% reduction seen in August, suggesting that the economy may have slumped further in the second quarter of the current financial year. Industrial production grew 4.6% in September 2018.

Economists expect second-quarter growth — the GDP figure is to be released on November 29 — may be lower than the six-year low of 5% in the June quarter. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had said last month that growth may be marginally better at 5.3% in the July-September period.

“This is a weak phase in the economy and sentiments are not robust but it’s tough to say if the economy has bottomed out,” said IDFC First Bank chief economist Indranil Pan. The lender sees second-quarter growth at 4.9-5.1%.

The central bank has pared its FY20 annual growth forecast to 6.1% from 6.8% estimated earlier. The economy grew 6.8% in FY19.
Full year growth estimates
Economists’ estimates for the full year are generally more gloomy. Growth for the current fiscal year may dip to around 4.7%, dragged down by the industrial sector, said 20191113-3ICRA principal economist Aditi Nayar. Nomura cut its GDP forecast to 4.9% for FY20 from 5.7% earlier. Axis Bank chief economist Saugata Bhattacharya said, “Overall, Q2 GDP growth is likely to be weak and robust recovery will take some time.”

The RBI has cut interest rates by a cumulative 135 basis points this year and will review monetary policy early next month, with the announcement scheduled for December 5. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Last week, Moody’s Investor Service lowered its outlook on India’s sovereign rating (Baa2) to negative from stable, saying that the domestic economic downturn could be structural, as opposed to cyclical, implying that more policy changes were needed in order to revive growth.

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Unsure Motown shelves $3 billion capex plans

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 12, 2019

MUMBAI: Automakers and their vendors have slashed or deferred nearly $3 billion of expansion plans for the current financial year as a deepening slowdown in the industry shows no signs of improving. Despite retail sales growing for the second consecutive month in October and a pickup in wholesale numbers month-onmonth, auto makers are apprehensive about prospects for the remaining five months of FY20.

Maruti’s parent Suzuki Motor Corporation has deferred its $550-million third plant in Gujarat while Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India has pushed back plans to commence 20191113-2production from its third manufacturing line in Gujarat. Suzuki Motorcycle India has also put off by a few years its proposal to set up a second plant.

Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, the country’s top manufacturers of commercial vehicles, have scaled back capex plans for FY20 by Rs 500 crore each. Mahindra & Mahindra has cut investment plans by Rs 250-300 crore so far in FY20.

‘Focus on ensuring ecosystem viability’
Vehicle makers alone have put off a cumulative $1-1.5 billion of investments. A similar quantum of deferrals is expected by the vendors.

“Having recognised the slowdown is now definitely upon us, the focus has been on ensuring that we manage the slump by doing it right,” said PB Balaji, group CFO, Tata Motors. “The focus has been on ecosystem viability, not just our viability,” he added. Official data released on Monday showed the Index of Industrial Production shrank 4.3% in September, after a 1.1% contraction in August. Mahindra & Mahindra MD Pawan Goenka had said in August that there could a 15-20% deferral of the company’s Rs 12,000-crore, threeyear capex plan. He had, however, added that product-related investments would continue.
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India Yamaha Motor launches BS-VI compliant variants of bikes

Source: IBEF.org, Nov 11, 2019

India Yamaha Motor (IYM) launched BS-VI compliant variants of FZ-FI and FZS-FI bikes, priced between Rs 99,200 (US$ 1,419) and Rs 1.02 lakh (US$ 1,460) [ex-showroom], on Friday.

According to the IYM statement, company also plans to launch other BS-VI compliant line-ups in coming time.

The launched version of FZ-FI and FZS-FI BS VI consist of several features such as single channel ABS in the front wheel, front and rear disc brakes along with a single piece two level seat.

“As Yamaha reveals from its new product line-up, the BS-VI compliant FZ motorcycles will be available across Yamaha showrooms from November 2019,” Yamaha Motor India Chairman Mr. Motofumi Shitara said.

APEDA eyes US$ 60 billion agriculture exports with support of new policy

Source: IBEF.org, Nov 11, 2019

20191113-1With the help of the new agriculture export policy, the agri exports from India is likely to reach the export target of US$ 60 billion by the year 2022, said Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) a statutory body under Ministry of Commerce. The policy has acted as a bridge between Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Agriculture helping in to reach the target.

“Achieving an agriculture export target of US$ 60 billion by 2022 does not look ambitious, given the current global market conditions. More so, because India’s export basket largely comprises meat, marine products, and basmati rice whose demand in the world market is on constant increase,” said Mr. Tarun Bajaj, GM, APEDA.

“With an integrated approach and better cooperation among the two union ministries for boosting agriculture production and trade increase export of organic food products as well as to double Agri-exports to US$ 60 billion by 2022 from current $38 billion” said Mr. Bajaj.

APEDA gives a platform to display India’s quality produce to the global market along with promoting the export of various agricultural commodities. Mr. Bajaj added, “After the announcement of Agri Export Policy (AEP) by the government, all the concerned ministries which includes Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Food Processing Industries and other agencies are working in close coordination, they are also focusing on exports. In addition, involving states since they also have an important role in encouraging exports of agriculture products from the region.”

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