Business Today podcast: Govt notifies electoral bonds for political donations; India's manufacturing PMI highest in 5 years   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 3, 2018  | 16:52 IST
Business Today podcast: Govt notifies electoral bonds for political donations; India's manufacturing PMI highest in 5 years

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Parliament approves amendments to Insolvency &  Bankruptcy code bill
Parliament has approved amendments to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code Bill to bar owners of defaulting firms from bidding to buy back assets when they are auctioned as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Replying to the debate in Rajya Sabha, finance minister Arun Jaitley said the proposed changes in rules were expected to help streamline the process of selecting buyers for stressed assets. Jaitley has expressed hope of a successful resolution process at least for asset-backed companies and assured the govt was  committed to protecting the interests of MSMEs.
Govt notifies electoral bonds for political donations

In a bid to curb influence of illicit cash in Indian political system, the Finance Ministry notified the contours of new electoral bonds. Announced during the last Budget session, these bonds will now be the only way to make donations to political parties. Donors will be able to purchase these bonds through specified branches of the State Bank of India. The bonds will be available for purchase for a period of 10 days in the months of January, April, July, and October. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, said electoral bonds could be bought for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore
India's manufacturing PMI highest in 5 years
The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 54.7 in December from 52.6 in November. The index numbers for December are the highest in the past five years. Experts attribute operating conditions improving in December due to an uptick in new orders. The growth in manufacturing was recorded all the three verticals - consumer, intermediate and investment.
Parekh's first address
Infosys CEO Salil Parekh addressed employees for the first time. His speech focused on the important role of each worker and how reskilling was the way to get ready for the future. As automation takes over the IT industry, he emphasised the need for every employee to be ready with necessary skills
TRAI makes stricter rules for interconnection agreements

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has made the network connectivity rules stricter by mandating a 30-day deadline for mobile operators to sign interconnection agreements on a non-discriminatory basis. TRAI has also fixed a daily penalty of up to Rs 1 lakh per service area for violations of the new norms. The regulations will come into effect from February 1
Banks preparing to cut rates

Competition is intensifying among the country's biggest lenders. ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC bank may follow SBI in cutting rates for borrowers. The asset liability committees of many of these banks will be meeting in the coming days to consider reduction in rates. SBI started the new year on a high note with a 30 basis points cut in its base rate. This will benefit over 80 lakh borrowers.

Rise of the rupee

The rupee closed at a two-and-a-half-year high of 63.48 against the greenback with the dollar losing ground against most Asian currencies. Reports indicate there is a general consensus in the US that the Fed will be cautious on its rate hike if inflation does not rise to the targeted levels.  The rupee has been strengthening against the greenback for four consecutive sessions

Two-wheelers end the year on a high note

Two-wheeler sales skyrocketed in the last month of 2017. Most major manufacturers recorded double-digit growth on the back of recovery in most rural and urban markets. After the demonetisation exercise consumers had put off purchases and sales had fallen 22% in December 2016, the sharpest fall since 1997. Hero MotoCorp saw sales rise 43% while Bajaj Auto posted a 13% increase in motorcycle sales. Royal Enfield's sales went up 16%.

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